A new bike is making waves in the supermoto scene, and it has everyone talking. It’s got a 659cc single-cylinder engine, a curb weight of 333 lbs, an oil change interval of 9,000 miles, and a valve clearance service due at 18,000 miles, and it’s a… Ducati?! That’s right, throw away everything you thought you knew about the bike builders from Bologna because they decided to make a bike that completely breaks the mold of what they’re known for in a good way. The best part is that relaxed maintenance intervals are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what makes this bike so good. Introducing the 2024 Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono!
The all-new Hypermotard 698 Mono (quite the mouthful of a name) is a supermoto that is swinging squarely for the jaw of the KTM 690 SMC R and the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto. On paper, it looks like it’s fairly similar to the twins from KTM and Husky, but it brings a certain sort of suave that you can only get from Ducati. The styling, for one, is on point. The new bike really looks like the smaller sibling of the Ducati Hypermotard 950 in a good way; it looks leaner, not lesser.
Ducati’s new 698 is also one of the only bikes on the market that has twice the number of exhaust pipes as it does cylinders. Is it necessary? I don’t know, probably not––but who cares? It looks undeniably cool. The partially exposed steel tube trellis with the motor as a stressed member reminds you that this is a Ducati. The lack of any fairings or skid plates makes the entire engine look like it’s just floating there in the center of the bike. It is both undeniably Ducati and very different from what you usually expect from the brand.
A Thumping Heart at 10,250 RPMs
The heart of the Hypermotard 698 Mono is a completely new motor from Ducati, a 698cc single cylinder with desmodromic valves. So how did the company best known for all things V-shaped end up with a single cylinder lump? Well, it’s much simpler than you might think. The Superquadro Mono, as Ducati calls it, was made by taking one of the cylinders from the Panigale 1299’s L-twin and turning it into its own engine. This means that it has a very short stroke and is extremely high revving. In fact, it is the highest-revving single-cylinder on the market, achieving a ridiculous 10,250 RPM redline. All of this results in a class-leading output of 77.5 hp at 9,750 RPM and 46.5 lb-ft of torque at 8,000 RPM.
One of the major things that sets the 2024 Hypermotard 698 Mono apart from the competition is the addition of advanced rider aids that are seldom seen in the supermoto segment. The Hypermotard 698 Mono is equipped with a six-axis IMU for cornering ABS and has Ducati’s all-new Wheelie Control available as an option to let you keep the front wheel up without the worry of looping the bike. Other features include a bi-directional quick-shifter, launch control, and slide control.
One of the most interesting features is Slide by Brake, which allows you to drift the bike with the rear brake while the rider aids keep the slide in check, allowing for safe, controlled drifting. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s a supermoto; won’t rider aids completely ruin the experience?” I used to be a naysayer of rider aids as well until I got my current bike, a 2023 Yamaha MT-10, and realized how much fun you can have when an IMU has your back. It allows you to be a little dumb while making sure you’re not being really dumb, and I can’t think of a better machine for being a little dumb on than a supermoto.
A Real Market Upset
Previously, you really only had two options if you wanted a larger traditional supermoto: the KTM 690 SMC R and the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto, which are essentially the same motorcycle from two different companies. The new 2024 Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono should hit this market hard, offering a more upmarket option while costing roughly the same at $12,999 for the base model. It’s a more refined machine than its competition and will appeal to buyers who want a supermoto that leans more towards being a motorcycle than a dirt bike.