‘Urban’ mode is fairly restrictive, so after testing the bike’s cruise control feature – which I found easy to activate and useful for long stretches of highway riding – I switched to ‘Touring’. This is when you start to get a feel for the bike’s proper capabilities, and also when I discovered how slick the gearbox really is. The shifts are sharp and on point, and soon enough I wanted to feel the full force of ‘Sport’ mode, so I toggled the button, killed the throttle for a brief moment and the screen indicated the Multi was running at optimal levels. The acceleration on the Multistrada S, especially in ‘Sport’, is mind-boggling.
The speedo shoots up as you quickly work your way to the gears, and the environment around you turns into an indistinct blur. You can’t sit upright (the default riding position) at high speeds though because there is some buffeting despite the presence of a visor. Another thing you notice at around the 7000 RPM mark is that vibrations kick in a little.
The ride quality on the Multistrada is pretty sublime though, and Ducati’s Sky Hook Suspension system adjusts the ride to suit road conditions automatically. When taking corners too, you can feel the influence of this suspension system as you take sharp bends comfortably, as, along with the bespoke Pirelli Scorion Trail II tyres it infuses you with the kind of surety that allows you to attack corners at speed.
The Multistrada’s performance credentials are backed up by some solid braking from the 320-mm front and 265-mm rear Brembo brakes, which works seamlessly with the on-board riding aids to keep any potentially alarming moments in check.
Overall the Multistrada 1200 S is a blast to ride, and at Rs 16.59 lakh (ex-Pune), it should definitely feature in your reckoning if you are out in the market for a powerful sports tourer.
Engine: Ducati’s Testastretta DVT (or Desmodromic Variable Timing) adjusts cam timings using sensors to provide optimal performance levels across the rev-range. Ducati have also included knocking sensors for high altitude or low quality fuel. A new intake and exhaust have cut down on initial surge when accelerating as well.
Riding Aids: Cornering ABS, helps stabilise the bike if you have to suddenly brake mid-turn
Ducati Sky Hook Suspension adjusts the ride settings on the fly based on the riding mode you choose, and even based on road conditions that the IMU and other sensors detect. The suspension set-up is fully, manually adjustable as well
DTC (or Ducati Traction Control) senses wheel-spin and wheel speed data, and automatically reduces torque to counter excessive wheel-spin
Ducati Wheelie Control, tempers the bike’s torque output if it senses the front wheel lifting up
The three-LED headlamp unit also features cornering lamps, where the outermost LED alters position to light the inside of the corner based on lean angle
Multistrada App: The Multistrada App allows your phone to connect to the bike via Bluetooth. It integrates with the full-colour TFT display dash and compatible helmets. You can use features on your phone using the bike’s switches, and even see your lean angles, the distance covered, route-map, and top speed, among other information, a lot of which can be shared on social media as well.
Need to Know – Ducati Multistrada 1200 S
Price: 16.59 lakh ex-showroom, Pune
Engine: 1,200-cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-twin
Maximum Power: 160 PS at 9,500 RPM
Maximum Torque: 136 Nm at 7,500 RPM
Front Suspension: 48-mm inverted telescopic Sachs, 170-mm travel, preload, compression and rebound damping adjustment
Rear Suspension: One Sachs damper, 170-mm wheel travel, preload, compression and rebound damping adjustment
Front Brake: Two, four-piston Brembo radial monobloc callipers, 320-mm discs with cornering ABS [M50 callipers, 330-mm discs]
Rear Brake: Twin-piston Brembo calliper, 265-mm disc with ABS
Fuel-tank Capacity: 20 litres
Weight: 235 kg wet (with the fuel-tank 90 per cent full)