One of the most eagerly awaited motorcycles of 2010 broke cover in the volcanic heat of Lanzarote. Ducati’s complete revision of the Multistrada could be enough to steal top all-rounder tag from the BMW R1200 GS. Here’s how the first ride went down
Click here to read: Ducati Multistrada 1200 owners reviews, Ducati Multistrada 1200 specs and see the Ducati Multistrada 1200 photo gallery.
First impressions are positive. The bulbous frog-like expression of the Multi’s front fairing now looks razor sharp and bang up-to-date, with a hawk-like appearance thanks to the aggressively styled twin air ducts and purposeful looking twin headlights.
The Multistrada was previously ensconced in the love it or hate it ‘Marmite’ category. If you could see past the controversial exterior, the view from the cockpit and the overall riding experience rewarded the less shallow rider with a bike that was capable of two-up touring, city commuting or a good blast through your favourite back roads on a Sunday morning. The new model is almost sylph-like by comparison, sharp styling, a low GP-style twin exhaust, and trademark single-sided swingarm say this bike wants – no, demands – to go and play.
To appeal to a wider audience, Ducati has made the brave claim that the new 1200 is a four-in-one motorcycle; sports, tourer, urban commuter and enduro machine. Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands proves a good testing ground for these bold claims. Perfectly asphalted roads snake their way around 807 square kilometers of biking nirvana.
The brief Ducati presented to the development team was originally viewed as nothing short of a pipe dream. “To produce the greatest Ducati of all-time, an urban bike but with no limiting barriers. It would be a dream, an impossible one to make a bike like this. We had to change the way we thought, the way we designed our products at Ducati,” said product manager, Mario Alvisi.
By taking features from other models, including the signature trellis frame, Ducati Traction Control, L-twin engine, and then incorporating them into one streamlined package, Ducati appears to have risen to this challenge, turned the dream into reality, etc, etc. And maybe unleashed a motorcycle that ticks all the right boxes for all but the most diehard sportsbike fanatics.
Derived from race technology, DTC controls rear wheel spin. The Multi offers eight levels of control from zero (no traction control) to 7 (high interference). Each riding mode is default set to an optimum level of traction control – 4 for sport, 5 for touring, 6 for urban and 2 for enduro. Software analyses data from front and rear wheel sensors to determine the level of DTC required at any point to ensure smooth and safe riding. The amount of ‘interference’ will differ depending upon the dynamic situation, for example slow mid-corner acceleration to prevent high-sides. Although default set, DTC can be adjusted in each rider mode.
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