Ducati has finally pulled the wraps off its new heavily-redesigned Multistrada 1200 at the Milan EICMA show, and it's easy to see that the new bike is a far cry from its previous incarnation. Powered by a modified version of the same liquid-cooled 1198cc V-twin Testastretta engine used in the company's superbike lineup, the all-new Multistrada 1200's main calling card is its advanced electronic engine (and suspension, in the case of the S model) control that transforms the new Ducati into four distinctly different motorcycling personalities.
Utilizing four different engine modes- "Sport", "Touring", "Urban", and "Enduro"- that can be changed on the fly at the touch of a button, the Multistrada is able to significantly alter its overall character via electronic adjustments to its fueling/ignition curve, ride-by-wire throttle, traction control, and with the Multistrada 1200S, even the suspension. For instance, while the Sport mode provides a full 150-horsepower output with a "sports-oriented suspension setup" and traction control set on level 3, the Touring mode offers the same peak power, but with a smoother torque delivery and traction control set on level 5 for a larger safety net, and the suspension settings dialed back to provide full comfort. Selecting the Urban mode instantly pulls back power to 100 horsepower, with the traction control set to level 7 to provide "high system intervention so the rider can enjoy enhanced safety even in the most chaotic of stop-start traffic", with suspension set for "tackling the maze of city streets full of speed bumps and drain covers." And unlike the previous Multistrada, should you venture off the paved path, a push of the button sets you into Enduro mode, where smooth 100-horsepower output, higher-set suspension, and traction control reduced to level 1 for almost no intervention allow you to traverse off-road sections in stride. Keeping your feet on the pegs is made easier by motocross-style serrated footpegs that can be exposed by removing the rubber inserts.
There will be two different "equipment packages" offered with the S version of the Multistrada: a Sport edition with various carbon fiber components, and a Touring version with centerstand, heated grips, and specially-designed hard luggage. Both come standard with ABS.
The S Version...
The S Version of the Multistrada comes in two versions (both with ABS): the Touring version shown here, and the Sport edition.
The standard Multistrada 1200 will be equipped with a fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork and likewise adjustable Sachs rear shock - ABS is available as an option. The S models are equipped with the electronically-adjustable Öhlins 48mm inverted fork and rear shock that were developed in conjunction with Ducati, allowing spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustment settings pre-set by Ducati, or an independent mode that allows owners to customize their own settings.
The Testastretta engine is based on the 1198 superbike powerplant, but has been given the "Testastretta 11°" moniker because of its somewhat unusual cam timing. Instead of the standard Testastretta that has 41 degrees of cam overlap (overlap is the amount of time the intake and exhaust valves are both open) in order to maximize volumetric efficiency by using the exhaust and intake pressure waves, the Multistrada's engine has just 11 degrees. In conjunction with revised timing, redesigned ports and compression ratio, this not only produces a much smoother torque curve, but also provides benefits in emissions and fuel mileage as well. Intake is through two elongated snorkels protruding up front that feed both the airbox and the oil cooler. The 2-into-1-into-2 exhaust utilizes an under-engine chamber that handles both sound and emissions absorption, with two small outlets that provide plenty of room for the hard bags.
Other interesting new features include a keyless ignition similar in concept to many luxury automobiles, a claimed dry weight of 417 pounds, adjustable windscreen, 5.3-gallon fuel tank, and two 12 volt power outlets for electric accessories. The standard Multistrada 1200 will sell for $14,995, with the ABS model selling for $16,495. Both the Sport and Touring packages (which include ABS) will retail for $19,995.