Ever since the latest generation Multistrada was launched back in 2010, I’ve ridden every single model upgrade and iteration that rolled out of the factory. Even though the overall look of the motorcycle hasn’t changed a lot, it has gone through a lot of evolution even though a lot of you might be thinking otherwise.
In 2013 it saw its first major upgrade in the form of Skyhook semi-active suspension and in 2015 came the most significant upgrade ever with Desmodromic Variable Timing. It also received other minor upgrades like pannier latches, a color dashboard console, etc. The big change for this year’s model however is the introduction of the XDiavel’s 1,262cc engine, a longer wheelbase, and updates to the LCD dashboard.
The DVT engine on this motorcycle is the talk of the town and it provides a superb amount of torque pretty much whenever you need it in the rev-range. I found this to be the most significant upgrade in this model over the outgoing versions which lacked this grunt. This 2018 model is also longer thanks to that 2.2-inch extension in the wheelbase compared to the previous model. The frame is extended to accommodate the XDiavel engine.
The third big upgrade worth noting is the TFT LCD console which is the same size as before but has a higher-resolution TFT screen and updated software that provides a zillion option to play with. There’s also the Ducati Link App which I didn’t get the chance to try out but it allows owners to adjust settings from their phone, link with social media, track and share rides, win badges and points for logging distance, and keep track of service intervals.
On the road, you can definitely feel the massive amount of improvement in rideability thanks to that engine. It does get an additional six horsepower more than the previous model but it’s that torque that is mighty impressive. The power delivery is so linear and addictive. The fat mid-range makes it an ideal motorcycle around town and the highways. Gearshifts are minimal and I loved how it pulled away each time I whacked the throttle open. It felt very sportsbike-like.
The change in overall geometry has made the handling more predictable and added stability. Having spent some time adjusting the suspension to my liking, I loved the way I could flick it around the hills in the Northern Emirates as well as the feedback the bike provided.
Not that I’d never ride this on the track but I’ve seen a few riders use the Multistrada on the racetrack in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the new Multistrada might disappoint them. The 2.2-inch longer wheelbase is bound to affect the agility around tight corners but I don’t see this as an issue on the highways.
Being taller than average at 6 feet 2 inches, I did feel the need for slightly taller bars but that’s something of a personal preference. Personally, I’m more analogue and I switched off the quick shifter option but on a nippy run, you will enjoy the quick shifts. I also spent enough time cycling through the different riding modes the Multistrada has to offer and settled on Touring for my kind of riding.
There is also an Enduro mode for off-road use. Almost all of its competitors offer riding modes but the Multistrada offers the most comprehensive list of adjustable options than any of them. It even has cornering lights which I wasn’t aware of but when I noticed them come on, I was mighty impressed at the thought Ducati has put into evolving the Multistrada as the one bike that can do it all.
All of this comes at a price though. The Multistrada isn’t cheap by any means and the price range, depending on which version (Touring or the Touring S) you go for, pricing varies between AED 99,000 and AED 110,000. There are also the Enduro and the Enduro Pro versions you can go for if you’re really thinking of taking one of these off-road.