Ducati Multistrada 1200 hits the dirt

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The Ducati Multistrada 1200 is being launched to a bunch of old guys the world’s motorcycle press this week in the Canary Islands. Due to our disturbing lack of both sycophancy and beer guts, HFL didn’t get an invite, but we can bring you all the press material. Since all the magazines do is take five months to regurgitate press releases, this is as good as riding it ourselves, right?

Generation gap aside, the $14,995 Multi 12 is shaping up to be the bike of 2010. Equipped with electronically
adjustable suspension, riders can tweak suspension height and settings,
traction control, ABS and power delivery all on the fly. Combined with a
comfortable riding position, that should make it able to tackle any
type of road, this makes the Multi a uniquely capable bike. The only
question lies in its off-road ability, something Ducati continues to
promise, yet we remain skeptical of.

Then there’s this video. Ducati, really, if you’re trying to sell us on
the exciting nature of two-wheeled adventure, elevator music doesn’t
make for the perfect accompaniment. The video does, however, show the
Multistrada tearing up some admittedly tame dirt roads. Could the
fully-defeatable ABS, long-travel suspension and adjustable
traction control really combine to make the 17-inch wheel-equipped, 189kg
(dry) Ducati capable on simple dirt? This video and spy shots from
before its launch
want us to think, “yes.”

Make sure you check out our Giant Adventure Tourers numbers comparison to see how the Multistrada stacks up against rivals like the 2010 Yamaha Super Tenere.

  • mototom

    enough with the old guy crap wes, I know where you live….

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yes, but my youth makes me invincible.

      • mototom

        sadly, that is way too true whereas i am living proof that 60 is NOT the new 30, or 40, or even the new 50. But, the upside is that you young whipper snappers will be supporting the Viagra and Botox habits of me and about 50 million of my closest friends for about the next 20 years. Geezers rule!!

    • http://www.notworthy.com NotWorthy

      Haha, not to worry about not getting invited to the launch.

      In Greece, the importer decided that ONLY the editors in chief of 3 magazines would be allowed to go to the launch, because of the… importance and exclusivity of this motorcycle.

      We are not worthy, not worthy, not worthy (repeat 100 times).


  • motulboss

    hey, abs on the dirt is not a good thing, just try to lock the backwheel with abs, i almost ditched one abs-enduro when i tried to stop and turn quickly. with same bike also hit the wall because front didnt lock and bike liked to roll couple metres more:)

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      If you read the article, you’ll see that you can turn the ABS off.

  • Emmet

    LAME. oh look, at 1:48, windmills!

  • Ray

    You guys may be young, but your geezer readership is depending upon you not to burst our little fool’s paradise. C’mon, let us live a little vicariously through you, huh? Wes, you showed us your scars, but what about Grant? Isn’t he due for a stint in the Graybar Hotel on our behalf? You guys aren’t even half as bad as movie starlets.

  • General Apathy

    The best part is that when you switch from Enduro to Sport, the dirt disappears from the bike.. very handy feature.

  • Kidchampion

    I can’t take seriously the complaints about generation gaps, and sycophancy, as long as you have that Billy Joel post on the site. You can’t have it both ways. Although “Movin’ Out” would have been a better soundtrack to the video above.

    • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I have a soft spot for Billy Joel, so sue me.

  • matt

    Seriously?? Anyone who believes that bike will be good off road has never ridden a bike off road. I don’t know why they would even begin to try to advertise it like that. Good luck with that 17″ front wheel and 180 series rear tire in the dirt. Might as well take your R1 to the mx course too. Not saying I don’t like the bike, I just don’t like how they are advertising it.

    • JimmySawFinger

      Think they mean it more for all them gravel roads leading to camp sites and what not.

      • Cameron Baum

        You don’t need this bike to ride a gravel road -you can do that with a fully loaded Gold Wing.

