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2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 First Ride

Monday, March 8, 2010

Make no mistake about it  2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 is capable of being 100  sport.
Make no mistake about it the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 is capable of being both a sportbike or a touring machine.
For 2010, Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati has released the successor to its tried-and-true motorcycling Swiss Army knife: The 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200. Despite using the same name as before, the new generation machine expands upon its original concept by utilizing a multitude of imaginative technologies that we’ve never seen on a Ducati, or any other production street bike. This allows it to achieve higher levels of performance, comfort and, above all, practicality. To discover some of its potential, Ducati invited MotoUSA to ride the new machine in one of Mother Nature’s most rugged, diverse, and ultimately magnificent proving grounds: The Canary Island’s Lanzarote, located west of the Moroccan coast.
The Concept

For Ducati the new Multistrada represents a changing of the guard within the walls of its Borgo Panigale factory. It’s a much more broadly-focused motorcycle, designed for use by all types of riders. From zigzagging through canyons, to touring cross-country, jetting across the city or the occasional mild off-road escapade, the new Multistrada is designed to do it all.
Weighing in at a claimed 478 pounds, ready-to-ride, its 12-lbs lighter than its predecessor—an impressive feat considering the switch from an air-cooled engine to a significantly more powerful liquid-cooled unit. Advanced electronics in the form of a ride-by-wire throttle control system, traction control, optional anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronically controlled front and rear suspension give the rider not only more performance, but more control. This enables the motorcycle to perform as hard or soft as one wants. And the best part: It can all be done by the simple push of a button.
In addition to DES  The S models Touring package comes with side luggage  a center stand  and heated grips. Price is  19 995.
In addition to DES, The Multistrada S model’s Touring package comes with side luggage, a center stand and heated grips. Price for this machine is $19,995.

Many features not normally found on Ducati motorcycles have also been integrated. These include the manually-adjustable windscreen, twin 12-volt power outlets, storage solutions (one under the seat, a small cubby spot in the cockpit and the optional external hard luggage) and keyless ignition system. Considerable engineering time was also devoted to its ergonomics in order to give the bike some actual real-world riding sensibility—something that most Ducati motorcycles have traditionally lacked. But the best part is that none of these new fangled apparatuses detract from the soul of the brand.
Tech Talk
Historically Ducati has been known for sharing powertrain and chassis platforms between its model range. We’ve seen this with its 848/1098/1198 Superbike and Streetfighter models, as well as the Monster and Hypermotard lineup. However, in the Multistrada's case engineers began with a near clean sheet of paper, borrowing little more than the 848’s brake hardware and wheels, the basic engine layout from the 1198, and the slim-line switchgear from the Streetfighter. Everything else is new.
The big news in the engine department is the incorporation of Ducati’s 1198 World Superbike-derived L-Twin engine. It retains identical bore/stroke dimensions, but the compression ratio has been reduced slightly to 11.5:1 (down from 12.7:1). Each cylinder receives fuel from a smaller 56mm bore elliptical throttle body and a solo fuel injector, both now sourced from Japanese companies Mikuni and Mitsubishi, respectively. Both the intake and exhaust ports are reshaped and the ignition and cam timing were modified all to boost low-to-mid engine performance. Lastly, a heavier flywheel was fitted to further enhance engine tractability.
The new Multistrada gets a reworked version of Ducatis 1199cc L-Twin World Superbike racing engine.
A cast aluminum single-sided swingarm extends wheelbase to just over 60 inches  which is 2.5 inches longer than the bike it replaces.
The 10 Ducati Multistrada 1200 exhaust is mounted beneath the engine.
(Above) The new Multistrada gets a reworked version of Ducati’s 1199cc L-Twin World Superbike racing engine. (Middle) A cast aluminum single-sided swingarm extends wheelbase to just over 60 inches, which is 2.5 inches longer than the bike it replaces. (Bottom) The ’10 Ducati Multistrada 1200 exhaust is mounted beneath the engine.

Within the cylinder head the metal valve seats have been made more durable. Valve overlap was significantly lowered from 41 degrees in the 1198 to a much more conservative 11 degrees. This reduces the time in which the engine’s intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time, thereby sacrificing high rpm performance for enhanced smoothness, fuel economy, as well as emissions output. Together this engineering know-how extends mileage between valve adjustment intervals to 15,000 miles.
Ducati has finally ditched its signature undertail exhaust configuration for a more contemporary layout. Twin stainless-steel headers funnel exhaust into a triple-chamber silencer fitted underneath the motorcycle. Exhaust than exits via twin tapered aluminum barrels that look as if they might have been pulled off Smith & Wesson’s assembly line. Not only does the new setup look lethal, it helps keep the bike’s center of gravity lower, not to mention reducing exhaust heat on the rider and passenger.
Collectively these changes give the Multistrada not only superior bottom-to-mid rpm running characteristics but a more favorable torque curve as compared to the 1198. In fact, the Multistrada’s engine cranks out more torque and horsepower than the 1198 until 6750 rpm, before reaching its claimed torque peak of 87.5 lb-ft and 150 horsepower (measured at the crankshaft) at 7500 and 9750 rpm, respectively.
More powertrain enhancements come in the form of a new wet-style multi-plate clutch lubricated via the engine’s internal oil supply, allowing it to operate quietly and with greater day-to-day reliability. As opposed to the wet clutch used in the 848 or the Monster’s APTC unit, this one uses a different actuation mechanism that not only reduces clutch-lever-pull effort, but it lessens engine back torque during aggressive deceleration.
The transmission was also upgraded and features “optimized” internal gearing and final-drive ratios in order to reduce vibration and boost fuel mileage. Like before, the Multistrada utilizes a lightweight chain and sprocket final drive.

A high-end engine management system utilizes both an electronic ride-by-wire throttle system with push-button power mode selection and DTC. The ride-by-wire replaces a conventional cable connection between the twist grip and the throttle body butterflies, instead syncing them electronically. Three unique power modes are offered, including Sport (maximum engine power with a sport-oriented hard-hitting power delivery), Touring (full engine power with a more progressive, less touchy delivery), and Urban/Enduro (limits maximum engine power by 33% and significantly smoothens delivery throughout the rev range). Each mode uses its own corresponding level of traction control sensitivity.
The Multistrada 1200 uses the same brakes as the 848 Superbike. Additionally a Bosch Brembo ABS system comes with the S model and is available as an option on the standard machine.
Ram air ducts direct air into both the oil cooler and the airbox.
(Above) The Multistrada 1200 uses the same brakes as the 848 Superbike. Additionally a Bosch/Brembo ABS system comes with the S model and is available as an option on the standard machine. (Below) Ram air ducts direct air into both the oil cooler and the airbox.

