You could be on a straight or you could be carving corners, the Ducati never loses its composure
And that isn’t the only difference. The Multistrada is born of a long lineage of motorcycles that have prided themselves on their ability to take on every curve that life has thrown at them. And boy, does this illustrious lineage make itself apparent in this 1200’s manners. There’s no nervousness when a turn approaches. Instead it’s like the well-bred steeplechase horse that has just seen a jump across its path. It surges ahead with a confidence that soon enough gets transferred to the rider as well. Turn after turn your confidence keeps increasing until you find yourself dancing through the twisties. It feels so stable that it could put more than a few bikes to shame. You could be on a straight or you could be carving corners, the Ducati never loses its composure. Not even once. I would also like to pause here and mention Ducati’s cornering ABS at this point. Thankfully, I never needed it on my joy ride but knowing that a rider in India never knows what’s lurking behind that inviting looking bend, that piece of safety kit will surely save lives.
Not even on dirt. Now, I’m not a great fan of riding on dirt. Yes, yes, I know what bikers say about riding on dirt but I have never really warmed up to the exercise. I have always preferred the control of riding on tarmac but riding the Multi could well have started me on a path to discover the art. Through the little dirt riding I did on the bike I realised that those electronics work brilliantly to instil confidence in a novice (at dirt riding) like me. Power is cut back down to 98.6bhp and virtually all techno intrusions are cut down to allow the bike to slide around, which is necessary for riding on dirt. Half an hour later I wasn’t a changed man with a sudden fondness for the dirty stuff but I sure didn’t harbour as much trepidation for it as I had done before. Back to tarmac, the Ducati’s Skyhook suspension allows the rider to change the compression and damping ratings by going through the four riding modes. So, while Urban, Touring and Enduro modes keep things pliant and prevent your backside from crying out loud, Sport firms things up so that you don’t wallow your way around corners. Do I really need to mention that the brakes provide ample bite and feedback? After all the 330mm semi floating rotors up front use Brembo M50 race calipers not unlike what Ducati Corse uses on its WSBK machines.
What is incredible about the bike is its versatility. Multistrada in Italian literally means multiple ways and the way this motorcycle lives up to that name is something to write home about. You want to potter through the city, it’s up to the task. You want to go touring, it’s right there beside you. You want to go canyon dancing, it’ll keep step with you and even lead if you falter and of course, it’s more than happy to fulfil your dirt-y wishes. At `17.6 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, could you really ask for more? I can’t.
Facing page: The Multi has longer legs than daddy-long-legs. Top: Few other bike engines feature variable valve timing.
Above: Single-sided swingarm lets you ogle at the sexy wheel design. Top
right: Road manners of this adventure tourer are impeccable