XtraPix: Universal Non-Japanese Motorcycles - First Look

Ducati Multistrada 1100 vs. Triumph Tiger 1050.

XtraPix: Universal Non-Japanese Motorcycles - First Look

XtraPix: Universal Non-Japanese Motorcycles - First Look

It’s never too promising a start to your riding day when you approach your motorcycle in the early morning to find ice on the saddle. The expectation is at least that the temperature can only go up, but that first step of applying your fundament to the vehicle-interface unit doesn’t bode well.

At least with the Ducati Multistrada and Triumph Tiger 1050, the general demeanor of the machinery is of broadband capability and a degree of fun limited only by your imagination and, perhaps, the degree of insulation your gear provides.

The frost was gone quickly, and while the biting cold lasted a bit longer, this middle point of our 750-mile central California tour turned into a sunny perfect day on the road. What is nice about these bikes is that they suggest a peeling away from the herd, like when you go on vacation somewhere during the off-season. The place is still the place, but you get a better sense of the local culture, don’t have to wait in line so much and all the rates are cheaper. Adventure-tourers aren’t as comfortable as full-on sport-tourers nor as fast as all-out sportbikes, but the music of the road plays out on these capable instruments as it can with few other types of motorcycles. They offer just enough of everything to survive—and even thrive in—anything. So even with a cold ass, you have a warm spirit.

A comfortable seat and smooth engine make the Tiger a good road bike.

Waves of asphalt soften life?s ups and downs.

Multistrada?s new 1100cc desmo V-Twin makes great power and torque.

Adventure starts on a narrow winding road. Bumps over the next 14 miles are no problem with Tiger and Multistrada long-travel suspension.

Triumph?s aggressive chassis geometry makes steering light and precise.

Multistrada offers quick steering and lots of lean angle.