Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro review: first riding impressions!

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, Bike Social boss, Potski to his mates. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.

Ducati's Multistrada 1200 Enduro is the hardest-looking Ducati yet made, reckons Bike Social boss and former MCN editor, Marc Potter

Take a standard Ducati Multistrada 1200. Lock it in a crate for a few months while feeding it steroids and bowls of attitude then release it to the world. What you end up with is the hardest-looking Ducati ever. Meet Ducati's new Multistrada 1200 Enduro which we've just ridden at the world launch in Sardinia.

A blown-up over-the-top fully-pumped Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro – a bike designed to go where no Multistrada has ever been before, and to go head-to-head with the BMW R1200GS-A and KTM 1290 Super Adventure.

It’s what the BMW R1200 GS Adventure is to the standard BMW R1200GS. Ducati claim the new Multistrada 1200 Enduro is: “The most adventurous version ever of the renowned Bologna-built multi bike. Born to be unstoppable on any terrain, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro is a full- optional bike designed to satisfy even the most demanding globetrotter.”

A Ducati Multistrada 1200 parked by the pool on a warm March day in Sardinia, makes you want to just get on and ride it off. Thankfully our man has, and yes we hate him too.

The current Ducati Multistrada has always claimed to be capable of riding off-road, when actually the 17-inch front wheel means it struggles off-road, as I’ve found on the three 1200 Multistrada's that I’ve run over the years. But this is designed to be the true go anywhere Ducati. They’re certainly confident and have invited Dakar finisher Llewellyn Pavey as one of the UK journalists to test the bike alongside me and the rest of the exclusive list of UK journalists at the launch in Sardinia to test the bike today. If anyone can test it, he can.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is available in red, grey or white

Stand next to the new Multistrada 1200 Enduro and you can see the physical, all dominating size and presence of this behometh of a Ducati. It breathes awesomeness before you even sit on it. Parked up in the Sardinian sunset at the launch the bike looks just like it could ride itself off into the sunset and never come back. The theme of global adventure for this bike is big with Ducati claiming it is ultra-reliable and built to take  on the world. The launch base is scattered with globes and signs pointing towards the Isle of Man, Ushuaia and of course Ducati's home in Borgo Panigale.

It certainly has the right specs for it.

There’s 8-level traction-control, 8-level adjustable wheelie control, cruise control, a skid plate, full LED cornering headlights, cornering ABS, and 30-litre aluminium panniers and a centre stand. It costs £16,690 in red or £16,890 in grey or white.

"If you've ever ridden a Multistrada and thought 'I really wish I could take it off-road' but couldn't, then the new Multistrada 1200 Enduro is the bike for you. It's got massive presence, it's huge, it's a pumped up Multistrada with loads of attitude.

"We've ridden it for around 50km off-road this morning and you would have got around on a standard Multistrada but you'd still be there now I think!

"The bike is 100 horsepower in Enduro mode with traction and ABS turned down low. And the traction works really well off-road but if you're a bit more experienced you might want to set the engine map to the full 160 bhp and letting the rear slide and let the thing really get its nose out. It's early days but I have to say I'm really in love with the Multistrada 1200 Enduro"

We’ve got a full day riding ahead of us and will get a full report online as soon as we can.

Take one Ducati Multistrada, kick a load of parts off it and fit the following and you've got a Multistrada 1200 Enduro.

The bike may still be called a Multistrada and use the same basic frame, same basic riding modes, and 160bhp Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT) motor, but this is a very different bike. As well as the changes we already mentioned, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro gets:

  • A massive 30-litre tank with a claimed 280-mile tank range
  • 19-inch spoked front wheel and 17-inch rear (to the standard bike’s 17-inch cast wheels)
  • 30mm of extra wheel travel measuring in at 200mm front and rear to the Multi’s 170mm of travel
  • An 870mm seat height (lower & higher seats are available)
  • A higher exhaust upswept exhaust so it can cross rivers easier
  • Ducati’s version of hill hold control called Vehicle Hold Control
  • A redesigned riding position to make it better for standing up off-road, while still ultra-comfortable on the road
  • Longer semi-active suspension with Sachs, a new double-sided swingarm designed to take the stress of off-road riding
  • New Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres with the option of Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres
  • A new, redesigned riding position designed to be better for off-road riding
  • An Incredible Hulk restyle including an adjustable screen. A lower screen suitable for off-road riding is also available.

As you can imagine, a host of optional accessories and different packs are available to customise the bike to your own preference.

Come back later for the full review and pictures when we've done a proper day's riding on the bike.

For more information and details of Ducati's range of TriOptions finance offers have a look here.

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