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Multistrada to get capacity increase

Published: 27 July 2017

Ducati is set to increase capacity and power, but reduce weight on its top-of-the-range adventure bike

Documents published by the California Air Research Board have revealed that there is a new larger-capacity Multistrada on the way. They list three new models of ‘Multistrada 1260’, with all three boasting a new 1262cc engine.

The Multistrada is currently powered by a 1200cc Testastretta engine with the firm’s DVT variable valve timing, but MCN understands the new 1260 will be based on the engine currently used in the mighty XDiavel. Both engines have the same heritage, but the DVT Testastretta fitted to the XDiavel has had the water pump moved to between the cylinders. This allowed the designers to clean up the outside of the engine considerably, so that it looks nicer exposed on the XDiavel. 

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Both engines have a 106mm bore, but the engine in the XDiavel gains the extra capacity from a longer stroke. The power figures for both engines are similar too – both engines make 152bhp. However, the peak torque arrives much sooner in the rev range on the XDiavel.

The CARB documents also show that the engine in the new Multistrada will produce almost twice the emissions of the current XDiavel, suggesting that it will be in a much higher state of tune. Assuming it follows the same torque curve of the existing bike we expect it to produce around 165bhp, which means it will take the power battle firmly to KTM’s new family of 1290 adventure models.

The documents also show that the 1260 Multistrada will be an impressive 10kg lighter than the 1200, which is a considerable weight saving and could see the bike nip beneath 200kg dry. It’s not clear how Ducati have achieved this, but with the new engine it’s possible the entire frame and swingarm have been redesigned. With the new V4 Ducati expected to use an aluminium twin-spar frame, it’s possible the Multistrada will follow suit – while the subframe is likely remain a steel trellis. It will be the lightest big adventure bike by far, making it 15kg less porky than the similarly-powered KTM.

So, when are we going to see it? Ducati have a lot going on at the moment with the V4 due at the end of 2017 as a 2018 model, as well as the recent release of the 1200 Enduro Pro – so it seems likely that the new 1260 will be shown at the end of 2018, as a 2019 model. 

What about a 950 Enduro?

The CARB documents make no mention of the Multistrada 950, the new baby Multi that only went on sale earlier this year. The 950 uses the 937cc Testastretta engine from the Hypermotard, and that doesn’t look set to change anytime soon. 

One seemingly obvious model update for the Multistrada 950 platform would be to mirror the 1200 Enduro model by adding spoked wheels, longer legs and a raft of rally-style accessories. But all the indications suggest a 950 Enduro will not appear at this year’s Milan Show. With so little development work needed to create an Enduro version, the ever-increasing power and capacity war amidst the range-toppers, and the burgeoning underclass of 800-1100cc adventure bikes – surely it’s a no-brainer for 2019? We hope so.

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