The DTC system is identical to that of the Ducati 1198S and 1098R/1198R Superbikes. It uses front and rear wheel speed sensors to measure each wheel’s velocity. If it senses the rear wheel is moving faster than the front, the system will then will either retard ignition timing and/or incrementally shut-off the fuel supply to one or both of the engine’s cylinders. Sensitivity to wheel spin can be adjusted in eight different settings (1 being the lowest, 8 the highest). Circular red lights around the Riding Mode section of the LCD panel illuminate when the system is intervening.

Keeping sprung mass as low as possible was a key fundamental design principle of the new Multi. Engineers achieved this in part by developing a hybrid frame comprised of a traditional Ducati trellis-style steel main section mated to a cast aluminum midsection and a mixed steel/polymer fiber subframe. This gives the frame almost a 20% increase in torsion rigidity with no weight increase penalty. Further weight savings comes in the form of an ultra-lightweight magnesium front fairing stay and a 5.3-gallon capacity plastic fuel cell. Out back the new Multi comes fitted with a sleek cast-aluminum single-sided swingarm, stretching the wheelbase to just over 5 feet, an increase of almost 2.5 inches over the previous bike.
Suspension on the $14,995 base model consists of a thick 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork up front and a Sachs coil-spring shock absorber at the rear, which attaches directly to the frame and swingarm without a linkage. Both components provide 6.7 inches of total travel, plus allow tune-ability courtesy of independent spring preload, compression, and rebound damping adjusters. The rear shock also features an easy-to-use plastic knob for adjusting spring preload located just under the left side of the seat.
The ‘S’ version replaces the manually adjusted Marzocchi/Sachs set-up for electronically adjustable pieces from Ohlins. Dubbed DES (Ducati Electronic Suspension), both the fork and shock can be independently adjusted by the push of a handlebar-mounted button. The rider can choose from one of four preset riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro) or create their own custom suspension settings. Additionally, each of the four settings can be further modified based on whether the bike is being piloted solo with luggage and/or riding with a passenger. This gives the rider 16 independent levels of pre-set suspension adjustment.
Braking hardware is shared with the 848 Superbike. The front brakes are comprised of dual 320mm rotors, each clamped by a radial-mount Brembo caliper and powered via a radial master cylinder. A solo 245mm disc and twin-piston caliper keeps rear-wheel speed in check. Both brakes operate through steel-braided brake lines. An optional Bosch-Brembo engineered ABS system is also available for $1500 on the base model and comes standard on the ‘S’.

The Multistrada rolls on the same s of 10-spoke cast aluminum rims as used on the 848/1198 Superbikes. The wheels are shod with Pirelli’s Scorpion Trail tires which were specifically engineered for the bike. The tires feature a double-compound set-up, in which a longer-lasting strip of center rubber is sandwiched between softer, tackier shoulders.
An all fully digital display provides a plethora of information
A fully digital display provides a plethora of information

Instrumentation consists of an oversized and brightly-lit LCD flanked by a smaller LCD and assorted warning lights. The main display provides digital speed, a horizontal bar-graph style tachometer (escalating as rpm increases), gear position, trip and odometer mileage functions, engine coolant temperature, fuel level and time. The smaller inset LCD allows the rider to navigate through each of the four preset riding and suspension load modes as well as the DTC settings. It also provides instantaneous and average fuel consumption, average speed, air temperature, total trip time, and a Freezing Conditions alarm that activates when riding at or near 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another Ducati first is the new keyless ignition system. A small plastic transmitter (with switchblade-style flip-key) communicates with the ECU and activates the power system when within 6.5 feet of the motorcycle. The flip-key is used only for opening the fuel cap, removing the passenger seat or the optional accessory hard luggage.
Riding Impression
Despite a longer wheelbase  the new Multi is still quick on its feet. Cranking up the spring preload setting on the shock absorber exacerbates this trait.
From sport to touring and even off-road  the ergonomics package is well balanced.
(Above) The Multistrada 1200 uses the same brakes as the 848 Superbike. Additionally a Bosch/Brembo ABS system comes with the S model and is available as an option on the standard machine. (Below) Ram air ducts direct air into both the oil cooler and the airbox.

