Ducati Multistrada MTS1200
"When I sat on the MTS 12, at the NEC, the seat was very high and I could not put my feet flat on the ground but the bike support stopped the suspension movement so it was not real world.I am 6 foot-2inch"
... I'm about 6ft 1" and could get my feet flat when the nice man in red let me onto the display?
'AirHawk vs Gel Seats'
... I have an AirHawk and used it primarily on a Speed Triple 1050 when I was on journeys covering more than a couple of hundred miles per day. It is very comfortable and does exactly what it says on the tin. However the downsides are that it's ugly, raises the seat height, alters the c of g, doesn't always feel natural if you like to slide sideways on the seat slightly pre-corner, and definitely robs you of suspension feedback. If you've got a lot of boring motorway miles to knock off on your sports bike, then it's a non brainer good value for money, but it's not every day use clear cut for many riders.
I fitted a Gel Seat to the Triumph, which confusing for many it seems, are actually usually firmer than stock seat. They usually benefit from a good few miles to bed in properly, and seem to mould themselves to the riders shape over time (shape alters slightly over prolonged use when kept warm and under pressure presumably). for bikes with poor compression movement (hard) it seems to cushion the blows (travelling over potholes and small undulations say), but on the rebound stroke there doesn't seem to be any benefit over the stock items impo. Many newer seats (K1300S/K1300GT spring to mind) seats seem to be gel based in feel, or they are now using some kind of improved rubber element over traditional firm foam. Overall I'll always personally buy a gel seat if it's an available option on a new bike (boney derriere see)but I think an AirHawk is also useful for occaisonal use, irrelevant of seat type you have fitted.
IMHO I think seat comfort and screen turbulence (not wind pressure)are almost certainly the two areas that manufacturers spend the least R&D on, and yet going by a very wide variety of forums they are typically the very first things that people want to change, particulary for any long distance work. I'm thankful that the new MS at least has a very large, tall and adjustable screen; and that the Ohlins suspension (S model bikes) is typically a by-word for good ride-quality. A decent screen helps you go the distance and a plush ride means you'll enjoy the joruney along the way - the times I've parked any number of bikes up mid-journey and just wanted to kick the flipping thing over just because it'd given me neck, head and arse ache! :-D
Right Captain Scarlet
This was a question when I sat GCE 'O' level maths
Two riders sit, in turn, on a Ducati motorcycle in the vicinity of Birmingham
One rider is 6 ft 2in tall the other rider is 6 ft 1 in tall.
The tall rider cannot get his feet flat on the ground but the shorter rider can.
How can this be possible?
Choose your answer from one of the following options
1. The floor was lower for the taller rider
2. The shorter rider was wearing Cuban Heeled Daytona boots
3. The taller rider had a smaller inside leg and longer back compared to the shorter rider.
4. The Ducati man craftily let the tyres down when the shorter rider approached
Have fun and enjoy your bike
I think I,m right in saying it's the inside leg measurement that makes the difference.
Luckily for me (6ft 3in,inseam 36 ins),Pierre Terblanche is tall and designed the present Multistrada so he would fit.Even more luckily,the current head or Ducati,Claudio Domenicali is,unusually for an Italian,6ft or so, and has been seen testing prototypes of the new Multistrada.
Thanks to these two,Northern European men are no longer obliged to ride BMWs.
Sorry didn't spot the edit button.
It certainly is a comfortable riding position for 6 footers, don't know if the seat is height adjustable like the screen.
Actually you and I plus old Captain Scarlet are real challenges for bike ergonomics.
We are all around 6 ft 2 or 3 but our leg reach ( inside leg dimension ) varies by 5 inches, me at 31 upto you at 36 inch. So an adjustable seat a la GS1200 is a must if you want to cater for lanky riders, or height challenged riders
"Right Captain Scarlet
This was a question when I sat GCE 'O' level maths ...
One rider is 6 ft 2in tall the other rider is 6 ft 1 in tall.
The tall rider cannot get his feet flat on the ground but the shorter rider can.
