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Attended the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in San Mateo, CA
today. Good fun, but I was surprised to see that the Hypermotards had been
replaced with 696 Monsters for the Ducati freestyle stunt exhibition.

Apparently, this change just came about in the last two weeks or so, and from
my point-of-view, these junior Monsters barely had enough steam to get the
job done. The riders are great (Ernie Vigil and Nick Brocha), but compared to
online vids of these guys on the Hyper, they appeared to be _struggling_ to get
the 696 to spin the rear tire in a circling burnout (no smoke), and there were
no stoppies on the Monster, either, whether that was due to the brakes or
the lack of enough acceleration to get up to speed quickly (or both).

To make matters worse, Nick's Monster had an engine problem during the
exhibition and he had to pull off and watch Ernie finish out.

Note to Ducati NA: Stop whipping these poor lil' 696s and bring back the Hyper :(
 

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Maybe Ducati should have switched to the new Hyper 796 :) they got to have a few around to abuse...
 

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The brakes on the 696 are plenty capable so that wasn't why they weren't doing stoppies...

I wonder why they would switch - I can't think of one good reason!?
 

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The Monster is far more recognized than the Hyper. EVERYBODY has heard of them. As I have just bought a Hyper, when I tell my non-Ducatisti friends what I bought, they say "You bought a What?? Is that like a Monster??"

Maybe they thought that model recognition was far more important than ability.....

Dave
 

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Pure marketing move im sure. Ernie and Nick are very talented and im sure they will get used to the new gear in no time.

I saw the quick session they did after they got Nicks Monster fixed, about 3:30 which was an unscheduled show. There was one or two good stoppies and a pretty long standing burner that did smoke up the crowd.

Looks like overall the surface they were stunting on wasn't really the best as even when bringing the bikes up into a wheelie they would slip the rear often before it hooked up. Pretty sure we would have seen more endows/stoppies if they were on a gritty-er surface. Slipping the front is no fun recovering from, and the few stoppies I saw they were bouncing the back just to get them to come up. Not the smoothest way to get the back end up but you got to do what you got to do to get it done im sure.

I too was surprised to see them on the monsters but it makes sense from a marketing perspective. They did seem to have them setup pretty well. Crash cages, rear pegs, monster sprockets (no pun intended). Still wondering if they have a oil catch setup to keep things from blowing up into the air box. Im thinking they must and had something similar on their old hyper setups.

One last thing to note, even though its a 696 and not a huge motor im sure its enough to do what they need. Some of the best stunters in the world choose a inline 600cc over a bigger engine cause its easier to stunt on. Sometimes too much power on the throttle makes the slow wheelies more difficult and when it comes down to it that's more of what today's stunt shows are about. small space parking lot slow wheelie shows.
 

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We also noticed, the stunt show move to Monsters was purely marketing from Ducati, they obviously do much better with the Hypermotards.

That's too bad we did not connect, as a lot of us were there too (Bill, John, Franseco, Jim, Neil and more).
Perhaps we spent much more time drinking beer at the Prince of Whales than at the show.
The show is shrinking year after year: this year no Aprilla, and no KTM which was the meeting point for Bill:p
As for Ducati, they had a nice booth area. They did not have the new Multistrada (but will have it for the LA show), so the new Hypermotard 796 was the master center piece for San Mateo.

As for the new Hypermotard Evolution, they did not have the SP but just the standard one.
Listening to comments around, most people don't know or even see any difference.
When you seat on it, you immediately see the new digital LCD instruments which looks nice, but again it comes with the Siemens electronics ECU instead of Marineli....
You also immediately notice that all control switches are smaller and look more fragile.
The marketing aspect is there with 5 more hp and 5 less kg, but the reality is all about reducing the production cost...
Moving to Siemens was definitely part of reducing cost.
You also notice the bigger oil cooler and missing dual spark plugs, but again the extra power is mostly obtained by a higher compression piston, not so much the head work. The same and much more can be done on the 08 and 09 models.
The single spark plug heads was also part of reducing cost.
I would have loved to the SP version, to check the new belt covers, front fender and fork guards which are no longer actual carbon fiber, but some sort of "composite" which we all know can mean anything in marketing... the jury is out on this composite as well as on the longer Marzochi fork for which I would not have higher expectation on internals of it was all about reducing cost....

Anyway, the new 2010 Hypermotard Evolution is very nice, but our 08 and 09 did not loose any value at all
 

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As for Ducati, they had a nice booth area.
agree that the ducati booth was better this year than the past few years ... not necessarily the contents (bikes/accessories/staff), but the layout this year is very open, not closed in by 4 walls and a single entry/exit opening, like in the past.
 

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agree that the ducati booth was better this year than the past few years ... not necessarily the contents (bikes/accessories/staff), but the layout this year is very open, not closed in by 4 walls and a single entry/exit opening, like in the past.
That's good to know. The past couple of years it was like being in a sardine can trying to look at the bikes.
 

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The Ducati booth was definitely the highlight of the show and I'm not just saying that because of personal bias.

The overall mode of both staff and attendees in the Ducati booth was upbeat and enthusiastic in stark contrast to those of other manufacturers who bothered to show up.

As noted, KTM and Aprilia were no shows. Disappointing, but not surprising. For instance, KTM revenue was down 25% last year overall and down 44% in the street segment. Plus they were too scared to face off with me over the lack of a 690 Adventure.

By comparison, the buzz around the 1198's, Monsters and HMs was invigorating. Just goes to show you that, with the right set of product development priorities, companies can still shine from the product perspective even in the worse of economic times.

BTW, I enjoyed the stunters...even if they were on Monsters.

Bill

P.S. FU KTM for not having a 690 Adventure :mad:
 

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So were there any hot looking babes at the Ducati booth? Got pictures?

The Ducati booth was definitely the highlight of the show and I'm not just saying that because of personal bias.

The overall mode of both staff and attendees in the Ducati booth was upbeat and enthusiastic in stark contrast to those of other manufacturers who bothered to show up.

As noted, KTM and Aprilia were no shows. Disappointing, but not surprising. For instance, KTM revenue was down 25% last year overall and down 44% in the street segment. Plus they were too scared to face off with me over the lack of a 690 Adventure.

By comparison, the buzz around the 1198's, Monsters and HMs was invigorating. Just goes to show you that, with the right set of product development priorities, companies can still shine from the product perspective even in the worse of economic times.

BTW, I enjoyed the stunters...even if they were on Monsters.

Bill

P.S. FU KTM for not having a 690 Adventure :mad:
 
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