Best Streetbike of 2010: Ducati Multistrada 1200

December 31, 2010
By Motorcycle USA Staff
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Watch as MCUSA dishes out its 2010 awards for the street in our Best of 2010 Street Video.

Best Street Bike: Ducati Multistrada 1200 

Ducati injected some much needed pizzazz into the 2010 Multistrada. A complete redesign transformed the Multistrada into the talk of the office for a good part of the year. Billed as an adventure-touring bike, the Multistrada is most definitely an amazing street bike. Though it can go off-road to some extent, and much better than the previous iteration, this bike is so impressive on the street that it needs to stay there.

As expected from Ducati, the 1200 is visually stunning, and handles as sharp as it looks. The Italians had the good sense to stuff a version of its superbike engine into the trellis chassis, and that is what really defines this machine. Almost 128 horsepower at the rear wheel and a thrusting 77.5 lb-ft of torque put the rest of the adventure machines to shame. Riders enjoy the massive powerplant from the upright comfort of a completely new cockpit. The stepped seat holds the rider in place and it’s a good thing when the throttle is hammered.

The difference in ride compliance and handling between each of the 16 available suspension settings is quite noticeable.
We deem the Ducati Miltistrada 1200 the best streetbike due to its powerful engine, advanced electronics and amazing ride quality.
For 2010  Kawasaki is importing a lighter  faster  and better looking Z1000 streetfighter.
The completely redesigned Kawasaki Z1000 was another thrilling machine that impressed editors for 2010 with its strong sportbike performance in a standard package.

Not only is the engine mighty, but so are the brakes, which are also borrowed from the Superbike. Controlled suspension and a chassis that gives precise feedback make riding this bike an absolute joy. The electronic package on the Multistrada is one of the most sophisticated we’ve used. A rider can manage the engine output, ABS sensitivity and traction control right from the saddle. Once the complex switchgear is figured out, the 1200 can offer the sensation of riding completely different bikes. It’s a good thing too, because after riding the Multistrada, we didn’t want to ride anything else. – JC Hilderbrand

Best Street Bike Honorable Mention: Kawasaki Z1000 

After withdrawing from the American Streetfighter market, Kawasaki returned in 2010 with a fully redesigned Z1000. Although it plays second fiddle to the awesome but nearly 50% more expensive Ducati Multistrada 1200 for Best Street Bike, the Z-1 is an entertaining motorcycle to ride for those seeking a sporty machine without the flash or racy riding position of a sportbike.

Its liquid-cooled 1043cc Inline-Four pumps out a smooth spread of vibration-free power with an enchanting intake howl. The engine will be remembered by its thick mid-range pull, steady top-end power and a soft rev limiter. The chassis is balanced and feels agile in slow stuff and maintains its composure when pushed hard around fast bends. Plus its control interface doesn’t require any demanding contortions which makes it easy to ride – pure sportbike performance in a street bike package. – Adam Waheed 


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