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Ducati MULTISTRADA 1200S Adventure Motorbike Review

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 Sport
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Ducati Multistrada 1200S Sport (2010-2013)



Detail Value
New price £14,795
Used price range View Ducati MULTISTRADA 1200S bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 1198 cc
Power 150 bhp
Top speed 155 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 3

MCN overall verdict rating is 5

Ducati’s all-new Multistrada 1200S Sport and Touring machines look set to redefine not just the ‘adventure bike’ or ‘all-rounder’ class, but motorcycling in general. The package (detuned superbike 1198 V-twin lump, chassis bristling with Ohlins and Brembo, loads of equipment) is good enough in itself to top the segment. But what truly takes the Multistrada to another plane is its revolutionary ‘riding mode’ system which adjusts power delivery, suspension set-up and traction control at the flick of a switch between ‘Sport’, ‘Touring’, ‘Urban’ and ‘Enduro’ modes.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Ducati Multistrada 1200’s new Testastretta 11º motor is from the 1198 sports V-twin but with reduced valve overlap for a softer, meatier low rpm delivery and has a host of mods including wet, slipper clutch, Mikuni ride-by-wire to allow riding modes, and softer compression. The benefit is smoother delivery, while reduced top end poke (peak bhp is 150bhp instead of the 1198S’s 180bhp) is plenty to crush established ‘adventure bike’ rivals. Doubling of valve service intervals to 15,000 miles is a further benefit. 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

In ‘Sport’ mode, the Ducati Multistrada 1200S touring and Sport handles like a taller and wide bar kitted 1198; in ‘Enduro’, it’s tolerable for light off-road use. The S-model’s adjustability of engine and suspension means most routes are accessible. Stonking Brembo front brakes highlight the softer-side of the front Ohlins forks, but is perfectly acceptable for everyday riding. 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Where do you start? Traction control and ABS are as adjustable as the suspension, performance modes, slipper clutch, adjustable screen, high/low seat options, single-sided swing-arm, LCD display unit are all standard fit. And then there are the parts that make the Sport model: carbon fibre cam belt covers, rear hugger and air inlets instead of panniers and centrestand – although they can be bought separately to easily fit onto the Sport’s chassis. Compare and buy parts for the Multistrada 1200 in the MCN Shop.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Ducati’s latest range of bikes (1098 and on) are proving to be extremely reliable. Quality has also shot up – if only Ducati could tidy up the amount of handlebar/fairing wires  Service intervals for the Multistrada are now an impressive 15,000 miles.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

Ducati’s ‘sport’ biased bikes have never been cheap and at £14,295 the Multistrada 1200S Sport carries on that tradition. But then you are buying a trend-setting, class beating machine decked out with class-leading electronics. Take away the carbon parts, electro-trickery Ohlins suspension and ABS, and you end up with the base model Multistrada for £3300 less – same engine power and power mode selection, mind. Find a Ducati Multistrada 1200 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2010: Multistrada 1200 and 1200S Sport and Touring models released

Other Versions

£10,995 Multistrada 1200 – base version with ABS, non-electronic 50mm Marzocchi forks and Sachs rear shock. ABS version is available for £11,695.

£14,295 Multistrada 1200S Touring – with Ohlins DES system, panniers, heated grips and centre-stand

Specifications

Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 150 bhp
Max torque 87.5 ft-lb
Weight 192 kg
Seat height 850 mm
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 1198 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled, 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload, compression and rebound damping (electronic)
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression and rebound damping (electronic)
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs, radial 4-piston Brembo callipers, ABS
Rear brake 245mm disc, 2-piston calliper, ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(8 reviews)

  • Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak

    MAli

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I am not a very experienced rider so please leverage my review with caution. I got my motorcycle license last year (2013) and Multistrada Pikes Peak 2012 is my 3rd bike. My previous bikes were BMW K1300S (2009) and BMW K1300R (2013) and that’s all I have to compare my MS against. MS is distinctively a more comfortable and easy to get on and off bike. I can easily cover double the miles on my MS on a single long stretched trip as compared to my BMW. Initially, I was not very comfortable with the cornering abilities of the bike as the steering used to wobble. Like others, I then got familiarized to a term “steering stabilizer” which was non-existent in this bike. However, after going through some sensible reviews, I adjusted the bike’s suspension electronically according to my weight and the bike became ultra-stable magically without requiring a steering damper. Now it’s is so stable that despite high ground clearance and my limited riding experience, I dragged my knees to the ground during my first day on the track. At the same time taking a tight U-turn is still an enjoyable activity with MS due to the absence of the resistance applied by a Steering Damper. The BMW on the other hand gave me so much of confidence at corners that I never felt the need to even understand the bike's suspension but the bike is a little too heavy for sudden maneuvers. MS is around 36kg lighter than a BMW K1300 which makes the maneuvering faultless. Another commendable aspect of MS is styling which is second to none, although for some people nothing can stand against a BMW K1300R. If you compare the 2 motors, the BMW motor is more smooth / linear with infinite power and very aggressive stock sound. In MS the power is relatively not as high as the BMW, but pushing it to the limits is still beyond many professionals’ reach. The sound of MS is more rhythmic yet exhilarating (Pikes Peak version comes with Termegoni slip on). In terms of build quality, I would rank BMW higher. If you have an eye for detail, you can make it out without having to live with the bike and then appreciate. My MS side stand switch malfunctioned at 6000kms (replaced under warranty though) and the worst thing is that the bike does not show any errors. Overall, I don't know why, but I have not yet been able to let go of my fear of the bike breaking at a place where nothing is accessible. It’s just been 2 months now since I own it so I hope someday it will win my trust as BMW. In terms of rider aids, I clearly felt the need for a tire pressure monitor on the MS. Also, I noted that the fuel indicator seems to be not very intelligent. It displays very wide ranging estimates and keeps changing the distance that bike can cover in a given amount of fuel with abnormal frequency. The gear shifting is smoother and clutch is lighter than a BMW, but the absence of a quick shifter make it all together a less supreme package. The key less start, electronic fuel opener (optional), ease of fixing panniers makes MS equally attractive for touring as it is for sports riding. One of my considerations when buying the MS was the comfort of a pillion which I believe can be a reason alone to buy this bike. Pillions have just loved it. The Ohlins electronically adjustable shocks takes the experience to a different level all together both for a pillion and the rider alone. I am not very keen to use different riding modes MS has at hand, but I like the flexibility of the bike to adjust to the conditions when instructed. I use it in Sports mode with two rider’s option to increase the preload. This makes it a lot firmer. Overall if one can spare more money, MS is a better choice due to its wide ranging usability. But if you are a power freak and expects a lot of sports instinct, BMW is a slightly better option with a lot of bang for the buck. While I am a German engineering fan and was wishing if BMW can produce something similar, I just read that this Italian beast (MS) was awarded this year the “best all-rounder motorcycle of the year award” in GERMANY – YES, IN GERMANY. This concludes my review.

    20 March 2014

  • Touring on the Multistrada 1200S

    oaklandraider0

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Just come back from taking my Multi 1200S Sport on Eurotunnel then riding down the middle of France, through Andorra and along the north coast of Spain. Had the bike fully loaded with panniers, topbox and my lovely wife and did nearly 2300 miles. The Mutley was faultless - very comfortable, carried the load beautifully and drew heads wherever we went. Done similar long journeys of a 1300 Pan, a Blackbird and a BMW K1200S but never had so much fun. The Mutley rocks!

    01 September 2011

  • Ducati Multistrada 1200s

    fc3452

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Bought my Multistrada 1200s earlier this year,used,from Ducati Manchester.I've been riding for over 35yrs on the road,am a retired Motorcycle patrol officer and have competed in many forms of motor sport so consider myself quite experienced rider. I fancied the Multistrada 1200 when i heard about it's development,so when it came out,went for a test ride.I certainly wasn't disappointed,but couldn't justify the price and there were a couple of pre-production items I wanted to see sorted.Plus,I wasn't too happy with the overall service at Coventry. However,after totally falling out with every BMW owner/dealer locally I p/x'ed my GS and Buell and got a very clean 2010 1200S.I've done 2000 miles in a month,it is more than I would ever want.It's comfy,flexible,fast as you want,in fact it does as they say,four bikes in one.I can't see any advantage of owning a GS about from that may have better off road,but how many GS owners go there,and if you want that,buy a KTM.The Multistrada is superb,certainly I can see it or another one being with me for many years and Ducati Manchester are in my opinion the best Ducati dealers in the country

