Ducati Multistrada 1260: A major overhaul for Italian adventure lineup

The Ducati Multistrada 1260 is more than just a new engine for the flagship adventure bike; it’s an overhaul of the lineup.

Of course, the new 1262 cc Testastretta engine (pinched from the Diavel lineup) is the key to that overhaul. It’s a torque monster, making 85 per cent of its torque (max torque is 95.5 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm, and making more torque at 4,000 rpm than any other adventure bike in its class. Ducati says that means the bike makes more power where you actually use it.

Max output is 158 hp at 9,500 rpm; max torque is reached at 7,500 rpm. The engine has a six-speed gearbox, and an up/down quickshifter is optional on the base model. Oil changes are required every 15,000 km, valve adjustments required at 30,000 km. There are four valves per cylinder, the engine is liquid-cooled,  and has dual spark plugs. The muffler is stainless steel, and the collector pipes are aluminum. The 1260 Multistrada has a wet slipper clutch, which is hydraulically-controlled.

Naturally, the new Multi lineup (there are a few sub-models—more on that later) has ride-by-wire throttle and a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit, which means Ducati can include the usual electronic toybox that comes on modern high-performance bikes. The Multi gets eight-level wheelie control and traction control, which can also be disabled, along with riding modes and cornering ABS. The Vehicle Hold Control system is there as well, if you’re worried about rolling backwards at a stoplight on a hill. All bikes also have cruise control.

The frame is a familiar tubular steel trellis unit, with 25 degrees of rake, 111 mm of trail, and a 1,585 mm wheelbase. The wheels have five-spoke cast rims; front and rear hoops are 17-inchers. Suspension travel is 170 mm, front and rear.

Speaking of suspension the standard 1260 Multistrada model has 48 mm fully adjustable USD forks in front and a fully adjustable Sachs monoshock in back, with remote spring preload adjustment. The standard model has dual 320 mm disc brakes up front, with radial-mount four-piston, two-pad Brembo calipers. All models have a 265 mm disc in rear, with two-piston floating caliper.

Fuel capacity is 20 litres, dry weight is 209 kg, wet weight is 232 kg. The seat is adjustable from 825 mm to 845 mm, and the standard model has LCD gauges.

The Multistrada 1260 models are available with a Touring Pack (heated grips, panniers, centrestand), Sport Pack (Euro4-legal Termignoni exhaust, carbon fibre and billet aluminum bits), an Urban Pack (top case, tank bag) or Enduro Pack (auxiliary lighting, Touratech performance parts, crash bars, off-road footpegs, and more).

As for the sub-models: they’re the Multistrada 1260 S, the Multistrada 1260 S D-Air, and the Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak. All these models have an up/down quickshifter as standard, as well as five-inch TFT display for speedometer, tach, etc. They all make the same horsepower as well.

The 1260 Multistrada S is the sportier version, with fully-adjustable 48 mm Sachs front forks, with Ducati Skyhook electronic suspension system. The rear Sachs shock also ties into the Skyhook system. Up/down quickshifter is standard on the S

Front brakes are 330 mm discs, and Brembo monobloc radial-mount Evo M50 four-pistonn, two-pad calipers, with radial pump. Weight is up (212 kg dry, 235 kg wet).

The Multistrada 1260 S D-Air is essentially the same bike, but is also compatible with the Dainese D-Air system. It’s 1 kg heavier as a result.

The Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak has three-spoke forged aluminum wheels, fully-adjustable 48 mm Ohlins fork (no Skyhook option), fully-adjustable Ohlins TTX36 shock, carbon-fibre fender, windscreen and side panels, and Euro4-legal Termignoni exhaust. Wet weight is 229 kg, dry weight is 206 kg.

Finally—the Multstrada 1200 Enduro will return for 2018, but we’d expect to see it gone by next year.


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