This Ducati Performance accessorized Multistrada features the Termignoni Race Silencer Kit, Dimag Carbon Fiber Wheels with Pirelli Super Corse tires, a Slipper Clucth with Titanium Cover, and Carbon Fiber cam Belt and Engine Lower Covers.

page 2 continued

"What Ducati has done with the MultiStrada is re-invent the wheel, or more precisely, the universal bike and a category to put it back in to."
SBK Fast Dates girl Chandi Mason evaluates the new Ducati Multistrada

Pushing th Multistrada hard on canyon roads we really couldn’t find its limits as they kept extending out beyond what we thought the bike was capable of. On my 999 Superbike I’d be dragging my boot in the first sweeper, but with the Multi on its new supermotard inspired cut slick style Pirelli Scorpion Sync tires the bike just wanted to keep leaning further than we were prepared to try outside of a race track.

The high wide handlebars really feel great and makes us hard core sportbikers realize how comfortable a motorcycle can and should be. The upper portion of the fairing and windscreen rotate with the handlebars to provide the handlebar clearance and wind protection that a fully fixed fairing can not.

Brakes are Brembo Series Oro calipers with the the front one-piece full-floating brake disc rotors mounted directly to the curious lattice-work wheel hub. It looks weird, but it eliminates the traditional disc carrier to save weight, complexity and manufacturing cost. Into a corner a little too hot because you had to pass that camper van? No problem, just grab a little more of that one-finger lever and stuff the front end over a little further.

Many elements contribute to the MultiStrada's excellent handling. The wheels are as light as Ducati flagship 999, but have been engineered for less gyroscopic effect than the rollers on the flagship superbike. And this baby, unlike some of its dual purpose bretheren, gets real 17-inch sportbike wheels and suspension.

These new wheels carry Pirelli’s new Scorpion Sync tires, designed for and launched in tandem with the Multistrada, positioned between sports touring and full-on sports tires. We rode on both wet and dry roads and couldn’t get them to do anything wrong, which is a great compliment.

.Performance wise, the Showa suspension is pretty incredible right out of the box. The 43mm USD forks have already proven themselves as highly competent, but the rear shock was always a “must-heave” the first time I ever rode with one on a superbike. I just figured it was put there to hold the rear end up until you could afford an Ohlins. Now it really works well.

The only slightly disconcerting thing when it comes to the MultiStrada's handling is the longer travel suspension. Compared to a superbike and it’s shorter travel which we like to be set rock sold for precise control, you are conscious of the MultiStrada moving up and down on its suspension as you dive into and accelerate out of corners. I could have dialed up the dampening to counter act this, but it would have defeated the whole purpose of the bike having longer suspension to tackle rougher roads if need be. And why there is a difference between the Multistrada and a single purpose superbike.

Suspension is fully adjustable front and rear. The front forks now have the compression adjustment screw within easy access outside the leg instead of hidden up inside the spindle. The fully adjustable Showa shock at the rear has a conveniently located hydraulic remote preload adjuster knob so you can easily dial-in the preload for carrying a passenger or luggage. No more skinned knuckles from adjuster wrenches, or hammering on a screwdriver and dinging up the shock

Which brings us to our only critisism of the bike, that being it’s extremely tall seat height and the difficulty of getting on and off due to the longer travel suspension. My first attempt to get on the bike saw us ungratefully loose our balance and the bike fell over on us. Luckily the bike is light enough that we caught it before it hit the ground and I could right it back up easily. We finally had to perfect a technique of getting on the bike by stepping on the footpeg while it was balanced on the sidestand. The bike needs to be modified slightly to offer more adjustment in the ride height and suspension travel to suit the rider or type of riding. This can already be accomplished fairly well at the rear with the easily adjusted hydraulic ride height.

But at the front of our test bike the fork tubes were already raised as high as possiblein the triple clamps (to lower the front end) to where they were stopped by the handlebars. The bike needs to be offered with: 1). Handlebar mounts that are offset just 1/4-inch to the rear to clear the fork tubes when raised, or 2). Have available as a kit a 1-2 in. taller handlebar riser mount with a corresponding lower set of handlebars. And maybe take the kit one step further and offer a new internal fork spring/spacer kit and rear shock linkage to shorten the suspension travel for us sportbike fans, without having to fear grounding out the chassis if we do lower the suspension more than adjustment now allows.

All the Multistradas at the press introduction had had their fork tubes and spring preload adjusters raised as high as possible before hitting the handlebars to lower the front of the bikes as much as possible. But it still wasn't enough for us. We'd like to see the handlebar mounts offset back 1/4 inch or raised higher so we could lower the front of the bike even more. Its a simple fix, and our only criticism to the otherwise excellent bike.

The rear single sided swingarm is a beautiful Ducati tradition we miss on the new 999 Superbike. This one has no fewer than four bearings -two roller and two needle - and is firming located on both ends of the pivots. This gives better load distribution across the entire length of the pivot, and eliminates any chance of the swingarm flexing in the frame. Weight distribution of the bike is near evenly balanced 48 / 52% front / rear.

All this in a package that makes short work of any twisty section of road and would leave a sportbike rider struggling to stick with the MultiStrada. And once the road opens up a touring bike, or super motard rider would be left behind. He’d certainly be stopping for fuel.