How can this be possible?"
In theory your comment 'The taller rider had a smaller inside leg and longer back compared to the shorter rider' might make sense, were it not for the fact that I'm a Regular inside leg?
As I was giving stilletos a day off and wore Timberland boots that day, I profer the difference, is quite simply that at 15.7 stone I'm a fat bastard, and therefore I compress the suspension more? That's the only reason I can think of? I certainly wouldn't want you to think I'm making it up?
Here's a picture of me actually sat on it at the NEC show (about 09:05 on the Preview Day, so no chance of anyone fiddling with the suspenders by then), posted some time ago in the MS Forum. Feel free to post your NEC pic yis shortarse - rasp! ;-D
Try some leg dangling here:
I've booked my ticket for the London Bike Show on Thursday the 4th Feb. to check out the ergonomics.
Adding a Ducati Performance comfort(gel)seat gave me a little more leg room on my present Multistrada.I expect Ducati will offer the same kind of thing for the new bike.They've just introduced one for the Streetfighter.
Another option some people have tried for the current bike are adjustable pegs from Ducati Designs in the States.
That's a good photo, if I'm looking at the correct one, but I'm suspicious as you have cropped your feet off. I will assume your not wearing stillettos as you look like the type for Daytonas!
Seriously though have you ordered a MTS12 or will you bide your time? It's a lot of dosh.............
More I dwell on the price for the S version I wonder if a tricked up base model will be OK. Will the electronic suspension be 'need to have or nice to have'
If you read Mr K A's report on the Apprilia V4 he concludes the standard suspended R is OK compared with the expensive trick Factory
You're probably right that the standard bike with ABS and one or two options depending or your needs would suit the average rider just fine.It's a similar argument with the current Multistrada and Multistrada S.I've owned both and don't think the Ohlins feel any better than the Showas on my previous Multi.Likewise when I tried a standard 1100 with Marzochi/Sachs.
However,I don't discount psychological effects.If Kevin Ash tells me the ESA bike is hugely superior then I'll convince myself it is.
★ I am looking for another Ducati and would be most interested in how the ergonomics stack up against a BMW R1200 GS. I have had many Ducati's and love them, in addition to all that Italian goodness - all I seek is the magical seating/ergo package, everything else about the Multistrada 1200 seems fantastic to me. (I have just sold my Multistrada 1000 DS which was great - but not 'all day' comfortable like the 1200 GS.... and I nearly bought the BM, then news broke of amazing the Multi 12 ) ..... Anyway, I can't wait to read the tests on the new Multistrada, and better still a 3 way comparison with it and KTM990 SMT and the BMW R1200GS. Rock and Roll on February! ★
The MCN, if my memory serves me well, drew skelliton men supperimposed on all the bikes and the MTS12 virtually replicated the bm 1200 GS. Surprise, surprise!
Shame the BMW price list was'nt copied by Ducati but I guess you would have to live in Fantasy Island for that.
Surely the KTM SMT will be a non starter in any group test as it's tank runs dry at 180km?
"Captain Scarlet -That's a good photo, if I'm looking at the correct one, but I'm suspicious as you have cropped your feet off. I will assume your not wearing stillettos as you look like the type for Daytonas!"
... ha, ha, ha! Didn't think about that! The picture hasn't been cropped, but it's a pitty it doesn't actually show me with my feet down!
"Seriously though have you ordered a MTS12 or will you bide your time? It's a lot of dosh............."
... I'm 'the dealers friend' serial-buyer. About thirty bikes so far. I've enjoyed R1150/1200GS, Tiger 1050, MTS1100,of this genre, and would like to return to it for it's all round capabilities, minus the blandness and/or discomfort. But I splashed thirteen large, or thereabout for a K13S (ESA, ASC, TPC, ABS, yadder) less than a year ago, and if the housing market ever moves I might also be emmigrating this year to, so I'm going to ride it in March and see if it really is the new black, and make a decision then. I suspect it will be the elusive 'keeper' that I've hankered after for so long. And I'm now reluctant to give up traction-control (more useful than ABS IMPO), ABS and the convenience of electronic suspension, so it seems like the only way to go; plus I love the looks ad the ergos, performance and spec are all spot on. Without the relatively recent Beemer purchase and potentual US caveat (hopefully they're cheaper over there!) I'm pretty sure I'd already have my order in, with post-demo confirmation an almost certainty.
