2013 Multistrada 1200S: FIRST RIDE

Alan Cathcart | October 10, 2012
Three different versions of the new Multistrada 1200S: The Touring the Pikes Peak and the Granturismo. Photography By: Milagro

Photography By: Milagro

When Ducati launched the Multistrada 1200 three years ago, it was the most heavily computerized motorcycle in the marketplace. But the new Multistrada was electronics done right – its cocktail of DTC/Ducati Traction Control, DES/Ducati Electronic Suspension, ABS developed in conjunction with Bosch, and a choice of four different combined RBW/ride-by-wire throttle and engine maps delivering Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro modes (which on the 1200S models also electronically adjusted the Öhlins suspension to suit), all added to your enjoyment of riding the bike. It went a long way towards living up to Ducati’s claim to be four motorcycles in one – well, at least three-and-a-half, anyway – combining the great handling and top-end power of a Superbike with the rideability and comfort of a tourer.

Powered by a revamped version of the liquid-cooled 1198cc Testastretta Evoluzione eight-valve desmo V-twin motor, with a riding position and protective screen that delivered mile-eating comfort with the added convenience of hard luggage on the 1200S Touring version, and its tall stance and slim build making it a cool tool in city traffic, only its off-road capability was somewhat questionable. But it did win its class in the 2010 and 2011 Pikes Peak Hillclimb events – back when it incorporated a two-mile dirt section. So you can say that the then-new bike worked pretty well over hard-packed dirt trails or even loose gravel roads.

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