Tapping top end power to hoist Multistrada's front wheel is a special feeling

Tapping top end power to hoist Multistrada's front wheel is a special feeling

 

Staff Bikes: Ducati Multistrada - What a year!

By Marc Potter -

First rides & tests

 03 February 2012 11:55

That’s it. Time to send my Multistrada 1200S back. And I’ve never been sadder to see a bike go. It fits into my life perfectly and that’s saying something as I’ve owned, run and tested just about every single bike built in the last 17 years.

Even after running two Multistrada 1200s (the first one was written off by a colleague) in the last two years, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly this bike gets you from A-to-B if you’re in a hurry.

And, as road bikes go, there are few finer and even fewer that would transport you 100 miles with such ease and grace, whether flying solo or fully-laden, two-up.

With 150bhp on tap there’s always enough power to wake you up, but the way it delivers it smoothly and progressively with just a little hit of extra power at the top end to make the front wheel lift is special.

But more than that it’s about the package. The comfort, the near perfect riding position, the wind protection (as long as you have an £80 Ducati higher screen), and the feeling you get from the rear tyre as the electronic traction control kicks in…

We’ve done loads of track days (running at the front of the fast group in a shower of sparks and rear wheel slides at some of them), toured Ireland, commuted, ridden through a winter together, had weekends away in the Lakes two-up and away with the boys to places like Weston’s beach race.

It’s been spanked round our test track, run flat out on the dyno, speed tested and still it comes back for more. I fail to think of any bike that I would like more. I just hope one day I can find the money for another one in my garage.

WHAT WE LIKE:

  • First proper GS rival, but braking and power are in another league.
  • Tank after tank of comfort.
  • Handling can be adjusted at the touch of a button, and enough for track days if required. Just.
  • Engine modes allow you to calm your day, or liven it up.
  • Styling still looks futuristic two years on.
  • Practicality, all-round, do-anything quality.
  • Electronic suspension means no more fiddling with screwdrivers.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE:

  • Slight furring around brake pedal, gear lever.
  • Pannier catches are simply not good enough.
  • Fuel economy drops rapidly when fitted with full exhaust system.
  • Headlight can never be adjusted down enough.
  • Holes in handguards need taping up in winter.

THE FACTS
Ducati Multistrada 1200S, £14,995
Value now:
£10,250
Mileage: 9250
Fuel economy: 41mpg
Power (claimed): 150bhp
Dry weight: 199kg

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