"More I dwell on the price for the S version I wonder if a tricked up base model will be OK. Will the electronic suspension be 'need to have or nice to have' "
.. comparing it to the BMW (the only thing we can do) I think it's a 'nice' to have. All the hacks say the stock suspended models are just as good as the Ohlins equipment (more or less) when used on the road. Ok it's not 'quite' as good, not quite as pretty and not quite as blingy at Box Hill natch, but if you know how to set up your own suspension and once sorted you leave as is until the movement is begining to wear, then you could save yourself some decent wedge by fore-going the latest tricknology. Trouble is, and like said Beemer, residuals will be a lot higher and used machines far easier to sell or exchange if they are fitted with all the bells and whistles fitted. BMW, IMHO, disguise the price of their bikes by giving customers a menu list of optional extras. They'd call that choice and I woul have some empathy with that. To an extent. However, when was the last time you saw a GS without ABS fitted? I don't think I've ever seen one, and I've seen zillions! Why it isn't standard, along with heated grips is beyond my simples (copyright Alexandru the Meercat) comprehension. I applaude Ducati for having the danglies to throw everything at the bike and say of course it costs a lot, what did we expect cheap tat? Ironically, given the bashing of the new VFR on the other thread, I recall a Honda Representative saying on release of the first VFR, which was very expensive too 'I don't care how much it costs - it's still worth another £1,000'. Throw in some Termi's and 0% finance and I'd say the Ducati MTS1200 is too ;-D
I own an KTM SMT at the moment and really think it cannot be compared directly to a GS or MTS1200. It is in a class of its own.
I think of it as a sports bike with a tall riding position that is comfortable/practicable enough for a solo rider to tour on and have way too much fun when you hit bends. It is sharper, more agile, more poised, faster and easier to ride than a GS but has deficiencies as listed below.
Fuel range only 130 miles to reserve.
No fuel gauge.
Pillion provision not good enough.
Heated grips are an afterthought and not very good.
Luggage (Std) is lightweight but upgradeable.
If the MTS1200 is a fix for all those faults and has the good points then I will change. But which model.
Adjustable Ohlins will be great on the road but is it worth £3300 over the base model or £2600 over the base model with ABS.
The touring version gets a centre stand, panniers, heated grips as standard. All available to buy as accessories later for £600.
That leaves £2000 to spend.
Your comments on the SMT ARE WELL made, when I rode it I thought it was a hoot, a naked sports bike with a very comfy seat and riding position.
The £2000 you mention is a lot for the changeable suspension, problem is my wife would spend the £2000 saved on shoes!
I often forget to adjust it on the GS and often feel it is soft at the back anyway.
I once fitted a Hyperpro rear shock to an FJR1300 and it was marvelous because the spring was 'progressive' and all we had to do for a pillion was up the compression setting. I also had Racetech internals fitted to the front shocks.
This was a wonderful set up and all done and adjusted for me by PDQ in Burnham.
I think it cost less than a £1000 fitted.
So that still leaves a £1000 for the wife's new shoes. Thats a lotta money.
"I own an KTM SMT at the moment and really think it cannot be compared directly to a GS or MTS1200"
.. having had a long demo, and owned an MS and two GS's (plus Tiger) I agree with you and your other comments. It's an utterly brilliant bike, with the best ride quality I've probably experienced to date; but it just doesn't feel quite finished yet. E.g. why are the left and right mirror brackets different colours?
I'd have an SMT over the GS. A fuly spec'd (for £10k) Tiger is a closer prospect, and for practicality (ABS, luggage, h/grips, touring screen, yaddeer, for £10k) it's hard to beat. But it feel heavy and lathargic after the SMT whippet, which is so much fun to ride and must be a pretty good match against the stock suspended MTS1200 I would think.