The Multistrada rider has 20 liters (5.3 gal) of fuel at his disposal. Ducati has cleverly managed to keep the tank narrow and comfortable, by developing a unique molded plastic fuel tank/seat/tailpiece structure that carries the fuel through the upper section of the bike. Both the rider and passenger are actually sitting on the fuel tank, while additional space is provided under the traditional gas tank for a larger capacity, better breathing and silenced airbox for the induction system.

The Multistrada's radical concept and styling are the brainchild of Ducati Pierre Terblanche, the mastermind (or culprit) behind the just as controversial design and styling of the Ducati 999 Superbike. But like the 999, once you ride the MultiStrada and get to feel how it performs in its element, and understand why it was designed as such for function to follow form, the real beauty of the bike shines through with striking clarity. Terblanche has re-created an entirely new class of motorcycle that has been sorely missed in the world for nearly 35 years, and the other manufactures who have attempted to fill the gap they have fallen far short. As to the question we posed at the beginning, is the Multistrada a Jack-of-All Trades or Master of None, the answer is the Multistrada is the best of a newly revived class of bike that many people will fully enjoy as their one bike, or as the practical companion to a hard core single purpose bike.

The new Multistrada will be, for Ducati, the first generation in an entire line of MultiStradas that will emerge in coming years. Somewhat similar to the different Monster and Superbike versions that have evolved the last 10 years, the MultiStada offers even more diversity for evolution. Perhaps a fully faired touring bike. Or for us sportbikers, a watercooled Testastretta engined version with shorter suspension for serious canyon bashing and stoplight GP racing.

What Ducati has done with the MultiStrada is re-invent the wheel, or more precisely, the universal bike and a category to put it back in to. And in this new category the MultiStrada is god. Should you wish to tailor it towards a more focused sportbike or touring bike you can. But you always have the option to return from whence you came, something you can’t do with a superbike or a dresser. If you want one bike that will do everything almost perfectly, or a second bike to ride during the week or carry a passenger on back, the MultiStrada is that bike.

Here's the answer to all that pain and discomfort of riding a full-on Superbike for hours on end. The Multistrada tricked out with all the cool Sport Accessories from Ducati Performance. Meanwhile we'll have to wait for the Testastretta 999R engined version!

Choose your weapon- Sport or Touring
Ducati is more than happy to fulfill our needs for specialization with a cool line of Ducati Performance Accessories to tailor the Multistrada to our particular desire. Touring accessories include a Rear Luggage Rack with lockable Top Case, Lockable Saddlebags, Centerstand, Taller Windscreen, GPS Navigation System and Heated Grips. Superbike/Supermoto freaks can get their rocks off with a Termignoni Race Silencer Kit with recalibrated CPU for more spunk and less weight, Slipper Clutch with Titanium Cover, Carbon Fiber Engine Cowl, Billet Triple Clamps, and a full range of Marchessini forged alloy and magnesium wheels, and Dymag Carbon Fiber Wheels.

Continued Next Page • Ducati Multistrada page OneTwoThree • Multistrada S page Four

Added bonus! Chandi and Ducati Multistrada Screensavers
Click on the links to these pics and then save to your computer hard drive.
You'll find more pictures and a profile feature of Chandi in Meet the Models and in Members Corner.
1). Multistrada Sport 10  
2). Chandi Multistrada 32  
3). Chandi Multistrada 48
3). Chandi Multistrada 60
5). Chandi Multistrada 68

Chandi tests the Multistrada: Page OnePage TwoPage 3

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Ducati's new
Multi 1000 DS

Type L twin cylinder, 2 valve per cylinder Desmodromic; air cooled Displacement 992 cc BorexStroke 94x71.5 mm
Compression Ratio 10:1 Power 84 HP @ 8,000 rpm Torque 84 Nm - 8.5 kgm @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel injection Marelli electronic fuel injection, 45 mm throttle body
Exhaust Single steel muffler with 3-way catalytic converter Single steel muffler with catalytic converter
Emissions Emissions are in compliance with Euro1 standard regulations and are also expected to comply with Euro2 regulations, which have still not been defined. Euro2 (except USA version)

Gearbox 6 speed
Ratios 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3th 27/20, 4th 24/22, 5th 23/24, 6th 24/28
Primary drive Straight cut gears; ratio 1.84
Final drive Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 42
Dry multiplate with hydraulic control

Frame Tubular steel trellis
Wheelbase 1462 mm / 57.6 in
Rake 24°
Front suspension Showa 43 mm upside-down fully adjustable fork
Front wheel travel
165 mm/6.5 in
Front brake 2x320 mm semifloating discs, 4-piston calipers
Front wheel New 6-spoke design in light alloy 3.50x17
Front tyre 120/70 ZR 17
Rear suspension Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Showa monoshock; hydraulic remote pre-load control; single-sided aluminium swingarm
Rear wheel travel 128 mm / 5 in 141 mm / 5.6 in
Rear brake 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear wheel 5-spoke light alloy 5.50x17
Rear tyre 180/55 ZR 17
Fuel tank capacity 20 l/5.3
Weight * 200 kg / 441 lbs
Seat height 850 m/33.5 in
Instruments Speedometer, rev counter, clock, scheduled maintenance warning, warning light for low oil pressure, fuel level, oil temperature, fuel reserve,neutral, turn signals, average speed, average fuel consumption, fuel injection diagnostic system, immobilizer
Warranty 2 years unlimited mileage
Tank Colours Two-tone grey, red
Frame and Wheel colours Metallic grey Red (with red bike), black (with two-tone grey bike); light grey wheels
Versions One-Two seats

* The weight includes battery, lubricants and, where applicable, cooling liquid.

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