EICMA 2014 FIRST LOOK: 2015 Ducati Multistrada

With Desmo Variable Timing and improved electronics, the new Multistrada is more potent than ever.

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S studio rear 3/4 view

The new Multistrada just revealed at EICMA 2014 might be the most sophisticated and advanced bike in the whole Ducati lineup. From a styling point of view, the model has been revised in a few ways. New graphics make it cleaner and more pleasantly coordinated in every detail, but that pales in comparison to the significant evolutionary changes that have taken place with its Testastretta engine.

That's right, the new Multistrada introduces the latest evolution of the Testastretta 1198 V-twin, featuring the revolutionary Desmodromic Variable Timing in combination with dual-spark ignition and secondary air bleed. This bumps claimed horsepower from 150 hp at 9,250 rpm to 160 at 9,500, and claimed peak torque has increased from 91.8 pound-feet at 7,500 rpm to 100.3 at the same rpm. Simply put, there is no comparison between the old and new engines. The new Testastretta 1198 DVT powerplant not only features much higher peak numbers, but also a much broader power curve starting as low as 2,000 rpm.

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S studio front 3/4 view

The superior performance is also related to upgrades in the bike’s already competent electronics. Ducati’s new electronics suite includes the Inertia Measurement Unit, which has all features from before (traction control, ABS, four-mode ride-by-wire) plus wheelie control. It also manages the latest Ducati Skyhook suspension, which is standard equipment on the Multistrada S version. This electronically managed semi-active suspension, by Sachs, features an inverted 48 mm fork and a single shock absorber. The Inertia Measurement Unit also manages the latest Bosch Cornering ABS, which prevents the Brembo brakes from locking a wheel even when the Multistrada is well leaned over while going around a corner.

Ducati’s base Multistrada has a non-adjustable 48mm inverted fork, plus a pair of 320mm front brake rotors by Brembo. The Multistrada S, with its electronically managed semi-active front fork, gets 330mm front brake rotors and the latest M50 calipers, all by Brembo. Of note, the S also gets a full-color TFT dash, and the load settings of the Skyhook suspension are adjustable at rest or on the fly, as are the four riding modes: Sport, Touring, Urban, Enduro.

The new Multistrada S also benefits from a new full-LED headlight with corner-lighting technology. Additional peripheral lighting for the Multistrada S is available via a switch near the left grip that actuates two additional lights. All Multistradas roll on 17-inch wheels shod with the latest Pirelli Scorpion Trail II, a dedicated tire in 120/70-16 front and 190/55-17 rear sizes. In Europe, Ducati will continue to offer the Multistrada S D/Air model, which features a wireless connection to the airbag-equipped Ducati D/Air riding apparel by Dainese.

2015 Ducati Multistrada 2015 Ducati Multistrada S
ENGINE TYPE Liquid-cooled V-twin, 4 valves per cylinder, DVT|Liquid-cooled V-twin, 4 valves per cylinder, DVT
DISPLACEMENT 1198cc|1198cc
BORE & STROKE 106 x 67.9 mm|106 x 67.9 mm
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 160 hp @ 9,500 rpm|160 hp @ 9,500 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 100 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm|100 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm
FUEL INJECTION Bosch EFI, elliptical throttle bodies (equivalent diameter 56 mm)|Bosch EFI, elliptical throttle bodies (equivalent diameter 56 mm)
EXHAUST Stainless steel muffler with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, aluminum tail pipes|Stainless steel muffler with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, aluminum tail pipes
GEARBOX Six-speed|Six-speed
RATIO 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25|1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25
PRIMARY DRIVE Straight-cut gears; Ratio 1.84:1|Straight-cut gears; Ratio 1.84:1
FINAL DRIVE Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 40|Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 40
CLUTCH Wet, slipper|Wet, slipper
FRAME Tubular-steel trellis|Tubular-steel trellis
WHEELBASE 60.2 in.|60.2 in.
RAKE 24°|24°
TRAIL 4.3 in.|4.3 in.
FRONT SUSPENSION 48mm fully adjustable inverted fork|48mm inverted fork. Skyhook compression and rebound damping adjustment
FRONT WHEEL TRAVEL 6.7 in.|6.7 in.
FRONT WHEEL Y-shaped 3-spoke, light alloy 3.50 in. x 17 in.|Y-shaped 3-spoke, light alloy 3.50 in. x 17 in.
FRONT TIRE Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 120/70 R-17|Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 120/70 R-17
REAR SUSPENSION Fully adjustable Sachs monoshock unit. Remote spring preload adjustment. Aluminum single-sided swingarm|Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Skyhook compression and rebound damping adjustment. Skyhook spring pre-load adjustment. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
REAR WHEEL TRAVEL 6.7 in.|6.7 in.
REAR WHEEL Y-shaped 3-spoke, light alloy 6.0 in. x 17 in.|Y-shaped 3-spoke, light alloy 6.0 in. x 17 in.
REAR TIRE Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 190/55 R-17|Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 190/55 R-17
FRONT BRAKE 2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted monobloc Brembo calipers, 4-piston, 2-pad, cornering ABS|2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monobloc Evo M50 4-piston calipers, 2-pad, radial pump, cornering ABS
REAR BRAKE 265mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper, with cornering ABS|265mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper, cornering ABS
FUEL TANK CAPACITY 5.3 gal.|5.3 gal.
CLAIMED DRY WEIGHT 461 lb.|467 lb.
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT 511 lb.|518 lb.
SEAT HEIGHT 32.5 to 33.3 in.|32.5 to 33.3 in.
INSTRUMENTATION LCD|5-in. TFT color display

Studio front 3/4 right-side view.

Studio rear 3/4 left-side view.

Studio right-side view.

Studio left-side view.

Front view.

Instrument panel.

Studio front 3/4 right-side view (with touring kit).

Studio right-side view.

Studio right-side view.

Action shot.