Ducati Multistrada MTS1200
Thanks circles that are round! I saw that early this morning. For some non-obvious reason I expected it to look different from the conventional filler; but naturally it doesn't. That's prolly a good thing, as if it fails it can still be manually opened by using the keyfob fold out key (VW/Audi stylie).
I suspect that this site has gone live and is starting to be heavily populated with stuff to tie in with the hacks ride tomorrow. Either way, it's welcome. The videos and new especially the high-quality pictures (to go with the one's already seen previously, but still available on this site too), are really good and just make the pre-launch drooling worse!
Honda promised the VFR would be the new schism, so we expected it to be the second-coming; but they've actually delivered competent, yet quite underwhelming transport.
I hope the verdict tomorrow is that Ducati humbly promised us a good machine, we expected a great one, but in reality they've actually delivered a truly versatile and totally exceptionally bike. Here's hoping! :-D
Enjoy the test ride Kev
Initial comments from Phil West, at MCN, seem pretty positive:
"Overall the Multistrada is an astonishingly well thought out, detailed and well-equipped bike. Everything from the luggage system to the mirrors is effective and clever.
"Underneath the nice details and touches is a bike that is part old Multistrada in terms of feel and riding position, part Ducati 1198 in terms of engine performance and part BMW GS in terms of practicality and versatility.
"My experience so far with the new Multistrada 1200 suggests that it could be the new benchmark for the class."
I've just come back from the ride, and no one should be cancelling their orders... It's not flawless, the low speed running is still nowhere near as smooth as the BMW, and I'm not yet convinced about the luggage, it's flimsy and the lids as we got them were poor fitting and would leak. But the production process for those is being fine tuned, they need to keep experimenting with the shapes of the cooling molds so the lids 'distort' into the correct final shape. This is normal practice, and as the manufacturer is Givi they do know what they're doing, production ones should be better - jury's out for now.
The centre stand tag gets in the way of your left foot badly, I'd remove the stand, it's that much of a nuisance. I'd guess (it wasn't easy to judge) economy is about the same as a GS, ie 45-47mpg (UK) but possibly a lot better at steady motorway speeds. But it has a 200 mile range anyway.
Comfort is great, good for the passenger too and the bike rides superbly with someone on the back, I was enormously impressed by that. The performance is in a different league to its rivals, this is not far shy of superbike levels, it's wild and thrilling in sports mode. Lots of torque, monster mid-range.
As for the electronics, unbelievable, this is sci-fi stuff, and it works and is useful too.
Full report tomorrow, I need beer now, time to consider it (the bike, not the beer) and I'll put it online tomorrow, hopefully by lunchtime.
Snells told me the panniers, which looked as you described, were pre-production. They confirmed Givi was the manufacturer too.
If the stand and (pre-production) panniers aren't all that, maybe they'll sell a few more Sports with Ducati Corse rucksacks! ;-D
Thanks for the quick report update. Enjoy your beer Kev - well earned chap! :-D
Thanks Kev - have one on me - I will send you a virtual beer voucher!
CaptainS - Ducati make great bikes and lord alone knows I have given them enough of my money buying them. However also having spent a fair amount of cash on their branded aftermarket accessories like bags, leisure jackets and so on I can say hand on heart that a lot of it is crap, quality wise. Don't buy a branded rucksack, spend the money wisely and buy a really good one that will actually work. the only two good things with from the catalogie I ever got were a leather jacket and a pair of gloves and both of those were made by Dainese.
I've bought Ducati bikes, clothing and trinkets too. I had an early MTS 1100. They released it before it was finished (wobbly mirrors, hard seat, dodgy screen and sulky clocks). They sorted all of that the following year. Since then, they seem to have vastly improved quality and reliability, seemingly testing stuff before release - gasp, shock, horror! The new MTS seems to be claimed by Claudio as being the most comprehensively tested Ducati yet, so that should be good machine wise. I'm wearing a Ducati leather jacket today that I've had years and it looks as good as new. The t-shirts and tops have lasted well and the helmets are made by Arai aren't they?!?! The pre-production panniers aren't so hot by all accounts, but they're made by Givi and panniers I've had made by them in the past have convinced me not to spend money elsewhere on production versions at least. As for rucksacks, I've the ultimate, a Kriega R25 - highly recommended. I've had it forever and it almost looks 'better' than when it was new! I've commuted, toured and scratched with it on and bearly noticed it's there. It's never once leaked, always comfortable and just like the rider (Captain Scarlet) seemingly indestructable! :-D
Capt - like you I have bought the bikes - three new ones over the years and all been great. The jacket and gloves as i said were fine. Other things like t-shirts, fleece jackets, bum bags etc have just been cheap tat that the name has been applied to and sold through the dealers at high prices. No one forces us to buy of course but I select stuff from them a lot more carefully now.
