Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro Review – Globetrotting Goliath
If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet"...... Rachel Wolchin
In the world of motorcycle touring- the Ducati Multistrada needs no introduction. The term Multistrada in itself implies many roads and the motorcycle has been amply testified of being a versatile performer not only on the road but occasional off-tarmac ventures too- but it wasn’t enough if one had to really push further down the broken trail. The existing Multistrada provided the perfect template for Ducati instead of going back to the drawing boards. Amping up the motorcycle with dune bashing updates and hardware- the Ducati Multistrada Enduro was all set to take on broken roads and the adventure touring competition alike. We took this giant of a motorcycle through a course of 500+ kms over two days putting it through paces- from munching miles on well paved blacktops to swallowing undulations off the beaten path. At the end of which, we seriously didn’t feel like returning the bike back to Ducati. Why? We have it all covered in our Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro review.
STYLING & FEATURES
It’s been long since we returned the motorcycle, but we still can’t help reminiscing about the epic proportions of the motorcycle. Though it would easy for a layman to define it as a regular Multistrada on stilts, but a closer look and you start noticing the differences.
The tank now gets an extra ten litres of gulp over the regular model taking it to a whopping 30 litres.
The windscreen gets a marginal reduction considering its genus that would see more off trail than road with the rider seat having a deeper scoop for better accommodation and hold for the rider on bad surfaces.
The full LED headlamp cluster with cornering function
Full TFT Digital dashboard with every possible information on display and comes equipped with the Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) that connects to a smartphone through Bluetooth. The rider can accept an incoming phone call, listen to songs and be alerted for incoming messages. .
Heated grips for a warm ride in cold conditions.
Charging point to juice up your gadgets if needed.
The handlebar now sits 50mm over the regular Multistrada for an easy reach while riding in stand up position.
The Enduro also gets the electronically adjusting Ducati Skyhook suspension with 7.9 inches of travel at both ends- an increment of 1.2 inches over the regular Multistrada.
Also as is the case with the adventure genre of motorcycles, the Enduro comes shod with a 19 inch front and a 17 inch rear spoked wheels.
The gorgeous one sided swingarm is now replaced with a double braced aluminium swingarm to endure battering meted out during off road stints.
The front brake rotors are now 10mm smaller at 320mm in comparison pinched by a set of Brembo 4 piston callipers.
A metallic bash plate protects the underbelly and exhaust pipes from scrapping and projectiles being hurled from the front tyre.
The claw profiled footpegs impart tight hold when the Enduro goes dancing over bad terrain.
The rear sprocket gets an extra three teeth (43) for added drive during low speed off road ventures.
The twin pipe exhausts are wrapped in the higher placed single stainless steel unit.
The regular Multistrada is already gorgeous looking motorcycle- won’t be out of place to say the best looking of the touring lot. While most of the endurance motorcycles look designed and prep’d up for an apocalypse, the 1200 Enduro retains that Italian magnificience even while reeking of belligerence from certain quarters.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX
A motorcycle of epic proportions calls for a potent motor at the helm and the Enduro doesn’t disappoint. The 1198.4cc Testastretta L-Twin DVT engine with Ducati’s traditional Desmodromic valves packs in a staggering 152 bhp of max power and 128 nm of peak torque, with a bounty of 100 nm available at a ridiculously low 3500 rpm. The motor isn’t exactly a vibe free unit, more so below the 3000 rpm mark. But once past the revs, its smoothen outs into a lazy operator if cruising at 100 kph that comes up at a measly 3800 rpm and post 5000 revs- it sounds an absolute racket. With seamless fueling, thanks to ride by wire throttle inputs, the Enduro hustles ahead in a manner that one would relate to supersports or brawny street fighters- even in top gear. The SPORT MODE lets loose all of those 152 ponies in an expeditious mode with 120 coming up at 4400, 150 @ 5500 and 180 @ 6800 rpm. Luckily a weekday outing ensured that we got a chance to hit a top whack of 220 kph on the Enduro- and it was but a difficult task to keep an eye on the tach for the corresponding rpm. At no point does the engine feels stressed, even while being north of 200 kph and still shows enough grunt to propel to higher numbers.
The traction and wheelie control feels less intrusive with the front end getting off the ground marginally during hard acceleration. Not only do these numbers sound astounding for an adventure motorcycle, but the pace at which it gathers them is simply staggering. Riding modes could be switched on the fly and the best experience has to be when switching to SPORT MODE and the transition that follows is an aural treat. While the TOURING MODE too offers a full 152 bhp at your right wrist’s disposal, but it’s still sedate and more linear compared to the SPORT MODE.
The URBAN MODE cuts down the power to 100 bhp with traction and wheelie control set at a higher intervening level. The ABS sets down to level 3 for optimized braking ability with the cornering function being more intrusive considering urban riding conditions. Also the recalibrated Skyhook suspension translates into a more supple hold in anticipation of bumps and speed breakers extending a comfortable roll for the rider.