Slip into the saddle and the Multi 1200 feels a bit larger dimensionally than the bike it replaces. The seat is much thicker than one would expect from a Ducati, though at 33.5 inches off the ground it is easily comfortable for an average-height male. An inch lower accessory seat is also available for those more vertically challenged. While the seat fit us perfectly, it feels short front-to-back and might not be the most accommodating for plus-sized folks.
Since there isn’t a traditional ignition key, the engine starting procedure now consists of flipping down and holding the red button fixed on the right-hand side of the handlebar for three seconds. The motorcycle’s electronics then come online and the engine may be started by sliding the same switch upwards, revealing the black starter button. The plastic transmitter must be within a radius of 6.5 feet or the bike won’t fire. For our test we left the key in the small cubby hole located in the cockpit. Also, in the event of losing the key, the bike can still be started by entering a pre-programmed four-digit pin number.
The engine cranks over with the identical voltage-sucking sound that you hear on Ducati’s Superbikes. While the sound isn’t necessarily the most reassuring, the engine always fired without a problem; we will be curious to see if battery life suffers due to all the added electronics of the Multistrada.
In spite of its added girth, the Multi is still easy to maneuver at parking lot speeds. The wispy clutch lever pull, shorter first gear, and much smoother bottom-end power delivery make it even easier. We are also fond of the added level of adjustability afforded by both the front brake and clutch levers, especially for those with smaller hands.
Yank on the right grip in Sport mode and it’s impossible not to recognize that trademark Ducati Superbike engine, as the bark from the exhaust is identical to the 1198, only without the sometimes annoying clatter of the dry clutch. No surprise here, acceleration force is a tremendous improvement over its air-cooled predecessor. Regardless of the mode you are in, the engine must be running at over 2500 revs or else it chugs along roughly. But keep the revs above that magic number and it’s simply amazing how much smoother this motor runs compared to the 1198’s.
Out of the three preset engine maps, Touring was our favorite, as it made the throttle response less twitchy than it is when you ride it in Sport mode, which was especially helpful during more delicate riding situations – i.e. wheelieing. We did find that the Urban power setting was equally appreciated while running through some of the narrow city streets we encountered during the course of our ride. 
Working through the gearbox reveals the same sort of looseness that is typical of Ducati’s transmissions. While it shifts between each gear without fuss, the transmission doesn’t feel anywhere close to as “tight” as a Japanese bike. We do love the bike’s gear ratios, however—especially first and sixth, which enable the rider to pull away cleanly from a stop and to cruise at just a tick over 3000 revs at 62 mph.
As long as you keep the rpms above 2500, the engine transmits minimal vibration through the control surfaces, making the bike perfect for extended rides. Ducati claims it spent an enormous amount of time perfecting the ergos and it shows. The cockpit is exceptionally well balanced too. The footpegs are mounted low enough as to not require any silly sportbike-like knee contortions and the aluminum handlebar is quite wide and features a tall bend, fitting us well. Furthermore, it can be tilted forward or backward by loosening the four top clamp bolts to work with a variety of riders.
The difference in ride compliance and handling between each of the 16 available suspension settings is quite noticeable.
With the addition of its effective ABS and DTC the 10 Multistrada has far more off-road prowess than before.
Technical partner  Pirelli specifically engineered its Scorpion Trail tire for the new Multistrada. The tire features dual compound zones for improved grip during cornering and longer tire life when riding straight.
(Above) The difference in ride compliance and handling between each of the 16 available suspension settings is quite noticeable. (Middle) With the addition of its effective ABS and DTC the ’10 Multistrada has far more off-road prowess than before. (Bottom) Technical partner, Pirelli specifically engineered its Scorpion Trail tire for the new Multistrada. The tire features dual compound zones for improved grip during cornering and longer tire life when riding straight.

The windscreen offers just over 2.25 inches of vertical adjustment via two plastic knobs on either side. The knobs are easily accessible; so much so that one can actually adjust the height of the windscreen while riding. However, we found that the windscreen isn’t quite wide enough to completely eliminate wind buffeting at highway speeds, no matter the position.
One would assume that a bike with as much electronic doo-dads, menus, and buttons as the Multi would be hard to figure out, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The menu system is very logical and straightforward to operate. The primary LCD is not only legible but it is mounted high enough so the various functions can be navigated while riding without too much distraction from the road ahead. Surprisingly, one key feature that the new Multi is lacking is cruise control.

We piloted ‘S’ models for our First Ride introduction and as such they came outfitted with DES. And the system works fantastically. Literally, modifying the bike’s handling and overall ride quality is as simple as pushing a series of buttons.

For fast sportbike-style riding our preferred mode was Sport with passenger and luggage-load options enabled. With this mode selected, suspension is firmed and rear preload is cranked down, holding the bike up in the suspension stroke for more aggressive steering. This allowed the bike to turn into the corner more sharply without compromising stability while clipping along at a triple-digit pace. It also aided the bike in feeling much less top-heavy than it did in the softer/faster-action suspension settings. The amount of a difference which could be felt in each of the four riding modes and load settings was impressive.
On the pavement we never rode quick enough to explore the functionality of the DTC. We did, however, get a chance to feel out the system briefly in the dirt. With Enduro mode selected (DTC Level 2) you can literally pin the throttle and the rear end slides briefly before coming back inline and slowly accelerating forward. This without a doubt adds a degree of safety when attempting to accelerate hard on loose surfaces.
Considering the Multi’s higher curb weight, one might assume that the 848-sourced braking system would be underpowered, yet it's a perfect match. Overall braking force is abundant and front brake feel can be appreciated by even the most capable sport rider. We came away pleasantly surprised by the braking system, especially considering we could never say the same about the system when used on the 848.
Having less-than-pleasant experiences with other street-based ABS systems, we were pessimistic to how the Multistrada would perform going in, but it too impressed. The system is a bit more intrusive than we would have preferred, with it activating well before the point of wheel lock-up, but overall it works agreeably for all but the most insane road riding pace. Even better is that the system can be manually disabled by, you guessed it, a simple push of a button.

Final Thoughts
Coming into this test, I had lofty expectations of Ducati’s new do-it-all two-wheeler. And after spending only a few hours aboard the bike, I quickly realized it was everything I thought it would be and then some. With the tap of a button it’s as sporty or as docile as you desire; it’s in its element blasting around a corner with the engine roaring at lean, or just quietly soaking up the
Youd be hard pressed to find a better universal two-wheeled companion than Ducatis Multistrada 1200.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better universal two-wheeled companion than Ducati’s Multistrada 1200.
countryside on a backwoods highway. The Multi somehow manages to be both comfortable and sporty, plus has realistic cargo capacity when you feel the need for an adventure coming on. It actually works for mild off-roading and its pavement-based rider aids (ABS and DTC) only increase its off-road potential.
The new Multistrada 1200 is a big – no, scratch that – humongous step forward for Ducati. It’s mainstream enough for any rider to appreciate, yet still retains that wild, rip-roaring Superbike pedigree that we know and love. This leads me to believe that Ducati may have got the bike’s name wrong. Maybe they should have called it the Italian Army Knife?
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Dealer Locator
2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Specs
The Multistrada 1200 is available in Red or Arctic White while the Multistrada 1200S is available in Red  Arctic White and Diamond Black.
Engine: 1198cc liquid-cooled L-Twin, 8-valve
Bore x Stroke: 106.0 x 67.9mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Wet multi-plate with slipper-action, hydraulic actuation
Transmission: 6-speed; chain final drive
Frame: Hybrid steel-trellis/pressed aluminum
Front Suspension: 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork; 3-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 6.7 in. travel S Model: 48mm Ohlins inverted fork; 3-way adjustable for spring preload and electronic compression and rebound damping; 6.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Sachs shock absorber; 3-way adjustable for spring preload, compression, and rebound damping; 6.7 in. travel S Model: Ohlins TTX shock absorber; 3-way adjustable with electronic spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 6.7 in. travel
Front Brakes: 320mm disc with 4-piston Brembo radial-mount caliper
Rear Brake: 245mm disc with Brembo twin piston caliper
Wheels: Cast aluminum 10-spoke 3.5 x 17 front, 6.0 x 17 rear
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Trail 120/70-17, 190/55-17
Curb Weight: 478 lbs. S Model: 485 lbs.
Wheelbase: 60.2 in. Length: 84.6 in.
Rake: 25 deg. Trail: 110mm
Seat Height: 33.5 in.
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gallon
MSRP: $14,995 S Model: $19,995
Colors: Red; Arctic White S Model: Red, Arctic White, Diamond Black
Warranty: Two year, unlimited mileage
2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Accessories
Pictured above is one of many accessories for the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200:  2 399 Termignoni racing exhaust with titanium muffler  Ducati Part No. 96459510B .
Ducati is introducing an entire line of factory approved accessories for its 2010 Multistrada 1200. Whether you’re looking to add some carbon eye candy or give your machine a performance boost, your nearby Ducati dealer will be offering everything one needs to customize their ride.
Among some of the coolest accessories is the $2,399 Termignoni Racing Exhaust (Ducati Part No. 96459510B). The bolt-on pipes use larger diameter steel manifolds, titanium silencer with removable sound insert and carbon fiber heat guards. The system provides a significant weight reduction and approximately 5% increase in power. It is supplied with a dedicated ECU and a more free flowing air filter, which ensures optimum mapping at all times.

