Ducati Multistrada 1200 on TourTouring Mode Ducati News Today

18 Apr 2015 | Autor: | Comments Off en Ducati Multistrada 1200 on TourTouring Mode Ducati News Today

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 on Tour – Touring Mode

Ducati News Today has tested the Ducati Multistrada 1200 before but we wanted to put the many roads machine to a real test. How well does it really cope with the different demands of three of its 4 modes – commuting, touring and sports riding? We decided to take it on a week long tour of some of the best roads in New Zealand along with (mostly) Ducati mounted buddies to find out.

The Ducati Multistrada made a good fist of commuting. now we go on tour and see how she performs on the open road.

You know the best thing about the Ducati Multistrada 1200 when you need to cover some ground? The fuel tank. Unlike almost every other Ducati model, the multi has a decent sized tank which when combined with pretty reasonable fuel economy means you can grind the miles out when you need or want to.

We saw a best of 18km/l (42mpg) which was enough to deliver a 320km (200 mile) range.

With extended time in the saddle the bike remains comfortable for 4 hours or more just stopping for gas. We would have liked to have been able to move around more in the seat but the step for the passenger section means the rider is pretty much locked in place. Although this continually annoyed during the trip it didn’t seem to effect comfort that much but did impede on control once we started to turn up the wick in sports mode which we cover in another installment.

In any event, para 2012 Ducati has modified the seat to make it longer which should alleviate this concern.

At highway speeds the adjustable screen provided good chest protection but came with a bunch of wind noise that soon became frustrating. I was beginning to think my new Arai was a waste of money until I tried standing on the pegs and basked in the near silence once out of the turbulent air. Your mileage will no doubt vary depending on your height, but for our 6’3″ frame there was no screen setting in the range that significantly reduced noise so we left it at the highest setting most of the time.

The engine is perfect for the touring application. Rarely was a down change from sixth gear required as the bike overtook other vehicles on the crest of a wave of ever strengthening torque that began from 4,000rpm and was reminiscent of the almost invincible feeling you get when a powerful turbocharged car comes on boost. Once again I wonder just how awesome a 1198 would be down a twisty road with this 11º power plant, the extra torque at lower engine speeds would far outweigh the missing 20hp.

A longer ride allowed for more fiddling with the riding modes and I did use Touring for quite a bit and could see how the softer throttle mapping is handy when you just want to be on autopilot and cover ground. The smoother throttle response did make it a little easier to ride smoothly at lower speeds through what seemed like a never ending stream of road works. Still after a few hours, I found myself putting the bike back in sport mode.

That included a ride down a very steep and wet mountain pass. Urban mode required too much throttle twisting to get a response and even touring was not crisp enough as I was wanting to move to a neutral throttle immediately after turn in which was simply most easily done in sports mode.

I know I am pretty much a voice of one when it comes to the need for and use of these different modes and of course you don’t have to use them but they do lead to a massive increase in electronic complexity. Over the course of a week or so a number of funny electronic gremlins arose, none of them serious but all a little concerning. Sometimes the fuel light would come on when there were 3 bars remaining (instead of two) and then mysteriously go out again many miles later.

On at least 3 occasions the electronic steering lock wouldn’t engage and once the entire ignition system wouldn’t light up on command. A couple of times the dash reported that it couldn’t sense the ignition key whilst running even though it was in my pocket. The solution each time was simply to wait a few minutes and keep trying.

It always eventually did the right thing.

One aspect of the electronics I really enjoyed was the keyless ignition system. As long as you keep the key near the bike (in your pocket or in a bag) you can lock and unlock the forks, turn on the ignition and start the engine. This was a real boon but it quickly had me wanting for more.

Ducati how about allowing the gas tank to be opened in a similar way and for the luggage to be locked and locked with a key. Stopping for fuel and then fumbling to find the key seemed like too much work (a very first world problem I admit).

As for handling it was solid and relaxing, pitching into the mostly sweeper turns with little effort from the wide bars, steering very neutrally and maintaining its line without need for correction. The brakes although not as strong as the mono blocs Ducati uses for other applications were nevertheless strong enough but seemed to combine a relative lack of feel with strong initial bite despite needing a fair hard squeeze to provide full breaking power.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring
Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring

To be honest a large part of the feel factor is due to the pretty soft and long travel suspension that makes the ride so plush when on tour. The bottom-line is the brakes will get you stopped plenty fast enough but are not at the level of performance of the Superbike range. The back brake, like on many Multistrada 1200s, seemed to have its own special ABS.

A very hard press was needed to get much action going. Part of the trip was very wet and as someone who likes to use the back brake a lot this weakness was quite noticeable. The good news is that your Ducati dealer can fit a kit that will markedly improve things (not fitted to the test bike).

The Ducati side luggage hard bags were good to use but had limited space on the right hand side due to the need for a cutout and heat shield to protect your belongings from exhaust heat. They also leaked a little bit in rain so make sure your clothes are inside plastic bags!

Overall the Ducati Multistrada 1200 is a typically Ducati take on what a touring motorcycle should be like, emphasizing that you don’t have to forgo performance in terms of both handling and performance to cover a lot of ground in comfort whilst taking your belongings with you. It is this cake and eat it too package that is so appealing. la Multistrada 1200 was as enjoyable to ride at a slower pace and gaze at the scenery as it was running a little harder to get there faster.

It was noticeable that I was always fresh and relaxed at each stop and you certainly couldn’t say the same thing for most of my riding companions who were mounted on decidedly more sporting Ducati motorcycles.

However the hardest test is yet to come. Having traveled to some of the best twisty roads you can find how will the Multistrada 1200 handle the elevated pace of a bunch of ex road racers on Ducati sports bikes. In short, will I keep up? Find out in the next installment when we’ll get the Ducati Multistrada 1200 into the twisties chasing some fast riders on much sportier equipment.

Can the Multi cut it. Keep up with us as we explore the different dimensions of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 .

Ducati Australia / New Zealand supplied the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and a tank of gas care of Haldanes Motorcycles

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring

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