The Ducati Multistrada may look relatively unchanged compared to its outgoing predecessor, but the new 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 has its own host of upgrades that add to the already versatile package enjoyed by Ducati’s sport-tourer.

After having just recently sampled Ducati’s new Multi in sunny Gran Canaria, here are the top five features of the 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 as seen and felt through my eyes, ass, and wrist.

Engine: The 1262cc Desmo Heart-throb

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260

The beating Desmodromic heart of the new Multistrada 1260 has been shared and revised from the XDiavel, Ducati’s power cruiser. Like a cruiser, the XDiavel’s bigger L-Twin DVT motor was designed to offer loads of torque from low to mid-range. Ducati brought the 1262cc engine over to the new Multi for its extra low rpm torque. This gives a claimed 95.5 lb-ft of max torque at 7,500 rpm, 85% of which Ducati says is available under 3,500 rpm.

Other than bringing the torque slightly higher to offer more midrange without losing too much top end power, Ducati has relocated the water pump from between the cylinders to the left side of the engine, as well as rerouted the exhaust to work with the Multistrada chassis.

As with most Ducatis, the engine makes the motorcycle, and the new Multistrada 1260 is no different. During our first ride the bike was easily lugged low into the rpm range; while making our way through hairpin after hairpin, the Multi never hesitated to tractor its way out of each corner. Though fueling could be a bit abrupt at times, the engine put a smile on my face every time I rolled on the throttle.

Adjustability: The Italian Swiss Army Knife of Motorcycles

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260

To say the Multistrada offers its user adjustability would be, perhaps, the understatement of the year. From its semi-active Ducati Skyhook Suspension, to its selectable ride modes (which alter the universe as selected), to its three positions of seat height. You can tune the Multistrada 1260 to be nearly any type of motorcycle you want it to be.

During our first ride I was able to flip through the four ride modes to feel the differences these made. On many motorcycles, you will change horsepower output and on some others maybe traction control and/or ABS settings. On the Multistrada, changing ride modes will change your life. Okay, maybe that is too far. It will, however, change ABS settings, traction control settings, wheelie control settings, suspension preload, and fuel mapping – and on the S model, the Ducati Skyhook Suspension will be adjusting all the while to the pavement you are riding over.

I have noticed some of you saying that’s too much adjustability and you’re just fine without it. Well maybe that is because you haven’t tried it. Using one of the preset riding modes if you find there is something you would like to tweak a bit, you are able to do so, making the motorcycle easily fine-tuned from the cockpit to your particular preference during that moment. If I could only have one motorcycle in my garage, I would definitely want that kind of versatility. You know what they say, if there are too many options, you’re too old. Or something like that.

Quickshifter: Sport-Touring with an Emphasis on Sport

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260

The 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 may be the sportiest sport-tourer you can get, with a claimed 158 hp at 9,500 rpm and 95.5 lb-ft of torque at 7,500. Sure, there are motorcycles that can and will top those numbers but the way power is delivered through the Multistrada will have you undoubtedly enjoying the sporting heritage Ducati imbues into its touring motorcycle.

New on the Multistrada S and Pikes Peak edition is the inclusion of DQS (Ducati Quickshift, yay acronyms!) up and down. When riding the Multi at full power with the suspension firmed up, DQS makes the experience even more enjoyable as you bang through gears while the big twin screams for more.

Longer Wheelbase?

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260

The 2018 Multistrada 1260 is now 2.2-inches longer than its predecessor. A substantial increase when considering wheelbase. This is due not only to the 1.9-inch longer swingarm, but also the increase in rake from 24 to 25 degrees and a slight increase in trail of .2-inches. On sporting motorcycles this is something we rarely see because while adding stability, the intended goal for the new Multistrada, it generally causes the motorcycle to steer a bit slower.

I chose this as a top five because the 1260 is still incredibly quick and agile in terms of handling. Those who rode the previous Multi may notice the difference in turn-in but to me, the 1260 still has incredibly quick handling for a motorcycle of its size. Maybe it’s the DSS, or the new 12-ounce lighter wheels, or most likely; a combination of the entire package. While we didn’t have a chance to test the Multistrada 1260 on the autobahn, if the new Duc has gained stability and still handles as sharply as it does, not much is lost in our opinion.

Elongated for Everyone’s Pleasure

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260

Ducati has done a great job in recent years of extending their service intervals, a barrier of which, in the past, has assuredly kept some motorcyclists away from the Italian brand. While the Multistrada has benefited from the longer service intervals in previous years, I believe it is worth noting for potential buyers. Oil changes are required every 15,000km (9,321mi.) and “Desmo services” every 30,000km (18,641mi.). Multistrada 1260 owners can reap the benefit of the longer service intervals many newer Ducati motorcycles now offer.

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Ducati Communities

  • ZeroCold

    The Pikes Peak edition looks great. DQS a welcome addition.

  • JMDGT

    Every year the Multistrada improves. Pikes Peak version for me please. Quick shifters are tits.

  • Vrooom

    My bike comes with wheelie control, though some call it a rear brake.

  • elgar

    This is a seriously excellent machine…bravo Ducati team!