If you’re looking for something more practical (and affordable) then Ducati is offering a Garmin satellite navigation system which can be integrated atop the handlebar (Ducati Part No. 96783810B) for $649.99. The GPS features an anti-glare touchscreen, color LCD display, a lithium battery which remains charged for up to 8 hours, and a microSD expandable memory slot. It includes a mounting kit and dedicated plug-and-play cables.

Lastly, if you’re really into the whole key-less technology craze then you’ll probably dig this $319.99 electronically opening fuel filler cap (Ducati Part No. 96783410B). With this cap there is no need to use the flip-key as the filler cap can be opened simply by raising a tab within 60 seconds of turning off the bike.

For more information or to see the entire line of accessories find your local Ducati dealer with Motorcycle USA’s Dealer Locator.

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Kim Ducati owner south africa -1200 multi  August 28, 2010 05:16 AM
Well after riding the 1200 three times from my local dealer recently and having owned a 1000 multi and four Monsters I can tell you that the 1200 multi is a VERY special motorcycle. I have also wowned a KTM 640 and various Trimphs ......If you want a good looking bike go out and buy an MV or a 916 or what ever your style of bikes that you think is 'good looking' If you want to ride around the world get a GS or KTM, if you want to be a Charey wannebe by a GS. But if you want a real world bike that has moved the bench mark of motorcycle design years ahead get a 1200 multistrada! Yes, it will only go on dirt roads but any biker would know that Ducati will NEVER design an off road bike as it is not their market. This bike is the Range Rover Sport of the bike world. It is NOT an off road bike but will get you and your kit to a dirt road or forest track as speed and in comfort. As for costing of Ducati: yes, the S verion is not a cheep bike but what other bike out there comes with race winning design, slipper clutch, ABS, heated grips as standard. Add those extras to most top range adventure, touring or sport bikes and they will cost the same. If you want to save money get the basic version as you can still change engine modes but just not the suspension. And everyone is missing the piont with regard to cost of running a Ducati as the service intervals are 15 000 miles. Mark my words; in years to come ALL Ducati's plus many other bikes will have features that the 1200 has brought to the market as standard. The 916 changed the face of motorcycling as did the Monster in 1994 and now the 1200 multi has done the same. And ps; The 1200 multi was NOT designed to be a 1200GS. THis is clear. The 1200 Tenere tried that and failed. The one thing that the 1200 multi does when you ride it is make you feel special, safe and is quiet simply the finest bike I have ridden. Go and ride one and then make your comments/ Safe riding from South Africa
Another Clive -Aluminium Panniers  August 22, 2010 06:56 AM
If only they have design an aluminium panniers and top box it would be fantastic. Do something Ducati!!!
AB -A lover and a hater  July 26, 2010 12:21 PM
This new model looks like an sleek yet entirely uncharacteristic Japanese bike. Give me a dorky front end any day over Transformers, Robots in Disguise pubescent mid-life crisis wetdream. I see no mention of the gas tank size or range, a critical requirement for this particular bike. In fact, its 20 Litres which is similar to the GS 1200. Probably offering 4.7L/100km thats 425 km. The valve change is sensible and should pump out better range that the standard Ducati. Otherwise, the thirsty 1198 engine in the street version doesnt even make 200km. Thats a measly 1 hour ride of putting that engine to use. Speaking of 200kmh, the need for 150 HP is highly questionable, other than setting a Pikes Peaks record. Its not a necessity for everyday riders amongst slow traffic and cops. Nice to have the low end pickup to pass others, But a constant 240KMH is totally unrealistic in most of the planet, except the Autobahn. Might as well used a smaller lighter 848 engine for pumping out a sensible HP. That would have really carved out a niche player. I predict that one right here and now, with the valve change too. Aside from those points, it is probably an awesome riding motorbike right up there with the original. I love (and hate) the Ducati from being such a finicky *****. She knows shes the best ride in town. Damn the torpedoes. But please lets not continue with the Transformer theme. Bring back the Italian style.
Brian -Ride Review  July 25, 2010 11:46 AM
I have been riding the BMW GS for several years. Living in Utah I have taken this bike on a number of road adeventures, touring and around town. The thing that continues to amaze me is how well it performs is all conditions. I can transition from pavement to dirt while crusing at 60 miles an hour. I don't feel much need to slow down from my crusing speed as the bike hooks up so well and suspencsion is awesome in the dirt. People would be amazed if they witnessed the extreme single track trails I have riden this GS on. It is not my WR450, but it can accomplish most of where I have had this bike. Like I said amazing you can take a bike this large that can comfortably cruise at 100 miles an hour and ride in 75% of the backcountry riding Utah offers. I am very open minded. Bikes are like beer I have not found one I don't love, but Ducati plainly will not compete as a serious dual sport option.
Shaitan -Sport-Adventure-Tour bike from hell  July 16, 2010 07:34 AM
Sport-Adventure-Tour bike from hell! I wants me one badly.
Tom -@Bill  July 9, 2010 04:52 AM
Holy cow! Where do I place my order... I need to be awake to read those articles! First thing tomorrow I'm going to a dealer to check one out, then later I'll buy one around september because it is way to hot right now here to ride a bike. Thx
Bill Downing -@ Tom  July 8, 2010 11:24 PM
This Multistrada is liquid cooled. ;-)
Tom -Otherwise...  July 8, 2010 03:10 AM
Adding to my previous post:

I think the KTM hypermotard could also be an option, but as it stands, I prefer the duc anyway. Also, I like the Z1000 very much (latest one) but again it's slightly to cramped I'm afraid. It could work, maybe with a higher seat or something.

