Testing the 2013 Ducati Multistrada (and how it compares to the 2010-12…

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Ducati 250 Mark 3 D

Testing the 2013 Ducati (and how it compares to the 2010-12

The weekend before last I had the of riding, back to back, two motorcycles: the 2010 Multistrada and the new 2013 Multistrada.  After a three years in production we here a rather long of changes in the 2013 model.

Can you the differences? The 2013 Multistrada and the 2010 Multistrada (Red)

The and the suspension are where the key changes made, I would call one the other revolutionary. So, what are changes and how do they translate the riding experience? Is it an improvement?

these changes go as far as making you the 2010-12 models “old bikes (not that is anything wrong with So let’s find out. To do it I asked the great folks at Motorcycles of Western Oregon Scott and Madelyn) whether I have both motorcycles for a test ride. When graciously gave me an okay I my friend Doug to join me in the

Effort? Ha! That was some

Looking back to 2010

It was at first sight when I laid my eyes on the much 1200 Multistrada back in Once it showed up at the European of Western Oregon I took the Multistrada S (Sport) for a test and I was immediately impressed by its power, the ergonomics, how the bike feels the oh-so-sweet fast turn in, and the 1200 cc L-twin motor That motor… you twist the and on the blink of an eye you are on the next zip code.

If arms did not fall off their there is. Because you are doing all of while riding on a very and even plush, I would saying, upright touring / / motard riding position. I find a way to describe that experience with the Multistrada, but the “visceral” was what came to at that time.

The Ducati 1200. September 3rd,

The motor on this bike has a racing pedigree, based on the Superbike motor, from it was tuned down for a street and Ducati called it the 11 degrees referring to the narrower valve as compared to the 30-something degrees on the 1198 motor. Making motors rideable on the street and have them meet emissions is not an easy task.

The of this first incarnation of the was that it has all the power you may want but it lean hence poorly at anything less than 3 to 4 thousand rpm at constant throttle It actually doesn’t feel good until you get past the rpm.

Ducatisti around the proudly justify this as par for the in the forums, “that’s what it character” they say. But in many of these same work on the few available fixes, not solutions and sometimes quite but in the end it shows great improvement.

Although I like the rough on the contrast you experience between wild motor and the overall design concept of the 4 in 1 bike, it was not what I was looking for on a motorcycle. I had preferred another Jekyll and proposition: A motor subtle and for the “touring” mode,  but which is of showing its wild character a “sport” setting request! And would make the bike’s 4 in 1 concept more realistic as in my opinion.

2010 Multistrada, from September 2011

I had a to ride that very bike again in September of Now the bike had some 2,000 on the clock, the motor was broken in and tune work had been to it and it felt substantially better on the low I was still unconvinced, though. all, it had Urban and Touring right? Shouldn’t these two give you a more refined experience?

In reality I had a feeling I was the one complaining because this was pretty much hitting the top end of the charts. The sales figures the prove of its  success. wild character was the postcard of bike, Sport mode was

Admittedly, this bike had a lot to offer than what be hindered by my humble impressions of a motor on partial throttle. in 2010 the 1200 Multistrada was a setter and it still is today. The of a sports bike motor on an style body, offering of comfort for touring, with riding modes ranging enduro to urban to touring to was new back then. Somehow it is new today!

The Multistrada brought a new to the adventure and sport-touring bikes with the electronically controlled setup based on top-of-the-line suspension systems which was and is a major hit for performance riding. manufacturers are only now arriving at Ducati has had for three years

Like Audi, their new once used in their much before the start of joint venture last “you lead or you get out of the way.” Who have imagined Audi and together back then, But that is another story.

Baby! Offered on 2010-12 S and Touring!

The story of three on the market.

So three years and now with the benefit of the story sales data can tell, we can say the gutsy move played by with this bike off.  This motorcycle the Adventure segment and pretty impacted Ducati itself. The Multistrada buyer is 45 years

And for about 80% of the owners, the Multistrada was first Ducati. Ben Cope at puts it well:

Ducati has 20,500 Multistrada 1200s its launch in 2010 and it surprised me to see for 80% of buyers, this was their Ducati. They ride, on 50% more than the typical owner (no jokes, please) and the that stands out most is the previous bike MTS1200 came from is equally between sportsbikes, … and adventure bikes.

This motorcycle conquered in the sales pie of the adventure, sport and bikes segments. Prove the 4 in 1  concept worked, and more that, it offered an alternative was nonexistent until then in its of comfort ergonomics with a performance. This bike its own segment and its uniqueness remains.

this bike became an to Ducati to many riders the world. Success nonetheless. I visited the Ducati factory and in 2011 they proudly about the Multistrada as their seller bike at that

While there I had a chance to Lidia, the Multistrada that around the world in a promotion which was proudly displayed in its own in the museum. But I digress. Again.

the multistrada that went the world with Paolo in 2010. Ducati Museum, Panigale, Bologna, Italy. 26th, 2011.

