Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report
Photo: Ducati

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

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Left handlebar fitting, ergonomically very well solved and illuminated.

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Rear brake with enlarged disc and improved effect especially for off-road.

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Front with LED cornering light, which is switched on from an incline of seven degrees.

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Exhaust with extended end stubs and a lot of sound despite Euro 4.

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This brake cocktail would also look good on a superbike.

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TFT display with good readability and lots of information.

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The base Ducati Multistrada 1200: …

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… simpler LCD display with less information …

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… Front brake with simpler monoblock calipers and discs with a smaller diameter, but hardly worse.

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Your engine has gained in smoothness, but the sporty genes have been retained.

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2003: Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS. With air-cooled two-valve V2 and an unusual design, it is more of a flop.

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2010: Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. A milestone with superbike drive and state-of-the-art on-board electronics.

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motorcycles

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S (2015) in the driving report
Progress everywhere

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 wants to present itself as a true all-rounder: a machine for sporty heating as for tourist cruises, if necessary also across the pampas. With the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, there is now a new edition with a fresh design, new chassis, sophisticated engine thanks to variable valve control and completely new on-board electronics.

Gert Thole

05.03.2015

Who invented it? Ducati? No, actually not, rather Yamaha: the TDR 250 and TDM 850 were the first bikes to combine elements from sport, touring and off-roading into a new concept. Today is called the concept, after which the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S was conceived, new German crossover. The Yamahas were moderate machines that primarily wanted to be all-rounders with a wide range of applications and increased fun factor. That was in the late eighties, early nineties. It’s been a long time.

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Progress everywhere

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2003 jumped Ducati on this train, which in the meantime threatened to end up on the siding. With the Multistrada 1000, the Italian interpretation of a TDM, so to speak. Pierre Terblanche had styled the touring fun bike, which, with its rotating upper part of the fairing and protruding rear silencers, did not suit everyone’s taste. And then there were these idiosyncratic driving characteristics. Inevitably, the market success was very limited until the end of production in 2009. The end of this concept?

2010 Ducati brought the successor

Not at all, because in 2010 the Italians brought the successor, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 – and it played in a completely different league. For the first time, the Italians transplanted an almost unbridled superbike drive into such a crossover bike. Brave, brave. A wild, at first sight a bit crazy concept. Never before has there been such equipment with so much smoke, such dynamism, such a sporty attitude. Who dares wins: In the second attempt, the Multistrada was finally a success.

Now comes a thoroughly revised new edition. No new concept, no stylistic revolution, but still a technically completely new machine with smart valve control, the latest on-board electronics and an updated design. MOTORRAD has already extensively presented the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. The greater the excitement to see how this high-tech all-rounder drives. So let’s go straight to medias res, because on the sunny Canary Island of Lanzarote, MOTORRAD was finally able to collect its first driving impressions with the S version.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

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New Ducati Multistrada 1200 S consistently styled

What is noticeable at the first contact: The new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is consistently styled, elegant and dignified down to the last detail. There are hardly any corners and edges, screw connections are covered, unsightly cable harnesses, plugs or holders remain invisible. Ducati has also increased the proportion of painted surfaces. A machine made from one piece, perfectionists can enjoy the detail.

Little has changed ergonomically. Why should it? Everything has been a perfect match so far. The driver’s seat, which has been slightly longer, is narrower at the front and thus reduces the step length; it can now also be varied in two seat heights (825/845 millimeters). With an exchange seat, it even goes down to 800 millimeters. Certainly powerful arguments for short-legged chauffeurs. The passenger of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is also a little lower.

Exhaust still has a valve control

As before, the windshield can be moved six centimeters with one hand. Practical thing, why hasn’t anyone copied it yet? Let’s finally start the Desmo-L-Twin of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. As usual, the starter turns slowly, but experience has shown that a Duc starts reliably even under the most adverse conditions. The exhaust still has a valve control. Like some other current new machines, the Multistrada already meets the future Euro 4 standard. What obviously didn’t affect the sound at all, this dull, sonorous V2 blast somehow jumped over the higher norm hurdle.

But what does the variable valve control of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S bring? The DVT-Testastretta definitely runs smoother. Even when stationary, it no longer hammers so hard, it rotates more smoothly. And it doesn’t get going so well just above idle. This probably impressive but uncultivated initial torque wave just above idle has now been leveled. Which, according to Ducati, also applies to the wave troughs that have followed so far. Consistency and drivability were the goal. However, more even means less spectacular. But the spectacle comes, only later. Above 5000 revolutions, the pressure increases explosively. What then follows is sheer violence, the never-ending thrust catapults you into orbit up to the highest revs. Ducati proclaims a nominal 136 Nm and 160 PS values ​​that clearly surpass those of the old Multistrada.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report

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Endurance test interim balance of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S


Ducatis Tourer in the 50,000 km endurance test


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Engine should consume around eight percent less fuel

So the all-clear, none of the teeth have been pulled from the Multi. The advantages of the gentler character are undisputed, especially under difficult conditions and under less experienced pilots, the DVT-V2 is more sociable and more delicately controllable. It remains to be seen whether DVT is the only blissful technology for this. At a moderate pace inconspicuous, the complex electronics make the response behavior of committed robbers seem a bit synthetic now and then. However, variable timing provides additional advantages: The engine of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S produces fewer emissions and should also consume around eight percent less fuel. MOTORRAD will soon check this in the top test.

