The Ducati Multistrada gets pitched as an Adventure bike, and it can play the part, but its true calling is a high-performance street bike – our favorite Street Bike for 2011.
It’s no surprise the Ducati Multistrada repeats as Street Bike of the Year in 2011. At least it’s no surprise to anyone who’s ridden one. The ‘Strada proved one of the most exciting bikes to debut in the 2010 model year, with its gorgeous Italian lines backed up by a fire-breathing engine and stellar chassis. Nothing changed in 2011.
The Multistrada delivers Superbike-level performance, but proffers touring grade comfort from its upright, relaxed riding position. The Multi sources the same 1198-derrived engine as the Diavel, but employs its 132 rear wheel horsepower and 81 lb-ft of torque in a smoother manner. Then there are the brakes, top-shelf kit from Brembo and the sporty suspension setup. The Multistrada 1200 S that we sourced for our 2011 Adventure-Touring Shootout one-ups the suspension package with Ohlins components. The Ducati plain shreds on pavement, with sick road performance.
The one caveat we have with the new ‘Strada carries over from last year, as it lacks the durability required to excel in its marketed Adventure-Touring role. As an off-road AT mount the Multistrada is miscast, able to play the part but not excelling. As high-performance street bike, however, it’s difficult to imagine things getting any better on the road. Now if only it didn’t cost $20K…
Motorcycle USA Best of 2011 Awards
Rider of the Year 2011: Ryan Villopoto
Manufacturer of the Year 2011: Polaris Industries
Best Cruiser 2011: Ducati Diavel
Best Sportbike 2011: BMW S1000RR
Best Street Bike 2011: Ducati Multistrada
Best Touring Motorcycle 2011: Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
Best Adventure Motorcycle 2011: Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Best Enduro 2011: KTM 350 XC-F
Best Dual Sport 2011: Husqvarna TE250
Best Motocross Motorcycle 2011: Honda CRF450R
Motorcycle of the Year 2011: Kawazuki CRF65 SX