Multistrada 1000S model introduced for 2005 features Ohlins race
quality suspension front and rear, along with carbon fibre bits
like the front fendar and cam belt covers. Also on our bike is
the Ducati Performance Termignoni exhaust silencer. Our tester
is beautiful SBK Fast Dates Ducati Corse World Superbike girl
FastDates.com Bike of the Year Award
Ducati Multistrada 1000S DS
Fast Dates Ducati Corse girl Rockin' Robin Cunningham
gets into some hard core action with the Ducati Multistrada 1000S
no secret the Ducati’s Multistrada 1000 DS which was first
introduced back in 2003 was one of our favorite motorcycles at
FastDates.com . The somewhat quirky looking. do everything air
cooled V-twin Desmo did and still does everything exceptionally
well. It may not have been the world’s best bike in a particular
category be it canyon carver, off road adventure bike, city bike
or cross country tourer, but it was very close. But what it does
do is excel in everything really well. No other bike on the market
is quite capable of matching it it overall versatility and performance.
Now with the introduction of the new upgraded Ohlins suspended
1000S model for 2005 the Multistrada has become so close to perfect
in so many categories that, as an overall package we at FastDates.com
feel it is now, without a doubt, the world’s best motorcycle.
Period. Robin likes it!
so good in fact, we decided to create an award and make the Multistrada
1000S our first ever FastDates.com Bike of the Year
for 2005. Our congradulations go out to Ducati and Multistrada
designer Pierre Terblanche for creating the perfect bike. If anything
can get this Texas girl hotter than dreaming of Clive Owen and
Jude Law modeling their Calvins, its remembering last weekend's
blast on the Multi S through the tight canyon backroads of the
Santa Monica Mountains down to Malibu and then up Pacific Coast
Highway, the Multi S throbbing contentedly beneath me in one entity
with the world and an incredible machine.
model Multistrada 1000 DS is perfect as is for 90% of the people
who buy it. The one common minor complaint from owners was the
thinly padded superbike derived driver’s seat (as opposed
to passenger) which left its impression on your butt, particular
on long rides or rough roads. It wasn’t a problem for us
since some of our other bikes are Ducati Superbikes and the direct
connection to the bike was appreciated. Now with both new 2005
model Multistrada's the driver’s seat is more generously
padded with a great feeling foam rubber that makes you never want
to get out of the saddle, yet its not so overly padded you loose
any sense or feel of control of the bike. The seat is now perfect
concern with our base Multistrada (we bought one of the first
ones in America back in August 2003 when first released) was the
stock Showa suspension. For normal street riding the bread and
butter Showa suspension is more than perfect. But we are racers
who like to tackle the twisty California mountain roads at maximum
speed, dusting off our superbike buddies. The stock forks work
and dampen really well, but their flex and less precise damping
makes them just a little vague in attacking a corner. While out
back the single adjustment Showa monoshock holding down our favorite
single sided swingarm left over from the previous generation Ducati
916-998 Superbikes, lacked the adjustability and control we wanted.
With the single damping screw in its best position the rear end
tended to be too loose in the corners, but with a one click turn-in
on the screw and the damping was too stiff. Probably fine for
carrying a passenger and luggage, but not for fine tuning a race
addition of race quality Showa suspension the Multistrad’as
handling is now perfect for the other 10% of us who like to ride
really fast. The 43mm Ohlins front forks are the same diameter
as the Showa, but they feel much more precise and solid with even
better damping control. There’s no front end flex despite
offering the same 165mm / 6.5 inches of travel.
While our back the Ohlins damper is so spot-on in control you
can’t feel the rear end of the bike moving or bouncing around
at all in the roughest of corners. As Superbike and World Champ
Eddie Lawson once told us when we were his suspension engineer
“The suspension is working best when you don’t notice
or feel it moving around at all.” With the Multistrada S
the suspension now works so well you don’t notice it at
all, and you can focus completely on your riding.
has been our favorite overall bike since its introduction nearly
2 years ago. We use it for everything including around town errands
and commuting, to splitting traffic lanes in grid locked Los Angles
evening traffic to get downtown in time for a concert or event.
