Winning titles has its perks, even for retired motorcycle racers.One such retired rider is Carlos Checa, who has a successful history with Ducati in World Superbike. The two were united through the 2010-2013 World SBK season, and Checa earned the title for Ducati in 2011 aboard the Althea Racing 1098R.
But Checa has also spent many years riding the street aboard Ducati machinery. The 42-year-old Spaniard already owned a second-generation Ducati Multistrada, but when he saw the third-gen model – the 2015 Multistrada 1200 with the new DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) engine – at EICMA in Milan this past November, the Spaniard knew he needed to have one.This was no problem for Ducati, who recently offered Checa the first model to roll of the production line of the Borgo Panigale factory near Bologna.“I already had the first version of the Multistrada 1200 and I saw right away that this was my ideal bike. When I saw the new model at EICMA I literally fell in love with it,” Checa says during his visit to Ducati HQ in Borgo Panigale.“I realized immediately that the bike had been completely changed and had taken an important step forward in terms of technology, safety and performance. I asked if I could ride it and the moment has come at last. I’ve already ridden a few kilometers and that’s all I needed to notice that the new Testastretta DVT engine is a good step ahead in terms of functioning regularity and performance.“The new electronic system, commanded by the inertial platform, has made it possible to introduce a lot of new elements such as ABS Cornering. I also really love the new instrumentation which provides multiple possibilities for connectivity, as well as the new handlebar controls which are more ergonomic and easier to use. For certain I’ll be riding a long way with my new Ducati Multistrada 1200.”Checa has been on Mutlistrada 1200 showcase tour with Ducati, and will continue to help promote the bike at future events. The 2015 Multistrada 1200 hits European dealerships in mid March, and stateside dealerships mid April.The 2015 Multistrada 1200 – also available in an S version with electronic Skyhook suspension – arrives with the DVT engine – the first of the motorcycle industry to feature a variable valve timing system with independent control of both the intake and exhaust camshafts. This system optimizes performance across the rpm range, lowers fuel consumption by eight percent, and decreases emissions.The 1198cc engine produces 160 horsepower at 9500 rpm and 100.3 ft/lbs of torque at 7500 rpm – this is up 10 horsepower over the previous model’s 1198 11-degree Testastretta L-Twin. The torque curve of the new DVT powerplant is impressive; the Testastretta produces 59 ft/lbs at 3500 rpm, and continues strong to 9500 rpm.The 2015 Multistrada 1200 is loaded with the latest in Ducati electronics, including the new IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). This allows the Multistrada 1200 to utilize Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) and Cornering ABS.Other electronic highlights are Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ride-by-Wire Throttle, electronic cruise control, and the following four riding modes, which, on the S version, also configure suspension settings – Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro.For more, visit 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Preview & Specs.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.