Any suggestions in terms of large sportbikes? Forget about the literbikes, my only option would be a ZX14?

Tom -Looking for a bike  July 8, 2010 03:05 AM
I still have to see one in the flesh yet (which also indicates that you'll have sort of a unique bike once you get one) but already I'm loving this bike. This is the ducati I've been waiting for. And who cares about the price anyway when there's so much quality and versatility going on? I buy a bike to ride a bike, until the last thread, not for resale value or whatever.

@Kim and the others... I love ducatis, but they were never for me. At 6'4" any monster looks like a minibike for me. And also they are higly uncomfortable, with my knees banging the reservoir in places they're not supposed to. SADLY ENOUGH!! But now this has been resolved. Finally I can have a ducati that suits me.

If I want a comfortable bike suited to my body, then my only real options are bikes like triumph Tiger (also brilliant), the bmw's of course, and bikes like the super teneree. That's it. I'm glad that now I have a little more options, I feel like I can go shopping for my favourite bike too, instead of having only one or two options. And it being a ducati makes it extra sweet.

I think I prefer the V-twin character of the ducati over the boxer of the bmw's, but that's personal. It also makes for a more slender, lighter bike, not quite the behemoth as bmw's are.

Only problem, I don't know how these aircooled bikes handle themselves with extreme warm weather, so that's my only concern. Otherwise, I'll check out this multistrada first chance I get!!

Tony C -Like it. Can't decide if I could fall in love with it.  July 6, 2010 07:13 AM
I rode one this weekend. Impressions? Great engine, awesome suspension and brakes, seat was comfortable. Issues? Both the handlebars and footpegs left me numb from vibration. I know I was riding it well over 2500 rpms, but it left me my hands and feet 'buzzing' after about 10 minutes on it.

I own a V Strom dl1000, and had some serious envy going on. Speed, throttle response, brakes and suspension and cornering were all better than the V Strom, as was, of couse weight distribution. But worth more than the $8,000 I payed? Naaa...
Chris -Current GS Owner  July 4, 2010 05:43 PM
I road-tested the Multistrada last week and was impressed. Pros: Very nimble; very quick; love the electronics; rides like a bike that weighs much less; seems like a fun all 90/10 bike. Cons: Excessive seat vibration; uncomfortable seat shape (I have a 30 inch inseam) while straddling the bike at a stoplight; small windscreen. Would I get rid of my R1200GS? Not yet; my GS is like a trusty quarter horse; the Multistrada is like a thoroughbred; fast but I wouldn't trust her for the long haul at this point in time.
Shane -Multi-Motorcycles  June 23, 2010 10:12 AM
Wow. Many of you guys are an embarrassment to motorcyclists. Not everything is judged by numbers. You guys are so closed minded. Just because you don't like BMW, or Ducati or Yamaha or Harley you don't have to bash them. I am trying to decide between the GS and the Multi and the bottom line will be more subjective (feel, looks, etc.) not numbers based. I have had (and still have some) German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, English and yes, American bikes. I rode my 1947 Harley Davidson Knucklehead from Phoenix to Sturgis -500 miles to Durango the first day. Stupid to ride a hardtail at all, much less that far, yes but an experience I will never forget. Stupid romantic notion of reliving what some other motorcyclists did 60 years ago. While my BMW K1200 RS was a dream touring bike for me in the end a Harley Bagger I took to Yellowstone was way more comfortable because of the unbelievable choice of seating, bars and especially foot placement selection. But the bike did not elicit any visual excitement and seemed like an old man bike so I sold it. But it was still a great touring bike! I am currently leaning towards the Multistrada but I'm not sure what my on/off road ratio will be. I don't personally care for the looks of the KTM Adventurer but it might be my best choice. Although I did the Baja on a KLM650 and at $4950 new this made the most sense. Or what about a late 60's Ducati Scrambler with hang over bags for some real adventure? In the immortal words of Rodney King - "Can't we all just get along?"
Tony -multistrada  June 4, 2010 04:00 PM
I have just test ridden one today and thought it was fantastic, although i have a few doubts about the electrics. Can it stand the test of time and all weather ? I have two Harley-Davidson's ( one being the new XR 1200 which i think is great. The Multistrada is only bike that would shake me from them. Just making up my mind ...
Kim Ducati owner south africa -Ducati running costs  May 1, 2010 09:43 AM
As an intrduction I have ridden a Ducati every day for ten years. Three monsters and a multistrada here in Africa and in that time I have NEVER had a major issue with one of my bikes. The Multistrada did hard miles on and off road and between the four bikes the only issues I had where minor. Added to that I have seen the costs of running a Ducati drop considerably to my present bike that has a 2 year service plan that does not see me pay for any service costs at all! It thus tires me to see ill informed NON DUCATI owners pionting fingers at a small Italian brand that sells a mere 40 000 bikes a year. It has inrpoved it's servicing and running costs on its bikes and I only wish that non owners would READ the infomation on the 1200 Multi and see that the service intervals are 24 000KM! There is no motorcycle that I know of that has this service plan and this excludes the 1200GS. I am not going to get into a spat with GS owners as the bike is clearly a great motorcycle but the arrogance that goes with most, not all, GS owners and there Wrong way round attitude stinks! 90%, yes 90% of all GS owners I talk to have NEVER taken their bikes on any serious off road trip and most will ride them in tourning mode and sleep in hotels and bed and breakfasts. My point here is that the 1200 Multi is CLEARLY not designed to do 5000 miles of dersert sand and is designed for 90% road and 10% off road usage. Also it is a Ducati and the companies history is in racing and their DNA is thus V twin motors, tralis frames and chain drive. That is why they did not want to change the design and historic heart of it's bikes in designing the 1200 multi. Clearly it is expensive but if one looks at the 'extras' included on the biek the price seems more realistic. As for looks I have still to see a stunning looking trail bike:) In conclusion then: I feel that the Ducati 1200 will and has already set a bench mark for motorcycle design and that it will end up being a very affordable bike in terms of running costs. I pity those who have not been fortunate enough to have owned and lived with a modern day Ducati.
MtnRider -Looks intriguing!  April 30, 2010 02:36 PM
I think the Multi-Strada has tremendous potential for sport touring with the occasional dirt road, just like a GS, but with a superior engine. I'll take an L-twin over the Boxer any day. Better low-end, better top-end, and a mid-range at least as good as the Boxers. When BMW fans tell me I just don't get it, I have to agree. I get it more than I get Harleys, but let's not kick that dog again. Overall, I love the concept. I can't wait to see how they look in a few years. I ride a KTM 250 EXC off-road. None of these "adventure" bikes are true off-road. Have to say I admired Hans and Wilhelm riding BMW beasts in the ISDT back in the day, though. If the bloom isn't off the rose in two years, I'll sell my ZX-14 and SV-1000 and buy one of these. BTW, I have a short, 4 into 1 exhaust on the ZX-14 aimed at my Givi panniers and they don't even get warm. If someone has real experience, not speculation, regarding a problem with the Multi-Strada's exhaust and panniers, I'd love to hear about it. Otherwise, fugeddaboudit!
Lucky -No Ducati  April 28, 2010 03:48 PM
Why in the hell would anyone buy a Ducati? There are no dealers, they are overpriced like Harley's, and ugly....
SportRider -No Harley  April 28, 2010 03:46 PM
Lets keep the Harley morons on the stupid cruiser section. This area is for real motorcycles.
Slippery -Harley not a Motorcycle  April 28, 2010 02:22 PM
Hey we are talking about motorcycles here so lets keep the Harley Davidson talk out of here. They are not motorcycles. Old outdated over weight over priced and slow 2 wheel cars.
Rider -No New Model For Harley....  April 28, 2010 02:20 PM
Milwaukee Mike said Harley Davidson had people lined up to ride the new models. Lets see... Harley Davidson doesn't have any new models - unless you count new paint and chrome and a new stupid name like Fat Bob a new model.... Harley has not had a new model since 1950.
RTRider -No Cruise or shaft drive?  April 28, 2010 02:16 PM
Can't believe they are trying to sell a touring bike without shaft drive and cruise control. I would not want chain drive on a touring bike. The short exhaust will cook anything in the side case also. I'll stick with the BMW.
MO -ducati guy  April 14, 2010 04:29 PM
Need to hacksaw that beak back a bit, then add cruise control and you might just have the perfect scooter.

