Ducati Performance accessorized Multistrada features the Termignoni
Race Silencer Kit, Dimag Carbon Fiber Wheels with Pirelli Super
Corse tires, a Slipper Clucth with Titanium Cover, and Carbon
Fiber cam Belt and Engine Lower Covers.
Ducati has done with the MultiStrada is re-invent the wheel, or
more precisely, the universal bike and a category to put it back
Fast Dates girl Chandi Mason evaluates the new
Multistrada hard on canyon roads we really couldn’t find
its limits as they kept extending out beyond what we thought the
bike was capable of. On my 999 Superbike I’d be dragging
my boot in the first sweeper, but with the Multi on its new supermotard
inspired cut slick style Pirelli Scorpion Sync tires the bike
just wanted to keep leaning further than we were prepared to try
outside of a race track.
wide handlebars really feel great and makes us hard core sportbikers
realize how comfortable a motorcycle can and should be. The upper
portion of the fairing and windscreen rotate with the handlebars
to provide the handlebar clearance and wind protection that a
fully fixed fairing can not.
Brembo Series Oro calipers with the the front one-piece full-floating
brake disc rotors mounted directly to the curious lattice-work
wheel hub. It looks weird, but it eliminates the traditional disc
carrier to save weight, complexity and manufacturing cost. Into
a corner a little too hot because you had to pass that camper
van? No problem, just grab a little more of that one-finger lever
and stuff the front end over a little further.
contribute to the MultiStrada's excellent handling. The wheels
are as light as Ducati flagship 999, but have been engineered
for less gyroscopic effect than the rollers on the flagship superbike.
And this baby, unlike some of its dual purpose bretheren, gets
real 17-inch sportbike wheels and suspension.
new wheels carry Pirelli’s new Scorpion Sync tires,
designed for and launched in tandem with the Multistrada,
positioned between sports touring and full-on sports tires.
We rode on both wet and dry roads and couldn’t get
them to do anything wrong, which is a great compliment.
wise, the Showa suspension is pretty incredible right out
of the box. The 43mm USD forks have already proven themselves
as highly competent, but the rear shock was always a “must-heave”
the first time I ever rode with one on a superbike. I just
figured it was put there to hold the rear end up until you
could afford an Ohlins. Now it really works well.
only slightly disconcerting thing when it comes to the MultiStrada's
handling is the longer travel suspension. Compared to a
superbike and it’s shorter travel which we like to
be set rock sold for precise control, you are conscious
of the MultiStrada moving up and down on its suspension
as you dive into and accelerate out of corners. I could
have dialed up the dampening to counter act this, but it
would have defeated the whole purpose of the bike having
longer suspension to tackle rougher roads if need be. And
why there is a difference between the Multistrada and a
single purpose superbike.
is fully adjustable front and rear. The front forks now have
the compression adjustment screw within easy access outside
the leg instead of hidden up inside the spindle. The fully
adjustable Showa shock at the rear has a conveniently located
hydraulic remote preload adjuster knob so you can easily dial-in
the preload for carrying a passenger or luggage. No more skinned
knuckles from adjuster wrenches, or hammering on a screwdriver
and dinging up the shock
us to our only critisism of the bike, that being it’s extremely
tall seat height and the difficulty of getting on and off due
to the longer travel suspension. My first attempt to get on the
bike saw us ungratefully loose our balance and the bike fell over
on us. Luckily the bike is light enough that we caught it before
it hit the ground and I could right it back up easily. We finally
had to perfect a technique of getting on the bike by stepping
on the footpeg while it was balanced on the sidestand. The bike
needs to be modified slightly to offer more adjustment in the
ride height and suspension travel to suit the rider or type of
riding. This can already be accomplished fairly well at the rear
with the easily adjusted hydraulic ride height.
But at the
front of our test bike the fork tubes were already raised as high
as possiblein the triple clamps (to lower the front end) to where
they were stopped by the handlebars. The bike needs to be offered
with: 1). Handlebar mounts that are offset just 1/4-inch to the
rear to clear the fork tubes when raised, or 2). Have available
as a kit a 1-2 in. taller handlebar riser mount with a corresponding
lower set of handlebars. And maybe take the kit one step further
and offer a new internal fork spring/spacer kit and rear shock
linkage to shorten the suspension travel for us sportbike fans,
without having to fear grounding out the chassis if we do lower
the suspension more than adjustment now allows.
