I rode the Multistrada Sport to Stoke on Trent from Aylesbury Ducati, which is just south of Bicester. I had a mix of A roads with some overtaking opportunities, dull motorway, and the urban streets of built up Stoke on Trent. And then back again.
The motorcycle has a beautiful engine which is powerful everywhere, and an almighty kick from anywhere in the rev range. It counter steers beautifully and the seat/handlebars/foot pegs set up is ideal for a man of my height which is 6 feet tall. I do not like the bunched riding position of sports bikes.
This type of bike which performs like a sports bike with a set up which allows a comfortable riding may well be perfect. I did notice that the speedometer wildly over exaggerated speed which made me a little bit suspicious of the electronics quality of the machine. I also appeared to be the only person who has ever noted that the turbulence off the screen was weird. It physically moved my head from side to side.
As my blog photo shows I am not a particularly delicately built man and when I took the bike back to Aylesbury Ducati they said they have never heard of anyone else having the same problem, so I suspect it might simply be a weird combination of helmet, screen height, back pack and so on. If I do decide to get this bike it will have to be with a different screen. However the power and stability of this bike is spectacular.
I came away thinking what a cracking bike but I needed more of a mile muncher, and then I got on to my 30000 mile old BMW 1200 GS and it felt slow, turgid and agricultural. It felt like it had no go. The experience was like getting off a thoroughbred racehorse and onto a steady old hack. These bikes are not in the same class. I accept that the GS has been improved and breathes easier, but the difference in horsepower and power to weight ratio makes these bikes completely different. The BMW felt slow and clumsy next to the Multistrada.
I came back thinking what a lovely bike but how would I feel after some of my regular 300 mile plus days with a Court appearance or meeting in between, and the ride was too involving. Whilst the bike is pretty comfortable the windblast was just a bit too much.
If I had a bike for fun or a shortish commute it would be this one, but can this fantastic multipurpose bike be an everyday working bike? It is an involved and exhilarating ride without the full on Power Ranger, arse in the air, experience of a full blooded sports bike. I now fully understand all the rave reviews.
I can feel a danger of letting my heart rule my head. Getting a taller screen and letting the Ducati virus get into my cold, practical, high mileage Nordic blood is a real option.
I said to Mark at Aylesbury Ducati this was a fantastic bike but not for me, and then I got onto my German tractor and missed the hot blooded Italian – a lot. People warned me about test riding a Multistrada because Ducatis get to you. I thought that was a load of old pony. Bugger me if they are not right.
I liked the Tiger but it did not set my pants on fire like the Ducati did. Does anyone want to buy a 30000 mile old GS? One not especially careful owner!