The engine is derived from the Desmotore 696 but has a new crankshaft. That means it now has 66 mm of stroke compared to the 57.2 mm in the 696. Power has been increased to an impressive 81 hp (59.6kW) at 8000 rpm. A revised airbox means the engine also breaths better through 45 mm throttle bodies. The compression ratio is 11 to 1 for the reengineered L-twin.
Thanks to a 2 into 1 into 2 catalytic exhaust system the motorcycle complies with Euro 3 emissions standards. The exhaust is kept light using 1 mm thick tubular steel. A pair of twin under-seat black exhaust mufflers are finished with aluminum end caps.
The 796 has a dry weight of just 167kg (368lb), partly achieved by a lightweight engine and exhaust, but also by changes to elements such as fork clamps and radial fork bottoms. Up front the bumps are soaked up by a pair of 43 mm Marzocchi forks, while the rear is managed by a Sachs suspension unit.
The bike’s 17" wheels by Enkei are produced in lightweight aluminum to keep the unsprung weight low. The 796 uses the same 3.50 front and 5.50 rear rim sizes and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires as the 1100. Twin 305mm semi-floating discs gripped by radially mounted 4-piston Brembo calipers make braking smooth and linear.
Prices for the little Italian stallion start at US $9,995 (EUR7,120). The Hypermotard 796 comes in Dark finish with matte black tank, frame and wheels or, matte white tank with contrasting matte black beak, black frame and black wheels. The model we photographed at the the Milan moto show came with an optional tank cover.