Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring Test

more power, an ext comfort, much more safety. Ist there a much better all-rounder than ns 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200?
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FACT: no one knows precisely what in adventure bicycle is. Or possibly it would certainly better zu say the everyone knows "adventure bike" doesn"t really average much: bei all-encompassing term zum anything middleweight or over with longer-than-average legs.

Du schaust: Ducati multistrada 1200 s touring test


Some des the blame zum the muddle need to lie v Ducati"s Multistrada 1200. Launched in 2010, its first adventure was one across die boundaries von motorcycle class. The was an adventure bike zu seduce sports bike riders, promise 150hp, brutish torque and sharp handling, but so comfort. A superb if slightly unhinged all-round roadway bike, with advanced gadgetry consisting of traction control und riding modes. A long-legged, high-performance sporting activities tourer. Contact it what you want, however know it was more than nur another adventure bike.


It"s matured a bit because then. In 2013 it got a round von civilising refinements, including subtler traction control und more advanced ABS. Ns "S" edition deshalb got Ducati"s semi-active "Skyhook" suspension, so-called because die stability the provides is supposedly together if it to be suspended native above.

Now, weil das 2015, it"s had one more round of updates, this time deswegen extensive that it"s in fact "100% new bei technology and componentry" according zu Ducati. Ns frame, sub-frame, engine, fork, shock, brakes – every new, ns firm says.


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It"s obtained variable valve timing, or Desmodromic variable Timing as Ducati phone call it, a production bike zuerst according to ns Italian manufacturer. It way independent control of intake und exhaust camshafts, which ist said to optimise performance throughout the range.

It"s gott new electronics, with in Inertial measurement Unit, or IMU, favor Yamaha"s new R1, measuring roll, pitch and yaw.


For die Skyhook semi-active suspension, that means it now knows whether ns bike is leaning over an a corner, and can optimise damping accordingly.

We also have the IMU zu thank zum a new Ducati Wheelie control system, or DWC.

I talk both ns Multistrada 1200 S and the base auflage Multistrada 1200 weist the niederdrücken launch an Lanzarote today. Both oase four riding modes – Sport, Touring, Urban und Enduro. Die former two offer you the full 160hp and the last only 100. Each setting provides different levels of beteiligung from ns ABS and traction und wheelie control. Only die 1200 S, v Skyhook, deshalb provides different semi-active suspension behaviour in each of the 4 modes.

At a stand-still an Touring mode, and at low speed, the ns feels soft, both ends compressing easily, but sachen change as speed rises, the back firming up. Forward key under braking ist inhibited as ns damping adapts. It still pitches but notfall as viel as that otherwise would, something that became an extremely clear when i later tried ns base edition. It supplies a capable fully adjustable Sachs shock und 48mm upside-down fork, the same as ns 1200 S, but without ns semi-active adjustment it pitches more.


Switching native Touring zu Sport on die S edition had an immediate tautening effect but it seemed kommen sie soften when appropriate, retaining a level of comfort punkt a continuous speed.

The new Multistrada 1200 renders 10hp much more than the alt one, hinweisen a declared 160hp. Torque has actually risen native 91.8lbft to a startle 100.3lbft. That"s 1.5lbft an ext than Kawasaki"s new supercharged Ninja H2. Throughout a vast range des engine speed, power ist up 7% und torque 9%, according kommen sie Ducati. It"s gott more von everything everywhere.

The Multistrada is even faster than it seems - und it appears fast. A few seconds ist all the takes zu add another 40, 50, 60mph. Since it"s comfortable, with that high screen, and not emphasize or vibey, it doesn"t feel like you"re going that fast. Until you lakers another vehicle on ns horizon und realise how quickly you"re acquiring on it.


The screen is adjustable by 60mm, using die same one-handed "pinch und slide" system as the old Multistrada. It"s yes, really easy kommen sie do on the move. Punkt its highest setting die screen ist above chin-level weil das the average-height male.

Each speak mode gives a different throttle response. Urban feels favor a various engine, with much less power for a given amount of wrist twist.


Touring mode offers a remarkable gentler throttle response und you much more frequently see lights on the dash flashing zu indicate intervention from ns wheelie or traction control. Die actual beteiligung is an extremely subtle. Not a sudden cut in power, nur a little hesitation or two, right perceptible.

It"s possible to alter the pre-settings in each des the modes, changing the intervention from ABS, wheelie und traction control. Wheelie und traction manage can so be switched off.

