Engine size: 1198cc
Top speed: 155mph
Ducati unveiled a completely redesigned Multistrada at the 2009 Milan Motorcycle Show (EICMA). The new machine takes its namesake “many roads” concept even further, and is being positioned as one motorcycle that can do it all.
Testastretta 11° Engine
The Multistrada’s air-cooled 1,100cc DS engine has been replaced with a modified version of the Testastretta Evoluzione used on Ducati’s 1198 superbike, said to be smoother and more user-friendly. Ducati has dubbed the new L-twin engine the Testastretta 11°, denoting its valve overlap angle.
The overlap angle is defined as the interval of crankshaft rotation, measured in degrees, during which both the intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time. This overlap occurs between the end of the exhaust stroke and the start of the intake stroke. High performance engines, which are subject to compromising smoothness for extreme power delivery, use high values of this parameter in order to benefit from the pressure waves to improve engine performance by maximising volumetric efficiency.
On the Testastretta 11° engine, this angle has been reduced from 41° (as on the 1198) to 11°. As a result, the fresh inlet charge flow is less compromised by the exiting exhaust gases, resulting in a much smoother combustion in addition to improved fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. Unburned hydrocarbon emissions (pre-catalyser) are reduced by up to 65% and specific fuel consumption (and consequent CO2 emissions) by up to 15% (Euro3).
Producing a claimed 150 horsepower and 87.5 lb-ft of torque, the Testastretta 11° is designed to combine smoothness and power. Tests on fluid dynamics through the ports and in the combustion chamber have resulted in a modified power and torque delivery profile. New intake and exhaust ports combined with a radical adjustment of the cam timing and slight reduction of the compression ratio achieve a favorable torque curve at low rpm, which remains strong through a wide range.
Gearbox and final drive ratios have also been optimized for a higher-ratio 6th gear, which reduces fuel consumption and vibration. The Multistrada 1200 features an oil bath clutch with ‘slipper’ function and super-light feel at the lever. Its design uses a progressive self-servo mechanism that presses the plates together when under drive from the engine, enabling the reduction of the clutch spring rates.
Four Bikes In One
Four different motorcycles, available at the touch of a button, change the fundamental characteristics of the new Multistrada 1200. Power and torque delivery, suspension settings, and traction control can be changed–even while riding–to adapt to the needs of the rider. The Multistrada 1200 offers four Riding Modes: Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro. Fitted as standard equipment on all versions, the electronic ride-by-wire system administers three different engine mappings to change the character of the engine, while Ducati Traction Control (DTC) uses eight levels of system interaction to enhance control. For the ‘S’ version, Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) instantly configures the suspension set-up to suit ‘rider only,’ ‘rider with luggage,’ ‘rider and passenger’ or ‘rider and passenger with luggage.’
The Sport Riding Mode provides the rider with an adrenalin-fuelled ride, where 150 horsepower and incredible torque delivery are combined with a sports-oriented suspension set-up. To impart precise and focused handling like a sportbike, it also slightly reduces Ducati Traction Control intervention to level 3 for expert riders whose comfort zone is closer to the limit.
The Touring Riding Mode also produces 150 horsepower, but delivers torque more smoothly. Safety is enhanced with the most advanced ABS technology and with the Ducati Traction Control system set to level 5 (intermediate intervention), specifically intended for a stable and relaxing ride. The suspension set-up is ideal for touring, ensuring maximum comfort for both the rider and passenger.
Navigating through the urban jungle requires an even more manageable motorcycle for challenging, unexpected conditions. Selecting the Urban Riding Mode limits power to 100 horsepower, and the suspension is calibrated for tackling the maze of city streets full of speed bumps and drain covers. The traction control level is set to 7, providing high system intervention so the rider can enjoy enhanced safety even in the most chaotic of stop-start traffic.
Should the journey aboard the Multistrada 1200 leave the beaten track, it has the capability to take off-road routes in its stride. Agile and lightweight and with high, wide handlebars, serrated footrests and specially designed tires, the Multistrada also features an Enduro Riding Mode which instantly transforms the bike with a smooth 100hp engine, higher suspension, and the option to disable the ABS. Traction control is reduced to the minimum of level 1 for almost no intervention.
The ride-by-wire system is an electronic interface between the throttle grip and the engine which decides the ideal power delivery of the engine depending on the Riding Mode selected and the rider’s throttle input. Three different engine mappings adjust the total power output and the way in which it is delivered: 150 horsepower with sporty delivery, 150 horsepower with progressive delivery and 100 horsepower with progressive delivery.
Ducati Traction Control (DTC) is a racing-derived system which acts as a filter between the rider’s right hand and the rear tire. Within milliseconds, DTC is able to detect and then control rear wheel-spin, considerable increasing the bike’s safety and performance. The system offers eight levels, each programmed with a level of rear wheel-spin tolerance in line with progressive levels of riding skills classified from one to eight.
Every single component of the Multistrada 1200 has been designed to achieve weight reduction without compromising its load-bearing capacity. With a claimed dry weight of 417 pounds, the Multistrada 1200 is lighter than any other road enduro, touring or sport touring bike currently available.
The layout of the exhaust system, which is simple and minimalistic, uses two primary manifolds flowing directly into the triple chamber single silencer. Apart from carrying out the 2-1-2 compensator function, the silencer also contains the catalyzer and sound-absorbent materials. The two compact and lightweight aluminum alloy end pipes depart in a low, lateral configuration to keep the overall weight to a minimum.
