Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring Test
The 1200cc era of the Ducati Multistrada was launched in 2010, and quickly cemented a reputation as a cutting-edge sport-touring bike‚Äîwith off-road capability if you dare.
Ducati’s four-bikes-in-one concept is based on selectable riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, and Enduro) that optimize the electronically adjustable suspension (updated for 2013, though this review is of the 2012) and Ducati’s awesome Testastretta motor for the desired riding conditions.
However, Ducati now takes the concept to another level with their Skyhook Suspension System that detects the prevailing conditions and automatically adjusts the suspension accordingly to maintain the bike’s road attitude.
The smooth motor has perfectly calibrated EFI coupled with dual sparkplugs per cylinder, so complete combustion is assured. Power and torque are abundant, and if you think too much is on tap, feel free to use the Urban setting to slow things down. The gearbox and final drive ratios have also been optimized for touring, offering extended fuel range and fewer vibes from the L-twin.
With 150 horses on tap when you need them, Ducati has given the Multistrada 1200 S Touring handling to match that sort of power. You can ride this touring bike with a serious amount of commitment, and it will deliver the feedback you need. Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires may sound like a dirt/street compromise, but they perform astonishingly well on the pavement.
In the dirt the front cylinder head is not well-protected, and the smallish front wheel is not ideal for off-road handling. Just consider the Multistrada to be a stunning sport-touring bike, and buy an adventure bike if off-roading is in the cards.
Without a doubt, the Multistrada offers a unique take on the long-distance motorcycle genre. The bike’s 58-liter color-matched panniers, heated grips, and center stand please the touring cognoscenti. If you want a seriously high-performance, high-tech motorcycle capable of long distance in comfort, then the Ducati Multistrada S 1200 Touring is very hard to beat.
Story from Ultimate MotorCycling’s Special Travel Issue