Staff Blog: Barely a sign of 6000 miles ridden

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The odometer clicked through 6000 miles on the Multistrada 1200 S Touring on the way to work this morning and in light of this approaching milestone I spent three hours giving the bike a deep clean over the weekend.

After riding to Italy in the dry two weeks ago but then riding almost all 1100miles home in lashing rain the bike was looking a little bit grubby. In truth it looked bloody awful and my obsessive cleaning twitch could be suppressed no longer.

Ownership of the Multistrada began in December and it has seen almost daily use (apart from the worst of the snow and ice) but the relentless attention to keeping the bike clean and maintained over winter has seen it emerge in remarkably good condition with barely a mark on it to show for the 6000 miles covered so far.

And the best bit is the bike is still another 1500 miles from the first service thanks to the work Ducati has done extending service intervals for the whole range. The firm discovered from research one of the biggest barriers to Ducati ownership was the perception the bikes are more expensive to service than others so extending the miles between services was seen as a way of changing this.

The 7500 mile service is little more than a check over with engine oil and filter due to be changed too. The big service where valve clearances have to be checked along with the usual service items is at 15,000 miles but I am not sure I am going to be able to keep the bike long enough to find out.

As far as evidence of the mileage goes there is some very minor corrosion on the front brake discs and the disc bolts, the front exhaust downpipe and under-belly silencer and catalyst have discoloured from water spray and the radiator has some tiny chips in the black paint from stone chips. I’m planning some garage time this week to get rid of the brake disc corrosion with some metal polish, there’s nothing you can do about stone chips on the radiator really and there is no point worrying about the exhaust colour because as soon as you clean them, it rains again and the discolouration is back again.

The new Michelin Pilot Power 3 tyres have now got about 500 miles on them and seem to suit the bike well; they warm up quickly, are great in the wet and seem to give the already strong brakes on the Multi an extra level of bite. The Michelins are a way sportier (but still road biased) than the original fitment Pirelli Scorpion Trail and a little bit sportier than the sport/touring Bridgestone T30s which I recently had to replace after they wore out.

The bike feels a little lighter up front now…and as a result there has been a subtle change to the handling with a very minor bit of handlebar shake and a tiny weave under acceleration. I have given the tyres time to settle on the bike, double checked the pressures are at the Ducati recommended 36psi front and rear but I think the next step is to add some preload to the rear shock to see if that puts a little bit more weight over the front to calm it down.

The shake is not worrying, the weave is only at higher speeds but before I make any changes to the bike I need to check what happens with the topbox removed; just so I can be sure I’m not changing things without good reason.



Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter