There are now more than 2000 miles on the clock of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring and until last week it felt like every single one of them had been done with teeth gritted against the harsh winter.
The bike arrived a week or so before Christmas and apart from missing out a few days in the worst of the ‘Snowpocalypse’ in January because I am fully aware of what a lengthy hospital stay is like and have no intention of repeating that again, it has seen daily use. But at times it has been testing because of the sub-zero temperatures and slimy roads.
All that changed on a ride home from the MCN office one evening last week. Firstly, it was still pretty light. Secondly, the day had been pretty warm and the roads were dry and thirdly, I felt like I was finally getting to ride the big Multi in the way it should be ridden rather than with 40% in reserve. It was blissful and I actually added on another 25 miles to my ride home so it didn’t end.
While the Multistrada isn’t as fast as the BMW S1000RR I had last year as a long term test bike, you can actually cover the ground almost as fast for most of the time and even pick up the pace over the super-stiff BMW when the surface gets scabby as the Ducati ‘Skyhook’ semi-active suspension is so good. There is one section of bumpy back road on a regular ride which can make even the most stable of bikes get a bit flappy but the Multistrada manages to smother the sharp-edged ripples, broken road surface and horrible camber so well it’s spooky.
In combination with the brand new Bridgestone T30 tyres which have been fitted and are considerably better than the (already very good) Pirelli Scorpion Trail tyres the bike feels clamped to the road despite the rotten weather. The tyres are perfect for the British roads offering lashings of grip, feel and cornering confidence along with a new level of lightness to the handling over the dual-purpose Pirellis.
I’m pleased to say religious attention to keeping the bike coated in ACF50 and Scottoiler FS365 anti-corrosion treatment over the past 2000 miles means the bike is almost untouched by winter mileage.
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