Ducati Multistrada 1260 vs rivals: Specifications comparison

21st Jun 2018 6:00 am

We pit Ducati’s new flagship adventure motorcycle against similar offerings from BMW and Triumph.

Ducati has just launched its new Multistrada in India with introductory prices of Rs 15.99 lakh (for the 1260) and Rs 18.06 lakh (for the 1260 S). While the bike is not entirely fresh off the drawing board, it has seen significant changes and now boasts more power and equipment. This is exactly why we are comparing it to what we feel are its closest rivals in India.

One of them is Triumph’s new Tiger 1200 XCx, which is priced at Rs 17 lakh. Yes, a road-focused variant like a XR would be more fitting, but at present, only the off-road-spec XCx is on sale in India.

In BMW’s corner are two motorcycles – the off-road-focused R 1200 GS (Rs 15.70 lakh for Standard, Rs 18.90 lakh for Pro) and the comparatively road-orientated S 1000 XR (Rs 17.50 for Standard, Rs 19.90 lakh for Pro). We decided to take the pair because the Multistrada sits between them in terms of performance, pricing and equipment. All prices, ex-showroom India.

We have compared the highest-spec variants of each motorcycle for an unbiased result.

Engine and performance

While these motorcycles may be from brands from the same continent, they are quite different when it comes to engines and performance. Ducati’s new Multistrada 1260 S uses a bigger L-Twin sourced from the xDiavel that makes 6hp and 1.5Nm of torque more than the model it replaces. At 1,262cc, this engine has the highest capacity in this comparison. That being said, it doesn’t have the highest power-to-weight of the lot.

The Ducati (at 672.3hp/tonne) comes in second after the BMW S 1000 XR Pro’s 723.6hp/tonne. The S 1000 XR’s low weight of 228kg is a result of it being a fast-road tourer more than a full-fledged adventure motorcycle.

Taking the third spot in the power-to-weight ratio competition is Triumph’s 1200 XCx at 532hp/tonne. Unlike the other two bikes, the XCx is a proper adventure motorcycle – and that comes with added weight.

Close on the XCx’s heels at 512.2hp/tonne is BMW’s adventure motorcycle – the R 1200 GS Pro. While it may have the lowest power-to-weight ratio, it is key to note that it offers its peak power and torque at a much lower rpm, and is likely to be the most calm and tractable of the three.

Powertrain
Multistrada 1260 SR 1200 GS ProS 1000 XR ProTiger 1200 XCx
Displacement1262cc1170cc999cc1215cc
Engine layoutL-TwinFlat twinIn-line, four-cylinderIn-line, three-cylinder
Power158hp at 9500rpm125hp at 7750rpm165hp at 11000rpm141hp at 9350rpm
Torque129.5Nm at 7500rpm125Nm at 6500rpm114Nm at 9250rpm122Nm at 7600rpm
Compression ratio13:112.5:112.0:111.0:1
Gearbox6-speed6-speed6-speed6-speed
Power-to-weight ratio672.3hp/tonne512.2hp/tonne723.6hp/tonne532.0hp/tonne

Purpose and ability

These motorcycles have been designed to cover long distances – on- and off-road, for some – while being comfortable. Like before, the standard 1260 makes do without the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS).

Meanwhile, the 1260 S gets DSS and it shares its 48mm fork and a fully-adjustable Sachs monoshock with the rest of the Multistrada variants. The bike also features updates to the chassis, including a 48mm-longer swingarm and increased steering rake (from 24-25 degrees). These changes have resulted in a longer wheelbase of 1,585mm, up by 56mm, compared to the older model.

With the R 1200 GS Pro, BMW is doing things a bit differently, it gets BMW Motorrad Telelever suspension and a central spring strut at the front; while the rear gets a pre-load adjustable monoshock with adjustable rebound damping.

Interestingly, the S 1000 XR rides on the same basic suspension set-up as the bike maker’s sporty RR and R – adjustable 46mm inverted forks up front and an adjustable monoshock round the back. However, the suspension travel is increased to 150mm (front) and 140mm (rear); as opposed to 120mm (front and rear) for the RR and R. Triumph’s 1200 XCx is one of the highest-specced Tigers out there – which is why it has been equipped with Triumph Semi Active Suspension (TSAS) that has a 48mm inverted WP fork, up front (190mm travel) and a WP rear monoshock (193mm travel).

As we’ve considered the higher-spec models here, all four bikes offer adaptive and electronically adjustable front and rear suspension.

Suspension & brakes
Multistrada 1260 SR 1200 GS ProS 1000 XR ProTiger 1200 XCx
Front suspensionElectronically-controlled USD forkElectronically-controlled BMW Motorrad TeleleverElectronically-controlled USD forkElectronically-controlled USD fork
Rear suspensionMonoshockMonoshockMonoshockMonoshock
Front brakes330mm twin-disc305mm twin-disc320mm twin-disc305mm twin-disc
Rear brakes265mm disc276mm disc265mm disc282mm disc
Front tyre120/70 R17120/70 R19120/70 R17120/70 R19
Rear tyre190/55 R17170/60 R17190/55 R17170/60 R17

Features and equipment

Ducati has always equipped its flagship adventure-tourer motorcycle well; the new Multistrada is no exception. The 1260 comes with cornering ABS, back-lit handlebar controls and automatic turn-signal cancellation. The bikes also feature four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro), Ducati Wheelie Control, cruise control and hands-free connectivity. Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) is another 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).

In addition to these features, the 1260 S gets an exclusive colour TFT display for the instrument cluster, a full-LED headlight and cornering lights.

The GS Pro is heavily equipped, as well; it comes with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), ABS Pro, Dynamic ESA (electronic suspension system), LED headlights, keyless ignition and daytime running lamps. The bike also sports a hill-start control, riding modes, heated grips, a tyre pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and cruise control. All these features can also be found on the Multistrada 1260 S.

The same cannot be said about the S 1000 XR, which is comparatively less equipped. Standard equipment includes ‘rain’ and ‘road’ riding modes, switchable ABS and automatic stability control. However, being the Pro variant does give it an additional riding mode and cruise control.

Triumph has equipped its Tiger 1200 XCx well, too. For starters, it features IMU-aided traction control, cornering ABS and five riding modes – Off-Road Pro, Road, Rain, Off-Road and Sport. It also gets a modern-looking and compact 5.0-inch TFT screen, keyless ignition, an electronically adjustable windscreen and cruise control.

Dimensions
Multistrada 1260 SR 1200 GS ProS 1000 XR ProTiger 1200 XCx
Wheelbase1585mm1507mm1548mm1520mm
Kerb weight235kg244kg228kg265kg
Fuel capacity20 litres20 litres20 litres20 litres

Summing it up

Ducati has heated up the adventure-tourer segment with the introduction of its new Multistrada. It has the largest motor and the one of the lightest kerb weights, in its segment. While the Multi was never lacking in terms of features and equipment, the new model has brought with it quite a few updates and the promise of more effortless performance. That being said, the new Multistrada is still inheritably more suited towards riding on tarmac rather than the dirt. The Tiger 1200 XCx is the only one here with spoked wheels, but aside from that, the GS joins it with crash guards and less stylish bodywork that hints at a desire to be taken off-road. The BMW even comes in the more rugged GS Adventure trim with spoke wheels and these are the only two full-fledged adventure bikes in this comparison. Lastly and on the other end of the scale is BMW’s S 1000 XR with its 17-inch rims. It is basically a litre-class super sport on stilts. While it may be the fastest on the road, it will have the least off-road potential.

Also see:

Ducati Multistrada 1260: 5 things to know

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 image gallery

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