        I don’t really know what this thing is for, then again I ride my VFR down two-tracks all the time and the occasional single-track trail. I just gotta be careful on log crossings as the Viffer doesn’t have a lot of ground clearance under the pan. It doesn’t take much of a stick crossing to womp the belly fairing/scoop.

  • Ken

    I’m old and they never asked me either. Stop your whining.

  • MTGR

    It depends on your own definition of “off-roading.”

    A serious MXer used to be a street bike with the lights taken off. And then there was the Euro guy would took a stock R1 around the world a couple years ago and did as much or more difficult off-roading than the long-way-around-and-down-crew. Anyone remember the old DIRT BIKE photos of Jim Holley jumping a full-dresser Harley a good 5 feet or more off the ground on an mx course?

    If you are talking serious speed off-road, then a KLR wins, but why stop there? A dual sport KTM single smokes that? You have to draw the line somewhere. With the exception of missing the Stelvio I think this was pretty much spot on and a lot of fun. (even if it did make me feel old) Thanks Wes.

  • j.rotten

    hmmm….Basem went to the launch, Wes didn’t. Wes bud, it’s ok. I know you got a tough row to hoe, but we’re your friends here, you don’t gotta bag on every single thing you write about. Smile a little more, they’re be more lattes and American Spirits in your future.

    But if you didn’t bag the vid I’d wonder if you went soft.

  • Greg

    I thought you were joking about the soundtrack. I want my two minutes and 24 seconds back…

  • MTGR

    See what happens when you get old? I meant to add this comment to your Adv Shoot-out, not here, but then I read this one and became confused, which happens at my age, and now I can’t find my pants!

    Damn, yougin’s.

    P.S. Thanks for ruining my months of anticipation waiting on these same photos and regurgitated info to appear in the thorough test section of magazines that I was ging to pay too much for! You know we old guys don’t have much to look forward to (other than death) so stop ruinin’ stuff for us damnit!

  • toeCutter

    Well it will be long before anyone can make a bike like the ADV950/990….

    Sorry Ducati but Superbike wheels dont mix with dirt roads… and it might works on some dry country dirt roads wouldnt cut it on sand/hard gravel/or wet dirt… in those conditions those owners will find out how much cost one of those side panels!

    FUGLY too

    • jbell58@juno.com

      yea…that KTM is truly (not) a thing of beauty…

  • GeddyT

    I would trade my ’07 MTS1100S in for this in a heartbeat if it weren’t so damned expensive. Same bike but with 50% more power, water cooling, and electronically adjustable suspension? Count it! Too broke, though.

    Which raises the point: $15K doesn’t get you a bike with the electronically adjustable suspension as you wrote above. That’s an Ohlins system and you have to step up to one of the $20K S models for it. That’s a lot of coin!

    Also, if the sound track of the above video isn’t to your liking, the website for this bike is actually very cool, has more video, and all with a much more hip soundtrack.

  • GeddyT

    Oh, and ABS is only an option on the $15K base model as well.

  • AGP

    Bike looks awesome, but come on… it just looks WRONG on that dirt road.

  • DoctorNine

    All praise THE BEAK!!!!!
    Desmodromic Offroad Peckers Unite!!!!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      We need to come up with a good nickname for this bike. Big Bird? Ugly Duckling? Wild Fowl? Turkey? What?

      • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

        How about gallo arrabbiato?
        “The Angry Rooster”

  • Matt

    Wild Foul

  • jimbecv

    Fugly turned up to 11.

  • AndyO

    Barbara Streisand.

  • \/

    In the video, I like the way the sport mode change your jacket!!!!!

  • motulboss

    I think the r1 is actually better in dirt than that. I have experienced r1 and new tiger on the gravel and r1 is much better, just loosen the dampers.

  • Cameron Baum

    Dirt ROAD is not off-road…


  • Corporate sell outs

    It seems you struck a nerve with that article about “D list” has been rockers embarrassing themselves in exchange for free Ducatis.

    To paraphrase our favorite comment from the Orange County Choppers article:

    Not liking Johnny Rotten free concerts= Douchebag Hipster