Ducati Multistrada 1100 (2006 - 2008) review

A Ducati with 50 per cent reduced maintenance costs? What have they done? Chopped off one of the cylinders? A confused Jon Urry investigates
Details
Manufacturer:
Ducati
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 7750
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Brilliant engine and a fair degree of practicality.
The heavy clutch remains.

Ducati's Multistrada has always had a strange appeal to me, although I'm not quite sure why. It's a bit like Charlotte Church. I quite fancy her, but I know I shouldn't really and don't like to admit to it in the company of mates.

Which is the issue Ducati has with the Multistrada. It's a great bike, but the 'unique' look and the fact it's a Ducati, and therefore costs a fortune to run, puts potential owners off. Well, for 2007 Ducati has attempted to do something about this. The new Multistrada 1100 is basically identical to the old 'Strada - chassis, suspension, brakes etc are all unchanged - but for 2007 the motor has had a rework. As well as a capacity increase from 992cc to 1078cc - achieved through a 4mm bigger bore - the new 1100 motor has a wet clutch instead of the traditional dry clutch. The net result is a power increase of 3bhp, 8lb.ft more torque and no rattle from the clutch. But that's not all. Ducati has also clarified the service intervals making the Multistrada cheaper to run.

Ducati's Multistrada has always had a strange appeal to me, although I'm not quite sure why. It's a bit like Charlotte Church. I quite fancy her, but I know I shouldn't really and don't like to admit to it in the company of mates.

Which is the issue Ducati has with the Multistrada. It's a great bike, but the 'unique' look and the fact it's a Ducati, and therefore costs a fortune to run, puts potential owners off. Well, for 2007 Ducati has attempted to do something about this. The new Multistrada 1100 is basically identical to the old 'Strada - chassis, suspension, brakes etc are all unchanged - but for 2007 the motor has had a rework. As well as a capacity increase from 992cc to 1078cc - achieved through a 4mm bigger bore - the new 1100 motor has a wet clutch instead of the traditional dry clutch. The net result is a power increase of 3bhp, 8lb.ft more torque and no rattle from the clutch. But that's not all. Ducati has also clarified the service intervals making the Multistrada cheaper to run.

Ducati's Multistrada has always had a strange appeal to me, although I'm not quite sure why. It's a bit like Charlotte Church. I quite fancy her, but I know I shouldn't really and don't like to admit to it in the company of mates.

Which is the issue Ducati has with the Multistrada. It's a great bike, but the 'unique' look and the fact it's a Ducati, and therefore costs a fortune to run, puts potential owners off. Well, for 2007 Ducati has attempted to do something about this.
The new Multistrada 1100 is basically identical to the old 'Strada - chassis, suspension, brakes etc are all unchanged - but for 2007 the motor has had a rework. As well as a capacity increase from 992cc to 1078cc - achieved through a 4mm bigger bore - the new 1100 motor has a wet clutch instead of the traditional dry clutch. The net result is a power increase of 3bhp, 8lb.ft more torque and no rattle from the clutch. But that's not all. Ducati has also clarified the service intervals making the Multistrada cheaper to run.

Previously Ducati recommended a service every 6000 miles or 12 months, both of which cost around £350. So if you only did 100 miles in a year it would still cost you £350 to get it serviced. The new engine can go 7500 miles between services but, more importantly, if your bike hasn't done this mileage the 12-month service is more of a check-over, costing around £130. So if you only do 3000 miles a year it will cost £130 a year for two years then £350 when it hits 7500, which is more on a par with Japanese bikes.

So that's the cost of running reduced, the look you just have to live with. But what about the ride? I'm a huge fan of the air-cooled 1000 engine and the 1100 improves on an already excellent power delivery. Although it's not a huge difference the new motor definitely has more punch in the midrange, but I was disappointed by the clutch. Ducati claim the wet clutch has a lighter action than the previous dry one, but it still feels far too heavy. KTM has managed to give its 950cc V-twin
a light clutch - why can't Ducati? Through town it puts a strain on your hand/wrist/fingers and makes urban riding quite unpleasant. Luckily enough the gearbox is
slick and easily selects neutral, so although unpleasant it is at least bearable.

On the open road the motor is simply fantastic. You aren't going to go mental-fast on a Multistrada, which means the motor is working perfectly in its sweet spot. The
six-speed box is super slick and changing up doesn't even require using the clutch, which is a blessing, and although downshifts are a bit on the clunky side I didn't find any false neutrals.

Owners of the current Multistrada need not rush out to chop their bikes in for the 1100 - I'm sure a set of cans would make the 1000 match the 1100 powerwise - but if you want something a bit different don't be afraid of this Ducati. Your mates may laugh at first, but sometimes it's good to give in to desires.

Brilliant engine and a fair degree of practicality.
The heavy clutch remains.