While the SPORT MODE feels the most engaging, it’s the ENDURO MODE that’s more pronounced on the Ducati when it takes to the broken trail. While the power is condensed down to an urban similar 100 bhp- but the difference in delivery is evident. Also thanks to a shorter first gear compared to the regular Multistrada, the motorcycle feels more tractable while getting out of trenches or hopping over rocky surfaces. Traction control is at the highest ensuring added levels of surface hold and eliminating unnecessary wheelspin. With the wheelie control and rear wheel lift detection disengaged, the motorcycle can be felt more in control considering regular variance in throttle and braking inputs while tackling unexpected surfaces and undulations. The Cornering and ABS functions at the rear wheel are disengaged to allow for imperative locking and sliding needs.
The gearbox is a smooth unit for an L-Twin motor and though it needs a marginally added effort from the toe- it doesn’t sound clunky. Also the slipper clutch aids in a lighter clutch input and smoother tranny shift. Overall, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro blew our caps off with its supersports like engine and gearbox performance. The only gripe we held against the Enduro was engine heat and even high speed runs couldn’t channel the heat away from our legs occasionally forcing us to use the cruise control on the motorcycle and slip our posterior onto the pillion seat.
HANDLING, BRAKING AND RIDE QUALITY
If the engine on the Enduro left us stunned, the handling had us equally in awe. Though myself being 5.8’ is more than acceptable in this part of the world, but the Enduro ensured that it wasn’t enough despite being offered with the lowest seat height. The only way I could flat foot was sliding off to one side and getting one foot to balance the whole motorcycle, riding it under varying conditions came bundled with apprehensions galore. And that is exactly where the Ducati threw sweet surprises at us. It feels half its weight when on the move not only while tackling tarmac twisties, but also during our off road stint. The balance of the motorcycle felt impeccable and not even once did the fear of getting the feet down came to mind. Though being perched higher than other motorcycles, the feel of being seated into the bike adds to the confidence. The larger front wheel surprisingly negates any resistance dipping into the corners and tilts in motion adds more to kicks than fear. The Scorpion Trail II tyres offers oodles of road grip and at the same time maintaining composure on loose surfaces.
With all electronic aids operating in flawless conjunction with the selected riding mode, all one can do is keep pushing the motorcycle to its limits and only get better at every attempt- be it on or off road. With the ABS switched off in ENDURO MODE, we were having a blast getting the rear to slide and drift as far as we could with ample awareness that it would be difficult to get the foot down in a whizzy. Also the disengagement of the wheelie control meant we could whack the throttle while hitting humps and get the front air borne. At all times during our stint, we couldn’t help but ponder that if the Multistrada Enduro in its current proportions would leave us baffled, what would a similar motorcycle in a more compact package would feel like.
Coming to braking- the Multistrada 1200 Enduro features Brembo M4 calipers grabbing the front 320mm twin discs mated to a Vehicle Hold Control system which basically works as an automated car hand brake. The system holds up the brake for 9 seconds during stops on inclines, declines or even flat surfaces preventing forth and back movement due to gravity. This enables the rider to focus more on throttle and clutch control. Complementing the front braking is a 265mm single disc at the rear with cornering ABS as a standard feature. The braking feedback on the Enduro is precise offering stupendous stopping ability under regular and harsh braking conditions. ABS is non-intrusive, thanks to the overall balance of the motorcycle and the grippy rubber at both ends only intervening when you push your luck too far.
Talking about ride quality on the Multistrada 1200 Enduro- it’s plush, though on road comfort might not be as good as the Versys 1000, but definitely better than other adventure motorcycles we have ridden. The comfortable ergonomics on the Ducati could be well contributed to a comfortable scooped saddle (we wish the seat could have been a wee bit softer), the seating geometry and the suspension presets which switches accordingly to riding modes and traction control levels- which can be further customized as per the rider i.e. solo, two up, with luggage etc. On road craters and rumbler strips could be winked away at without worry- just stand up on the pegs, whack the throttle…and its goodbye undulations.
SUMMING IT UP
We came back nothing but impressed after riding the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro. There are motorcycles across genres which excel in one department and somewhat flunk in the other. What had us astounded was the overall performance of the Ducati- though we still couldn’t push it to its capabilities, but we threw all what was possible. Barring the engine heat that almost had us in tears out of discomfort, we couldn’t really put a finger on the Enduro 1200. It has bundles of grunt to get your eye balls dig deeper into the sockets and ample braking power to get your triceps worked up. Offering great ride quality both on and off the road with flawless electronic aids at the rider’s disposal- it’s akin to petting a firebreathing dragon who’s as obedient as a little pup. Ducati has successfully managed to fuse brawn and brain into one package that would run circles around the planet if needed be. Unfortunately short and average heighted riders would feel deprived, but if you’re close to a six feeter and looking out for a no-nonsense no-compromise go anywhere motorcycle, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is one of the prime choices to have you hooked on your adventurous endeavours. Price starts from INR 17.5 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi.
DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1200 ENDURO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1200 ENDURO IMAGE GALLERY