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2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

The ratios in the six-speed gearbox have been optimized according to the bike’s multiple callings, working with the mechanical slipper clutch to greatly reduce the effect of engine braking, thus preventing the rear wheel from hopping under very hard braking. On the road, this clutch also reduces the shock produced by the engine braking when you suddenly release the throttle, in heavy traffic for example – no more butting helmets!

An electronics carnival
Ducati’s designers went all out on the new machine’s electronics, with all ‘strada 1200 models getting the Ducati Traction Control system (DTC), which is linked to the four distinct power-traction control settings (Modes).
• Sport mode - holds nothing back, kicking out all 150 hp at 9,250 rpm and 87.5 ft-lb at 7,500 rpm, supported by a DTC setting for low intervention, i.e. that lets the rear wheel spin up on hard corner exits.
• Touring mode - delivers the 150 hp in a more progressive manner on acceleration, with medium DTC intervention.
• Urban mode - limits power to 100 hp and uses the maximum DTC setting in order to calm the machine down for slippery road conditions, like rain for instance.
• Enduro mode - features the same 100-hp mapping as Urban mode, but uses the minimum DTC setting to increase off-road fun.

New Frame and suspensions
The Multistrada 1200 and 1200 ABS inherit an all-new multi-tube frame coupled with a 50-mm fork with full adjustability of spring pre-load, rebound and compression damping. Both S versions (Sport and Touring) use higher quality and effectiveness Öhlins fork and rear shock absorber, also with spring pre-load, rebound and compression damping adjustability. In addition to manual adjustability, the settings of these Öhlins components vary automatically according to the afore-mentioned ignition mode selected by the rider.

Finally, you can adjust the rear ride height by varying the length of a pushrod in the rear suspension, without having to change the spring rate or preload.

Natural Ergonomics
The riding position offers a smart sport/touring compromise, non-confining and with a slight forward inclination. The wide handlebar reduces the effort required when turning, and relatively high foot pegs provide more than adequate ground clearance in corners. The bike also receives a height-adjustable windscreen, three 12-volt outlets (one for the optional Garmin GPS), a theft deterrent system with coded key, and side bags that are standard on the S Touring and optional on the three other models.

The old Multistrada had trouble finding a following despite its undeniable road-going abilities, due we suspect to its limited off-road abilities, almost odd looks, and a riding position that proved too constricting or unusual for North American builds.

The new sportier and more powerful 1200s are launching a direct assault on the KTM 990 Adventure, Super Motard R and T trio, the Triumph Tiger, Moto Guzzi Stelvio and, especially, the BMW R1200GS. One thing is certain; the 2010 Multistrada’s original and oh-so-attractive mug will surely contribute to the success of this all-rounder.

Lastly, the price of the S models seems more than reasonable, considering the possibilities and equipment levels of the new machine. Let the good times roll!

Photo Credit : Ducati
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