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ADV Bikes2015 Ducati Multistrada Gains Major Improvements and Weight

2015 Ducati Multistrada Gains Major Improvements and Weight

The new Multistrada receives improvements in 5 categories but pays a price.

Published on 11.03.2014

Today Ducati unveiled major updates to the 2015 Multistrada 1200 during a world premiere live streaming event in Milan, Italy. Last September when KTM released details about the 1290 Super Adventure, the new model surpassed the Multistrada as the class leader in power and sophisticated electronics. Ducati is now countering with updates in an attempt to get back to the top and we still have to see what BMW has in store with their much anticipated S1000R based adventure bike.

Three models have been announced for the 2015 Ducati Multistrada family, including the standard Multistrada 1200, the Multistrada 1200 S and the Multistrada S D|air, which is only available in Europe. At first glance, the 2015 Ducati Multistrada appears to have received only mild styling updates, but significant improvements have been made to the bike in the areas of performance, electronic rider aids, touring features, comfort and off-road capability.

The first noticeable styling difference in the 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 is a shorter, more refined looking front beak that is now paint matched to the color of the bike. Overall, the bodywork is more smooth flowing and less angular. Nearly all body panels have been changed except for the front fender.


Also noticeable, is a change in seat design that now has a segmented pilot seat with more padding around the tank. All models receive new lightweight alloy Y-spoke 17″ wheels with a black finish. A full LED headlamp design gives a more modern appearance to the S model.

Both the standard and and S model will be available in Ducati Red, while the S model will also be available with an Iceberg White option. The standard model receives an LCD instrument panel, while the S model has a 5-inch, full-color TFT display.

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 LED headlight
The Multistrada S Model receives LED headlights that can shine around corners.

The big news for the 2015 Ducati Multistrada is that the 1,198cc Testastretta L-Twin has been given double variable valve timing (DVT). DVT allows independent operation of the intake and exhaust camshafts, maximizing power in the upper RPM range while simultaneously improving low to mid-range torque, fuel economy and emissions.

Claimed power output is now 160hp @ 9500 rpm, up from 150hp @ 9250 rpm last year. Torque has also been increased significantly from 91.8 lb-ft (136 Nm) @ 7500 rpm to 100.3 lb-ft (136 Nm) @ 7500 rpm. Despite the increase in engine output, fuel consumption has improved by 8%.

Front brakes on the 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 are now monobloc radially-mounted Brembo 4-piston calipers running 320mm discs. Rear brakes have also been improved with a 265mm disc and 2-piston floating caliper. On the Multistrada 1200 S, the front braking system is Superbike inspired with 330mm discs coupled with Brembo M50 monobloc radial 4-piston calipers and a 16mm master cylinder.

The new Multistrada can be personalized with a special option pack called the “Sport Pack” that includes a street-legal Termignoni carbon fiber exhaust (homologated for EU), carbon fibre front mudguard, and billet aluminium brake and clutch reservoir caps.

Ducati’s Variable Valve Timing (DVT) optimizes valve timing throughout the power range for improved horsepower, torque and efficiency.

Electronic Rider Aids
Along with the new power output comes advanced electronic rider aids to keep it all under control. The same four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro) return for 2015. Improved performance and safety is achieved through the use of a new Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which dynamically measures roll, yaw and pitch angles with new levels of sensitivity.

The new Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) uses data from the IMU to detect and reduces front wheel lift, ensuring maximum acceleration and safety. Eight levels of sensitivity allow you to control how high you want the front wheel to rise before intervention occurs.

For the S model, the IMU also enhances the precision of the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) that automatically and continually adjusts damping to match the road conditions. The same lean angle aware Bosch-Brembo ABS system, first introduced on the 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure, now appears on the 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. The system senses the current lean angle and adjusts braking modulation accordingly.

2015 Ducati MULTISTRADA 1200 lean angle aware
The 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S receives the same lean angle sensitive Bosch-Brembo ABS system found on the KTM 1190 Adventure.

Touring Comfort
Ducati has also improved the Touring capability of the new Multistrada with several new features. All Multistrada models now come with electronic cruise control, which can be controlled from the left handlebar. Footpegs have been fitted with removable rubber inserts to reduce vibration. Handlebars are mounted on damping blocks to filter out vibration and provide the optimal mix of comfort and road feel.

While the tank range hasn’t changed, improved fuel economy increases the bikes touring range between fill ups. Routine maintenance intervals have been extended to 9,321 miles (15,000 km) (or one year) and valve timing adjustment to 18,641 miles (30,000 km). A new touring windscreen has an improved height adjustment system that is now more fluid and can be operated more easily with one hand.

Shorter riders will appreciate the new adjustable seat that can be lowered from 33.3 inches (845mm) down to 32.5 (825mm). A low seat option allows the bike’s seat height to be lowered down even further to an impressive 31.7 inches (805mm).

The S Model receives additional touring enhancements like an LED headlight with Ducati Cornering Lights (DCL) that have the ability to shine around corners when leaned into a turn. The S model also receives a Bluetooth module as standard that activates the Ducati Multimedia System and can connect the bike to a smartphone for receiving incoming calls, notification of text messages, or playing music via the handlebar or dash controls. Owners can also download a smartphone app that allows riders to upload and share their ride data on and other social networks.

Two special option packs improve touring and comformt of the 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200. An “Urban Pack” includes a 48-liter top case, semi-rigid locking tank bag and USB hub. While the “Touring Pack” provides heated grips, 58-liter panniers and a center stand.

2015 ducati multistrada adjustable seat
With a new adjustable seat and low seat option, the 2015 Ducati Multistrada’s seat height can be lowered to 31.7 inches.

Off-Road Capability
The new Multistrada will receive updates that will improve its off-road performance. Ground clearance has been raised from 6.3 inches (160mm) to 7.1 inches (180mm), which will improve the bikes ability to navigate obstacles in the trail. A special option pack called the “Enduro Pack” will help improve off-road protection and control in the dirt.

The Enduro Pack includes a set of LED auxiliary lights for better night riding visibility. In addition, a suite of Touratech designed off-road accessories include off-road footpegs, crash bars, radiator guard, oil sump protection and a larger kickstand base.

While 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 has received many improvements, one undesirable traight it’s received is a significant weight increase. Once the lightest Adventure Bike in the liter-bike class, now the standard Ducati Multistrada 1200 weighs 511 lbs wet up from 494 lbs. This makes the Multistrada heavier than the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 and KTM 1190 Adventure. Future tests will reveal if the additional weight gain holds back performance improvements. U.S. Pricing information has not yet been released by Ducati.

Ducati Live Unveiling of the 2015 Multistrada 1200

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Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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