Comparison: 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring vs. 2012 Moto Guzzi…

1 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Comparison: 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring vs. 2012 Moto Guzzi…

Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX

Comparison: 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring vs. 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Text: John M. Flores • Photography: John M. Flores

What we have here are birds of a feather, V-twins from the land of Chianti and chiaroscuro that represent two very different interpretations of the fastest growing segment in our little playground—adventure touring. Both marques have a strong touring heritage, so it’s no surprise that they’ve thrown their hats in the ring.

The Red Tomato and the Angry Bird

In this corner we have a 2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring, a superbike in drag whose 17-inch alloy hoops (front and rear) along with 150 horsepower make it clear that this is a road-biased bike. And in this corner we have a 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX, a BMW GS with a penchant for biscotti.

By the numbers, this comparison should be a walk. The Multistrada, after all, soundly beats the Stelvio NTX on paper from this way to Sunday. My job would be infinitely easier if motorcycles could be judged by numbers alonethrow all the specs in a spreadsheet, mix well, tally the differences, and declare a winner long before last callbut what fun would that be?

Spec sheets are great for bench racing, but the real world is a different story.

In a straight line, the Multistrada wins. That’s what 150 ponies will do against 105. If power corrupts, then the Ducati is absolutely guilty as charged; it’s adrenaline on an intravenous drip, pulling strongly throughout the rev range, and then hitting warp drive as the revs build toward the 9,250 rpm redline. The Stelvio NTX has good grunt as well (83.3 lb-ft vs.

87.5 lb-ft in the Ducati) and will actually pull a small gap in top gear roll-ons thanks to its lower-torque peak (5,800 rpm vs. 7,500 rpm) and long-stroke motor. But once the Multistrada winds up its short-stroke engine, it’s game, set, and match to the Ducati.

Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX

For all the power, both are happy to spend the day at a more sedate pace. But for lovers of V-twins, the Multistrada is almost too good, so refined that it has lost some of that hard to define V-twin charm. Ridden alone it may be difficult to notice, but it’s easy to see when alongside the Moto Guzzi. The Stelvio NTX has so much character; a full-bodied midrange combined with a free-revving motor making vibrations and sounds for which Moto Guzzi could charge 50 cents per minute.

Like its predecessors, it will rock from side to side when revved at a standstill. But that may be the vestigial quirk of the transverse V-twin configuration. It’s an otherwise very modern motor and gives the Stelvio a flavor that Moto Guzzi owners rave about while those who’ve never ridden one look at them like they are loony.

(End of preview text.)

For the complete article of the riding impression(s) and technical specifications, please purchase the July/August 2013 back issue.

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Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX

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