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Hypermotard 950 RVE's garish graphics depart from the Ducati norm

Think Ducati and the chances are you’ll conjure an image of an elegant all-red bike. Over the years the firm has largely avoided the multi-coloured, graphics-splattered fashions so beloved of Japanese brands but with the new Hypermotard 950 RVE it’s breaking with that tradition.

If the Hypermotard RVE looks vaguely familiar it’s because the bike was previewed more than a year ago with a concept version shown at the Villa d’Este concours.

Looking at the production model it’s hard to see why it took so long for the RVE to reach production; it’s visually near-identical to the concept, sharing the same graphics and oversized ‘HYPER’ script down the side. The only notable change on the bodywork side is that the production bike loses the ‘03’ race number that was shown on the concept’s nose and sides. Mechanically, the concept featured an exposed dry clutch, which is missing on the production model but easily sourced on the aftermarket.

According to Ducati, the firm has used a ‘sophisticated painting process and application of graphics’ that gives a finish comparable to airbrushed bodywork. Ducati says it’s a labour-intensive job that involves very thin decals.

The RVE sits in the middle of the Hypermotard 950 range. It features the same suspension and wheels as the base model; Marzocchi forks, a Sachs shock and no-name alloy wheels, where the range-topping Hypermotard 950 SP gets Ohlins suspension and Marchesini rims. But it does inherit the SP’s up-and-down quickshifter – or ‘DQS Up and Down EVO’ in Ducati terms. Other tech, including cornering ABS, traction control and wheelie control is shared across the whole Hypermotard 950 range.

The same 937cc Testastretta engine is used across the whole Hypermotard 950 range, with 85kW on tap. In a 178kg, supermoto-inspired machine it’s proved to be a winning recipe for fun, and the RVE should attract buyers who want attention-grabbing looks to match.