Three years after the radical remake of Ducati’s Multistrada adventure tourer, the now-Audi-owned Italian company has given the versatile platform a significant upgrade. The grunty Testastretta 11° engine gets a claimed 5-percent boost in torque and now runs more smoothly and efficiently thanks to dual spark plugs, repositioned fuel injectors, a secondary air-injection system and new engine mapping. Debuting on the three S models—Touring, Pikes Peak and the all-new Granturismo—is Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS), a Sachs-built semi-active system that automatically adjusts damping to ensure vehicle stability, “as if the motorcycle was suspended from the sky.” (A base model is also available with conventional suspension.) DSS makes use of the front and rear accelerometers that provide input for the 8-level Ducati Traction Control (DTC), part of the standard-on-all-models Ducati Safety Pack that includes ABS.
The pushbutton 4-bikes-in-1 Riding Modes—Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro—return, but in addition to adjusting engine output, DTC and DSS (on S models), the system also adjusts sensitivity of the ABS, which is now linked front-to-rear. The lightweight Bosch ABS 9ME control unit is the same state-of-the-art processor found on the 1199 Panigale superbike. Other changes include a larger windscreen that’s manually adjustable on the fly, new wheels, improved instrumentation, LED headlights and position lights and a connector for the optional Garmin GPS.
We just returned from the 2013 Multistrada world launch in Bilbao, Spain, and will have a first-ride report on the S Touring model soon.