All the Multistradas
at the press introduction had had their fork tubes and spring
preload adjusters raised as high as possible before hitting the
handlebars to lower the front of the bikes as much as possible.
But it still wasn't enough for us. We'd like to see the handlebar
mounts offset back 1/4 inch or raised higher so we could lower
the front of the bike even more. Its a simple fix, and our only
criticism to the otherwise excellent bike.
single sided swingarm is a beautiful Ducati tradition we miss
on the new 999 Superbike. This one has no fewer than four bearings
-two roller and two needle - and is firming located on both ends
of the pivots. This gives better load distribution across the
entire length of the pivot, and eliminates any chance of the swingarm
flexing in the frame. Weight distribution of the bike is near
evenly balanced 48 / 52% front / rear.
in a package that makes short work of any twisty section of road
and would leave a sportbike rider struggling to stick with the
MultiStrada. And once the road opens up a touring bike, or super
motard rider would be left behind. He’d certainly be stopping
rider has 20 liters (5.3 gal) of fuel at his disposal. Ducati
has cleverly managed to keep the tank narrow and comfortable,
by developing a unique molded plastic fuel tank/seat/tailpiece
structure that carries the fuel through the upper section of the
bike. Both the rider and passenger are actually sitting on the
fuel tank, while additional space is provided under the traditional
gas tank for a larger capacity, better breathing and silenced
airbox for the induction system.
radical concept and styling are the brainchild of Ducati Pierre
Terblanche, the mastermind (or culprit) behind the just as controversial
design and styling of the Ducati 999 Superbike. But like the 999,
once you ride the MultiStrada and get to feel how it performs
in its element, and understand why it was designed as such for
function to follow form, the real beauty of the bike shines through
with striking clarity. Terblanche has re-created an entirely new
class of motorcycle that has been sorely missed in the world for
nearly 35 years, and the other manufactures who have attempted
to fill the gap they have fallen far short. As to the question
we posed at the beginning, is the Multistrada a Jack-of-All Trades
or Master of None, the answer is the Multistrada is the best of
a newly revived class of bike that many people will fully enjoy
as their one bike, or as the practical companion to a hard core
single purpose bike.
The new Multistrada
will be, for Ducati, the first generation in an entire line of
MultiStradas that will emerge in coming years. Somewhat similar
to the different Monster and Superbike versions that have evolved
the last 10 years, the MultiStada offers even more diversity for
evolution. Perhaps a fully faired touring bike. Or for us sportbikers,
a watercooled Testastretta engined version with shorter suspension
for serious canyon bashing and stoplight GP racing.
has done with the MultiStrada is re-invent the wheel, or more
precisely, the universal bike and a category to put it back in
to. And in this new category the MultiStrada is god. Should you
wish to tailor it towards a more focused sportbike or touring
bike you can. But you always have the option to return from whence
you came, something you can’t do with a superbike or a dresser.
If you want one bike that will do everything almost perfectly,
or a second bike to ride during the week or carry a passenger
on back, the MultiStrada is that bike.
the answer to all that pain and discomfort of riding a full-on
Superbike for hours on end. The Multistrada tricked out with all
the cool Sport Accessories from Ducati Performance. Meanwhile
we'll have to wait for the Testastretta 999R engined version!
your weapon- Sport or Touring
Ducati is more than happy to fulfill our needs for specialization
with a cool line of Ducati Performance Accessories to tailor the
Multistrada to our particular desire. Touring accessories include
a Rear Luggage Rack with lockable Top Case, Lockable Saddlebags,
Centerstand, Taller Windscreen, GPS Navigation System and Heated
Grips. Superbike/Supermoto freaks can get their rocks off with
a Termignoni Race Silencer Kit with recalibrated CPU for more
spunk and less weight, Slipper Clutch with Titanium Cover, Carbon
Fiber Engine Cowl, Billet Triple Clamps, and a full range of Marchessini
forged alloy and magnesium wheels, and Dymag Carbon Fiber Wheels.
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2003 • Ducati