2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 first ride - "The new benchmark for the class?"

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All 3 versions of the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 are in Lanzarote being put through their paces by MCN’s Phil West.

So far Phil has been riding the 1200S Touring version of the Ducati Multistrada, which comes complete with panniers and centre stand. Here are his first impressions:

“The first feeling that strikes you when you climb on the Multistrada is that you almost have to re-learn how to ride a motorbike. The switchable modes and keyless ignition are a bit baffling and the switchgear looks alien.

“But after less than 5 minutes it all starts to make sense. The modes are changed through the indicator cancel button and the console clearly displays what mode you’re riding in. After just a couple of miles it’s easy.

“The difference the mode setting makes is not as revolutionary as you might expect, but nevertheless it’s very useful and the differences are noticable, especially in sport mode.

“Flick it into sport and the suspension is firmer, the throttle response crisper and the Multistrada feels instantly more aggressive. By contrast, the urban mode – designed with town riding in mind – softens everything up, making for an easy-going ride.

“Overall the Multistrada is an astonishingly well thought out, detailed and well-equipped bike. Everything from the luggage system to the mirrors is effective and clever.

“Underneath the nice details and touches is a bike that is part old Multistrada in terms of feel and riding position, part Ducati 1198 in terms of engine performance and part BMW GS in terms of practicality and versatility.

“My experience so far with the new Multistrada 1200 suggests that it could be the new benchmark for the class.”

Phil still has hours of riding to do, including a stint off-road, so check back soon for more updates and read the full report in next week’s MCN, on sale Wednesday 3 March.

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Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.