Tests – Ride and arsouille: the new Pirelli Angel ST shows its versatility – Innovative … and conservative

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro in focus

How is the new one positioned?

"More than Red" is the new marketing claim from Ducati. The former super sports brand is slowly becoming a full-range supplier. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, which has been upgraded for off-road use, grabs right in the middle of the terrain of BMW, KTM & Co.

GThe Ducati managers had repeated it for years in an ebullient manner: No, the Multistrada was not intended to compete with the BMW GS, it was a different concept. The attempt to copy the GS has always gone wrong, so the Bolognese, they do not want to join this round of unsuccessful ones. 

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro in focus

How is the new one positioned?

Ducati is bringing the Multistrada 1200 Enduro, and a GS competitor could hardly look any clearer: long-legged and athletic, with a pointed beak, long suspension travel, a higher exhaust, large tank, robust engine protection and traveler cases as accessories. Where did the change of heart come from? “It’s not at all,” says chief designer Gianandrea Fabbro. "We didn’t copy the GS, as others have already done, but instead built an independent competition concept."

But where should the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro score in comparison to the numerous other travel enduros? “Offroad”, answers project engineer Davide Previtera like a shot from the pistol. "We are convinced that we offer the best off-road performance." Offroad, of all things? So far, not exactly a core competence of Ducati. “That’s not true”, contradicts the design director, the engineer Andrea Ferraresi. “The Cagiva Elefant has won the Dakar twice, and it had a Ducati engine and was developed by us.” But that was in the 1990s; In order to survive in the off-road sector today, the development team frankly admits, they oriented themselves towards current competitor motorcycles, especially the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure – one of them because of the impressive sales figures the others because of their brilliant engine.



Off-road reference: Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin

The team developed the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro at the same time as the new Multistrada 1200, which was launched last year. And not with a simple off-road kit, but as a new model. In terms of technical data, this means: a slightly shorter wheelbase, flatter steering head angle, longer caster. The one-arm swing arm was replaced by a two-arm swing arm, which is a much better choice for off-road developers because it is more stable. “The motorcycle was practically created with the rider in the saddle, ”says design director Ferraresi. “Even with the clay model, there was an off-road professional who tried out, for example, whether footrests and levers are positioned so that they also fit perfectly for cross boots.” You would have liked to have seen that, like the Ducati workers there modeling around a person with plasticine … 

The engineers paid particular attention to the off-road tuning of the Sachs suspension elements of the semi-active chassis. With success: "According to our testers, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro masters obstacles in the field that can hardly be mastered with the KTM and not at all with the GS Adventure", says project engineer Previtera, himself very enthusiastic. "This is due to the coordination, but also to the balanced weight distribution: 49 percent in front, 51 percent in the back."

The 30-liter tank made of steel is also part of the off-road and thus desert suitability. Plentifully chubby at the front, it tapers sharply towards the back, and the transition to the bench is narrow. On the one hand, this should be conducive to standing up, and on the other hand, it should make it easier to climb the 87 centimeter high bench. The developers raised the exhaust of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, "so that water crossings work", as chief designer Fabbro reports, but there are also more mundane reasons for this: The Touratech aluminum cases in Dakar dress, which are available as accessories, see this just look much better. A fascinating detail is the steel foot brake lever, which can be easily turned around in two easy steps: Then it sits 15 millimeters higher and is therefore better suited for off-road driving due to the toothed surface.

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro has even been tested on motocross tracks. "Of course we know that 95 percent of buyers never go on the cross-piste with it, because that’s not what it is made for," explains Design Director Ferraresi. "But when the motorcycle works under such extreme conditions, it means a great gain in safety." Whether the Enduro offroad does better than our reference, the new Honda Africa Twin, is doubtful. "It pursues a different concept and is therefore not comparable to the enduro," protests product manager Federico Valentini. “With 95 hp, the Africa Twin does not fall into the category of maxi enduro bikes.” That’s true again.



Engine reference: KTM 1290 Super Adventure

Ducati specifies 160 hp for the Desmo-V2 with variable valve control, it comes from the Multistrada base model. A MOTORCYCLE measurement showed only 150 HP on the crankshaft, while the reference in this regard, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, produced a real 159 HP on the test bench. However, it is not the pure numbers that determine driving pleasure, but responsiveness, smoothness and load changes. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is still a stranger, because its riding modes have been re-tuned: "It needs modified algorithms, because the flywheels differ significantly from those of the basic model," explains project engineer Previtera. On paper, the requirements of the Enduro are right for a place well ahead, but only a test can really provide information here.



Equipment reference: Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally

The equipment list of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is almost endless: semi-active chassis, full-LED headlights with cornering lights, TFT info display, ABS that can be switched off, cornering ABS, four riding modes, traction and wheelie control, cruise control, Electronic starting aid on the mountain, height-adjustable soccer brake, plus main stand, hand protectors, aluminum mirrors and robust engine protection – “no other Maxi-Enduro”, assures product manager Valentini, “has such a comprehensive range of standard equipment”. Ducati chose this carefully in order to be well ahead of the competition. 

The suspicion arises, however, that the scoring of MOTORRAD is also being looked at, because safety-relevant features are a real plus for us, especially when they are on board as standard. 



Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro

The most difficult thing to design, according to designer Gianfelice Marasco, was the tank: “If you want to accommodate 30 liters, it will just be a huge thing.” But you also have to see the positive side, he adds with a smile: “We have now built it that way that it protects the legs from rain and wind in the best possible way. ”In order to create the indestructible impression, the designers mainly used round and angular basic shapes and special materials for the Enduro. The side front panels are made of anodized aluminum, which not only looks tough, but also feels so; the clearly visible screw connections underline the adventure character, although do-it-yourself repairs probably don’t really work in view of the complex electronics. The massive engine protection and the flat one-pot exhaust reinforce the impression of indestructibility. However, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro also turned out to be quite large and, at 254 kilograms, also massive when ready to drive, especially in view of the fact that Ducati wants to send its customers off-road with it. “It depends on how you measure it,” says designer Marasco. "When it stands between the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, it looks rather delicate."



Price reference: Yamaha XT 1200 ZE Super Tenere Worldcrosser

At 19,990 euros, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is at the top end of our range. Even compared to its direct competitor, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, the price is high, which the developers justify with the good equipment, the powerful engine and, last but not least, the high-quality materials. It can always be more expensive, namely with additional equipment packages such as the touring package. It offers heated grips, a Touratech aluminum case and handlebar bag for a further 1550 euros and even outperforms the fully equipped BMW.


Very brave Ducati, of all things, to rely on off-road qualities for the company’s first real travel enduro. In terms of the data, the materials and the equipment, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro looks successful: What it can really do, it has to prove in tests from March. Incidentally, the developers do not have any concerns that the new basic Multistrada could snatch customers away. “We developed the motorcycles in parallel and deliberately designed them differently,” says Andrea Ferraresi. "The difference is very clear and easy to explain: the Multistrada runs, the Enduro jumps." 

Related articles

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *