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2017 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro review, test ride
Jun 10, 2017 by Sherman Hale Nazareth
DETAILS IN BRIEF
  • Make Ducati
  • Model Multistrada
  • Edition 1200 Enduro



We get astride this giant from Ducati to see if the beast can be tamed. Or does its sheer size make that impossible?

Sometimes, just on that rare occasion, there is beauty in monstrosity. And it is the sort that is so in your face. Enter the Multistrada 1200 Enduro. Its sheer size is jaw-dropping. It's an intimidating motorcycle to look at and is capable of getting you across continents. And if you've ever been bitten by the adventure bug, you're quite aware then that motorcycles are one of the best ways to go on that adventure. But what is it that you look for in an adventure motorcycle? Probably low weight, decent power, off-road capability and extreme comfort. Besides being anything but dainty, the Multistrada is what the modern-day apex of adventure motorcycles looks like.

Popping eyeballs

When you first approach the motorcycle, the facade is sure to grab your attention. That predatory front beak and a set of dual headlights with the high flyscreen are a signature of the Multistrada series, although the Enduro version gets an even bigger front beak. But look beyond and the proportions seem to get gargantuan in nature. The 30-litre, bulbous fuel tank sits authoritatively at the centre, and this is what really stands out on the Enduro. The curves blend seamlessly with the edges, and finally, there's a nice deep swoop-into seat. If anyone could make a purpose-built, adventure motorcycle beautiful, it had to be the Italians. The rest of the seat, the pillion seat, and the rear end are shared with the other Multistrada models.

This Enduro version simply towers over the other models in the series, thanks to the spoked wheels that sport larger 19-inch front tyres. And these aren't just regular rims; if you look closely, you'll notice that the spokes sit on the outside of the rim. In addition to being durable – and expensive – this feature allows the Enduro to use tubeless tyres, quite like what's seen on the BMW R1200 GS. It also gets 200mm of suspension travel at the front and the rear; about 30mm more than what you see on the other Multistradas. And let's not forget the use of a double-sided swingarm instead of a single-sided one, which can take more of a beating and really helps with stability when riding off-road. The Enduro also gets a raised, side-slung exhaust that's in tune with the typically Ducati L-Twin soundtrack.

Enter the cockpit

If you've ridden the other Multistrada models, the TFT instrument cluster is going to be a rather familiar feature. It is well laid out, customisable, easy to read and light-adaptive. But the Multistrada's party trick is its rider modes. This can be accessed via the toggle buttons on the left switchgear which are reasonably easy to use. Once you get the hang of navigating through the menu, it's simply amazing how customisable the entire motorcycle is from the cockpit itself. This is the top-of-the-line Multistrada model. So everything from the suspension to the engine's character can be controlled electronically. The four basic rider modes – Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro – can be switched on the go. But when you are at a standstill, you can go into each mode and customise the character and limitations of the Enduro even further.

Besides the three levels of power output, which is 160hp on high (Sport and Touring) and 100hp on low (Urban and Enduro), you get eight levels of traction control, wheelie control and ABS. Although, it must be noted that, in Touring mode, you get 100hp until the 4,000rpm mark, and from there the full 160hp kicks in. To make the Enduro ideal for various riding conditions, and your level of skill, Ducati's electronic Skyhook Suspension offers four settings and 24 levels of preload. It also gets Ducati's version of a hill-hold which releases the brakes gradually when stopped in Enduro mode.


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Technical Specifications

Engine

Type: 1,198cc L-Twin, liquid-cooled
 
Power: 160hp at 9,500rpm
 
Torque: 136Nm at 7,500rpm

Transmission

Gearbox: 6-speed (1-down, 5-up)

Dimensions

Wheel base: 1,594mm
 
Ground clearance: 205mm

Chassis & Body

Weight: 254kg
 
Tyres: (F/R) 120/70 ZR19 / 170/60 ZR17

Suspension

Front: 48mm inverted forks
 
Rear: Adjustable monoshock

Brakes

Front: Twin 320mm discs
 
Rear: Single 265mm disc

Economy

Tank size: 30 litres
* Price shown is price at time of review


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