The drive is one side of the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, the other side is a completely new chassis and the revised on-board electronics, which are now based on Bosch technology. At the center is the so-called Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), a kind of measurement box for inertial forces, from which the suspension, brakes, traction and wheelie control as well as the LED cornering lights are controlled. For the driver, the difference is not noticeable at first, because the user interface has basically remained unchanged. In addition to the loading menu, it still finds its four driving modes: Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro. New are the pretty, ergonomically well thought-out handlebar fittings that are illuminated at night, as well as – but only with the S – the high-quality TFT display with a variety of information.


Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report


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The engine has grown in smoothness, but the sporty genes have been retained.

Another new feature is that the semi-active Sachs suspension of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is controlled depending on the lean angle. In addition, Sachs has worked hard to optimize the fork’s response. Additional acceleration sensors should improve the function. The whole thing is extremely complex, so it is difficult to make an assessment after a manageable test round. In any case, it becomes clear that the suspension is very effective in reducing the pitching movement at the front when braking and the buckling at the rear when accelerating. The S version remains more stable and, thanks to the semi-active function, also offers more reserves in borderline situations. And the test machine responds properly to small bumps.

But progress cannot be reported in every respect. Because the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S was not lighter because of the DVT valve control, which brings about five additional kilograms with it. On the contrary, the more elaborate equipment added another three kilograms, making it eight kilograms more weight. To compensate for this, the gross vehicle weight was increased by a whopping 20 kilograms, so that the payload increased by twelve kilograms. Still a bit of a shame, weight is always an issue.

Progress everywhere

Even if the few kilos have no decisive influence on the handling. Neutral steering behavior is more important in cornering. And the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S offers that in addition to fine feedback – and certainly also because of the new Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2. After criticism of the stamina, not least in the MOTORCYCLE tire test, these have now been trimmed more for mileage.

Another novelty in the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is the current Bosch ABS 9.1 ME, which also includes the unique “cornering ABS”. This means you can anchor in emergency situations without hesitation without the machine throwing you off course. A well-functioning lift-off detection also keeps the rear wheel reliably on the ground, unless you have activated the sport mode. For the sake of completeness, I would like to add that the brake system with 330 mm discs and Brembo M50 calipers is beyond any doubt.

So progress in every nook and cranny. That was also necessary, because it is well known that the competition never sleeps, especially not those in Munich and Mattighofen. In terms of sport, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S has taken a small step forward, but in terms of tourism it is certainly the bigger one.

Technical data Ducati Multistrada 1200 S


Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report


Ducati

The new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S is available in red and white.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S.

Engine: Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm and rocker arm, operated desmodromically, wet sump lubrication, injection, 2 x Ø 56 mm, regulated catalytic converter, hydraulically operated multi-disc Oil bath clutch (anti-hopping), six-speed gearbox, X-ring chain, secondary ratio 40: 15.

Bore x stroke: 106.0 x 67.9 mm
Displacement: 1198 cm³
Compression ratio: 12.5: 1
Rated output: 117.7 kW (160 hp) at 9500 rpm
Max. Torque: 136 Nm at 7500 rpm

Landing gear: Trellis frame made of steel with screwed cast aluminum parts, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable spring base, (electronically adjustable) rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, (electronically) adjustable spring base, traction and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 (330) mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 265 mm, double-piston floating caliper, traction control, ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels: 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires: 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17

Dimensions + weights: Wheelbase 1529 mm, steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 109 mm, spring travel v./h. 170/170 mm, seat height 825–845 mm, empty weight 232 (235) kg), dry weight 209 (212) kg, permissible total weight k. A., tank capacity 20.0 liters.

Warranty: two years
Colors: red (red, white)
Price: 16,490 euros (18,490 euros)
Additional costs: 345 euros

Differences to the basic version


Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the driving report


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The basic version: Ducati Multistrada 1200.

As before, there are two versions of the Multistrada 1200, namely the standard machine as well as the functionally better equipped Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, which is refined with precious parts. The price difference is at least 2000 euros, so many interested parties are sure to start calculating. For the price savings, however, the buyer has to forego some nice goodies. The standard machine does not have the electronically controlled Skyhook landing gear, but instead a fully adjustable conventional landing gear with components from Sachs and Kayaba. It’s a shame that the pretty and modern TFT display had to give way to a simpler LCD version, after all, the display, but not the range of functions, was reduced.

The LED cornering light controlled by the incline sensors is also reserved for the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, the base has to be satisfied with conventional illumination. Apart from the points mentioned, the electronics package is identical, so there are also selectable driving modes, cornering ABS, cruise control, wheelie and traction control on board. There are other differences in the hardware, however, the front brake system has instead of 330 mm discs, those with 320 millimeters diameter, which instead of the light M50 racing pliers, normal monoblock pliers bite into without reaching their vehement bite. In contrast to the Monster, where the S version can be stronger, the DVT-Testastretta is absolutely identical in both versions of the Multistrada and has 160 hp here and there. The S is also available in the D-Air version, so airbag clothing from Dainese can easily be networked with the Ducati sensors.

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