Good job ducati!

Rob -Great article and video  April 11, 2010 03:36 PM
Informative story and video. I'm happy to see that you have a cameraman onhand for these test rides.
Turtleboy -Motorcycle Addict  April 7, 2010 02:02 PM
Out of all the articles I've read concerning this bike, this one seems to be the most informative. Thanks for a great article. I think I'll wait a year or two before committing to this bike. All those fancy electronics are bound to have a few bugs. The last thing one needs is a malfunctioning computer out in the boonies 2000 miles from home.
everflo -Gonna have some fun  March 30, 2010 10:13 PM
Putn down payment. Just test ride if good.
Gonna buy. Oh ya nosrils and all.
I have been getting kinda tired of the same old sport bike look.
See you out there!!
Racer -what a waste  March 30, 2010 10:05 PM
Your test rider sucks. He cant lean the bike!! He makes the bike look boring
Knowles -Sprung Weight  March 14, 2010 12:53 PM
Its been corrected since my original comment.
Bruce, P.E. -Sprung Weight  March 14, 2010 07:47 AM
f one actually reads the article, Adam and Ducati DID mean sprung weight. They kept the chassis light. They refer to the frame, fairing bracket, etc. which ARE sprung weight.
Knowles -To AM  March 12, 2010 03:57 PM
Thats fair enough. I simply assumed that most readers, as well as the writers in question would know the difference already and that the mistake was simply due to careless writing. For the record, sprung weight is basically weight supported by the suspension, such as the engine, frame, gas tank, or the rider for that matter, while unsprung weight is not supported by the suspension, such as wheels, tires, brakes etc.
AM -@milwaukee mike - If Ducati is soo good  March 12, 2010 10:44 AM
Well, that's very simple. When the product is good you do not need to offer demo rides because you know it's good and everybody will like it. Because it will perform. Now when the motorcycle have a lot of weight, shakes your head when in idle, does not have performance of any kind and on the top of that has poor quality you HAVE to offer demos, because you are not sure if everybody will like it. What you need to do is ride a good motorcycle to know what's out there because apparently you have only ridden Harleys in your life and do not know better. Let me tell you that there are definitely a lot of motorcycles out there that are better then Harleys. Motorcycles that perform. Not junk that shakes.
Alan M. -Ducati Mistake  March 12, 2010 10:02 AM
"Look at those 'nostrils' uuugggghhhh *pukes*"
"I just can't get past the flared nostrils. The rest of the bike looks pretty good IMO."
Above comments are correct. Ducati should do nose replacement recall.
Pete -Ducati multistrada  March 12, 2010 06:26 AM
bikes are for riding, atleast here in europe. why don´t you just use wallpapers for showing?
AM -@ KNOWLES  March 11, 2010 03:54 PM

