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Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro First Ride Review

04 April 2017, 02:45 PM Pratheek Kunder

What is it?

The idea of a motorcycle is to travel from point A to point B. The idea of an adventure bike is somewhat similar, but for it to reach from point A to point B, the bike needs to traverse through continents, cross deep rivers, trail across the scorching sand dunes of a desert and also trudge on in sub-zero conditions. Until now, the BMW R1200GS has been everybody's go-to bike for such adventures, but Ducati wants to steal the German’s show and to do that, they developed the Multistrada 1200 Enduro

We were smitten by the Multistrada 1200 S when we rode it late last year. It did have some limitations when it came to going off-road, but Ducati says with the Enduro, all the rider has to do is focus on the destination. The rest will be taken care of by the Enduro. Big words from a big bike maker. Is that really the case here, though?  

How does it ride?

Spotted a trail, switched to Enduro mode, stood up on the cast footpegs and there I was, kicking up the dirt on this brilliant dirt road on the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro. It is quite difficult to exit the trail, especially when the ABS on the rear wheel is switched off and there’s 100bhp at the disposal. The Multistrada 1200 Enduro is the kind of motorcycle which every adventure motorcyclist has held in awe. Sure, we experienced similar feelings with the Multistrada 1200S as well, but Ducati has changed a lot of things and made the 1200 Enduro even more off-road friendly. The suspension setup now gets more travel. The 43mm forks in the front and Sachs mono suspension at the rear offer more travel at 200mm. The Ducati Skyhook System (DSS) controls the compression and damping depending on the rider’s choice. So a taller suspension setup means an increase in seat height to 850mm - which is pretty high for the average Indian Joe. All this results in better handling of abuse and bigger jumps. 

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro

  • Displacement1,198.4 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)157.8 bhp
  • Kerb Weight254 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 18,75,175

There’s also a 19-inch spoke wheel in the front (the 1200S has 17-inch) and a 17-inch one at the rear, but the best part is, the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres are tubeless, thanks to the creative spoke design. This Multistrada gets a whopping 30-litre fuel tank and that’s close to 600kms on a full tank. Ducati has used aluminium plates to cover this plastic tank. All these changes and additions have made the 1200 Enduro heavier at 254kg and bulkier, which is easy enough to intimidate anyone. We can see how serious Ducati was about perfecting this motorcycle judging by their attention to the smallest of details.  The bike manufacturer has fashioned a 50mm taller handlebar and redesigned the mirror stems so that the rider’s forearms don’t touch the mirror while standing up and riding. Now this kind of detailing is not something you see in many bikes. 

The 1200cc L-Twin motor hasn’t changed a bit. It still churns out 160bhp and 136Nm of peak torque. The added weight on the 1200 Enduro has made it marginally slower than the 1200S. The engine is smooth, the throttle response is crisp (in both Enduro and Touring modes) and the amount of torque this motor generates even on speeds as low as 2000rpm makes the Enduro a fun tool, both on the road and off the road. The six-speed gearbox isn’t great. It has false neutrals and needs some foot work especially while changing from first gear to the second. 

Negotiating this 254kg behemoth through  city traffic is a pain - blame the heat generated by the L-Twin at low speeds and the massive proportions of the bike. A full tank also hampers its steering capabilities in the city. The only advantage the 1200 Enduro will give you while weaving through traffic is the commanding view. Thanks to high ground clearance and the seat height, I was looking over the roofs of most of the hatchbacks. The motorcycle feels stable on dirt track and can easily be ridden in triple digit speeds. The only downside here is for shorter riders, who will face difficulty in balancing on the trails, in case there’s a panic stop. Getting this bike off the main stand is a different ball game altogether though. 

The Brembo brakes does an outstanding job of stopping this obese Ducati bike though. The bite and the feel on the front brake lever is excellent. 

Anything else should I know?

The 1200 Enduro has the ability to scare you, but also has the knack to keep you safe. This adventure bike is loaded with safety and fancy tech. There are gizmos like the Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), cruise control, LED headlamp with cornering function. There’s this massive TFT display that is home to a lot of options and rider information. With the help of the switchgear, the rider and power modes can also be changed and this selection can be seen on this TFT display. 

The dual seats offer supreme comfort and thanks to the inclusion of electronic suspension system, riding the Multistrada 1200 is a breeze on any kind of terrains. There’s also an adjustable windscreen that can be set to our liking while on the go. Ducati offers a lot of accessories with the 1200 Enduro. Our test bike was fitted with 12V power socket, LED auxiliary lamps, Touratech engine and radiator guards. It also had two aluminium panniers and one top box, which we refused to take for this review because it makes the bike look disproportionate and there’s a speed limit of 140kmph. 

Why should I buy one?

The Multistrada 1200 Enduro isn’t cheap. At Rs 22.04 lakh (on-road Mumbai), this is one of the most expensive adventure bikes one can buy in India. If you’re in the market for a good adventure bike, there are a few which are much cheaper than the Enduro. But none of them offer the kind of technology and safety this Ducati offers. The bike is big and intimidating, yes, but it is just a matter of time before you get used to this enormous motorcycle. The Multistrada 1200 Enduro will take you places. Places that is impossible to reach by four-wheels. If you plan to ride across the country or even cross multiple countries and terrains and want something that will help you successfully complete your journey, then the Multistrada 1200 Enduro will never disappoint you, never! But shorter riders need to look elsewhere, maybe at the British adventure bikes. 

Where does it fit in?

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro’s direct rival is the BMW R1200GS Adventure. The latter is yet to be sold in India officially, but we are expecting that to happen this month. There’s the Triumph Tiger Explorer at Rs 24.54 lakh (on-road Mumbai) that sports the same engine displacement and is shaft-driven.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Gear Check

1: HJC Rpha 10: The Rpha 10 might be an old model now, but it offers good comfort and fit. The air vents perform flawlessly. Price – Rs 37,000

2: Sena 3S Helmet Bluetooth system: This has made my life very easy. Can’t think of riding without one. It’s affordable, durable and practical. Price – Rs 7499

3: Royal Enfield Kaza Classic Adventure Touring Jacket: The snug fit and adjustment straps personalises the entire experience. Ventilated zippers, lot of pockets makes it versatile. It's a good product for Rs 14,000. 

4: Ixon RS Circuit HP Gloves: Good fit, usability and practicality makes this gloves my first choice. Overall quality is good for the price.  Price – Rs 8000

5: Royal Enfield Kaza Classic Adventure Touring Trouser: Fit and comfort is good. Offers lot of pockets for storage. Price – Rs 10,000

6: SIDI B2 boots: A nice all-round boots for track and road riding. Offers ample protection but lack ventilation. Price - Rs 17,000

Click here to read the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S First Ride Review