Saturday, November 21, 2015

2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, Multistrada Pikes Peak unveiled at EICMA

The 2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro might well be the world's most high-tech, all-around-capable on/off-road adventure-touring motorcycling. This one is definitely not scared of continent crossings...!

The on/off-road adventure-touring bike segment is simply too lucrative for Ducati to ignore, and hence the Italian company has now added the 1200 Enduro to its 2016 Multistrada line-up. “Born to be unstoppable on any terrain, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro is designed to satisfy even the most demanding globetrotter. Moreover, this maxi-enduro has specifically been developed and built to handle the stress and strain of off-road riding, under the most extreme riding conditions, while maintaining the ride quality and fun one expects from a Ducati,” says a press release from Ducati, extolling the virtues of the new 1200 Enduro.

The 1200 Enduro rides on 19-inch (front) and 17-inch (rear) wire-spoked wheels , shod with 120/70 and 170/60 Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres, making its off-road intent clear from the word go. There’s Sachs electronic semi-active suspension, a 30-litre fuel tank (which provides a 450km range in one go), full LED headlamp and a 5-inch colour TFT instrument panel. There’s also a host of electronics, including cornering ABS, cornering lights, adjustable multi-level traction control, multiple riding modes, vehicle hold control (VHC) for uphill starts, and wheelie control. Motive power is provided by Ducati’s tried-and-tested Testastretta 1198cc V-twin, which features desmodromic variable valve timing (DVT) and is fully Euro4 compliant. Power and torque output is impressive – 160bhp at 9500rpm and 136Nm of torque at 7500 rpm, with 100Nm available from just 3500rpm. The brakes, on the other hand, are fully capable of reining in all that performance – twin 320mm Brembo brake discs at front with radial-mount 4-piston callipers, and two-channel Bosch ABS means that you’re never short of stopping power under any circumstances and at any speed.

Available colours for the 2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro include red, gray and white, and with the Ducati Performance accessory catalogue by Touratech, which includes Enduro, Touring, Sport and Urban packages, the bike can be customised almost endlessly. We’d definitely get the Termignoni exhaust and, if we were going to ride across the Gobi Desert, also the supplementary LED lights, Garmin satnav, aluminium side panniers, engine protection bars, radiator protection, oil radiator guard, sprocket cover, and rear brake guard. The Multistrada Link app, a smartphone app for iOS and Android, would also come in handy for those cross-continent trips.

In fact, Ducati are pretty serious about those long, hard, off-road rides – the 1200 Enduro’s riding position has been specially designed to ensure improved off-road handling, the handlebars are higher and the seat is narrower at the front, where it joins the fuel tank. The footpegs are made of steel and have removable rubber covers, while the brake and clutch levers are fully adjustable. The gear-shift lever even has a special coupling to prevent breakage in the event of a fall or contact with a hard object. To protect its twin-cylinder engine, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro features an aluminium sump guard with supports connected directly to the frame.

Standard seat height on the 1200 Enduro is 870mm, which should work for most people of average height and build, though 890mm and 850mm versions are also available. There is also the option of a narrower passenger seat, which makes it easier for the rider to move back when standing on the pegs. For off-road use, a lower plexiglass screen, ergonomically better suited to an on-the-pegs standing position, is also available.