milwaukee mike -If Ducati is soo good  March 11, 2010 01:01 PM
Why didn't they have Demo rides at Daytona this year?
HD and Boss Hoss had people lined up for hours just to ride their newest models.
scott h -mts is best but not sure about this one  March 11, 2010 08:51 AM
I have a mixed opinion, and surely would have to ride one to make an honest assessment. I think the gadgetry is cool and all I suppose, and I'm sure there are benefits to having it on A bike, but it's just not my preference. I want a motorcycle to be a motorcycle, not a Honda Accord, or even a racebike bike, w/ ABS and traction control, etc. And I don't mind twisting my knob if I want to adjust my suspension. Oh, and 150 hp?! my other gripe - why do u need it? I guess occassionally I'd like a little more juice, but RARELY. if this is what they want to do fine, but then come out w/ my version - stick w/ the air cooled motor, get rid of the gadgets, simplify as much as possible and increase that 12lb weight reductions to 25! I bet they could even have chopped off 30 or more based on the weight of this new mts. that, maintain the wheelbase/flickability, get rid of the expanding gas tank and guessing guage and some cosmetics up front wouldn't hurt. I put a hyper front end on mine. just couldn't get used to the tackle box up front.
Milo -What about the base model?  March 11, 2010 07:14 AM
The reviews I am seeing, including this one, focus on the S version, which is obviously state of the art. But, some of us can't afford it and will opt for the base model. So, does the base model without all the electronic goodnesses have no choice on horsepower - meaning there's no option to limit horsepower to 100 as in the urban mode of the top end models?
Raph -Whaaaaaaaa?  March 11, 2010 06:07 AM
Dude, Video?
Joe -@Janus  March 11, 2010 01:43 AM
Well being a Ducati doesn't mean it has to be pretty. But still its only my opinion. Jealous? Far from it, i'm just glad i dun have a bike with nostrils & looks like a mole.
Knowles -To "AM"  March 10, 2010 07:21 PM
As a mechanical engineer I may well be able to teach you something about all of those subjects. I use the term "teach" loosely as that would imply that you learned something, and since you apparently know everything already that would be impossible. However, my previous comment was not meant to assert my own expertise in any of the areas you mentioned. Rather, it was intended to point out that any self respecting motorcycle journalist or motorcycle magazine editor should readily recognize the difference between sprung and unsprung weight and write their articles accordingly.
May Kadoody -!  March 10, 2010 07:07 PM
I like the looks of this bike, and the ergos and performance seem to be excellent. Thumbs up!
Dan B. -Enjoyed the read  March 10, 2010 04:57 PM
I really like Ducatis, having owned a Supersport. As much as I do however, I just can't get past the flared nostrils. The rest of the bike looks pretty good IMO. Then again, when I put it next to my '09 KTM 990 Adventure, I admit that I would lament the loss of off-road capability. I can take it just about anywhere. So for the Duc, great engine, ergos, sound, panache, etc. All of the systems are very impressive, but it still doesn't make it a dirt bike that I can carve in the twisties. Less utility, horrible styling, _really_ expensive to own. Staying right where I am - for a long while I think.
Mcguire -sewer rat  March 10, 2010 04:22 PM
Janus....I love it. I gotta Aprilia RSV 1000R. Your on!
themountain -ugly??  March 10, 2010 12:01 PM
..mmh..maybe ,but its way nicer bike than this horrible Supertenere !...and cheaper too ;)
Janus -Mine to arrive soon...  March 10, 2010 08:26 AM
I ordered one back in nov 2009... seems to develop to a fun 2010. Ugly? I don't think so, nor did the EICMA visitors... Perhaps just jealous? At least you'll be when I just dissappear..
Joe -Ugly uuurrrggghhhh  March 9, 2010 11:36 PM
Look at those 'nostrils' uuugggghhhh *pukes* i've read an article recently stating that Japanese have run out of styling cues. Well, it seems the Italians have run out of styling cues as well. Ugly, ugly bike.
Centerstand -Mr.  March 9, 2010 08:14 PM
Centerstand is standard on the Touring model.
Skeesm -Priceless  March 9, 2010 07:50 PM
"...and dealing with cavemen at Harley dealerships is a joke." Priceless. Another fine article on an amazing bike Adam, thanks.
Ex Multi owner -So I can comment  March 9, 2010 07:11 PM
I loved my MTS1000 for it's fine qualities (handling, comfort) but finally couldn't stand the hassles (tank, valves). I never could get over the look from the front so I'd just not look at that part.

The MTS1200??? Well it's still has a face only a owner could tolerate. I great admiration for Ducati 4V engines having owned a S4R, I think this will be a great GT motorcycle, I'd certainly consider it long before any BMW model.
AM -@ VATO LOCO - ESSE  March 9, 2010 06:31 PM
Mcguire -sewer rat  March 9, 2010 04:46 PM
The MS sounds like a competent ride but its ugly for a Ducati. Easily the ugliest bike in their lineup but its all about function RIGHT. Ive owned a lot of bikes and they all had 1 thing in common..they were drop dead georgeous! Each bike had its own personality...some were high maintaince...some were as steady and comfortable as a old shoe. Ya gotta have sex appeal.
vato loco -esse  March 9, 2010 12:20 PM
Where's the, um, centerstand?
Morvegil -Why not  March 9, 2010 11:55 AM
i want to try this thing.
Gomer! -...  March 9, 2010 10:21 AM
I'm really starting to think Milwaukee Mike's ignorance is flat out hilarious! Stay stupid, Mike!!!!!
Demon -Motorcycle junkey  March 9, 2010 09:03 AM
How anyone can compare a Buell to any Ducati is way beyond me !!!!! The sportster motor- tranny is the biggest pile of crap in the motorcycle world. Buell never sold enough to make any profit for Harley, and dealing with cavemen at Harley dealerships is a joke. Harley will never be able to make a performance-handling machine, or understand them. There pathetic attempt at superbike racing was proof, as they were the laughing joke at the race tracks !!!!
milwaukee mike -ugly bike  March 9, 2010 07:42 AM
If the previous model wasn't ugly enough, now they come up with an abortion like this new model.

