Ducati has unveiled the 2018 Multistrada 1260 at its pre-EICMA World Premiere event. The Multistrada is Ducati’s flagship adventure-tourer and is now clearly separated from its Enduro derivative thanks to a new motor and updates to its chassis configuration.
The MY18 Multistrada now gets a 1,262cc, liquid-cooled, L-Twin motor (the Enduro, for now, continues to get the older, 1,198cc motor) courtesy a 71.5mm longer stroke and produces 158hp at 9,500rpm, a 6hp increment over the MY17 Multistrada which produced peak power at the same rpm. Torque, too, has gone up by 1.5Nm, bring the tally up to 129.5Nm at 7,500rpm. This new motor features Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT), which, paired with Desmo valve actuation, results in good low-rev torque (and hence, rideability), an optimal power output while making it Euro-IV emissions norms compliant.
The Multistrada 1260 will be available in four variants, with the S, the S D|air and the Pikes Peak completing the line-up. The S D|air is a new addition to the Multistrada family and features a wireless connection to the motorcycle which triggers the Ducati D|air by Dainese protective armour in just 45 milliseconds, proving vital in the event of a crash. Like before, the standard 1200 makes do without the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS), although all the models, barring the Pikes Peak, feature the same, 48mm fork and a fully-adjustable Sachs monoshock (the Pikes Peak gets an Ohlins unit).
Updates to the chassis include a swingarm which is 48mm longer, and an increase in the steering rake from 24 to 25 degrees; this has resulted in a longer, 1,585mm wheelbase, up by 56mm on the previous model. This should contribute noticeably to the Multistrada’s high-speed stability, and it’s important to note that its weight, at 209kg (dry; 212kg for the S, 213kg for the S D|air) has remain unchanged, although the Pikes Peak variant has shed 2kg over its predecessor, weighing in at 206 kg, dry.
The Multistrada has always been loaded with good electronic kit and assists, and the 1260 goes a step ahead with its cornering ABS, back-lit handlebar controls and automatic turn-signal cancellation in addition to four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro), Ducati Wheelie Control, cruise control and hands-free connectivity. An important addition is that of Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), a standard feature that’s part of the new ABS unit. In effect, this holds the bike steady by activating the rear brake (for a period of nine seconds, after which it automatically deactivates if unused). This is something that will be of immense helps in tricky, uphill riding conditions, particularly off the road.
Ducati should introduce VHC to the off-road-biased Enduro, too, where its contribution will be invaluable.
The Multistrada 1260 will be launched in India in 2018, where it will continue to compete with the Triumph Tiger Explorer and the BMW R 1200 GS, although expect to pay a premium considering the extra kit that’s now standard fitment.
All-new Ducati Panigale V4 range unveiled
Ducati Scrambler 1100 unveiled