Theoretically (and Ducati said) die DWC renders wheelies "safe". The monitors acceleration und pitch angle, with eight intervention settings. Ns lower the setting, the danach it möchte bring die wheel down.


Short-shift zu stay approximately 5,000-7,000rpm und you"ll oase plenty des drive und fun betwee corners ~ above twisty roads. A sniff von a much longer straight und it"s difficult zu resist stretching die Multistrada"s foot to ns 10,000rpm red line.

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The Multistrada may provide loads much more than average power but it"s power that a decidedly mean rider like myself tun können easily use. The makes bei easy job of walking fast.

It"s deshalb really confidence-inspiring bei bends.

Perhaps die most far-ranging benefit von the IMU is the addition des cornering ABS together standard devices on both versions of the Multistrada.


Any mention von cornering ABS seems to divide opinion on applypaint.org. Taking ns skill out of riding, someone wollen say. I"m notfall a substantial devotee von electronics myself. I"d still happily buy a non-ABS bike zu save some money.

But I can tell freundin this: cornering ABS is amazing. Ns most significant development ich think I"ve checked out on a motorcycle. Where other things schutz improved motorcycling, this has readjusted it. It practically seems to change physics. I schutz no doubt it will prevent crashes.

Ducati provides a similar Bosch-developed system to KTM"s 1190 Adventure und 1290 at sight Adventure, which lets you seize a handful von brake mid-corner without losing die front or going straight on. Instead the bike nur stops without an altering trajectory.


Whether freundin ever oase to use it or not, it"s nice kommen sie know it"s there.

KTM"s system allows ns traction control kommen sie adapt zu lean angle too. Ducati"s isn"t that sophisticated; die traction control und IMU are not integrated.

The Multistrada jetzt has a full führen zu headlight, where the alt one only had bei LED short beam. Die S planke gets "Ducati Cornering Lights", i m sorry use added LEDs and the IMU zu broaden ns beam ~ above one or various other side an corners, so you kann see where you"re heading better. Die launch ride was entirely an daylight, deswegen I oase no idea even if it is they room effective.

The various other differences between the S und base modell are in the clocks and front brake. Die 1200 has actually a black-on-grey digital dash, while 1200 s has a colour one.


The former brake top top the s uses die same 330mm discs and radially mounted four-piston monobloc Bremo calipers as die Panigale 899. Ns base edition has contempt lower-spec calipers, but still radially placed Brembo monoblocs, und slightly smaller sized 320mm discs. Both have loads von power.

Service intervals have increased, kommen sie 18,000 miles zum a valve-clearance check und 9,000 foran oil change.

Since die launch von the initial Multistrada, Ducati"s marketing line has actually been that it"s 4 bikes bei one: A tourer, sporting activities bike, urban bike and enduro bike. The new version comes with four corresponding accessory packs. Dafür there"s a touring verpacktem including cook grips and panniers (fitted to ns "S" ausführung I rode), a sports verpackt with a Termignoni carbon exhaust, in urban verpackt with a top box, and so on.

I expropriate that it"s three bikes an one, or what sie might speak to a "versatile motorcycle".

It zu sein a an excellent tourer, through a stärke socket and now cruise regulate as traditional on every versions. There"s more room zum rider and pillion according kommen sie Ducati, und better wind protection native that higher screen.

It is a great urban bike, with die steering lock increased by 4° (to 80° ) zum easier U-turns. The seat has actually been lower slightly, and is flexible from 845mm to 825mm, using tools. I"m a loved one shorty punkt 5"9” and felt no need to lower that from the higher setting. There"s a great space under ns pillion seat for a bowl lock.

The Multistrada zu sein a great sports bicycle too, a comfy one.

By ich don"t buy ns enduro. The launch ride included all des about 200 yards of gentle follow riding, purely weil das photographs. I could have done it just as fine on mine SV650.

I"d go as far as asserting that no one buys a Multistrada zu even put a toe off road. In I wrong? Send an email to iamtheonlyone
applypaint.org.

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So i wish Ducati would dispense with that claim, und the pretence of the pirelli Scorpion Trail ii tyres (although they are qualified on die road), und celebrate what ns Multistrada 1200 is: one des the many exhilarating, versatile und safe road bikes you kann sein buy.

Watch our video review of the Multistrada 1200 und 1200 S

Model tested: Ducati Multistrada 1200 and 1200 S

Engine: 1198cc V-twin

Price: from £12,995 to add on-the-road charges (S auflage £15,595 in red or £15,795 an white)