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MCN  says:

Video: Ducati Multistrada 1200 v BMW GS

The king is dead. Long live the king. MCN's world first comparison test of the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 proves it is a better all-rounder than BMW's brilliant R1200GS. More on the Multistrada 1200 Read Multistrada 1200 and BMW GS bike reviews Read the full in-depth test in this week's issue of MCN, on sale Wednesday 31 March. // By...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (31 March 2010 09:02)

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Apr 09

Posts: 139

jonmx says:

The King????

Just about every review and test I have read over the past couple of years rate the KTM 950/990 as being better than the BMW gs.... is it being called the `class leader` here at the beginning of the video due to its sales figures? Having said that,at least the GS has some off road ability-cant see the Duc being ridden very far off the tarmac, and the price is going well off the radar for us riders who dont earn a fortune.I do applaud the advances in technology.. but the cost is just spiralling.



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Apr 10

Posts: 4

alanhoward says:


I own a BMW R1200GS ( 2008 )model, and am considering a Multistrada Touring S as my next purchase, but was put off a little by the BM was fitted with ABS,ESA ( suspension), on board computer, heated grips, panniers and came in at just over 11K on the road, admittedly without the ABS. my point is that there may be a bigger gap in price between the 2 bikes than this video suggests, obviously I need to read the full article which probably shows more detail.  Another poster here also mentions running costs, which if you are covering serious mileage here or abroad, does start becoming an issue.  Also, watching the video of the 2 bikes without a commentary didnt help me decide if the Duc was really worth the extra money.....must try and get a test ride soon!!

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Oct 09

Posts: 5

motoeuro says:

And another thing.....

After reading comments below, it looks to be a cost thing that makes the Duke a 'bankers' toy. Us meager workers will find it tough to chuck-up £14k+. In defence of the BeeEmm, I love the shaft drive, this is a big reason for me to buy it as chains are a mess-on. That 3k tour means taking a touque wrench. Maintenace free shaftie gives the GS a clear advantage. Of course, the German drinking 1 litre of oil every 5 minutes buts it back a step to close fight. The BHP war is clearly won by the Italian and with the GS in it's new model state only just clearing 100bhp just isnt enough, not that I want to fly around at 130mph, but how many times have you sat at 95mph for 600 miles through France to catch that ferry ? Plenty. Vibes and pushing the revs towards a ton on the GS seems to be out of it's comfort zone. Most mags reporting a happy GS at 80mph, not good enough. Duke wins. Shame Bob Marley couldn't squeze 110+ bhp out the old boxer........

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Apr 10

Posts: 1

jockstewart says:

Design team conversation

Luigi: "Hey Gino how is the bike coming along?"
Gino: "Looking good, lots of power, sexy lines, good handling."
Luigi: "How about the endurance of the bike?"
Gino: "Using finest Italian engineering we will manage over 200 miles between breakdowns!"
Luigi: "Thats a brilliant improvement, but Big Shug from Glasgow is worried about salt.."
Gino: "He should change his diet!"
Luigi: "Yea right, I will buy shares in Ohlins, that bike will need a new set of forks every year."
Gino: "Whaddya mean, I put a bit of plastic in front of the fragile chrome and recessed seals..."
Luigi: "Oh well, at least the reviewers will like the new bike, as they always do, they don't have to live with the damn thing..."

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Jan 10

Posts: 46


OK, these bikes have lots of bells and whistles, mostly options on the BMW of course - which puts its price over £13k. Whether you really need all this gadgetry is open to question - more complication=more to go wrong=expensive trips to BMW and Ducati dealer! Take away the gimmicks, except the ABS, and where exactly do these £14k + bikes beat the KTM and Triumph offerings which are at least £3k+ cheaper?

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Nov 09

Posts: 146

Finally read the hardcopy MCN review -

excellent - one of the best I've seen. A follow -up 'living with them/it' (in due course) would be the icing on the cake.

That written, they are not cheap, and I couldn't live without the greatest sound in motorcycling (Triumph's 1050 triple).

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Mar 10

Posts: 118

MudDoctor says:

Not fit for purpose

OK, in pure dynamics, the 'Strada might beat the GS. However, without a set of knobblies on, while neither bike would particularly great crossing a damp lawn, the GS wins because you can drop it with relative impunity, especially if you have raided the Touratech, Wunderlich or Hornig catalogues. LED indicators in the mirrors? What are Ducati thinking of? How much to replace them?

Talking of Touratech etc, will these bolt-on-goody companies even bother with the Ducati? I think not. The reason that the BMW is so successful, is the "King", is because it is an evolutionary product. The worldwide spares availability is legendary, so when you break down in Timbuctu, you'll get spares. (OK, an exageration, but you know what I mean). Because the basic architecture of the bike, frame and engine have remained unchanged for years, it's possible to transfer a lot of your Touratech gear from bike to bike. I suspect that this won't be the case for the Ducati. I also suspect that, good as it undeniably is, the Ducati will be a fashion buy, and short term. If they are still flying out of the showrooms in three or four years time, then I guess I'll have to eat my words, but I suspect not.

That's not to say that I wouldn't have one like a shot, because I actually like it. We'll see if BMW can learn a thing or two from it, and maybe we'll see variable engine mapping on next year's GS and Adventure. Give them the full power HP2 engine, with mapping to allow low end torque and reduced BHP for offroading, then things can only get better. I'm sure that there's still room on the bars for another couple of buttons!

As for price, my 2009 GS Adventure was £12250, including Adventure Panniers, ABS, Heated Grips, ESA, Tyre Pressure Monitor and On Board Computer.    New.

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Apr 10

Posts: 17

thedogs3856 says:


Read the review over tea and have now seen the video and I'm sorry to say I'm not convinced yet. I have also concluded from both, that there is a bias towards the Duc and a desire to topple the best dual purpose bike on the planet. I remember not so long ago when it was being said that the SM-T was supposed to be THE bike to have (check out your own video MCN). You also said the BMW K1300R was a brilliant allrounder after riding it back from eastern europe.................lets face people it horses for courses and each and every one to their own. If you want one, buy one it up to, I'm just about to order another GS to replace my Adventure. I'll lavish it with a few extras as you do and will once again be back on a great bike. Lets see if the Duc's are out there in the crap weather we endure each year because I bet there tucked away down the leg and boot during their winter.............sceptical, yes.



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Apr 10

Posts: 1

taff59 says:


I have never thought of the BMW as a good looking machine(even though I have one), but next to the Duck it is a real beauty, what are they thinking?


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Nov 03

Posts: 315

elefantman says:

"All-rounder?" Come on guys...

Using a very narrow definition of "all-rounder", aren't you? A bit of a blat around some twisty _sealed_ roads and the Ducati is an all-rounder that is going to dethrone the Beemer and challenge the Tenere?

Come off it. You'd be mad to go all-road touring on a bike with 17-inch cast wheels front and rear. Can't say I've ridden around the world, but I've done a fair bit of long-distance offroading on single and multi-cylinder road/trail big bores. I could tell you I wouldn't go near the Multistrada for genuine all-roading and overlanding. Mind you the BMW is not really my cup of tea either - I'd be buying a KTM LC8 Adventure, but failing that I'd tip for the BMW over the Duc any day.

Put simply, the Duc is a sportsbike jacked up high. The fact that it appeals to the sportsbike rider and he doesn't like the 'big wheel' on the BMW says it all to me. People who are genuinely into all-round big road/trail tourers will be thinking about whether the 19-inch wheel on the BMW is big enough!

The Ducati might come in cheaper, but we all know the results that when 'cheap' and 'Ducati' are put together in one bike the results for built quality are generally not good.


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