Ducati Multistrada 1260 review: first thoughts

Visordown's Laura Thomson is at the launch of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Gran Canaria

Ducati Multistrada 1260 review: first thoughts

DUCATI'S biggest Multistrada has received an engine upgrade and a host of new tech for 2018. 

The Ducati Multistrada 1260 will be available from February in four spec levels – the 1260, 1260 S, 1260 S|D-Air and the sporty, range topping Pikes Peak.

Visordown’s Laura Thomson has been testing the £17,395 Multistrada 1260 S in Volcano Grey on its launch in Gran Canaria. Find the full price list here.

Here are Laura's first thoughts after riding:

‘This is the big Multistrada, but not as you know it. For 2018 Ducati has introduced the 1262cc Testastretta DVT powertrain of the X-Diavel. 

‘Known for its rideability, this engine is well-suited to the Multistrada, providing linear power from around 2,000rpm and plentiful torque, available much lower down the revs than the previous unit. 

‘Ducati claims an 18% torque hike over the 1200 at 5,500rpm, with a peak of 95.1lbft achieved at 7,500rpm. Apparently 85% of this is available from 3,500 rpm, and it’s certainly noticeable. 

‘These factors combine to make the bike much more useable than its predecessor in the low to mid-range, which is where you often find yourself in towns or traffic. 

‘However, it doesn’t mean a compromise on top-end power. The Multistrada is still very much a sport-orientated tourer, and retains its aggressive acceleration and high speed thrills. In fact, stability at high speeds has reportedly improved, thanks to a 48mm longer swingarm and 5mm longer trail – it does feel steady and balanced. But don’t worry, its agility and flickability definitely haven’t been compromised.

‘Nothing says "aggressive" more than the Volcano Grey paintjob – easily my favourite of all the Multistrada colours.

‘The 1260 retains Ducati’s Skyhook Suspension, which is as good as it was on its predecessor, proving firm and sporty (I set it to rider plus panniers to increase the pre-load), yet not boneshaking over bumps.

‘There are four riding modes of Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro. Touring is noticeably less urgent than sport and Urban even more so. Our ride didn’t call for Enduro.

‘While little has changed aesthetically, the Multistrada has received a host of new tech, including Ducati’s quick shifter – which made for smooth, clutchless gear changes – keyless ignition, and LED cornering lights – which are gaining popularity in the adventure market.’