Bold both in looks and concept, the first version is still a great thing to ride – especially at around £2K
The Ducati Multistrada is an acquired taste. But tasty too New addition to the PS fleet, tidy first gen YZF. Oh yes
If ever a bike were damned by contempt prior to investigation, it’s the Ducati Multistrada. It’s no kind of looker, coming as it does from the drawing board of Pierre Terblanche. Get beyond the styling however – and we’re not saying that’s easy – and you’ll find a taut, dynamic roadster that lives up to its ‘many roads’ designation.
Ducati chose Sardinia for the 2003 launch of the original Multistrada 1000, powered by a 992cc version of their two-valve, air-cooled Desmodromicv-twin designated the DS for its ‘dual-spark’ two plugs per pot design.
Sardinia was an inspired venue to showcase the bike’s capabilities.there’s barely a straight longer than 100 metres on the Mediterranean island and the road surfaces are variable.the Multistrada was in its element, journalists and factory test riders alike hooning up and down undulating coast and mountain roads, the bike’s taut chassis with long-travel usd forks, monoshock single-sided swingarm and sportsbike-size tyres (190 rear) giving the confidence to get Ducati’s oddball on its ear, even into unfamiliar bends. Brembo brakes, as always, got you out of trouble if you did overcook it.
Ducati also launched an Öhlins-equipped S version at the same time for those who either found the standard bike’s abilities lacking or their wallet too full.a range of accessories were launched too, including luggage and a then new-fangled sat-nav pointing to Ducati’s designs on the touring market.termignoni cans were available too because it wouldn’t really be a Ducati without them.
Divisive looks aside, those divisions being between ‘What the hell is that?’ and ‘Sheesh, that’s thing’s fugly’ there was little debate over the Multistrada’s capabilities.yes, you might wish for a little more power than the 92bhp available but the 68lb.ft of torque was plenty to get the 229kg Multistrada moving, even more so as it was that special brand of Ducati torque that seems to be worth about 20 per cent more than everyone else’s.the imperious riding position offers a number of advantages on the road and in traffic too: field of vision being chief among them.
Ducati has refined, restyled and re-engined the Multistrada sinceytohue’lllanueendchatolefatshteseven contentious original, of cougrasned,b. bike has a charm to defy its looks.
Bulbous and a bit tail heavy, but balanced and slim
Back when dry clutch clatter didn’t much matter