Road tests 9.6.2016 12:51 pm

Ducati’s four in one Multistrada 1200

The 160hp Ducati Testastretta DVT engine is equipped with a new exhaust system.

The Multistrada 1200 Enduro marks Ducati’s entry into a new market segment, that of the maxi-enduro tourers; however there’s been no compromising on Ducati style and technology.

The smart, sports look has been renewed and upgraded with numerous off-road features. The electronics package is everything a rider could wish for, thanks to the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), developed by Bosch, which dynamically measures pitch and roll angles and acceleration along the three axes, raising performance and safety standards even further.

On the Multistrada 1200 Enduro Cornering ABS, Cornering Lights (DCL), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) and the semi-active Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evolution system with 200mm of wheel travel all come as standard.

Moreover, for the very first time on a Ducati, Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) has been introduced to aid uphill starts. The Multistrada 1200 Enduro features the excellent, hard-wearing Multistrada 1200 frame together with a new twin-sided swingarm.

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The bike is powered by the tried and tested 160hp Ducati Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) engine with EURO 4 type approval, now equipped with a new exhaust system. Thanks to Riding Mode technology (Enduro, Touring, Sport and Urban), the Multistrada 1200 Enduro offers a four-bikes-in-one spirit.

Other as-standard features on the Multistrada 1200 Enduro include electronic speed control and the Bluetooth module; the latter, via the Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), lets riders connect the bike to a smartphone and manage key multimedia functions (incoming calls, text messaging, music) via the switchgears and display information on the TFT dashboard.

Furthermore, the new Multistrada Link App for iOS and Android provides access to a whole series of functions: these process bike data received via Bluetooth allowing the user to improve, extend and share the ride experience via connection with the ducati.com website or social networks.

The Multistrada 1200 Enduro comes in three different colours (Ducati Red, Phantom Grey and Star White Silk) and can be personalised with items from the comprehensive Ducati Performance accessory catalogue by Touratech which includes the four Enduro, Touring, Sport and Urban packages.

The riding position of the Multistrada 1200 Enduro has been designed to ensure improved offroad handling. The handlebars are higher and the seat is narrower in the crotch area over the footpegs; the latter are made of steel and have removable rubber covers.

Like the footpegs, lever design also takes its cue from the off-road world: the rear brake lever can easily be height-adjusted while the gear lever has a special coupling to prevent breakage in the event of a fall or contact with an obstacle.

To shield the twin-cylinder engine the Multistrada 1200 Enduro mounts an aluminium sump guard with supports connected directly to the frame. To make sure riders can get their feet on the ground firmly, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro is equipped as standard with an 870mm high seat while a higher 890mm version – more comfortable yet still suited to off-road riding – and a lower 850mm one are available as optionals.

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Moreover, there is also the option of a narrower passenger seat that makes it easier for the rider to move back when standing on the pegs and, with the high rider seat, also makes the tail of the bike much more linear.

For offroad enthusiasts a lower Plexiglass screen, ergonomically better suited to an on-the-pegs standing position, is also available. The screen on the new Multistrada 1200 Enduro offers 60mm of travel and can be adjusted using just one hand.

There are two 12 V power sockets, one positioned immediately beneath the passenger seat and the other at the front. These can handle loads of up to 8A (fused) to power accessories such as thermal apparel or intercoms or cellphone chargers. The GARMIN sat-nav, available as a Ducati Performance accessory, is powered via a specific connector located on the dashboard panel.

Also available is a USB socket, positioned in the under-seat area, to which a smartphone can be connected.

The DSS (Ducati Skyhook Suspension) Evolution system on the Multistrada 1200 Enduro is based on a 48mm fork and a Sachs rear shock. These ensure 200mm of wheel travel both front and back. Electronic suspension allows for continuous rebound and compression damping adjustment, with semi-active control giving optimal vehicle balance.

The system keeps the bike steady whatever the road conditions, minimises vehicle body oscillation, reduces the vibration transferred to the rider and significantly increases comfort and safety.

Priced from R242 900.

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