So why change, you may

In soccer we often say we don’t the roster of players nor the game when the team is on a winning But of course, there is much to that on the motorcycle world. I see two for change that make to me.

One is Ducati’s official story. claims the changes implemented in the model are a result of their to customers and from data of riders’ opinions on motorcycle I wasn’t alone on my complaints all! The bottom line was to the Multistrada a motorcycle with a touring capability and fix a few niggling here and there.

This serve two objectives: consolidate newly acquired customer by offering an upgrade and improved and conquering yet more new customers by a better touring product taps into a larger … slice of the market. move with this in its 2013 fashion could be to a more mainstream position by a de facto touring machine. But still had that wicked mode!

They wouldn’t to lose that edge,

On the other hand, we can also how Ducati wants to keep bike at the trend setter it started in 2010. Other are catching up to Ducati’s challenge and are motorcycles with riding and electronically controlled suspension not unlike what Ducati has offering on this bike 2010. And not only that, are also offering semi-active systems on 2013 models.

Two are the 2013 BMW R1200 GS and the 2013 Caponord. And there is more: heard a rumor that one and traditional manufacturer of large motorcycles of the 1200 cc variety I will keep nameless because it is a rumor, despite the that rumors always a hint of truth…) wanted to some of the Ducati feel on heavily revised 2013 Too much of a hint?

Anyway, you or get out of the way, right? Ducati is taking chances with bike, introducing changes the new semi-active suspension technology to the market.

2010 Multistrada. Photo of 2011

Evolutionary, you said?

So is this long list of Although these bikes about the same, Ducati has just about every on this bike. They the four riding modes Urban, Touring and Sport) but of that it seems everything was fair game. Some of changes are here:

LED headlights for low Besides being brighter and visible to traffic, its lower consumption allows for low and high to be on at the same time, improving overall. High beams the same as previous models.

ABS brakes with three of interference including levels of and back linked actuation, changes depending on the riding (latest version of Bosch’s 9ME ABS

Upgrade to the 8 level Ducati control (DTC) sporting interference with torque of up to 60 per cent now controlled by retarding the and the fuel injection being only for greater levels that.

New windshield with wind protection and which one hand operation, so you can move it up or on the go.

Other cosmetic changes, wheels, the stickers are gone in of high relieve plastic, changes to the shape of the headlight, the and perhaps other things I have missed.

There is a on the models available: A base (no suspension) continues to be available, and the model is also available, the S disappears and in its place you get only the Peak version. And a Gran model appears.

Touring, Peak and GranTurismo

This one shows the new direction towards a touring appeal. The bike in only a graphite color, a few accessories that make it geared for touring (higher different seat, fog lights, protection bars, and tires geared for touring than performance).

2013 Multistrada Granturismo. Photo form press release.

But the two main of change as mentioned earlier are in the and in the suspension. I recommend you check On Bikes ” for Kevin Ash’s comprehensive technical review of the changes to the motor and suspension, Ducati’s diagrams explaining in the changes. It is worth a look, I you that.

But to summarize, these make a lot of sense to me, they say it is at the partial open throttle It has a 5% increase in torque and up to a 10% reduction on consumption. With its Dual (DS) plugs per cylinder, of fuel injection more across the intake duct, and an air injection, you can call it an evolutionary

Ducati calls this new the Testastretta 11 degrees DS.

And the revolutionary is on the suspension. Ohlins electronically suspension is out, Sachs suspension is in. It is the Skyhook semi-active Ducati calls it DSS. type of suspension has been in the industry for several years Ferrari and Maseratti are great but it has become more prevalent on top tier car manufacturers as well.

Semi-active suspension allows for fraction-of-second changes to compression and that are based on several (speed of travel, throttle brake actuation, measurements of and rear wheel travel if I forgotten something). The objective of suspension is to maximize wheel with the pavement while the chassis as stable as possible. In it improves traction while improving rider comfort.

I recommend you check Kevin review on the “Ash on Bikes” linked above.

You must be too much talk and it is not on the riding So here we go. We got a scheduled date for the and I counted the days waiting for it to

The day it was scheduled, a Saturday morning, and I met for coffee early before to the EMCWOR. Doug shows up on the 850 Guzzi Eldorado. I show up on my Tiger 800 XC.