I did not want to mention Kriega by name in my post as we are the official importer for them here and I didn't want to be seen trying to blag free promotion etc - however now that you have done it anyway, then I agree. Great stuff and I can not reccomend it highly enough, even if no one else on here is actually close enough to buy it from us!
Shuggs: "Other things like t-shirts, fleece jackets, bum bags etc have just been cheap tat that the name has been applied to and sold through the dealers at high prices"
... fair comment. As they make motorcycles that's what we'll all predominently judge them on I guess. Hein Gericke used to make jackets for Harley, I believe, that they probably would have charged £300 for if self branded, but Milwaukee demands £500 plus. We pays our money, etc. One thing I would say, is that the stuff I've bought through Ducati dealers has been pretty good, but the Ducati 'branded' stuff I've bought through general motorcycle clothing suppliers, has not been so good. I naturally can't mention the names, but we can draw our own conclusions on what might have been happening there I guess! Arai lids, Dainese leathers, Alpinestars boots and gloves, and Kriega ruckies - hard to better any of those really isn't it? I've loads of Kriega kit, from tailpacks, to dry-bags, rucky and add-on packs. It's all fab, one quality standard, simply the best they can make it. I'm totally sold on Kriega, and btw my day job is Head of Quality :-D
Ducati have rehashed their latest video and placed it on You Tube
You can hear the engine/exhaust note behind the Ducati Works Band.
Nice one. I wonder whether Kev's been having that much fun?
I've been keeping up with this thread since it started and am now refreshing the page every hour hoping to see Kevin's first report!
I've had GS's or GS type bikes for quite a while now, and have loved them all for their versatility and practicality, but felt that I was missing out on the more sporty side of biking. To fix that, I got a K1300GT which I knew would be a lot faster than anything I've had before and should give me what I've been missing.
I find the GT an incredible bike, the ESA system is quite marvellous in how it transforms the agility and litheness of an erstwhile heavy tourer and the power from that engine is ridiculous!
However (I wouldnt be writing this, here if there wasnt an 'however'!) However, I do miss the back roads and country lanes in which the GS and its pack ruled supreme. The GT is a phenomonal machine, but it's chosen battleground are the fast A road's with their long, sweeping bends with visibility upto infinity. Take it down a 2 metre wide, pot holed lane with blind corners every 30 metres and the grin goes from my face.
Although the first teasing pictures of the new Multi didnt appeal to me and helped reaffirm my choice, from what I'm piecing together from sites like this, I'm starting to think that Ducati have pitched this latest Multistrada to exactly what I've been hankering for these last few years, which is: Versatile and Practical, but above all Fun!
My holy trinity if you will :)
Cant wait for a test ride; Snell's are my local dealer too but I couldnt make the preview so will have to wait a few weeks to have a sit upon moment.
Love what's happening with this site, and the excellent contributions and feedback from all it's members.
Sorry you keep refreshing Mike! Report will be on here at about 4.30, maybe sooner, I had to write it up for the Telegraph first as it's their Geneva Show issue on Saturday and they need everything else as far ahead as possible, as that will all be coming in in one big lump later in the week. I'll put the main Multi test on here first, then the technical stuff later, the problem is, it's like there are four bikes to write about instead of one, and it's all taking ages...
Kev - now be honest - have you ever been this popular before ???
Now I'm checking back every 10 minutes or so, it's pathetic!!
Well - sounds like it doesn't disappoint. Can't wait to have a go myself.
Me too - is Lanzarote in our time zone?!
I was in Snells on Tuesday just as they finished getting the display sorted. Loved it, and they reckoned the centre stand was also pre-production, due to the propensity for it to deck out due to rider (or pillion) foot pushing on the tag.
Kevin, sounds like Ducati has a winner on their hands based on your initial review just posted. Look forward to the follow on Multistrada articles.
And yes, I DO have a deposit on one. =)
Oh, and just out of curiosity...how tall are you Kevin? I've sat on the bike but (obviously) haven't ridden one. I'm 6' 2" (188cm). Just wondering how it feels in off road feel while standing up on the pegs at your reference height.
No surprises with the report but some initial questions
1. What seat did you use and how long before numb bumb?
2. Which screen was fitted - standard or touring?
3. The slow speed engine characteristics were expected but would you need to slip the clutch in real slow speed two up? Or is it just the big piston pulses jerking the bike forwards? BMW FITTED a lower first gear to the MK2 GS. Would this solution cure thr MTS?
"but as far as the riding experience is concerned – the most important aspect after all – this bike absolutely rocks. It’s searingly fast, laden with torque, handles superbly, the electronics not only work they’re extremely useful, it’s comfortable, characterful, beautifully made, and one of the most exciting motorcycles you can buy. If you’ve placed an order already… lucky you!"
... great gosh a mighty - the new black! Or red! Or white even! :-D Oh happy day, oh happy (rpt to fade)...
After much thought I have decided to buy a new BMW 1200GSA with low ratio first gear instead of the MTS1200.
If you take away the difference between the BMW's 110bhp & the Ducati 150bhp (which would be nice) then the BMW has what I want.
