Exclusive interview: Ducati boss explains Multistrada active suspension

Published: 15 February 2010

In an exclusive interview with MCN, Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali talks about active suspension on the Multistrada... 

When did you decide on active suspension for the Multistrada?
Difficult to say exactly. We wanted it to be adaptable but active suspension was not available in 2005, so we added it when the technology became available. We had traction control from the start. 

It has the same shock as the 1098R but with active electronics. Could we soon see active suspension on a sports bike?
I think that’s a clear possibility.

The active suspension must have taken extensive testing.
A huge amount of hours. Effectively we had to develop and test four different bikes in four different modes. Then there’s three different ride-by-wire combinations, eight different traction control settings etc.

Can riders choose their own settings?
Yes, for example with pillion or luggage, or they may want to change compression. You can choose your own personal setting and power output every time.

All this must make the new Multistrada the most advanced Ducati of all time.
By far. It’s a big step for us. It’s a much more rounded bike, but still exciting. For example, the clutch is very light, half the pull force of a 1098R. Only 696 has a softer clutch. Everything has been designed to encourage new riders.

Why didn’t you use a 19in front wheel for better off-road manners?
We really wanted to improve the off-road abilities of the old bike. That’s why we used longer stroke suspension, wider bars and why you can remove the rubber on the pegs for off-road riding. Some say it won’t be credible off-road with 17in wheels but we have specific tyres with Pirelli, which has given us dynamic behaviour off-road. On the road, 17in wheels are much better than 19s. And 90-95% of riders will stay on the road. So the aim was for riders not to get into trouble with light off-roading, but obviously not for full-on MX.

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