2009 Milan Show: 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

Ducati revamps the ‘Sport Touring Urban Enduro’ Multistrada 1200 for 2010.

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 at the 2009 Milan Show

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 at the 2009 Milan Show

One thing is certain about the new 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200: The old, ugly duckling air-cooled version has been sent to its final resting place, and this new model carries only the same name. Whether or not you like the styling is up to you!

Development focused on expanded versatility and greater performance. According to Ducati literature, the Multistrada 1200 fulfills four different roles: sportbike, grand tourer, urban commuter and adventure bike. Impressive claims.

But the latest Multistrada is an impressive machine. The technical specification centers around a special edition of the mighty liquid-cooled 1198 desmoquattro unit called "Testastretta 11 degrees," denoting the cam-timing valve overlap. This sounds pretty tame next to the 1198 Superbike's 41-degree overlap phase. And while the shorter overlap emphasizes torque, the Multistrada engine nonetheless produces a claimed 150 horsepower at 9250 rpm, with 87.5 foot-pounds of torque at 7500 rpm. What counts most is that this engine is said to be extremely fluid and tractable, with lots of power at low rpm. Further, fuel economy is allegedly improved by 15 percent.

But the biggest departure for Ducati is the chassis design. The frame structure is new and specifically conceived for the Multistrada 1200. Inspiration clearly comes from the latest Monster's hybrid steel-tube-trellis front section and cast aluminum rear section/pivot plates. The Multistrada's massive single-sided swingarm is the longest of any Ducati's, as the wheelbase spans a substantial 60.2 inches. This was an effort to move the passenger "inboard" of the rear axle, a feat no other Ducati produced during the past 20 years has achieved—not even the ST sport-tourers.

The 2010 Multistrada will be available in standard, S Sport and S Touring versions. The base model is fitted with a fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork and Sachs shock. The S editions use Öhlins, in the form of a high-spec "active" 48mm fork and shock, both controlled and adjusted by the new Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES). Wheel travel on all models is a bump-friendly 6.7 inches front and rear.

The electronics continue: All Multistrada 1200s are fitted with a ride-by-wire electronic throttle-control system that includes three power delivery modes and eight traction-control levels. The power modes range from 150-hp Sport, 150-hp Touring (smoother delivery) and a softer, 100-hp City and Enduro mode. On the S edition, the system also modifies suspension tuning according to load, riding style and road conditions. Brembo ABS brakes are optional on the base bike and standard on the S versions. Claimed dry weight is 412 pounds, impressive for a bike with these features.

As an interesting side note, Ducati has signed an exclusive-supplier contract to use Pirelli tires on all production bikes. Applied here are multipurpose Pirelli Scorpion Trial radials mounted on 17-inch Brembo wheels.

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200

2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200