Multistrada critics ignored

Published: 19 August 2002

As our latest spy-shot reveals Ducati looks set to fly in the face of its critics by retaining the controversial styling of its forthcoming Multistrada.

The bike, captured outside the firm’s factory in Bologna, turned heads – and a few stomachs – when it was shown in prototype form at last year’s Milan show. But this shot proves it will keep almost all of its controversial looks when it goes on sale next year.

There have been some subtle changes however:

*The front fairing appears to have been reduced and small slats between them removed to reduce a sense of height.

*The bottom edge of the side fairing has also been increased, reducing the gap between the bodywork and front cylinder, also giving the bike a less top-heavy appearance.

*At the back, the distinctive twin exhausts appear to have become bulkier – probably in order to incorporate a catalytic converter.

However, the final appearance will be closer to the original prototype, as this test machine is missing the finishing trim from its tailpipes.

*The suspension is high-specification Ohlins kit, with full adjustment on both the upside-down forks and rear shock, while the wheels are the same Marchesinis used on the 998. The final price will be announced when the bike goes on sale in Spring, but the extra cost of using quality parts such as these suggests it may be in the region of £9000.

The machine pictured uses the projector-beam headlights from the new 999, but the cut-out in the nose suggests the finished bike will keep the distinctively-shaped light shown on the original prototype.

What do you make of it? Do you think the Multistrada is a hit or a miss? Click on the link on the right to leave your comments.