MARK TWAIN ONCE SAID, “LET US CONSIDER that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles.” So, we take that as the core premise in our story and build from there, that we (bikers) are all partially insane. Once we’ve acknowledged this, then it’s easy for us to understand the needs of people who want even bigger and more powerful motorcycles than the ones you’ve already seen in the previous pages. And, are willing to pay significantly more for the difference. Upto `5 lakh more, that is. The Triumph Tiger Explorer XCx and the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro are for this set of people who crave more than what the Tiger 800, Multistrada 950 or the Honda Africa Twin can provide and are willing to pay the difference to scale up to an Explorer or a 1200.
Given that this isn’t a comparison, we will go alphabetically and start with the Ducati. Powered by a liquid-cooled 1198cc L-twin with 150bhp and 128Nm, this Italian thoroughbred could have you thinking that we are talking about supersports. But it isn’t. This is a six-feet tall, dyed-in-the-wool adventure tourer where you sit at an Alpine 850mm (non-adjustable) from terra firma. To distinguish the Enduro from the road-biased S, the bike gets a 19-inch front wheel, spoked wheels at both ends, 200mm of wheel travel at both ends and a 30-litre petrol tank. Unfortunately, the Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres that you get overseas aren’t available here and you have to manage with Scorpion Trail II rubber, which is par for the course once the tarmac gives way to dirt. There is some compensation of course from the electronic suspension that Ducati calls Skyhook and for those who like their gadgets, there is the full colour 5-inch TFT instrument also. Adding peace of mind is Ducati’s Safety Pack, an invaluable safety net should things go wrong.
Before you ride it off-road however, we recommend that you put it in Enduro more so that it restricts the peak output to a “mere” 100bhp! The suspension too is softened a bit for better off-road riding characteristics. While these make the Multi more manageable off-road, especially with that excellent traction control system trying to ensure grip at all times, fact is the bike is too front heavy and shows a remarkable tendency to slide around at the tail end. Moreover, in spite of the restriction on output, the delivery is still aggressive and you’ll need to exercise caution when you’re opening the throttle. Or she will happily chew you and spit you out. Ergonomics too are better suited for tall riders and if you’re 5’ 8” or shorter then you may not like it as much. The fact that it is Engine 1215cc, in-line 3-cyl, liquid-cooled Transmission 6-speed Power 137bhp @ 9300rpm Torque 123Nm @ 6200rpm Weight 253kg (dry)
Price `18.75 lakh (ex-showroom)