Bike India was at the glorious Chiang Rai, Thailand, to ride the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. Can this, Ducati’s latest 1,200-cc sports tourer make a dent in the Indian market? Read on and find out
Story: Harket Suchde
Ducati believe that the Multistrada 1200 S is a perfect fit for those who want to explore India’s many roads (Multistrada in Italian, get it?) and took us to Chiang Rai, in Thailand to prove it. The route covered over 300 km and included a fair bit of highway riding and mountain-road twisties thrown in, so that we could see if the Multistrada 1200 S does, in fact have all the right ingredients to become the sports tourer of choice in India.
Visually, Ducati are already off to a winning start, because the Multi looks an absolute beast. The two slats of three LED headlamps flanking that aggressive beak gives the bike some edge. Touches like the sculpted tank shrouds, indicator infused knuckle-guards, rugged belly-pan, and that two-tone shotgun exhaust bring both the Multi’s style and swagger to the fore.
The Multistrada 1200 S isn’t just about the aesthetic bells and whistles either, because underneath this shiny veneer it packs a sizeable 20-litre tank, and a seat at a relatively low saddle height of 825 millimetres that can be increased to 845 mm on the stock seat. Also, the point where the seat meets the tank is tapered on both ends to further enhance leg-reach.
What about the engine? In case the name didn’t tip you off, the Multi sports a liquid-cooled 1,200-cc, L-twin powerplant, one that produces 160 horses peaking at 9,500 RPM. The engine also produces 136 Nm of torque, coming in at 7,500 RPM. This apart from all the tech goodness that Ducati have crammed into the Multistrada. (see page 2 for the tech low-down)
Apart from all that wizardry in the engine department, Ducati have also included Bosch’s Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that collects information for safety features such as Cornering ABS, the Sky Hook Suspension system, wheelie control and cornering headlamps. The bike also comes equipped with traction control, wheelie control, and four riding modes. And considering this a modern bike, there’s also an App bundled into what is called the Ducati Multimedia System.
Both the multimedia system and the riding modes are reflected on the bike’s TFT screen which is very legible, and colourful. ‘Urban’ mode has the highest safety levels, the softest ride, and power restricted to 100 PS. ‘Touring’ expands power output to the full 160 PS but still keeps throttle urgency in check while maintaining a lesser yet prominent safety level. ‘Sport’ reduces the influence of ABS and traction control even further, really tautens up the suspension set up, and brings throttle responsiveness up to full. Finally, ‘Enduro’, the off-road mode reduces safety inputs to minimum and again softens the ride and reduces the power output to 100 PS. You can mix and match features from all four modes to create a complement that suits your individual requirements as well.