It’s also a great bike for cross country trips, especially
if you have the chance to stay of the Interstates and take the
back roads to enjoy the beauty of the scenery and the sheer joy
of just riding the Multistrada. Our most enjoyable daytime trips
on the Multi have included riding around Italy during World Ducati
Week, riding the length of Southern California’s Angeles
Crest Highway and back for lunch in Wrightwood, to riding up Hwy
1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
a full line of touring accessories for the Multistrada from Ducati,
including detachable side bags and a detachable rear storage box,
plus a GPS navigation system. For our around town shopping trips
and errands the rear carrier rack used by the detachable rear
storage box is a must have to bungee cord packages to.
A minor complaint
of ours is there is no attaching points on the rear sub frame
to bungee cord packages onto the rear passenger seat. Instead,
you must install the rear carrier rack which necessitates removal
of the attractive rear body panels and makes the rear of the bike
look too cluttered.
one other significant contender in this category of dual purpose
touring which might rival the Multistrada and that’s the
BMW R1200GS. But we have never been a fan of BMW’s sport
tourers for a number of reasons. We don’t like the sideways
torque reaction of the boxer motor, nor the noticeable lift of
the bike’s rear end from the driveshaft torque when accelerating.
Also disconcerting for us is the trademark BMW cantilever front
forks which are designed not to compress under braking and cornering
to offer more suspension travel for bumps, but it makes the bike
feel like you’re riding a chopper with an extended front
end. And by the front end not compressing for baking and cornering
the BMW can’t stop or corners as aggressively.
for spirited riding is BMW’s linked back and front brakes
and electronic anti-lock braking system, all deterrents to spirited
sport riding where the BMW is too over engineered for our likes.
Multistrada S really excels is on the legendary tight canyon roads
of the Santa Monica Mountains
above Malibu, California, where we ride every Sunday morning.
Roads like Latigo, Stunt, Mulholland and Piuma have been the not
so secret stomping grounds for superbike riders for 30 years.
But the tight 25-60 mph corners are a handful for modern 160hp
superbikes with clip-ons that offer the rider no leverage for
attacking a tight corner.
Multistrada excels with its high leverage motocross bars, supermoto
like design, longer travel suspension for the rough road sections,
and much more manageable 92hp @8,000rpm. The superbike riders
are forced to nurse their throttles and cut a smooth arc through
the serpetine turns, while the Multistrada is up in its powerband,
cutting and thrusting from turn to turn like a motocross bike
exploding from a berm. Play supermoto racer and lock the tires
into the corner, square it off early, jam the secure feeling Ohlins
forks across the apex with the throttle nailed back on full. this
baby is sweet!
Now the Aprilia
Tuono R is still perhaps the best naked bike on the planet. And
on a race track or higher speed roads it will definetly run off
from the Multistrada with about 30 more horsepower to the Multi’s
95 ponies. And the Tuono R is 10 pounds lighter at 415lb to the
Multi’s 432lbs. But in a riding comparison to the Multistrada,
the Tuono R actually feels heavier and bulkier with it’s
watercooled V-twin engine and higher center of gravity. While
the heavy clutch and raspy superbike engine is a handful in a
normal street riding situations, especially in town. The Multistrada
actually feels much lighter and is defenitly more agile, while
the smooth Ducati air cooled powerplant is much easier to handle
as an every day rider.
improve on the new 2005 Multistrada S? Not really. There are a
few nit picky things like the need for bungee tie down tabs and
an easy access helmet lock. And the left front side panel is a
nightmare to remove and refit properly. But as an overall package
for one bike that does everything extremely well, while even excelling
over its specialized completition in many categories of touring,
commuting, sport riding and comfort, FastDates.com rates the new
Ducati Multistrada S the best overall bike in the world.
like to see more versions of the great Multistrada from Ducati?
Certainly. The new 2005 Multistrada 620 now offers a lower cost
bike with a lower ride and saddle height, perfect for shorter
men, women and entry level riders on a budget. We’d also
to see an all out performance version for the racer in us: shorter
travel Superbike suspension with stronger front brakes, a more
aggressive and sportier front fairing, and some serious horsepower
with the watercooled Testastretta 4-valve motor. We guessing its
just a matter of time.
about this Multistrada Supermoto concept?
Is this the next version of the Multistrada in
Ducati's pipeline, possibly with the new 3 valve 110hp DS1000
engine or even the 4-valve Testastretta Superbike mill?
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