Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

Completely new

MOTORRAD met Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali for a little ride with the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S with the variable valve control DVT. First contact with the sports fun bike, which was practically redesigned from scratch.

Same procedure as every year: This special appointment has become a certain tradition. The Ducati boss regularly organizes a small tour with the latest model exclusively for MOTORRAD to convey its technology and character, but also to obtain opinions and comments from experienced experts in return. This time it was the new one D.The turn of the ucati Multistrada 1200 S.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

Completely new

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, the MOTORCYCLES can accompany him on the old one. A couple of roundabouts, a couple of through-streets, and you’re on the finest mountain roads, which, with their damp, wet cover, place the highest demands on machines and personnel.

The chassis has been redesigned from scratch

And you quickly get an idea of ​​the points in which there was still room for improvement in the old Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. The Testastretta-V2 snaps forward with brutal thrust even at the lowest speeds, but filigree accuracy cannot exactly be spoken of . It’s not the rapier, it’s more like the battle sword.

This is exactly where the new engine of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S comes in with its variable timing. "DVT is not supposed to deliver top performance, but improved running smoothness and easier drivability," explains Boss Domenicali over a cappuccino during a short stop in a small restaurant up in the mountains. Maybe it’s because of this better running culture that he stands out so bravely from nasty slippery switchbacks that you have your hands full to stay halfway on his heels.

All tests and articles about the Ducati Multistrada 1200

Ten more horsepower and 11 Nm more torque

When it comes to full throttle, to acceleration at higher speeds, only insignificant differences can be made out between old and new. The new engine seems to gallop a little more smoothly and linearly with the reins slightly pulled at the bottom, but obviously delivers a little more torque to the rear wheel in the middle. This is indicated by parallel intermediate sprints. However, the new machine with the lightweight head of the company also has a small advantage. Ducati reports ten more horsepower and 11 Nm more torque for the new model. “And don’t worry, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is not softened, it remains a Ducati, sporty, dynamic, emotional – just easier to control,” explains the Ducati front man with obvious pride.

However, the engine is only one component of a completely new design. The chassis has been redesigned from scratch. In direct comparison, the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S appears tidier, wiring harnesses, screw connections and attachments are integrated more elegantly. The electronics have also been completely turned inside out. Instead of the previous Mikuni and Mitsubishi, Bosch is now supplying the entire engine management system, including the integrated control of the DVT and the latest cornering ABS. Great progress can also be seen in the operation thanks to new fittings and menu navigation, plus there is a bright, multi-colored TFT display. A significant upgrade for the protagonist, who has prepared well for the upcoming duel against the upstarts in this segment from Bavaria and Austria.

Interview Claudio Domenicali


Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali.

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 S actually has a fairly modern concept that is unique in its segment. Therefore, the model change surprised us. Was that already necessary?
Ducati has long-term model cycles, the current step was planned well in advance. Depending on the model, there is a major update in terms of technology and / or design every six to eight years. That is now the case with the Multistrada. Only a few screws and small parts have been taken over, otherwise everything is new. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 S plays a key role in the Ducati range as it embodies the Ducati philosophy in relation to touring. And now it is the first model with a DVT engine. In many ways the best engine Ducati has ever built.
What is variable valve control primarily about??
Actually, it’s always about performance. However, this does not only mean power and torque, but also drivability and safety. Performance was surely already in abundance beforehand, but we wanted to improve the controllability, which was the main focus in development.

Will DVT also be available in other Ducati models?
Surely soon. But it is not being introduced in the entire model range, which is not possible for reasons of cost. DVT is an expensive technique, so it is reserved for the top models. We will also use the advantages in drivability and fuel consumption in other segments. But certainly not in the Panigale. We went to great lengths to lose a few kilograms on the new model. The additional weight would be too great a handicap there.
How much is the extra weight?
Just over five kilograms, because this includes the four hydraulic units on the camshafts, plus the pump and control, hoses, cables and small parts. That adds up, this technology can hardly be made any easier.
Is the variable valve control DVT an in-house development or did the parent company Audi play a role here?
We started developing the DVT back in 2011, when Audi wasn’t even an issue. But sure it was for
It was interesting for Audi to see that we were thinking in a similar direction to their technology, especially with regard to consumption and environmental friendliness.
At the moment, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is a rather isolated tourist concept in the Ducati model range. Other models around the 1200s are conceivable?
We don’t see any need for further offshoots at the moment, the overall package is unique. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is a 4-in-1 bike for experienced pilots, which is why it rightly has a special position in the Ducati range. We also have the Hyperstrada, but it has a different approach.

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