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2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Review


by Didier Schraenen

Editor’s note: Long-time Quebec TV announcer Didier Schraenen has been a die-hard motorsport enthusiast since, well, forever. After learning the ropes and doing some pretty crazy tricks on various motorcycles, including dirt bikes, he has been riding all over Quebec and attending Daytona’s Bike Week for more than 20 years. We asked him to evaluate the magnificent 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200.

My good pal Marc Cantin came to me a few weeks ago with the motorcycling equivalent of a Trojan horse. I had been dreaming of straddling a machine like the all-new 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S for quite some time after watching countless YouTube videos starring the beautiful Italian on some equally-beautiful winding roads.

Style that sets the Multistrada apart from every other bike out there! The look, and the performance to back it up. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/

So, I temporarily traded my trusty old BMW R1200GS for the top-of-the-line Multistrada at Monette Sport in Laval. Following a short lunch and briefing with Alain Trottier, the store’s owner, I took off and psyched myself up to live my dream.

This was my first-ever trip on a Ducati and I loved the riding position from the get-go; it felt like sitting on a 650cc motorcycle. The first thing that struck me is the fork angle – much more vertical than my BMW’s. In fact, the next time I ride the latter, I will probably have the impression of climbing on top of a dromedary.

That particular fork angle contributes to the bike’s incredible handling and remarkably-lightweight feeling. The firm yet comfortable saddle also put me in a natural position to find the handlebars.

Powered by a butt-kicking, 1098/1198-derived Testastretta engine (obviously toned down for this application), the Multistrada 1200 S behaves like a thoroughbred, whereas the R1200GS feels more like a workhorse, thus making any further comparison at that level pointless. Ducati talks about a "touring" motorcycle when it’s actually a supermotard in disguise… or maybe a superbike going trekking!

Out of the four riding modes available, I started the day with "Urban", which puts 100 horsepower at the rider’s disposal while maxing out ABS and traction control settings. "Enduro" cuts ABS and traction control to a minimum, maintains the same cavalry and adjusts the suspension to absorb stronger impacts. Then comes "Touring," which adds 50 ponies while further limiting the role of the electronic nannies (taking the higher speeds into account), and gearing up the suspension for performance-oriented touring. Finally, "Sport" manages to get the most out of the engine and chassis, allowing full-on assaults and delicious power slides when exiting corners on paved surfaces, of course.

Complete and easy-to-read - especially when riding hard on the street, track or on dirt. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/
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