The electronic features supplied as standard on the 2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro include:
  • Riding Modes: Touring, Sport, Urban and Enduro
  • Power Mode
  • 8-level adjustable Traction Control
  • 8-level adjustable Wheelie Control
  • Semi-active suspension - it helps maintain optimum motorcycle control in any situation and any load condition.
  • Cruise Control
  • Infotainment (multimedia system and Link app)
  • 5” Colour TFT Instrumentation display
  • Backlit switchgear controls
  • Hands Free
The "Globetrotter Attitude" embodied by the new Multistrada 1200 Enduro is also reflected by the long list of components specifically designed to enhance its adaptability to all situations:
  • Fuel tank, with 30 litre capacity (as opposed to the max. 20 litre capacity of the Multistrada 1200) allowing over 450 km (280 miles) range between fuel stops. Despite its large dimensions, the tank has been perfectly integrated in the overall design of the motorcycle.
  • Aluminium side panels complete with supports, to protect the fuel tank and enhance the typically rugged off-road look.
  • Front mudguard, designed for maximum protection in combination with the new 19" front wheel.
  • Beak, extended in order to improve protection against mud.
  • Mirrors with new aluminium mounts that do not interfere with the rider's arms during out-of-the-seat riding with the rider standing on the pegs.
  • Handlebars whose height gains 50 mm for improved ergonomics in off-road riding.
  • Steering damper to improve control and handling in extreme conditions, allowing the rider to reach the highest levels of performance in the large-displacement Enduro Tourer segment - including in off-road conditions and without affecting on-road performance.
  • Rider seat designed to offer maximum comfort on long-distance trips and at the same time, guarantee the greatest freedom of movement (even during out-of-the-seat riding in off-road use).
  • Passenger seat designed to perfectly integrate with the new rider's seat and ensure maximum passenger comfort.
  • Sachs CDCi front fork offering 200 mm of wheel travel, as well as optimised damping for all-terrain use (as opposed to 170 mm wheel travel on the Multistrada 1200 with damping adjusted for on-road performance). The new forged fork bottom with forward-mounted axle ensures an ideal offset for the multifunctional chassis setup of the Multistrada 1200 Enduro.
  • Sachs CDCi rear monoshock to ensure 200 mm wheel travel as opposed to 170 mm on the Multistrada 1200 and featuring optimised damping for the specific dimensions and the all-terrain use of this model.
  • 19" spoked front wheel to improve handling both off-road and on uneven road surfaces, with an aluminium alloy rim and hub (as opposed to the Multistrada 1200 with a 17" alloy wheel for sports-inspired, enhanced agility during on-road riding).
  • 17" spoked rear wheel with an aluminium rim and hub designed for the double-sided swingarm.
  • Double-sided swingarm in shell-cast aluminium, able to handle the stress of off-road riding despite its limited weight (as opposed to the Multistrada 1200's single-sided swingarm designed for predominantly on-road riding).
  • Rear mudguard designed to increase protection against debris.
  • Front footpegs made to withstand extreme stress and complete with removable rubber inserts for maximum comfort. They are made of microcast steel to limit their weight (as opposed to being made of die cast aluminium as on the Multistrada 1200).
  • Gear lever features an articulated design to prevent breakage in the event of a fall or impact against an obstacle; unlike the Multistrada 1200's forged aluminium lever, it is made of sheet steel.
  • Rear brake lever is height-adjustable to two positions with an easy release mechanism, adapting to all riding conditions: the uppermost position is easily reached from a backward-leaning, out-of-the-seat position, typical of downhill off-road riding, while the lower position is ideal for road-riding. Also made of sheet steel.
  • Right-hand passenger footpeg mount designed to also support the new exhaust end pipe.
  • Centre stand conceived to integrate perfectly with the new double-sided swingarm without interfering with the typical out-of-the-seat off-road riding style.
  • Side stand optimised for this model's dimensions and offering maximum stability on all types of terrain.
  • Below-seat side panels to protect the lower part of the seat during out-of-the-seat off-road riding.
  • Exhaust silencer is higher-slung – makes crossing water easier - and narrower than the twin silencer on the Multistrada 1200. It has a stainless steel outer sleeve and a compact design allowing the large Ducati Performance by Touratech panniers to be fitted.
  • Exhaust heat shield extends from the pre-silencer to the passenger footpeg mount in order to guarantee maximum comfort for both rider and passenger.
  • Skidplate in aluminium sheet, combined with the new mounts, is designed to withstand the extreme stress of off-road use.
  • Passenger grab handles designed to improve ergonomics and allow for Ducati Performance by Touratech aluminium side pannier to be fitted, thus reducing the overall width of the rear section.
  • Ducati Performance by Touratech aluminium large side panniers available as an accessory.

The updated-for-2016 Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak is, for us, the coolest Multistrada of the entire bunch and is essentially a full-blown superbike with an upright riding position. Brilliant!

For those who’d rather have a sportier, more street-oriented Multistrada, there’s the updated-for-2016 Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak, which is based on the Multistrada 1200S, but gets a racier, cooler paintjob, carbonfibre Termignoni exhaust, and a host of other carbonfibre bits including the front front mudguard, front tank cover and lateral front partitions. There’s also fully adjustable Öhlins fork and Öhlins TTX36 shock, which provides race-spec high-speed handling and poise which committed sportsbike riders demand. And for those riders, the Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak’s 160bhp 1198cc Desmo V-twin also provides enough stomp to take on many full-bore litre-class superbikes.

It would be hard to pick one between the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and the Pikes Peak version, though if we ever had to choose, we suppose we’d take the latter...!

Update (13 April, 2016): New pics of the Multistrada 1200 Enduro

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Casey Stoner (below) also rode the Multistrada 1200 Enduro and, apparently, thought it wasn't bad at all...

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