Ergonomics have been completely redesigned using CAD and prototype testing, aimed at a high level of comfort with a fully loaded bike for long-range touring. The ‘ergonomics triangle’ of handlebar, seat and footpegs has been designed for both the rider and passenger, in order to optimize comfort while providing a commanding and upright riding position. The Multistrada 1200 feels spacious and seats two people in complete comfort, even with the top case and panniers in place. The wide, tapered steel handlebars have been designed for maximum comfort and ensure a commanding riding position enhanced by a generous steering lock of 76° (38° left and right).
The Multistrada 1200’s windscreen offers 60mm of vertical adjustment to ensure efficient wind protection for all rider heights. The fuel tank has been developed using a new molding technology which enables balance between capacity and weight. Subject to riding style, the 5.3-gallon capacity provides more than 186 miles of range. Two 12V power outlets situated on either side of the area below the rider’s seat can be used to power up to 3A (fused) accessories such as thermal apparel, intercoms or mobile phone chargers. A special connection point for powering the GARMIN satellite navigator (optional feature) is situated near the instrumentation.
The Ducati signature Trellis frame uses large diameter, light gauge tubing with two central cast aluminium sections and a Trellis rear subframe. The frame has 19% more torsional rigidity than the Multistrada 1100. The high pressure, die casted, magnesium front subframe reduces the high, frontal weight and contributes to chassis feel and control.
The front brakes use twin radially mounted Brembo four piston, two pad calipers actuated by a master cylinder with an adjustable lever. The front is fitted with 320mm discs, while a single 245mm disc on the rear is gripped by a single Brembo caliper. The Multistrada 1200 is also equipped with a Bosch-Brembo ABS system, optional for the standard version and fitted as original equipment on the ‘S’ version. An option to disable the ABS is available via the instrumentation, but is automatically reactivated at the next ignition-on.
The standard version Multistrada 1200 uses 50mm Marzocchi front forks, featuring a special forged fork bottom and full adjustability in spring pre-load, rebound and compression damping. The rear is controlled by a Sachs monoshock adjustable in spring pre-load, and rebound and compression damping. Both front and rear have 170mm of travel, the extra-long movement providing excellent comfort even when fully loaded and even if the rider decides to leave the asphalt for an off-road route. The ‘S’ version features the Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) system, developed in conjunction with Öhlins.
Pirelli worked alongside Ducati as its technical partner throughout the project, developing the new Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires specifically for the Multistrada 1200. They represent the first dual-compound tire for on/off road use. Combined with a special tread design and carcass structure, their 190/55 section delivers racing performance on the road in terms of grip and lean angles, while ensuring high mileage for touring and good off-road performance. The new generation tires are purposely designed for the four-bikes-in-one concept.
The Multistrada 1200 ignition is not actuated with a normal key. Instead, an electronic key in the rider’s pocket communicates with the Multistrada within a distance of approximately 2 meters, recognizing the dedicated key code and automatically enabling the ignition. Pressing the key-on switch then activates the motorcycle’s electrics and the engine can then be started. The electronic key, which consists internally of a circuit with two radio systems, externally doubles as a mechanical flip-key, required to open the seat and fuel tank cap. When parking the motorcycle an electric steering lock, which is actuated by pressing a button, is automatically disabled upon the next ignition-on.
The on-board computer system is made up of a large, high visibility LCD with the main data and a dot-matrix circular LCD which visualizes various functions according to whether the bike is stationary or moving. The main LCD displays speed, rpm, gear, total mileage, trip1/trip2, tire pressures (as standard on the ‘S’ version Touring package), engine coolant temperature, fuel level and time. When the motorcycle is in motion, the dot-matrix LCD displays the selected riding mode, remaining fuel/distance, current fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed, air temperature, trip time, and ‘freezing conditions’ alarm. When stationary, it enters a setting menu from where adjustments to the various functions can be made.
The main features of the ‘S’ version consist of the ABS system and the innovative Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) system, developed specifically for the Multistrada 1200 by Öhlins in partnership with the Ducati engineers. The brand new fork technology enables spring pre-load and rebound and compression damping adjustments electronically controlled via the instrument panel. The Öhlins rear monoshock is also adjusted electronically in spring pre-load and rebound and compression damping. The electronic suspension adjustment can either be made by using the pre-set riding modes, or in independent mode which allows riders to use their own personal settings. The ‘S’ version is available in the two equipment options of Sport Edition and Touring Edition.
The Sport Edition is enhanced with special carbon fiber components which further accentuate the distinctive character of the Multistrada 1200. They consist of front air intakes, cam belt covers, rear hugger and lateral air extractors.
The Touring Edition focuses on comfort and convenience. A center stand not only provides parking practicality, but is also essential in the event of tire maintenance during a long distance journey. Easily connected heated grips are controlled via the instrument panel to three settings and are a must for any tour where adverse weather conditions threaten rider comfort. Stylish luggage panniers, designed together with the bike, offer a load capacity of 57 liters (or 77 liters with large lid versions) and use a fast and secure attachment system that blends perfectly when the panniers are removed.
Colors & Pricing
The new Multistrada 1200 will be available in the two color schemes: red or arctic white for the standard version, while the ‘S’ version will be available in red, arctic white or diamond black. Pricing starts at $14,995. Release date not yet available.