What happens when you crash a Ducati Multistrada 1200

Dailies -


Multistrada_1200_Crash.jpgKevin Ash told us how the Ducati Multistrada 1200 performs off-road, but this is what happens when things go wrong on the dirt. Looks like a funky chicken went down at moderate speed off-road during its press launch in Lanzarote. The damage? We’re guessing that, if you bend the rear brake lever back, it’d be rideable, but that puddle underneath it is ominous. At a minimum, you’d be paying for a right pannier mount, new brake levers, a new exhaust collector and covers, clutch cover, bash plate, right side plastics, brush guard and bar end. Worst case scenario? A bent rear subframe and a holed sump. Ouch.

Update: Looks like the journalist in question was Costa Mouzouris from CMGOnline, he went down on a dirt road at around 85mph. He’s fine, even if the bike’s not.

Update 2: Costa tells us all about it below.

via @CW1Miles

  • meatspin

    didnt ducati have a problem a while back with journalists crashing a bunch of bikes during a press launch?

  • Michael

    Ouch! Does anyone know why Ducati decided to go with a single-sided swingarm for this bike, which seems destined to spend a good portion of its mileage offroad?

    I can somewhat understand the practicality for street use (guaranteed alignment, easier cleaning/lubing), but for an offroad bike, wouldn’t it create problems with either weight or (lack of) rigidity?

  • Cameron Baum

    As with a Waltzing Bear, it’s not how WELL it dances -but that it can dance at all…

  • http://www.dainese.com DaineseDan

    The fluid on the ground is likely just fuel from the overflow tubes after being on it’s side. I don’t see enough damage to indicate cracked cases or radiator.

    • Core

      Looks like oil…

      But anyways besides that… did an actual chicken cause this wreck.. or do you mean the tester was a chicken and crashed the bike?

      If its the first, then I’d ran over the chicken.. if its the second.. Why would you get on a bike if you didn’t know how to ride?

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        I’ve decided to call the Multistrada the Funky Chicken.

  • A Ducati Owner

    There’s easily over 10K in damage on that bike. Doesn’t really mater though cause most Duc owners will only ride them enough to showboat around for 1200 miles before near permanently storing them in their garages. Never finding out how they handles off road, or much one costs to repair.

  • LADucSP

    d’oh!….shoulda boughta due-valver!

    seriously, the water-cooled motor’s ridiculous for even a pseudo-offroadster, when you have a great 2-valve air-cooled already!

    you can probably throw them off a cliff and they’d still run!

    seriously. it doesn’t even have gaskets.

    the quattro’ll leave you stranded every time!

  • Not off road capable

    Looks like oil to me too.

    This thing is in no way, shape or form, an off road capable bike. Off road bikes get dropped frequently at speed and can flip end over without sustaining serious damage (the rider is another matter).

    Could you imagine this happening to you out in the middle of nowhere?

    Like one guy said in an earlier post, it’s off road capabilities are limited to the dirt road leading up to the camp ground.

    I’m sure this will be the bike of the year and I’d love to have one- but I wouldn’t ever consider taking it trail riding.

    • Cameron Baum

      A dirt road is not “off-road” it’s a ROAD.

      You can ride a Goldwing or full dress XLHSJKLMNOP Harley on a dirt road -even a fire-access 2 track “road” through the forests. Heck the logging trucks can get through there and they are 18-wheelers. Anywhere you can drive an 18-wheeler you can drive a Goldwing. I’ve taken my VFR down hundreds of miles of dirt 2-tracks, and thousands of miles of dirt and gravel roads. It’s not a big deal to ride a road bike down a dirt ROAD.

      Off-road implies NO road.

      And yes, I agree this bike is not suitable for going off of a dirt road and onto real “off” road terrain.

  • caferacer

    Looks like the right peg was part of the yard sale too. Going to be like riding home from the Tenderloin when one of the hobos steals your bike seat…

    Come on Ducati, that’s ridiculous. Like Mr. Wizard said, “Be what you is, not what you is not.”

    (Oh, and I ride a Multistrada about 500 mi a week.)

  • CafeRacer1200

    Well,well,well. They’ve already come out with a CafeRacer1200 Special Limited Edition body package.

  • Brian Zooom

    I wish I knew which journo it was that did it, as I’d like to thank them for proving what I have been saying about a superbike being used in enduro form ( superbike + dirt usage = FAIL! ). There is just too much vulnerable and breakable s**t outside the framework really and truly for this to be taken offroad successfully. They should have just marketed this bike as their new Sport Tourer and called it a day. On a good note though, a few of these get wrecked like this, and I can possibly pick up the scraps and make a brilliant track bike out of what’s left.

