A couple of weeks ago I go to ride the brand new Ducati Multi Strada. It was almost long enough to form a real opinion on the bike. So like any journalist worth his own weight in hot air, I am going to form a complete opinion based on a short ride on unfamiliar roads in cold weather.
What’s it like to ride?
My basis for direct comparison is a Yamaha Tenere with some performance modifications, a Tiger 1200 Explorer and the BMW GS I rode the same day. The Multi Strada makes a ridiculous amount of horsepower but it is only vaguely controlled by electronic nannies that inhibit progress and make riding it a guess. Ride by wire is amazing and terrible at the same time. It offers unlimited control of every facet of forward progress on a vehicle. Of course sine it is fully controlled by engineers who are guessing what you want and an ECU with no idea what anything wants it usually leaves you…wanting.
When you want to rip it the wheelie control kicks in, there are other mountains where the engine management limits the power to the point you think it doesn’t exist. Seriously I grabbed handful of throttle in 4th coming out of a corner and sat there waiting. It was like living with 1980’s turbo lag. Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it….. woah let off. Even when you use the mode settings it only reduces the HP and softens response. All opinions are based on Sport mode which is max power.
Now if you are hustling the bike, keeping the RPM up and pushing it to the limit the new Multi Strada is the best sport bike money can buy. No seriously, it is comfortable, it stops, handles, and my god does it accelerate when you are in the power. Just don’t try to ride slow.
The weirdest part of the bike is how good almost everything else is. Not the turn signal switch. That thing is hopeless and useless and Ducati should talk to any Japanese manufacturer about a better mechanism. It doesn’t actuate accurately and well I could definitely go on but enough about the switch.
It is stunning to look at, a gorgeous head turner of a motorcycle that despite all of it’s flaws I want to ride again. I don’t want to own it. It’s not practical, it begs to ridden so hard you can’t begin to hold back, and it is so gloriously good at it you won’t.
So there you have it the shortest ride to ever review the new Ducati Multi Strada.