    19 August 2011

  • Great Bike

    hufmybone

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I bought the 2011 touring addition recently and the bike really is phenomenal overall and I would highly recommend checking it out. Beware the test ride, you will buy it. When I went to the Ducati dealership I was just killing some time on a Saturday to check out the Diavel. My local dealer allows test rides so they let me take the Diavel out; incredibly fast. I’m 6’ tall and the fixed seat crunches you up against the tank and man does it throw some serious heat off the right side, so much for the Diavel. Before leaving the dealer I was checking out this wild looking bike with an upright seating position that looked more like a Enduro than anything else – the Multistrada. Again, they let me take it out. I hadn’t gone ½ a mile before thinking to myself “this thing rocks”, and it was in “Urban” mode. A quick question to the guy from the dealership that was with me and I was in “Sport” mode. Hold on because too hard a snap on the throttle and the front wheel is coming off the ground! I’s got to get me one of these! So after some serious thought I decided to sell my 2004 Honda ST 1300 to a friend (he really wanted it) and buy the MS. I still am comparing the differences between the two. Not quite the smooth ride as the Honda, but WOW is it fast and super light (420 lbs)! I'm older, plenty of sports injuries, so the upright riding position really is the first thing you notice when you mount up, and did I mention light? Handling couldn't be better, the bike is really agile and a hard charger, more like a rocket actually. The brakes are a little too "grabby" for lack of a better word and next service I need t see if something can be done on that front. The Honda had linked ABS system and just a light squeeze with 2 fingers and it would come to a smooth, level stop, no matter how fast you were going. The MS tends to grab the front disks putting the front suspension into a noticeable dive compared with the Honda (I realize more travel in the suspension but still too much). The back brakes are soft and lack noticeable stopping power and the front and back are not linked like the Honda, so I am negative on the brake system. Also I had the bike for a grand total of 3 days and the sub-menu LED screen on the instrument panel has crapped out. Text is all scrambled and illegible. Considering my local dealer is an hour away makes for a pain in the ass. Hopefully it is a minor issue and it stays a reliable problem free bike, like the Honda. Other than that you really can’t describe this bike in words. You to go see it, sit on it, feel how incredibly light it is and then to take it for a ride. Put the spurs to it on some long sweepers. The bike just flies! Ducati really did get it right. A lot of money to be sure, but can you put a price on happiness? Ducati did.

    05 August 2011

  • Test ride

    Retiredbiker

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Took one of these out for just over an hour on a test route planned to cover all types of road. As the bike journos have raved over it I just had to try one but found it just wasn't for me. The main issue was the engine didn't like being below 4000 rpm - the V-twin lumpyness the magazines call it - so riding on side roads at up to 60 mph called for 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears. If you put it in 5th it protested. To get into 6th you needed to be doing 70 mph. I can see why Ride magazine is only getting 35 mpg out of their long-term test bike. Then there is the ride comfort. I was expecting something special but regardless of whether you use Urban or Touring on side roads it's not what you'd call smooth, certainly not as good as an R1200GS. The ride other than on smooth road surfaces just seems nervous regardless of setting. Then there's the riding position - I'm 6 feet 2 inches, inside leg measurement 33 inches. I had trouble getting my feet down on the ground properly because your legs are splayed apart. Also you are tipped forward by the seat into a bit of a sportsbike position and surprisingly this puts some weight on your wrists as well. I probably wasn't riding it how you are supposed to in order to appreciate it, i.e. really fast with handfuls of throttle. To conclude I was expecting a lot but for me it didn't deliver. I'm probably looking for too much in all-round ability from a bike.

    06 May 2011

  • DUCATI MTS1200ABS

    katumsmt

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Review Still early days

    27 November 2010

  • Is this a naked one, isn't it?

    realRider2

    Average rating rating is 1.5

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    Wow!, claps... what a bike! Just one thing, Please do not put this bike in the same group as the rest of the adventure maxi-trail bikes. This bike has nothing to do with them so trying to compare it with a BMW or a Super Tenere is a total waste of time. I had the oportunity to proper test this bike. BMW and Super Tenere are just different and superior.

    04 November 2010

  • Very happy

    Gdeleon

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    just need hazard lights

    02 November 2010

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