Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ducati Multistrada 1200: More pics, details, video

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 - one of the more interesting Ducatis of recent times...

Ducati have quite shaken up the market with their new Multistrada 1200, a bike that really does seem to be very good at a lot of different things. And that, most manufacturers would agree, is one of the most difficult things to pull off in mainstream motorcycling. Many people who would have never considered buying the earlier Multistrada will probably give the new 1200 some serious thought and Ducati should be rightly proud of that.

Here at Faster and Faster, we’re committed superbike aficionados and we’d gladly put with aching wrists and hurting backs and, if we could choose to, still ride the 1198R (or a new R1 or the latest MV F4, if we could afford one…) every day of our lives. And yet, the Multi 1200 looks tasty.

Instead of their usual tubular steel trellis frame, Ducati have used a new kind of chassis on the Multistrada 1200 – one that combines aluminium plates with steel tubes to boost rigidity. The single-side swingarm is also new and the engine is a close relative of the Testastretta 1198 L-twin.

The Multistrada 1200’s Testastretta Evoluzione engine has been designed for optimum low- and mid-rev power delivery. It’s also more fuel-efficient and is lower on emissions than the 1198 engine. Oh, and up to 7,000rpm it actually makes more power than the 1198. Also, unlike the 1198’s dry clutch, the Multistrada’s clutch lives in an oil bath and is significantly softer, which makes it easier to live with on the street.

Coming to the bike’s power output, the Multistrada packs 150bhp at 9,250rpm and 119Nm of torque at 7,500rpm. Top speed is more than 250km/h. The bike is absolutely packed with electronics and the rider can choose between multiple riding modes (sport, touring, city and enduro) that affect power delivery, the working of the DTC traction control system, the ABS and, on the S model, even the electronically controlled suspension. And if you aren’t happy with the stock settings in each riding mode, you can choose your own DTC and suspension settings for each mode and store those in on-board computer’s memory.

The Multistrada 1200, which weighs 189kg dry rides on Pirelli Scorpion Trail tyres that were specially developed for this bike. It's supposed to be a serious cornering tool – Ducati claim the 190/55 rear tyre offers race-spec performance for the street, in terms of grip and cornering abilities. Which is cool.

The Multistrada 1200 comes in two flavours. The base model is fitted with a Marzocchi fork and Sachs monoshock, with optional ABS. The S version comes with ABS as standard and electronically controlled Ohlins suspension. The base model is priced at 14,900 euros while the S version costs 18,900 euros. Not cheap, but for many, the bike will definitely be worth the money. Does the new Multi get a place in our dream garage? Ummm.... no. We still only want that 1198R Corse... :-D

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