    • Michael

      I bet the journo just inadverdently gave the Super Tenere more market share than it would have had, lol.

  • http://www.suspectsunlimited.com Cru Jones

    That has to be one of the few bikes that actually looks better post-crash than before. ;D

  • sburns2421

    First of all, anyone that would take a 400+ pound bike that costs over $15k on the dirt is asking for trouble to begin with, go buy an old CR500 if you want ridiculous power in an off-road bike.

    I always get a kick out of guys taking their BMW GS or KTM 950 “off-roading” and basically riding fire trails and maybe finding the perfect spot to cross a stream or mud puddle, then sit back and admire all the grime on their bike as they preach how superior these bloated overpriced bikes are. Meanwhile, any decent MX or Enduro bike would leave all of these adventure bikes for dead in a real trail setting.

    As for the Ducati, even assuming the engine is fine the bike has thousands of dollars of cosmetic damage, if the cases need to be repalaced the bike would is almost certainly totalled.

  • General Apathy

    I consider this bike a sport tourer with leg room and better city/sport capabilities than its peers.. I hope to never take mine off road.

  • http://moto1203.com moto1203

    Some kind of weird to that you take about the bike after an serious accident … and not about the fate of the rider.

    I was there when it happened.

    Just two facts: It did not happen offroad. He slipped on a good clean road on a sandy patch – in Lanzarote the sand is dark … on a dark asphalt road.

    The incident had nothing to do with the bike or Ducatis effort to build a 4in1 which is debatable – after riding the bike.

    The German rider is still in hospital with a smashed ellbow, a broken wrist and a punctured lung from his broken ribs.He will have to remain in Lanzarote probably for a week or so.

    Keep on discussing, experts.

    Best regards Jochen

  • http://moto1203.com moto1203

    And by the way – have a look on the trip map: Ducati Multistrada 1200 road testing on Lanzarote Island http://bit.ly/a1a8e1

  • Schickelgruber

    The report we are commenting on said he was off road and that he’s OK.

    Our comments might seem insensitive to you Jochen. Forgive us, we Americans are clearly not as compassionate and caring about our fellow human beings as you Germans.

    • Cameron Baum


      win, win, WIN!!!!!!@@@@@OMGBBQ!!!@!

  • PJ

    why did they make it so ugly if it can’t bump it’s uglies?

    heartache the beak survived intact.

  • Butcher

    What happens if you crash a Suzuki V-strom off road? What happens if you crash a stock BMW GS (the one with road tires, not the Adventure) off road?

    If you’re riding a dirt bike with street gear, you might get away with it. This is not that.

    This is not a Suzuki DR-Z or a KTM dirt bike with license plates.

    Now I suppose like other adventure bikes, you could Touratec and armor them to death and they might live in those conditions.

    I see the the Multi-1200 as a replacement for a Ducati ST4, not a replacement for a KTM990 Adventure or a BMW GS Adventure. I bet the Ducati works excellent for sport touring for the 40-something crowd, and suspect that’s where most of them will end up.

    Or posing around town with $5000 in adventure gear and never ever taken off road like a Hummer driven to soccer practic.

    • jconli1


  • http://moto1203.com moto1203

    @Rochut You are right,

    we are talking two accidents here … one with the Canadian journo on a gravel /dirt stretch (with minor scratches to the rider) and a second more serious one on the road that involved a German journalist.

    But anyway, I was highly impressed by the Multistrada 1200 abilities on the dirt road – ABS and traction control worked perfectly for Touring riders on a detour through the dirt. Compare it with a GS 1200… On the other hand, we are not talking hardcore motocross experts here.

    Best, Jochen

  • K2theM

  • K2theM

    Ok, embedded images don’t work.

    click me: http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/5152/adventurep.jpg

    • Derek X

      Wow, does that photo bring back memories … 27 years ago I had a 1980 Honda 750F Super Sport and my girlfriend and I decided to go explore Northern California for a few days on the bike.

      We wound up on a dirt Forest Service road deep in the Mendocino mountains late in the afternoon attempting to follow a sketchy map to get to Stonyford 40 unpaved miles on the other side when we came to a BIG creek with a group of 4 wheelers on the opposite side hanging out.

      I stopped, looked at the creek, told my sweetie to “hang on”, grabbed a handful of throttle and went for it! Luckily it wasn’t deeper than 2 feet, but the current was considerably stronger than I’d considered and we almost stalled and fell over at the same time as we hit the deep water, but I dabbed with my downstream leg, grabbed more throttle and we BLASTED out of the creek to the other side, much to the amusement and applause from the 4 wheeler crowd.

      I stopped for a bit to let us and the bike drip dry while we chatted with the group, then a big Forest Service 4×4 drives up, stops next to us (still sitting on the dripping bike, us wet to the knees), gives us an astonished look and asks, “Did you just ride across Rice Creek”?

      When I answered yes, he said “You don’t know how lucky you are, I have to pull 4 wheelers out of there all the time”, and the local 4 wheelers all chimed in with agreement that they don’t even cross it “this time of year”.

      Apparently we were the unwitting hero’s of the day.

  • Devin

    @butcher: To answer your question, dropping my stock V-Strom offroad led to some scrapes on the plastic and a broken factory handguard and the end of my clutch lever. After putting the basic protection hardware (Givi engine guard, SW skidplate, Touratech handguards), a more severe off-road incident cost me a piece of sandpaper and a couple sprays of black paint, plus a bent shift lever… nothing like the damage this thing sustained.

    If they are advertising this thing’s off-road capability, they need to make it capable of being knocked over without costing more in damage than the cost of a new bike!

  • Devin

    Update: Just saw the note about 85 mph… that is more than a small off-road incident, I wouldn’t want to put any bike up to that kind of test. I still want to see how this thing handles 30 mph tip-overs and high-centering on rock or logs… preferably with no-one getting hurt, it is good to hear the journalist was OK.

  • LemurPilot

    85mph, sounds like a fisherman’s tale to me. Maybe 85 was seen at some point before the impact, but, this is no high speed crash. If so I want this magic bike as it doesn’t flip or burst on a high speed crash.

    • http://cynic13th.livejournal.com/ Cynic

      Maybe 85 kph? Which would be 50+ mph which seem to fit the damage we’re looking at.

  • Costa Mouzouris

    Well everyone, I’m the guy who crashed the bike on the dirt. I’m fine, just bruised up, sorry to hear about the German fellow.

    I was going about 120-140 km/h when I went down, and the crash had nothing to do with the bike; I hit a washout in the road caused by recent rain in the region. The bike and I slid and bounced for about 90-100 metres; it didn’t flip or roll.

    I ride on dirt regularly and felt quite comfy riding the Multistrada off pavement. Up to the point I went down it handled just fine on the hard-packed dirt, neutral and lots of fun. My first crash in eight years of press launches and it was a biggie.

    • Brian Zooom

      Glad you are okay Costa, and thank you for using your body in personal sacrifice to show what happens to a machine like this in offroad conditions when things go awry.

  • 9 Lives

    So Costa, are you saying you hit a rut, or a patch of loose gravel/sand?

    In any event you’re lucky to have survived a 75mph crash. How bad is you’re the road rash?

    By the way it’s actually kinda cool you’re the first one to dump one of these things in the dirt.
    If they’re going to sell this bike as off road capable this is going to happen frequently. I certainly wouldn’t feel bad about it.

    • Brian Zooom

      “By the way it’s actually kinda cool you’re the first one to dump one of these things in the dirt.
      If they’re going to sell this bike as off road capable this is going to happen frequently. I certainly wouldn’t feel bad about it.”

      Yeah, like the kind of crash test data car manufacturers aquire, only different. This way they have an idea what kind of parts they should make more readily available and bulk up on stocking.

  • http://cmgonline.com/content/view/2214/57/ Rob Harris

    I hope it’s okay with the powers that be at HFL, but since there’s already a link to our site, I figured that giving one to Costa’s write up would be okay:


    If not, please remove and apologies for any presumption.

    Cheers, Rob

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2009/05/motoczysz-e1pc-spied-testing-a.html Wes Siler

      The powers that be abide.

      • Rob Harris

        A tip of the hat from the great white north.

  • Cabbie

    I cant help but laugh at a few of these comments… single sided swingarm not capable.. what is on the GS?? Off road bikes can go end over end and sustain little damage.. this thing went down at 85.. a gs or a KTM adventure will look pretty damn similar if it went down like this too.. it is not an “off road” bike..

  • George Shea

    All of your comments miss the point. The reason one buys this maintenance nightmare is it has such a cool name “Multistrada” which acts like a pherimone to make the ladies moan otherwise $20k plus you have to be kidding – my 66 Honda 305 Scrambler went everywhere any time except when it would not start from being wet – I think I paid around $500 for it. The most expensive part after my several spills was the clutch or brake lever, otherwise it just kept on kicking.

    Besides anyone with that kind of money to spend on this type of a motorcycle is too old to really get “off road”.

    Sexy name though.