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3 years ago

DT May 2018

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THE BIKES One Bonus that

THE BIKES One Bonus that the tyre guys give the bike manufacturers with launches like this is that fact that we will invariably chat about the bikes that we got to ride. On this one, we got our mitts onto the 1200 Multistrada, the 1290KTM and Honda’s Africa twin with DCT. We’ll give a quick rundown on each… THE MULTISTRADA 1200 ENDURO It has to be said that for some reason, this bike really has snuck into our hearts. It’s a blend of Italian finesse with a great big donk that makes people smile non-stop. Initially I hopped onto the smaller 950 Multi, but when we noticed that there was a spare bike lurking, let’s face it, it would be an absolute shame not to take advantage. We last rode one of these probably more than a year ago. Since then, the 1260 has made an appearance – and we have yet to ride it. Keyless ignition has to be one of the doffest inventions ever. Why change a system that has been faultless for generations? Wander off onto another bike with this key in your pocket and the hapless victim who is sposed to ride this one gets left stranded. Anyway, it is what it is. “The Multistrada is really easy to ride, despite the fact that it’s such a big girl. Fantastic throttle actuation makes trickling through those tight windy Sicilian streets, or along the footpaths a breeze, but, open the throttle and this Ducati taps you on the shoulder and reminds you of its superbike genes. It’s seriously quick by any bike’s standards.” At its heart, the 1200 Enduro is powered by a 152bhp 1198 superbike lump, retuned to give buckets of earth-moving grunt. Like all big Ducati V-twins it’s on the clattery side at low rpm, but past 4000rpm it roars through the exhaust and will set off into the great beyond like a lunatic. The Multistrada is really easy to ride, despite the fact that it’s such a big girl. Fantastic throttle actuation makes trickling through those tight windy Sicilian streets, or along the footpaths a breeze, but, open the throttle and 20 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MAY 2018

this Ducati taps you on the shoulder and reminds you of its superbike genes. It’s seriously quick by any bike’s standards. In the right hands you can do anything with it – and we proved this when we first tested it. On this trip it just reinforced our conviction about what a cool bike this is to ride. The Italians certainly don’t just make bikes. It’s as if they make rolling works of art… Comfortable, smooth, fast. Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro riding modes change everything from the sharpness of power the amount of traction, wheelie and engine braking control and ABS intervention with a flick of a button. It also adjusts the compliance of the electronic Sachs ‘Ducati Skyhook Suspension’, which doesn’t just have semi-active damping, but preload, too, constantly adjusting, self-levelling and keeping things in shape. Chaps and chops – if you are looking for a bike that is fast, stylish and comfortable, then this is one machine that you absolutely need to consider. Please bear in mind that it is a “Soft- Offroader”, Ducati freely admits that this bike is designed for long travel with soft off-road capabilities. The smaller front wheel tells you this. If you chat to any motorcycle journalist, you’ll hear them talk about a bikes personality. This one has a massive presence, there is simply nothing boring about it and we are just so glad that we got to ride it again. There are a few used ones knocking around, Just, go and rob the bank, the bond, whatever and buy one, you’ll never be sorry. DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MAY 2018 21