Ducati Multistrada 1260S

With 158bhp on tap, Ducati’s Multistrada 1260S is a fast bike. It blurs the boundary between an adventure bike and a sports tourer, and I love it.

The Multistrada 1260 uses the 1262cc engine is a Diavel-derived motor with new mapping and exhaust. What a great engine this is, characterful and bags of power and torque, making 85% of its 130Nm torque from just 3500rpm. 

This low down torque makes A and B road progress swift and fun, firing out of turns with strong acceleration and a great soundtrack.

Ducati's Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT) means that with this Multistrada, you get the best of both worlds; low-end torque and a rush of power at the top end of the rev range. When conditions allow and you wind on the power, the 1260S is a quick bike. I was grinning from ear to ear, it even got me 3 points…..sorry Ducati.

Ducati gearboxes are hit and miss in my experience. I’ve ridden some that are just bad and some that are really good. I’m led to believe it’s partly down to them being tight when new (most press bikes are virtually brand new) and get better with miles, and generally, they seem to have a long gap between 5th and 6th. This Multistrada was very good, with the occasional hiccup.

It’s fitted with up/down quick-shifter, which at low speed was a little clunky, but when you’re pressing on was superb. 

Electronics are a big part of any modern motorcycle, and the Multistrada 1260S is no exception. Ours had the SkyHook Evo (DSS) semi-active suspension which was really good. At the front, Ducati have fitted Sachs 48 mm fully adjustable USD forks with electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment, and at the rear, there is a fully adjustable Sachs unit, with electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment and electronic spring pre-load adjustment.

There are various rider modes which offer different suspension characteristics. These are selected via the switchgear on the left bar. Simply follow the prompts on the colour screen. You can of course fine tune it further if you wish too.

Ducati’s Multistrada 1260S has a full suite of electronic rider aides, as you would expect; wheelie control, traction control, cornering ABS, cornering lights, cruise control and a Bluetooth multimedia system help to make this a very capable and practical bike.

The brakes are excellent with lots of feel and awesome stopping power. On the front Ducati have fitted 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs with  radially mounted Brembo monobloc Evo M50 4-piston callipers, with cornering ABS as standard. At the rear Ducati have fitted 1 x 265 mm disc, 2-piston floating calliper, with cornering ABS as standard.

Tyres on the test bike were Pirelli Scorpion Trail II and were great. They grip very well and never gave us a moments concern. The rear is 190/55x17 and 120/70x17 at the front.

Range is anywhere up to 250 miles from the 20 litre tank and all up, you’re looking at 235kgs.

All in all, the Multistrada 1260S really is a superb bike. As always, we used it in all conditions, with a pillion, without, loaded and empty, and it lapped it all up with east.