It can carry more load in bigger panniers, can cope with heavier rider and pillion and its a bigger bike for large folk. Kevin is as tall as me but not as wide it appears.(:-)
It is able to go off road easier because of its wheel sizes. I do go off road a lot on easy green lanes in UK and Spain and the GSA already has engine and frame protection bars.
It has more weather protection and IMO will be better for 3 season touring with a massive GSA tank range of 300 miles. (Ouch, my arse hurts.)
It is now a sorted bike with most customer 'Beta' testing having been completed.
BMW dealers have free coffee and softer seats to sit on while waiting for a service and have a proven customer backup. They replace or repair without question in my experience for genuine issues.
Thats it really.
Wow, a fistful of questions already!
1. No, being this popular is strange and disconcerting.
2. The time zone is the same here, but I think it's an earlier decade. If you had any idea how much trouble I've had trying to get this story and pictures uploaded...
3. The centre stand WILL be like this, so buy a hacksaw, spanner or delete it from the options list. It's silly.
4. I'm 6'3", so a similar height.
5. The seat was the standard one (I tried the low briefly but only for height, not comfort), and didn't have numbness issues all day, it's a good 'un.
6. Yes, a touch of clutch slip helps, you'll find yourself doing it automatically I think. A lower gear would help a little but not enough to be worth it I don't think, really it's just the engine running slightly roughly, due I suspect to having a relatively light flywheel, and still being a 150bhp motor being asked to run slowly - there's a certain inevitability to it.
Fair do's Wadham, had a few GS's myself and enjoy the customer service with my present squeeze (K13S).
The MTS does sound like it handles pillions superbly and panniers, well, they're as big as the one's you buy for it of course.
But comfort, tank range and residuals are well assured with the tonka-toy GSA, and if you get on with the pterodactyl on acid looks, there are far worse places to place your own money down.
Thanks for leaving just one more MTS on the showroom floor for the rest of us to paw over! ;-D
Kevin, thanks for the review, sounds like the wait was worth it. Was your verdict echoed by most/all the other journalists there?
Agree about Wadham's GSA, I'd be perfectly happy with one of those (and was two years ago), though the MTS is much better at dealing with a passenger than I was expecting. The BMW's luggage carrying and range are superior though, no question. Off-road I'd still be more comfortable on the BMW, that 17 inch Ducati front wheel makes me a little nervous.
Yes, the others seemed to agree. People tend to keep some things to their chests at this stage but certainly Phil West, whose opinion I respect, is saying much the same. We agreed on the VFR too incidentally. Maybe some will question if you need that kind of performance, but they'll probably not be into sports bikes anyway, and it is valid to say if you don't want that kind of power or handling then the GS is more level pegging as an option.
Not sure yet about what the typical range will be, and the bike's fuel gauge and range readout fluctuated too much to be especially useful, but I'm not worried it won't be enough.
Thats Cool Cpt Scarlet.
You will really enjoy the MTS1200 I am sure, if you buy.
I would also, if I did not do so much long distance 2-up touring and off road riding.
Watch out for the Mysterons !
Kevin - I think we are trying to compare two bikes( GSA & MTS) that are similar but not similar, with each having that individual quality that makes them stand apart.
The GSA does stand apart from the standard GS in its off road ability, weather protection, luggage capacity and off road ability with the longer travel suspension and ESA settings to match.
I can see no reason to buy a standard GS over the MTS1200 if you will not be going off road and can cope with the luggage capacity on the MTS.
However, the GSA1200 stands apart from the GS and MTS because of the items mentioned above.
Sorry to keep you all waiting by the way, the internet connection here is dodgy at the best of times, let alone when tens of journalists are all trying to upload their stories and pictures. It took me two and a half hours to upload the 25 images in the report, it usually takes me a minute to upload and integrate them into the website!
I'll be posting lots more images on Wednesday, there are plenty of really great ones, and as I said, adding related features too. Meanwhile keep asking questions if any occur to you!
Out of interest, one of the my passenger guinea pigs on the Multistrada was Janie Omorogbe, sometime British Superbikes presenter and former Gladiator Rio - she's 6'2" and was perfectly comfortable on the back, and heavier than the average pillion (it's all toned muscle!), and the bike was fine. And a scoop news item for those who are aware that Suzi Perry has stepped down from her MotoGP presenter role at the BBC: Janie will NOT be taking it over. She WAS asked and has said no...
You're right Mr Wadham, there's certainly a big overlap between the bikes, but there are also areas where they're different, enough so to attract different riders. Some won't be at all interested in the MTS's sports prowess, others will want more convincing off-road ability, and so on. That's why I deliberately avoided in the report saying that the Ducati is better or worse than the BMW. It's more complex than that, so it's more important to say what it does and doesn't do, then leave it up to others to decide which would suit them best. I'm sure there'll be 'GS Beater' types of headlines but I'm giving you lot credit for being more discerning than that!
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