"Fuel range only 130 miles to reserve"
... hey it's a 'travel' bike, not 'tour' - perhaps Honda missed a trick there eh?!
No fuel gauge
... no gauge and gear indicators are too old school aren't they? KTM always did Mickey Mouse clocks, trying to appeal to the off-road crew I guess, but they're important aren't they? I mean, I didn't buy my Audi because it's particularly pretty to look at when parked, I bought it because I actually spent many hours looking at the interior which is like a work of art - we don't see how pretty the Marchesini's are from the seat do we? I wish manufacturers would wise up to that. I do like the Streetfighter clocks of Ducati, but the MS clocks are the only 'average' aspect for me; they look a little placky by comparison. Still, much more modern than KTM's Fisher-Price stuff; at least the Brembo's, Marchesini, Braided et all make up for a lot of that natch.
"Ohlins will be great on the road but is it worth..."
.. it's not just gold nitrided whatsits with a pretty sticker for that outlay though is it? We're talking centre-stand, heated grips, ABS and panniers too; some of which mentioned by you. Or in Sport guise carbon snout, cam cover and hugger. I.e. if you want an SMT equivalent, with better tank range that doesn't look like it's been painted by hand with matt hammerite the stock bike is going to cost you £800 more than a KTM. But if you want some of the extra convenience, luxury and safety, it's naturally going to cost you more, plus the Ohlins (Yamaha) suspension is not only of better quality but it is also switchable on the fly too (so you're getting more from it) - plus mode auto-alteration of traction severity, available power, and most probably the delivery of that power too (see my posting above, as questions for Kev). Worth the money now? I personally wouldn't blame anyone for splashing the extra or going with the base model; perogative/preference and all that jazz. But what I would say is, if you do go for the S model Sport or Tour luxo-bling-meisters you won't ever have the potential to say that 'I love the bike, but in hindsight I now wish I'd gone for the extra...'
I thought it quite an effective marketing ploy to announce that they have one MS and feel so lucky to have it they are going to tour the country with it. It's like parading the crown jewels and, for what it will cost them to haul it around, the marketing and appetite-whetting benefits should prove well worth it.
I'm pretty much a newbie to bikes, but it seems to me Ducati have done a fine job in the build up with the Multistrada. They've announced what it's capable of technically without any of the VFR bluster, and they are now teasing it out nicely in the final weeks. Could the marketing coup de grace for the their competitors be a sale price measurably below what the gossip predicts?
Prices are not gossip. They are listed prices on Ducati dealer and other sites.
Oh, right, thanks.
Regarding the suspension comments, I've always thought Showa kit is every bit as good as Ohlins in terms of performance, ride quality etc, the difference is that Ohlins has a wider range of adjustment, which only really matters if you're very big, anorexically thin or ride like a MotoGP god, for the rest of us, I'd say save the money if that's the only difference. But my BMW experience is that electrically adjustable suspension is worth every penny, ESA rocks.
How does BMW ESA rock?
Given your comments made about the Aprilia R V4 versus the Factory then you could conclude all ESA does is automatically adjust spring rates, ride height etc. It does not add dynamics to the shocks - presumably. So it just eliminates manual adjustment! Am I missing something here?
On MY BMW GS ESA you can feel it change height, rebound and compression. Recently handling improved when I adjusted tyre pressure, dum or what, but I wonder how many of us check pressure regularly?
Kevin - I thought that the BMW ESA system was actually WP units and the non ESA bikes had something else. So you get a better quality shock with ESA ?
I think it all depends on the quality of the standard suspension vs the upgraded units. If the standard shocks are decent then most of us will be happy and heavy riders with a load can change the spring long term for a small fee.
Of course with ESA 2 (and MTS1200 ? ) you get ride height adjustment as well.
I never found the need to change settings on my ohlins or Hyperpro shocks when riding. They were properly set up and worked well on all surfaces.
