#6 Ducati Multistrada 1260
The last big-bore adventurer offers much but comes at a cost
AFTER THE REVOLUTIONARY ride-mode pioneering 2010 1200 original, then the 2015 Skyhook and VVT update, the enlarged 2018 1260 Multistrada was the ultimate V-twin incarnation of Ducati’s adventure all-rounder before it switched to V4 power in 2021. Grunty, fast, cultured and sophisticated — especially in S semi-active Skyhook-suspension trim — it has proved to be largely faultfree and remains a genuine do-anything superbike, but there is the odd glitch…
1 Check for coolant leaks
The 1260 uses the longer-stroke Testastretta L-twin from the Diavel with different mapping and exhaust which add 6bhp and 18% more torque. There are no major faults or recalls but oil consumption is high, there are some coolant leaks and rad guards and a 43tooth rear sprocket are recommended. How common? Not very but worth checking if done — and still in warranty.
2 Cold-starting issues
Some owners complain of intermittent cold-start problems, particularly when temperatures drop below 5°. In truth it’s a (small) problem with all big bore Ducati V-twins (especially the Diavel) of this age and is best countered by ensuring your garage is as dry (and warm) as possible and make sure the battery is routinely hooked up to a trickle charger.
How common? Fairly but it’s also something you’ll get used to.
3 Check the brakes
Uprated Brembo M50 front calipers are powerful but can be grabby at low speed, with some warped discs. Rear disc, meanwhile, is virtually ineffective… This isn’t helped by seized calipers, which can afflict bikes that are ridden through winter and left to rot in salt. Get the wheel up in the air and spin for reassurance.
How common? Warped discs are not uncommon — try before you buy.
4 Check for cracks in the plastics
Build quality is generally good but some complain the plastic body panels are a little flimsy and rough around the edges. There are no corrosion issues beyond the usual fasteners/out of the way places that should be treated with protector. Comfort is decent but improved by Ducati’s comfort seat while taller riders may want to look for the extended screen.
How common? If the bike’s home, check carefully; assess for comfort.
5 Watch out for the 18k Desmo service
It’s not cheap to service but with intervals a decent 9000 miles, the 1260 Multistrada’s not actually that bad and not as pricey as the new V4. Regular annual dealer servicing will be around £300 while the big Desmo service is every 18,000 miles, costing £600 or so. How common? Unavoidable but it is a luxury Ducati after all…