Ducati has many accessories available for the Multistrada, and has left provision for you to fit your own too. There are standard accessory power ports near the seats, perfect for heated vests and audio gear and the standard gear rack.
Besides the Xenon lights fitted by Motohansa (low beam lights, and spot lights wired into the high beam circuit, but with its own switch on the handlebars) we have also fitted a set of Barkbusters which took all of about 15 minutes, mainly because they are designed specifically for the Multistrada.
The RadGuard radiator and oil cooler mesh guards we fitted are a must we reckon.
Attaching the radiator guard was so simple it was almost laughable. In less than two minutes it was on, and that’s no exaggeration either. The oil cooler guard was a different story, it requires the removal of the nose cone. It looks time consuming but is relatively easy though, and well within the scope of the home tinkerer.
Not every standard fitment screen suits everyone, so we got a few different Ztechnik Vstream screens from Mototoys (www.mototoys.com.au or 0400 284 840) to try. They are in various sizes, from a shorter tinted screen to the big daddy touring screens.
One thing we’ve worked out over the years is not every screen size or shape suits everyone. It does depend on your height and how adjustable your screen is, if at all, and bigger is not always better.
First up we tried the tinted screen which in this case is slightly shorter and narrower than the standard screen.
It wasn’t spectacularly better than the original screen, and of course it suited some of us at Cycle Torque better than others. It’s very much a personal thing, but if you get too much buffeting you should try a Ztechnik screen.
Fitting is simple, and uses a semi quick release system that simplifies changing screens if you have more than one, which isn’t a bad idea if your riding is varied between shorter stints and long distance touring.
We still have another two screens to test so keep an eye out for this in an upcoming issue.
The radiator guard alone is $195, if you buy as a kit including the oil cooler guard it’s $229.
If you go to RadGuard’s website www.radguard.com.au you might even get it cheaper.
$125 is what it will cost you for the Barkbuster hand guards, find out more at www.barkbusters.net.
As for the Xenon lights, they work extremely well at not only giving you more depth, but also penetration.
The combination of high performance, safety, comfort and style makes the Multistrada hard to beat.
It really does offer near-Panigale-like levels of engine performance, with awesome comfort from the well-sculptured seat and natural riding position. Its ability to cope with bad roads, dirt roads and urban decay all the while carrying two people and a load of gear makes the Multistrada simply awesome.
The integration of suspension settings, traction control, ABS, fuelling and ignition is Ducati’s way of using technology in ways to improve the ride. Having four distinct, practical and very different modes is great for bike set-up. Even though the 1098 based engine is essentially the same on the sportsbike and the Multistrada, the big Multi gets slightly different camshaft timing and fueling to make things a bit sweeter at lower revs. In the main it works, but there’s no escaping the fact the engine on our bike was happiest at 4,000rpm or over.
Early in the bike’s life it made the trip north to Desmo HQ at Byron Bay in Northern NSW (02 6685 6316) where our ECU was spruiked up with a Rexxer ACU flash load, cost $399.
The result was a much happier bike when the revs were lower than 4,000, and quite frankly we were impressed with the difference it made. We have ridden some 1098/1198 sportsbikes where the fuelling was a bit cantankerous at low revs, and while the Multistrada was nowhere near as bad, it did benefit from the Rexxer flash load.
We would consider this money very well spent.
It was on this trip where we dinged the rim. After hitting a big pothole we noticed the bump in the rim, but the tyre didn’t go down. In fact we rode for another 1,000 kilometres or so before we got the rim repaired by a local wheel repairer.
The cost was only $80 but of course the tyre and disc rotors needed removing before the repair, and we then needed to repaint the rim where heat and force had been applied. As the rim is satin black this was easy to do with a rattle can and some wet and dry. It’s been fine ever since and you wouldn’t know the rim had been repaired unless you knew where to look.
It tracks straight too.
What else have we learnt during our ownership?
It has fantastic brakes, fuel range ranges from say 250 kilometres to 300 and a bit depending on how hard you ride (yes, it goes like stink and likes to be thrashed), the dash is comprehensive and changing the settings is easy, once you work out how it all works, including the heated handgrips.
We like the seat, but some riders don’t particularly like the stepped separate rider and pillion set up because it tends to limit how much the rider can move around.
That said, it’s not a big issue, and it’s perfect when you are cracking on.
Adjusting the screen on the move is easy, even though it’s only manually adjustable.
Our second generation Multistrada is about to be replaced by the third generation, which looks very similar, and is, but has a new suspension set up, oddly named Skyhook. The Sachs suspension is semi-active, so it re-adjusts the damping as you go along. Apparently the name suggests the bike is hanging from the air, such is the suspension’s shock absorbing ability.
Will the new model be better than the current one?
Probably, and if it is it must be bloody good.