"Regarding the suspension comments, I've always thought Showa kit is every bit as good as Ohlins in terms of performance, ride quality etc, the difference is that Ohlins has a wider range of adjustment, which only really matters if you're very big, anorexically thin or ride like a MotoGP god, for the rest of us, I'd say save the money if that's the only difference. But my BMW experience is that electrically adjustable suspension is worth every penny, ESA rocks."
The stocker RSV4 uses Showa and is rated by the various journo's as good as Ohlins, near as dammit. OR £2,500 cheaper for 90% of the performance as Fast Berks call it.
The elastogran of ESAII (over I) is useful and I notice ESAII working, whereas I honestly couldn't tell that much difference when demo-ing ESAI. As mentioned previously I don't think it's absolutely necessary, any more than dual-climate-control is over air-con; it's just that little bit more convenient and efficient for those willing to spank the gold card.
Is it worth it? I'd say for for those that have to either really over analyse it's worth, or tear themselves to pieces with guilt as to how they'll explain the final invoice to the missus, then most probably not. But if you value convenience of on the fly 'subtle' changes in comfort and control, for a not inconsiderale outlay, but eased by the additional spec and kit it comes with, then for those it will be. As Perforated Bikes once said of the original Exup thou at it's launch, 'if you want the most... it's the mostest'.
Rounincircles - you make a good point about tyre pressures, certainly applicable to newer bikers. I would hope however that most riders with any kind of experience do realise that the tyre pressure can make a huge difference. My ST2 bought in 97 was the first bike where I really noticed it and only a couple of psi off would make it handle like a box of frogs. Then again it was also the first bike I had owned that had really modern tyres as the previous sixteen years was spent on old clunkers.
Captain Scarlets point about the interior of cars and the bike equivalent is absolutely spot on, in my opinion. I don't give a toss what the ouside of a car looks like but it had better float my boat on the inside. The same applies to bikes as the clocks are where so much of the information of the ride comes from and I want them to give me all that I need and not offend the eyes whilst doing so.
As far as which version of the new MS I will go for, well quite frankly if I am going to splash the cash then I will go the full monty top of the range thus with the heart not the head. I will however stop reading reviews of subsequent versions where the next one will become that months bike of the year and tell me that my model has turned into a cart.
Great posting Shugs.
I didn't really notice (that much) when my tyre pressures were a little out until I got my present Beemer which is fitted with very accurate monitors. It's now quite noticeable, but has prolly made me a little too paranoid about it now lol!
Things like black anodised tapered over-sized bars and risers, compared with cheapo thin chrome items; or colour-coded reservoirs over opaque UJM items; or a satisfying click from a proper sized switch over a nasty twig of plastic, can make a significant difference to the view from the saddle and in how you feel about using your pride and joy.
Going for gold with the full monty spec, then deliberately not reading about the next latest & greatest 1200 Cosmic-Tenere / Vara-Viffer is good advise indeed. Pangs of worry over spec and finances aside, those bikes will never have the cool appeal of the Ducati for my mince pies anyway...
ESA rocks exactly because it eliminates manual adjustment... I'm often changing the load on a bike, with passenger or luggage, riding on various surfaces and sometimes fast, sometimes relaxed, and ESA has a setting for everything that makes a real difference, and improvement. No way would I ever keep stopping to adjust the suspension manually. I'd always recommend it if it's financially possible.
What you say makes sense as on a recent trip to the Alps I changed settings a number of times, especially useful on rough surfaces or when having a mad half hour.
My understanding is that the MTS12 on City Mode drops the ride height a couple of inches which will be very useful at low speed in traffic jambs with pillion, luggage etc.
I guess it is the premium cost of £2000 plus that grates but we must be sensitive to Ducati shareholders, management bonus and their bankers!They need our help.
There's always a bottom line... if you don't like it or don't think it's worth it, don't buy one!
Er, probably an insensitive time then to say I am now definitely getting one as a long term test bike for 2010...
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