Top test Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS

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Top test Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS

Top test Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS

The Multistrada promises exciting curve fun on all routes. MOTORRAD examines Ducati’s promising drug for risks and side effects.

Jorn Thomas


There it stands now, crackling softly and setting the air with its blazing hot exhaust pipes in shimmering motion. The whole Multistrada concept is just as moving, after all, Ducati’s latest offspring breaks conventions – and not just because of the optionally available heated grips. Ducati prescribes the extravagantly styled Thousand as a highly dosed means to take pretty much everything from the racetrack to the bumpy pass by storm. And by the way, biker hearts that have not necessarily been desmodromic up to now.
A tubular steel frame, in which the 992 cm3 two-valve V2 takes on a supporting function, serves as the basis. Just like with the mounting of the single-sided swing arm, when the frame and motor work together to promote stability. And stability can’t hurt, as you have to take a full 165 millimeters of spring travel at the front and 141 millimeters at the rear.
So, do not worry, although designer Terblanche was allowed to lean far out of the window in terms of design language, the Ducati foundations remain. In other words, the Multistrada has not become a soft rocking horse. On the contrary, in the fully adjustable Showa spring elements, hard springs cooperate with a damper setting that is at least tight at the front. Because of this set-up, nothing fizzles out in the width of the spring travel, the pilot’s impulses are transferred one-to-one to the asphalt – and vice versa. Sometimes even too direct, the handy Multistrada reacts nervously and wobbly to spontaneous steering movements. Clearly recognizable in the fast slalom of the top test course, where the rear wheel even loses contact with the ground due to the low negative spring deflection when changing lean angles. It’s a shame, the rest of the package screams for a pylon hunt, even if long-legged people curse the angular shape of the dummy fuel tank and even pilots under 1.85 meters have different opinions about the ergonomics. While some latch onto the slim waist, others slide unsteadily forward to the tank and sit too close to the handlebars. Regardless, a light pull on the wide handlebars is enough and the 220-kilogram Italian rushes around the corner.
The largest displacement Ducati two-valve engine with double ignition works just as quickly. From 2500 rpm he is at the point, it goes really well beyond the 4000 mark with plenty of power, torque and dull roar. At 7900 rpm, a generous 92 hp act on the dry clutch, turning higher does not bring much, shifting more early, especially since the six-speed box can be operated precisely. In general, the men from Bologna taught the injection-fed “Dual-Spark” -V2 good manners. Unstable cold running, constant travel jerks, nasty hacking in the lower rev range? Nothing like that, the 1000 DS engine manages to build a fine bridge between power and culture.
An extensive test drive through the southern Black Forest and the Vosges shows whether the Multistrada is an equally successful bridge between sport and touring. Here the Italian gets plenty of variety under her wheels, from first-class main routes to nonchalantly patched up bumpy slopes. Annoying compulsory exercise: the Autobahn. Because of the low-turbulence, but still low wind protection and the not straight-line stability, tempos beyond 160 are no fun? although the Multistrada still goes 210. Anyway, we’d rather go looking for curves. And use the good overview – after all, no series Ducati has accommodated its crew in such an upright position. On the other hand, almost all the others flatter the bottom more than the unyielding seat cushion of the Multistrada, the contour of which in the front area resembles a tree trunk. Incidentally, a comfort seat, available as an accessory, promises relief for those with a delicate touch on non-stop stages.
And given the consumption of around five liters per 100 kilometers of country road and 20 liters of fuel in the tank, they can be used without any problems, even if the pessimistic fuel gauge indicates low tide at halfway through. 20 liters, you read that right. Where are they? Well, the plastic bubble begins behind the airbox and only ends in front of the rear silencer under the seat. With which it does its part to the rear-heavy weight distribution, with a full tank there are 103 kilograms at the front and 117 at the rear. The front wheel sniffs the mountain air when you accelerate hard, especially when a passenger is around. This is comfortable, but housed a little apart. At least the additional weight gets the taut spring elements going, but turning the handwheel to adjust the spring base at the rear is superfluous. Hard accelerating out on an undulating slope hardly impresses the hindquarters, and the fork can handle even radical braking on switchbacks unmoved. Yes, the Multistrada doesn’t even take hard braking maneuvers deep into the curve, regardless of whether you are solo or in pairs. With appropriate access, the four-piston pliers decelerate vehemently and maintain their pressure point even on stressful pass descents ?? in contrast to the rear counterpart, which sucks the 245 mm disc completely listlessly.
So exhilaratingly the Multistrada pounds over level slopes? it demands attention on bumpy passages and in tight corners. The shock absorber in particular simply passes on bumps instead of keeping them to itself. If this direct type still passes through as crystal-clear feedback on a level slope, it causes noticeable unrest on second- and third-class streets. So the load stands up in an inclined position when passing bumps. The pilot has to make corrections and make sure to use the wide handlebars with a light hand – so that there is no more movement when cornering. It is also not that easy to bring the toes of your boots to a safe angle when driving appropriately: the footrests are so low that when you are cornering, your footwear and shortly afterwards the notches scratch the asphalt. Well, no intoxicating drug without a few tiny side effects, right?

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What else caught my eye

PlusLarge oil sight glassEasy to top up with oilStorage compartment in the right half of the fairingTire valves easily accessibleSpring base adjustable by handwheelImmobilizerElectric headlight range control from the cockpitExtensive display functionsHandlever adjustablePrepared for main stand and rear luggage system including topcaseLarge range of accessories; The engine and suspension strut including the linkage are fully in the dirt areaIf the chassis is raised, the stand is unsteadyRear reflector kinks when it is compressed and rubs against the tireInaccurate fuel gauge, reserve lights up when the tank is half full Suspension strut completely relaxed: Rebound stage 1, compression stage 2.5 turns open, spring completely relaxed

MOTORCYCLE measurements – Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS

MOTORCYCLE measured values²Braking and driving dynamicsBrake measurementBraking distance from 100 km / h 40.4 meters Average deceleration 9.5 m / s² Comments: Slightly progressively increasing braking effect, somewhat difficult to dose at the limit. Rear brake almost inoperative. The fork occasionally flutters when you brake hard. Sufficient suspension reserves when braking hard. Handling course I (fast slalom) Best lap time 20.9 seconds vmax at the measuring point 96.0 km / h Comments: Very easy handling, therefore playful turning from one lean angle to the other. Too little negative spring travel, especially in the hindquarters, can cause the tail to lift off. Handling-Parcours II (slow slalom) Best lap time 28.1 sec vmax at the measuring point 54.8 km / h Comments: The powerful, cleanly responsive engine makes time well in the slow slalom. Tilting tendency when changing lean angles quickly due to the handy chassis geometry and the wide handlebars. Circular path (46 meters, best lap time 10.8 sec vmax at the measuring point 50.8 km / h Comments: Footrests, gear lever and exhaust cover set up a little early. Noticeable erection moment when driving over bumps. Low erection moment when braking. * Manufacturer’s information; 1 measuring conditions: temperature 10 degrees , light wind, measuring location Neuhausen o. E. ² MOTORRAD test course, values ​​from handling course and brake test averaged from the three best driving tests


The Multistrada is a real Ducati. Mostly red, happy to be fast, always exciting. And polarizing. Just sitting in the saddle is not, the sturdy Italian demands commitment and tolerance for her weaknesses. Paradox: Especially for the pass driving propagated by Ducati, the new one is still lacking a bit of fine-tuning.

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