Ducati_multistradaI’ve had my eyes on the Multistrada for a while. I’m looking for the right replacement to my Honda 919, and it will probably be something in the sport touring category. My girlfriend and I are crazy about the camping-touring vacation form. So I’m going for a bit more wind protection and touring capabilities. But I also want something that’s fun to blast around on the back roads, and works well on the occasional track day. I heard the Ducati Multistrada should fit those demands very well. So I was eager to give it a try.

The riding position is very different from my Honda, very close to that of the MT-03, totally weird at first but lots of fun when you get used to it. Unfortunately the weather was kind of shitty, so the roads where wet and felt a bit slippery. The rear did skid a few times when I gave it a little throttle out of a sharp corner. Not much, but enough to make me think twice before pushing it further. Between us, maybe I did try to provoke a little skidding a couple of times. But hey! It was hilarious, what’s a guy to do.

Getting used to the high centre of gravity was a bit tricky and I never really managed to get it right. On very small roads I rarely stayed on the chosen line through a turn, simple because it’s so different than what I’m used to. I would definitely take it to a track-day or two, to get to know the bike, before taking it fully loaded through the twisting mountain roads of the Alps.

Ducati_multistrada2The air cooled L-twin Ducati Multistrada engine, similar to that of the Monster S2R 1000 is a hoot. Plenty of low range grunt, and you have no trouble pulling away from the sleepy cagers just by twisting your wrist a bit. When you come from an inline four, you will notice that the twin cylinder engine is not as rev eager as you are used to. But once again it’s a matter of getting to know the bike and adjusting your riding style accordingly. You will have no problem keeping up with most other bikes.

I was positively surprised on a matter of issues. The fairring is excellent, the mirrors works surprisingly well, and despite its tall legs it still feels light and able to eat everything you throw at it. On the freeway I could easily do 160-170 km/t (100 mph) and still sit relaxed and comfortable. A quality you learn to appreciate when riding 12 hours a day for a few days in a row. Brakes where good as well, but that’s really something you wont know in detail before you’re more comfortable with a bike and start doing late braking before turns etc.

The one I tried was the red DS version, but there’s a black S DS version with a few extra goodies bolted on it, and it looks absolutely sweet. No wonder the US magazine Cycle World appointed the Multistrada 1000s DS, Best Sport Tourer of 2005. This bike is the closest to a possible replacement for my Honda I’ve tried yet. But there are rumours that Triumph is working on a new edition of their Tiger with the popular 1050ccm triple cylinder engine used in the Speed Triple and the Sprint. So maybe it’s worth to wait and see how that turns out before deciding.

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9 Responses to “Ducati Multistrada 1000DS try out”

  1. Digital Rodney  June 6th

    Great Blog. Motorcycles are my passion too, check out my blog at http://RodneysMCBlog.BlogSpot.com

    Keep the Shiney Side Up!

  2. David  August 21st

    Hi Jesper,

    I have also been trying a few bike here in Hamburg to help me decide on the next purchase. (right now I have BMW R1100GS)
    This weekend I also tried the 1000DS Multistrada and I can only agree with you. After getting on it and comparng with my GS I felt imediately the difference in weight, although the multistrada does fell as if it has a higher CoG. At stand still I noticed the noisy and heavy Ducati dry clutch wich would be a pain in the ass in the begining, I thought. However one rolling the engine took all ym thoughts away from the chasis. Fantastic wheelie popping tourque form 3-5000rpm then smooth revving (compared to my GS and because of the Desmo,) right through to 9000rpm. It felt like two bikes in one, a Super moto in the low rev and a race bike in the higher ranges. I thought ‘this is a real motorbike’. One thing I sought after living one year with my GS was better brakes and on the multistrada I could not complain. With cold tires I easily slid the front with two fingers, and when the tires were warm the two finger braking bacame stoppies at the lights! Wind proteciton great but handling was very diffrent from the very neutral BMW. I felt that it fell into the corners wich made me come off my line in many cases, but as you say just a matter of getting use to it and working with the gas.

    However after getting off it onto my 12 year old BMW, which although heavy and poorly braked,handles great and is a real qality all rounder, I would find it hard to justify the extra cost and perhaps even more ugly looks.

    I look forward to the Hypermotard though.

    First weekend in Spetember Ill try the KTM 990 Adventure and Super Duke.

  3. Jesper  August 23rd

    I think the Hypermotard looks interesting, but I fear it’s use is a little too narrow for my needs. Don’t think its a touring bike.

    I saw a Super Duke on the race track this weekend. That kicked ass.

    Let me know how that KTM 990 Adventure feels. Looks pretty sharp.

  4. David  August 25th

    Cant wait to try the KTMs. Tomorrw we have a big giker meeting near by Hamburg and the NordCup motocross races, should make for some interesting photos. I also jjust discovered that I know the Comercial director of Triumph Motorcycles ( A fellow Dane I may add) I will think of ways to use this to my advantage..hmmm Job in Triumph….???

  5. Jesper  August 28th

    Cool, David. Can you get us a sneak peak of the new 1050 Triumph Tiger then? :-)

  6. David  August 31st

    I heard two differing stories about the Tiger, (none from Triumph Executives) one was that they would use the 679 motor or whatever it is to do something lighter perhaps competition to the 650 Suzuki V storm , then again I also heard and saw they would do something with upsidedown forks and a bonkers 1050 motor.

    OT be honest Im looking for soemthing lighter but still in the vain of the 1200 GS, I imagine the 6/700 Triple motor would do the treat for a bit of of road whilst stil being a great allrounder without being to heavy.

    Then again I used to ride a powerband mad TDR250, off road and on.

  7. Gregory the Hun  May 21st

    Hi Guys,
    I’ve just sold my old Yamaha R1 (2002) and thinking about a Multistrada to buy but I’m a bit scared that it just won’t give enough…
    We’re touring a lot with my girl and her complaint about sitting on a mouse-pad size seat made me look for another bike.

    Would you recommend the 1000DS if I wasn’t an enemy? :D

  8. Ducati 848  April 14th

    I don’t know about that one…just not as sexy as the 848.

  9. Used Motorcycles  September 14th

    This is the only I am looking for. stylist, powerful, great features. in short Ducati Multistrada 1000DS is perfect.

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