Ducati’s dual-purpose, Gs-rivalling Multistrada Enduro flagship bounces back with a bigger engine and added user-friendliness…
SECOND GEAR, THIRD gear, second gear, third gear... Ducati’s updated 2019 Multistrada 1260 Enduro has been enjoying a shortshifting tap dance for the last 20 minutes on twisty, bumpy roads around Ducati’s off-road school in Tuscany – and, although the scenery and gorgeous weather is appreciated, this isn’t the most scintillating tarmac in Europe. But it’s a good thing, because the stop-start ride demonstrates the new bike’s many small yet cumulatively substantial improvements over the previous, original Multistrada 1200 Enduro.
The 1260, as the name suggests, gains an extra 64cc, more torque and power, an up and down quickshifter, revised riding position and ride height, upgraded engine management and a revamped system of menus to help navigate the bike’s multiple suspension and engine mode options. The engine and electronics changes bring the Enduro in line with the current Multistrada 1260, and the new ergonomics and interface are designed to make the Enduro accessible to a wider (or at least physically smaller) range of riders. The Enduro’s new engine and quickshifter shine brightly. The previous model used the 152bhp, variable-valve timed, 1198cc V-twin from the Multistrada 1200 S – and, on the road, it hardly lacked midrange grunt or top end. On the dyno, though, a torque curve dip emerged between 4500rpm and 6000rpm. I’d never noticed it, possibly because the 1200 Enduro’s lower gearing masked the dip. But either way, the new, longerstroke, 1262cc 158bhp V-twin is noticeably fatter and more energetic across its rev range. Ducati say it’s making 17 per cent more torque at 5500rpm and I believe them – the 1260 leaps from apex to apex on a sliver of easily controllable ride-by-wire throttle, punting out dramatic gobs of drive and with much of Ducati’s traditional drivetrain chatter all-but eliminated by the smoothing combustion of its variable valve timing system (revised on the new motor to help fill in the torque curve). The quickshifter also helps with barking up and down the ratios – but albeit with an occasional, lurching double-tap from a clumsy foot. The 1260’s chassis changes are more subtle – shorter suspension travel has dropped seat height by 10mm, brought pegs closer to the ground, and lowered the Enduro’s centre of gravity. Combined with ’bars set 30mm lower, the changes are designed to grant Enduro access to humans with non-giraffe legs. Changes such as these would usually compromise off-road performance, but in reality only for pro off-road riders. For us novices an afternoon rumbling along Tuscan mountain trails reveals the new bike to be easier to manage off-road as well as on it. The new Enduro’s final significant changes are software-based; a new system of menus and switch control inputs make navigating settings more intuitive. And it really does; four global modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro) still adjust engine response, power, traction control, braking and semiactive suspension settings, but accessing deep menus is easier and quicker than before. Finally, the Enduro comes in a textured Sand option for an extra £200. But I’d take the smoother finish.
Bike says: ‘The new 1262cc 158bhp V-twin is noticeably fatter and more energetic across its rev range’
New so ware makes menus easier to access
New Multistrada sits lower, for the less long of leg