Ducati has taken a sharp knife to its 1299 Panigale V2 superbike engine and cut it in half, the result being a 659cc Superquadro Mono engine that develops 78hp. It powers the new Hypermotard 698 Mono you see here in the images. The new lightweight machine uses all of Ducati’s electronic safety countermeasures to make backing it in to corners, or steering from the rear, a possibility for regular riders. The bike also reprises the rare and collectible Supermono of the 90s.
The concept is for a supermotard that is the ultimate in lightweight thrills through the curves, on track and in the city, an out-and-out fun machine.
According to Ducati, the idea is that the 698 Mono will also turn mere mortals into competent supermotard riders, supported by ABS Cornering. In this instance the settings are developed to manage “sideways riding” on track.
More experienced riders will be able to exploit the power of the engine and the precision of the chassis with the electronics turned down or off.
The Hypermotard 698 Mono is compact and aggressive, a slim motorcycle with typical supermoto attitude. Double silencers mount at the top, either side of the tail, while up front the compact LED headlight integrates the DRL function with a double “C” light profile.
The engine develops peak power at 9750rpm, and a torque max of 63Nm at 8000rpm. It spins to 10,250rpm. An optional Termignoni exhaust takes power to 85hp. The Mono features titanium intake and steel exhaust valves, along with Desmodromic valve operation.
The electronic suite includes Ducati Traction and Wheelie Control, Ducati Engine Brake Control, Ducati Power Launch and Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up/Down. The latter is standard fit on the RVE which is characterized by ‘Graffiti’ livery inspired by works of street art.
Four riding modes consist of Sport, Road, Urban and Wet and there are three engine modes, along with DTC, EBC and ABS levels that are assigned to the ride modes. There are four levels of ABS, two integrating Slide-by-Brake functionality, which allows safe and repeatable tailout cornering via the rear brake when on track. In the third setting hitting the rear brake into a corner allows the bike to attain a yaw angle that is then managed electronically. It allows aspiring riders to learn to powerslide in a safe manner. Level 2 of ABS enables more pronounced powerslides. Level 1 leaves powerslide control up to the rider, with ABS acting only on the front wheel.
There are also four levels of wheelie control, all but level one electronically keeping wheel lift to a minimum while exiting corners under power. There’s also optional Wheelie Assist software, only for track application, that allows sustained maintenance of a wheelie electronically.
The bike itself weighs in at 151kg dry thanks to a lightweight trellis frame, cast rims, and use of other exotic components. Suspension by Marzocchi is fully adjustable, the 45mm USD forks offering 215mm of travel. A rear Sachs monoshock, also fully adjustable, has 240mm of travel. Tyres are Pirelli Diablo Rosso IVs (120/70ZR17 up front, 160/60ZR17 at the rear). The battery is a lightweight lithium-ion unit.
Up front, a 330mm disc is slowed by a Brembo M4.32 radial caliper while a 240mm disc handles rear stopping duties.
The riding position assures optimum control for sports riding, allowing the inside leg to be extended forwards or flexed, the knee dragging on the ground. Handlebars are adjustable through eccentric U-bolts. Footpegs have no rubber inserts and are designed to optimise lean angles. The flat saddle is covered with a grippy fabric that facilitates body and leg movements.
Accessories include a racing seat, motard footrests, and sliders and protective covers for the engine crankcases.
Titanium, aluminium and carbon fibre parts can be added for lightweighting purposes. There are also dedicated items of clothing for the new Hypermotard 698 Mono.
Deliveries will being in Europe at the start of 2024 in Ducati Red while the RVE version gets a black frame and DQS quickshifter as standard. A learner version is available in Europe with power limited to 35kW. Expect the bike down under towards the middle of next year.