While the Panigale V4 grabbed all headlines from 2017 EICMA, Ducati also silently updated the Multistrada for 2018 with a bigger engine, slight changes to the chassis and the design, along with a new suite of electronics.
The Ducati Multistrada is undoubtedly the one motorcycle to have if you are thinking ‘Italian’ and ‘Adventure’ together. Ducati’s take on the ADV motorcycle is essentially a superbike with long travel suspension. As such, it plays against the likes of KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, BMW S1000XR instead of bikes like the Triumph Tiger 1200, BMW R1200GS. Ducati has updated the Multistrada and made it that much more sophisticated and powerful for 2018.
The 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 gets a new mill which currently powers the XDiavel. The 1262cc Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) L-Twin generates 158 hp aboard the Multi and delivers 85% of its 128 Nm torque under 3,500 rpm. Ducati also claims an 18% bump in power delivery at 5,500 rpm over the 1200S. This makes the Multistrada 1260S the torquiest bike in its class. The chassis of the 1260 is subtly tweaked with a longer swingarm and wheelbase, along with revised geometry for sharper handling and added stability.
Adventure bikes of today get an impressive suite of electronics that help tame the machine and tackle terrain alike. The 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 does not skimp when it comes to electronics and rider aids. To start off, there’s Bosch-developed 9.1ME IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that forms the foundation of the safety net of the motorcycle. The IMU controls the ABS, cornering lights (1260S only), Ducati Traction Control and Ducati Wheelie Control. the IMU also interacts with Ducati Skyhook suspension, adjusting it on the fly according to the terrain encountered.
Both traction control and wheelie control are adjustable up to eight levels adjusted by the rider. Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) is now standard across all Multistrada 1260 variants. It helps the rider pull off from idle without stalling the bike, especially on gradients.
Both the 1260 and 1260S get cruise control. The 1260S get a Bluetooth module to pair your smartphone to the Ducati Multimedia System. It helps control basic functions like receiving or declining calls and playing music on the go.
Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak also receives the XDiavel-sourced engine, as well as forged aluminium rims and Öhlins fully adjustable suspension on both ends. The units are not electronically controlled, requiring mechanical adjustment instead. the Multistrada Pikes Peak gets all the goodies found on the 1260S along with a two-way quickshifter, with a Termignoni exhaust system and carbon fiber screen can be specced as accessories.
With the release of the 2018 1260 variants, the Multistrada lineup is now complete, and offers a variant for each taste, right from the 950 to the 1200 Enduro Pro.