Thursday, 1 April 2010

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

Ducati have released their new 2010 Mulitstrada 1200, a super-trail bike with the BMW 1200 GS firmly in its sights. Ducati aimed to produce a comfortable, reliable touring machine that was able to produce sports bike levels of performance on almost any terrain. Ducati have fitted a smoother, more efficient version of the latest liquid-cooled Testastretta powerplant from their own flagship 1198cc superbike.

Promising 'four bikes-in-one' available by the flick of a switch, the 2010 Multistrada posseses technology in abundance. Four distinct riding modes, Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro- endow the Multistrada with variable power, torque delivery, suspension and traction control settings. In both Sport and Touring modes the full 150bhp is available, whilst in Urban and Enduro settings, power is limited to a more manageable 100bhp.

Also new is the ride-by-wire throttle system. There is no throttle cable on the new Mulitstrada, the rider's inputs are now electronically transmitted to the throttle bodies. Depending on which riding mode is selected the control unit then decides the ideal power delivery of the engine. Combining this level of computer intelligence with a slipper clutch must make for incredibly smooth progress. All impressive stuff, but I would'nae like to experience a faulty one..

Weighing in at a paltry 189kg (dry) the new Mulitstrada has been on a rather impressive diet. Ducati believe it's the lowest in it's class, although once the 20 litre tank is full of go-go juice, that figure will undoubtedly creep past the 200kg mark.

Advanced instrument controlled Ohlins suspension is supplied on the higher spec 'S' model in the form of Ducati Electronic Suspension. This permits spring pre-load, rebound and compression damping adjustments on the fly. Of the two versions available the Touring model comes with a centre-stand, heated grips and purpose made panniers, whilst the Sport model is a stripped down beasty with various carbon components.

With some added clever touches including hands-free start, adjustable windscreen and LED indicators on the handguards, the punchy 2010 Ducati Multistrada is a direct competitor to BMW's class leading, hardy GS and upcoming Yamaha Tenere 1200. But, if you are a die-hard sportsbike fan looking for a grown up machine with long distance, possible two-up continent crossing abilities, the Multistrada should definately be at the top of your wish list.

I'll take a Touring S model in white please, but don't just take my word for it- hear what MCN have to say about it on video whilst testing the Multistrada in Lanzarote. Now where did I put that £14,000!?

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