New Ducati Multistrada 1260 revealed at EICMA

The new model will cost from £14,295 when it enters dealerships in December

New Ducati Multistrada 1260 revealed at EICMA

DUCATI’S popular Multistrada has been comprehensively updated for 2018, receiving a new engine, chassis, more advanced electronics and an aesthetic overhaul.

It will be available in three variants of Multistrada 1260, 1260 S, and 1260 S D|Air, with a 1260 Pikes Peak edition also available, and will cost from £14,295 when it enters dealerships in December.

On launch in 2010, the Multistrada was hailed as the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles, due to its impressive adaptability. On road and off, it boasted power and prowess, and Ducati has remained true to this uncompromising nature with the introduction of the Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) 1262cc engine, which was developed from the Multistrada powerplant.

The Euro4 unit promises ample low-to-mid range torque, making 95.5lbft torque, 85 per cent of which is available at 3,500 rpm. At 5,500 rpm, torque is 18 per cent higher compared to its predecessor, while in the most frequently used rev range – 4,000rpm – the Multistrada offers the highest torque output in its class. Power of 158hp, meanwhile, reaches peak at 9,500rpm

This power is delivered smoothly via a new Ride-by-Wire system, while Ducati’s Quick Shift Up & Down makes for easy clutchless shifting – useful both on and off-road. The latter is standard on S and D|Air models and optional on the base bike.

As standard the new Multistrada is incredibly well-equipped, with the most up-to-date technologies that Ducati has to offer. A LCD instrument panel with a revised information layout features on the standard model, with the S and D|Air adding a new 5” TFT instrument panel.

There’s four riding modes, which are differentiated via different colour displays on the dash. Sport mode is associated with red, Touring mode with white in night mode and black in day mode, Urban mode with grey and Enduro with brown.

Rider aids including wheelie control, cornering ABS and Ducati’s clever cornering lights (incorporated in the Multistrada S’s LED headlight) are controlled by the Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), which also interacts with the semi-active Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evolution control system of the Multistrada 1260 S.

Both wheelie and traction control feature eight levels of adjustability and can also be disabled.

Cruise Control is standard throughout the range, while the S version includes a Bluetooth function, via which the Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) can connect to a smartphone to display and control incoming calls, text notifications and music on the new TFT dash. The Multistrada 1260 comes with a new ‘Hands Free’ keyless ignition system for enhanced security.

The new Multistrada’s chassis is composed of a frontal trellis frame with two lateral subframes and a die-cast single sided swingarm.

Its wheelbase is 55mm longer than its predecessor, owing to a 48mm increase in swingarm length and steering angle increased from 24 to 25 degrees. These adjusments promise sharper, albeit fully stable, handling skills in curves, both with a solo rider and fully-loaded.

Of course, the new suspension set up will also contribute greatly to the Mutistrada’s improved handling. Up front, there’s a preload, compression, and rebound adjustable Kayaba 48 mm upside-down fork, with a dedicated cast bottom bracket. At the rear, riders can adjust the compression and rebound of the progressive Sachs monoshock via a remote manual adjuster.

The higher-spec Multistrada 1260 S implements semi-active Sachs suspension in the form of a Sachs 48mm front fork and monoshock. These systems are controlled by the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evolution system, which works to both adjust the suspension (automatically or manually via the on-board computer).

All three versions of the Multistrada feature light alloy five Y-spoke wheels, 340g lighter than on the previous model and wearing Pirelli SCORPION Trail II tyres.

Aesthetically, the Mulstistrada has received new side fairing panels, which make the front-end neater. Incorporated luggage mounts in the rear aluminium subframe also add to its sleek appeal.

To optimize engine performance, the exhaust and intake were redesigned, while a new number plate holder and LED rear turn indicators were also added.

The standard model will be available in Ducati Red with a grey frame and black wheels, while the S and D|Air will be offered in Iceberg White and Volcano Grey, both with a grey frame and gold wheels.

The Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak draws inspiration from America’s legendary ‘race to the clouds’ hill climb and features a race-inspired colour scheme, lightweight forged aluminium wheels and fully-adjustable Öhlins fork and Öhlins TTX36 shock.

Carbon fibre components include a Ducati Performance silencer by Termignoni (EU type-approved), a low racing-type carbon fibre screen, front mudguard, hands free cover and side panels.

It shares much of the same spec as the Multistrada S, such as the new 5-inch TFT screen, Ducati cornering lights and Ducati Quick-shift.