Sunday, April 12, 2015

Checking out the competition, part II - Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro & Ducati Hyperstrada

Ducati test riding tour was in town and we decided to take the Scrambler Urban Enduro and Hyperstrada for a spin. The Ducati lineup doesn't really have anything that would be directly comparable to the 690 E, but the Urban Enduro is probably their most offroady model and the Hypermotard derived Hyperstrada could be a very enjoyable gravel road machine with the right tires. I was fully expecting to fall in love with the Scrambler and I was already fond of the looks before ever seeing the bike in the flesh. The Hyperstrada hasn't really popped up on my radar and I've always considered it as a ruined Hypermotard. There was also a Multistrada available, but I felt that the Hyper would be a closer rival (eventhough a bit far off) to the 690 E.


The engine is is surprisingly peppy and alive. Having previously owned a 696 Monster and a Triumph Scrambler I felt that the engine was far better than the one on the Triumph and somewhat nicer than on the 696. The genes are most likely very similar though. For this type of bike, I didn't feel any need for more power, but then again I rarely do.

There are three modes, Sport, Touring and Urban. I pretty much went straight for the sport mode and stayed there. There roads I rode didn't really give the Hyper a proper chance to show it's full potential, but the engine was rather brilliant. Just nothing bad to say about it.


The ergos were both weird and wonderfull. The Urban Enduro has rather high bars which gave it a sort of ape hanger vibe. Then again riding standing up was an absolute joy and I could swear the ergos were better than on the 690 standing up!! That was very very surprising to me. After the ride we noticed that the bars were installed a bit off and were a  too far forward and up. The dealer fixed the angle and the bars felt immediately more natural, but since we didn't take another ride I don't know how much the standing up ergos were affected.

Like a glove! Everything felt just about perfect for me. Riding from the pegs didn't feel too good at all, but sitting down was sublime.

Highway speeds

Nothing much to say. Pretty much as expected as far as wind protection and ride comfort. The Hyper is obviously the one to choose for longer highway stretches.


Not in any way uncomfortable, but nothing special in any way. Can't say anything about the seat because of the relatively short ride, but I don't suspect that it would cause any issues.

Very comfy and supportive seat. The seat sort of cups your cheeks and keeps you nicely in place even at hard accelerations. Then again, if your but doesn't "fit", it could be an issue. Not a lot of room to move or change positions. The seat feels very different than it looks.


It is nimble, agile and feels light without truly being extremely light. Brakes are good. Suspension is a sensible compromise given what it's "tasked" to do. No negatives from me.

It has a supermoto feel to it (obviously) with a touch of refinement and travel worthiness. Everything works beautifully together. I would like to take it to the track to learn more about it's character. I feel that I didn't really get to know at all what it can REALLY do.

In general

Both good likeable bikes. I expected to fall for the Scrambler, but the Hyper made much more of an impression. The price difference between the two is such that I just could not justify the Scrambler over the Hyper. The basic Scrambler is cheaper, but for a 690 E replacement bike you would want the extras of the Urban Enduro model. The Scrambler would be the better replacement for the 690 E given it's nimble character and ergos, but it sort of doesn't make sense to me.

Would I trade the 690 to either one? No, still feeling it for the 690.

1 comment:

  1. I've tested last tuesday the Multistrada 1200 and 1290 SAD back-to-back. Neither one convinced me. 'If' I had to buy something in the allroad-range it would rather be a V-Strom 1000 or 1190advR.
    Riding back on my 690 confirms again how much fun,simple & light the 690 is.
    Test of the scrambler duc next week.