I already know it is a selecting a bike to go for a Ducati test ride because are your motorcycle will underpowered when you get back to it the test ride. You are better off a car to the test ride, so you avoid the comparisons. Follow my advice or you buying a new bike!

The Eldorado and the

Ducati 250 Mark 3 D

Having Doug join me on the ride would allow us to both bikes out at the same allowing back to back and an opportunity for a photo shoot.  But importantly I would have with whom I could notes along the way, and not someone, but a guy who knows about I could write a few pages to describe the portion that I of Doug’s Curriculum Vitae on matters.

  But let’s just here that Doug is a enthusiast with experience on the track and great overall on several aspects of motorcycles and in general. And I should add that I about riding and about every single time I go on a with him. I was really he was available and willing to join me on ride.

  Of course, you should there was no arm twisting here, it was not at all to get him to join me on this ride.

provided us with their new demo bike and a 2010 has been an executive demo at the my friend of the previous two test now with about 4,700 on the clock, with brand new The bikes were ready to go we showed up at the shop at about give or take.

Bikes to go at the European Motorcycles of Western

If you haven’t ridden a Multistrada you should know these require instructions regarding the of their several systems. It is much intuitive, but it had been a time since the last I rode the 2010. And the 2013 has a few changes and added features we wanted to know.

Below you can see the default set up for sport DTC at level 4 (just below interference level, 8 being and ABS at level 2 (less aggressive independent actuation of front and On Touring, ABS is defaulted to level 1 front and back braking is when operated by the handle bar On Enduro, Level 3, you can get rear lock up, if I remember correctly, the of levels could be inverted and the could be different.

  What is is that you can customize each of the modes the way you like it. So you can have the map (touring or sport) with a set of ABS, suspension damping/compression and DTC is different than the default. And it stay there until you it again or bring it back to

The 2013′s more informative

I asked to ride the 2010 I was wondering about what “evolutionary” meant, so going the 2010 to the 2013 would me the story, if there was a story to be The outside temperature was 42 degrees and bikes showed the ice warning on the dash. I climbed on board of the I already know relatively I was surprised to realize the 2010 was smoother than I remember it was time I rode it in September

I was following Doug going on 11th at the 35 mph traffic and the bike was fine at partial throttle on gear.  I was immediately comfortable the bike’s ergos. I’m 5’10″ and bike fits me like a

A bit taller than my Triumph 800 XC when I have the Tiger’s on its lower position, shorter the Tiger with the Tiger’s on its highest position. But it feels lighter than the Tiger stopped, which is important only the ball of one of my feet the ground. Handlebars reach is on! Perfect distance seat to

Very comfortable indeed.

We off towards the south hills of When we hit the open road we let the show a bit of what they are all but as soon as we hit the hills we were in a thick fog. Roads wet.

I slowed down.

We towards Crow, OR, to show the to a riding friend of ours and some time waiting for the fog to some. But he was not home, so we took the to talk about the bikes so far and some of the differences about the When we stopped and helmets off, first thing said was: “I like bike!” On one of the intersections, half way I had helped Doug change his mode from Touring to

I think that’s what did it for

And about the windshields, can you spot the

2013 Windshield is taller, and is shaped differently.

Besides taller, wider and shaped the operation can be made by a one-hand-move, on the go. It is than the previous model. But it is not And for me it works better on the low position. On the position if I lower my upper to a position that actually it uncomfortable to be riding at any distance, but it it really quiet.

I wonder if the of the Granturismo model, which is will offer less noise for long distance

There is a slight change on the of the headlights. Can you tell? On the new model the top of the cuts towards the front and of the fairing on a more straight

  Looks less like it is like the previous model and like it is determined.  You can also see the new is bolted with four points, so they are not interchangeable the previous model (three

A more straight line on top of the makes it look more

The fairing on the front, on that from the headlights to the dashboard, has a angle when it connects to the plastic on the dash. I only that now that I was paying attention to the photos. Looks integrated with the dashboard. The part of the fairing as well, it has a new where it connects to the wider screen.

Very small that require one to be paying attention to notice.

We got back on the I was still on the red 2010 bike.  We towards the King Estate it is always a great setting for And there is a great set of curves very rough surface on the way to the The Ohlins suspended bike it well. I felt some on the handlebars, the bike pitched but it was solid.

Once at the winery we for more photographs at their road.

The rider’s seat on the new is a bit longer.  That was Ducati to some taller riders they felt cramped on the To me it was okay for regular touring, on situations when I needed to around and then I would hit the lip to the seat.

I think this was actually already incorporated on the model. Another small is the stitching on the new seat. Looks nice.

Ducati 250 Mark 3 D
Ducati 250 Mark 3 D
Ducati 250 Mark 3 D

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