And what's with the beak?
MotoRider -Dream Bike  March 9, 2010 05:50 AM
I with Brandon...the MTS is my Vstrom replacement...I have been trying to buy one but the numbers are not working out as of now.
Great Article..
Gritboy -Damn Ducati and their sexiness  March 9, 2010 05:41 AM
Damn, Ducati finally comes out with a bike I could justify owning and not just lusting over. Sure it's pricey, but the techno-moto wizards seems to have something to compete with BMW's GS line, plus add true sport to the mix. I'll have to smash my piggy bank once the 2nd year model comes out and works out the kinks and my venerable V-strom may finally go bye-bye -- it's kind of like a Timex...it's cheap, but takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. One thing: now with the front fairing/fender, it can truly be called a Duck!
Tim -Mr. Editor?  March 9, 2010 02:44 AM
I have to agree with some others here that several glaring spelling and grammatical errors detract from what is otherwise a nice article. The new Multi sounds exactly like the sort of bike I'm looking for but sadly in this economy it will be some time before I can think about owning one.
tik -nice multistrada  March 9, 2010 12:14 AM
I agreed with you David.Most probbaly BMW bikes is more to outdoor such as riding in the jungle. These bikes have improve better than last time,the lamp,the looks,the hp. Yet,Ducati torque are much more higher compare to BMW which will gave you more speed when riding it compare to BMW. Spoked is so badly,Tubeless better. These bike are suitable for a person who loves to travel all the day.
David -I'm buying one.  March 8, 2010 04:48 PM
Some of you comments are pretty stupid. Comparing it to a Buell? Incase you haven't noticed, Buell went out of business.
Why do you BMW riders insist on a a skinny 19" front wheel and a 150 wide rear tire? Look at supermoto bikes, 120/70/17 front, and the ones that run a 160 rear do so beacause they only have 60 HP and weight 225 pounds. Spokes? Spokes are heavy, and require tubes. The tubeless set ups like BMW uses weight even more than a conventional spoked rim. Again, look at supermoto and see how many teams are running mags.
Ducati won Pikes Peak, and will do it again this year. If you need to go faster than that on gravel, you won't do it on a BMW.
Rat_Man -Nice touring bike  March 8, 2010 04:12 PM
This bike will make an excellent sport touring bike. I like the styling and different driving modes. Add a better windscreen and hit the road. I seriously doubt anyone would take one of these off road. The bash plate looks like eye candy and I doubt it would take any serious off road abuse. Nice touring bike and you can hit the back roads and enjoy the peace and quite.
AM -MR KNOWLES  March 8, 2010 04:07 PM
AM -TO BRAKES - DON'T DROP IT  March 8, 2010 03:31 PM
Sure you could get 2 Uly's for the price of the Multi. But that definitely only tells how bad the Uly's depreciated in price. Imagine how much they are going to be worthed in 3 years. And while I will be riding my Multi forever you will be with both of yours Uly's in the shop fixing. Just one comment on the totally unnecessary, 40hp. When you finaaly learn that 1 Multi is a lot better than 2 Uly's, and buy one, leave yours in the Urban or Enduro mode which is just 100 HP.
Chuck -Soul versus stout  March 8, 2010 02:54 PM
Can't believe a BMW owner would criticize any other brand for expense! If you like BMW's fine, but a BMW bike (at least the boxers) have no soul, certainly not compared to a Ducati. I've owned 3 BMW's and 2 Ducs, love my MTS1100S but see this bike as a great street machine (which is the only place a 1200GS really belongs anyway either)
mark -Hmm...  March 8, 2010 02:49 PM
I still haven't figured out why Ducati isn't offering this with a spoked wheel option to fit 110/80-19 and 150/70-17 dual-sport tires. With sportbike rims, there's no DS rubber available, which means this thing will forever simply be a sportbike with an upright seating position. Nice effort, but I'd sooner buy an R1200GS.
OldRider -knoas more than u  March 8, 2010 02:42 PM
I really disagree with the comment about the "unnecessary 40 hp" (compared to the Ulysses it's more like 60 hp anyhow). If we only boought what we "needed" we'd all be running around on 125s. I WANT superbike class power. P.S. Adam, what is the real story on the MTS that was crashed? I've seen one report that the journalist was uninjured and another that he was hurt... one said the crash happened at 85 mph on pavement and the other claimed it was an offroad crash.
Brakes -Don't drop it!  March 8, 2010 01:09 PM
A Ulysses with a 40% higher price tag and an extra, and totally unnecessary, 40hp. Now that Buell has gone tits up you can probably get 2 Uly's for the price of this thing!
Doubtfull -Short mufflers?  March 8, 2010 12:23 PM
Another road test noted that the muffler placement will cook anything inside the pannier on the muffler side. Maybe the muffler should have been a little longer? Tiny windscreen, ugly front end and Ducati dealers are famous for there super high maintenance charge. I think I will stick with the proven BMW GSA. The full out model is $20,000 and I do not think you would want to take this off road. The repair cost if you drop it will be astronomical. All in all I think it would make a nice sport touring bike that one could ride on the back roads.
Brandon -Found it  March 8, 2010 12:14 PM
I have found the dream-bike replacement for my V-Strom.
john -if  March 8, 2010 12:13 PM
wish it were a shaft drive. Maybe it'll compete with the yamaha super tenere.
Chris -Future Comparison  March 8, 2010 11:09 AM
Great article Adam. I'm wondering what other bikes this new Muli will compete with. I guess the logical choice will be the R1200GS, but with over 40 more HP, the multi almost seems to be in another league. What about comparing it to the new VFR1200F? Both have very similar prices/engine numbers and are available with ABS & hard bags. They are both sporty bikes capable of long days in the saddle. Can't wait for the next shootout involving this bike regardless of the competition!
Moose -The Ugly Mantis  March 8, 2010 09:58 AM
This Overly-lauded-for-the-last-umpteen-months motorcycle is now in the same category as the Buell 1125 - The Ugly & Expensive Motorcycle Category. Go ahead, let the hate mail roll in. It takes just as much time & effort to design something good looking.
MotoFreak -Awesome  March 8, 2010 07:07 AM
The Multistrada just moved up into one of my top two dream bikes; the other being the Yamaha V Max. Adam, I also thought the Dianese jacket you were wearing was pretty sick. Maybe a quick review on that? Thanks for the great review and photos.
Rochut -Mr.  March 8, 2010 04:54 AM
You mention that the ergos felt comfortable in more than one place, but what is your inseam and height? This is a big concern for me at 6'5" and a 36 inch inseam with a size 13 foot to get inbetween the shift lever and the pedal. thanks, Rochut
Clive -I desire  March 8, 2010 03:00 AM
Thanks Adam you lucky person.

Glad to read that this seems to be a great bike. "humongous step forward" is especially good!

Does seem like quite an advance in putting together bike tech.

Yes I would like in future to be driving this or maybe whatever the compeditors now have to come up with. In my case something cheaper probably but who knows. REM: must buy lottery ticket.

Role on development. Things like this can only improve bike popularity.