  • Harry Bierke

    even though there hasn’t been an official funeral service for the victory line, i’m still invigorated riding my 2015 flat green colored victory. i’ve been in 3 different branches of the military, so flat green is a green light. i am a little suspicious though of their promise to continue making parts for an additional 10 years.

    • Harry Bierke

      forgot to mention the model #. it’s the gunner. also a multi strada is in line of sight for my next iron horse

      • Mad4TheCrest

        Close but no cigar on your attempt by self-reply to edit in some relevance to the main article. But that begs the question: What prompted the connection to the Victory Gunner in your mind? Multistradas and Gunners seem worlds apart. Maybe the XDiavel as motor donor?

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          Maybe Harry is just a wanker.

  • Mad4TheCrest

    There will be people who will complain of the switch to the ‘cruiser’ version of the DVT twin based on the venerable testastretta evolutione belt-driven Desmo L-Twin. After all, Ducati’s pre-Panigale (and last championship winning) superbikes ran those belted twins, and the Multistrada’s sportier versions like the Pikes Peak are in some people’s minds mainly more comfortable sportbikes. So, there will be grousing from some performance-first fans.

    Personally I don’t mind the switch to the more cruiserly (but still potent) tune, but have to wonder what was so wrong with the version already in the Multis? The main improvement on the XDiavel Motor was the clean-up/relocation of all that ugly washing machine junk from the left side of the motor to neatly tucked into the ‘V’ out of sight. This article says some of that had to be taken back out so I’m not seeing the benefit.

    • Born to Ride

      The DVT engine basically outgrunts the older 1200 11 degree engine across the rev band. Nobody is complaining about detuning on this one lol.

      • Mad4TheCrest

        Last year’s MS was a DVT too, and seemed plenty powerful. Not sure why that motor was shelved for the XDiavel’s version except for simplifying the product line a bit.

      • Eric

        But the later generation Ducati twins seem to be getting heavier and heavier. Wasn’t Ducati about lightweight torque and power?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Longer service intervals: 9,000 mile oil changes and 18,000 mile valve checks. Also more low end torque is good for adventure bikes.

  • TronSheridan

    #6 roadside assistance

  • Eric

    If I bought a 1260 S new this coming year, I will have paid $7 to 8
    grand more for this bike than I paid for a virtually new (year old, 7000
    miles) car; a car with such luxuries as heated seats, mirrors, steering wheel, bluetooth, voice activated systems, traction control, stability control, and drag coefficient less than 0.29. Oh and besides the ability to fly past 120 without much trouble, it also gets 40+ mpg highway without much trouble.

    Guess this sort of two wheeled bling only sells in
    countries where motorcycles are not alternate viable transportation.

  • Eric

    If I bought a 1260 S new this coming year, I will have paid $7 to 8 grand more for this bike than I paid for a virtually new (year old, 7000miles) car. A car with such luxuries as heated seats/mirrors/steering wheel; bluetooth; voice controlled systems; traction control; stability control; and drag coefficient less than 0.29. Oh and besides the ability to fly past 120 without much trouble, it also gets 40+ mpg highway without much trouble. It’s low on the expense scale of cars to own, which I do without a loan.

    Guess this sort of two wheeled bling only sells in countries where motorcycles are not alternate viable transportation.

    • Larry Kahn

      Why are you here Eric?

      • Eric

        Because I’m a motorcycle enthusiast. You?

        • Larry Kahn

          Wasn’t sure since you were making a point that your car was so superior to a motorcycle. My grandmother used to make the same points is all.

          • Gabriel Owens

            OWNED

          • Eric

            Lemme see…..
            ZX-6R, SV650, SV650S, Z1000, SV650S, FZ1, SV650SF, Z900.
            Motorcycle shows, demo rides, worked at a dealership. Mechanical engineering career.
            Yeah I’d say I’m enthusiastic.

    • Born to Ride

      Cages are for suckas. Enjoy your pedestrian econobox, and you’re .29 drag coefficient!

      • Eric

        How hypocritical I’m sure. Enjoy your car that you drive around every week of the year.

        My point was that today’s motorcycles, while advanced and awesome, offer little by way of their 4-wheeled counterparts in terms of cost. It’s ridiculous how much they cost in comparison, while many times having less features.

        I’m a little concerned about motorcycling in the USA frankly, as it continues to go into decline with overall sales. And I wonder what the next generation thinks when they see the price tags on bikes, or when they hear their insurance agent quote a price, or when they see the numbers by their bank or credit union for a loan. In most cases they are already stretched to snapping with a car, with school debt, and other problems. And we wonder why they’re not buying when American manufacturers are pushing old-school cruisers costing almost as much as a new car, foreign manufacturers are pushing bikes costing exactly as much as a new car.

        But I guess cages are for suckas. Nevermind the cost of bikes, nothing to see here, move along?

        • Max Wellian

          Depends how many doodads one needs to have a good time. You can still get an SV650 that’ll scoot around lighter people pretty briskly and comfortably for around six grand.
          Comparing cars to bikes is apples to oranges. Bikes don’t have the luxury of car volumes. That’s like comparing restaurants to grocery stores. Yes, a grocery is much cheaper, but there’s an argument to be made for the experience of dining out too.
          The gimmicks in both are getting to the point of silly to me. Give me a gas gauge, speedo, and tach and I’ll be fine. Simple dials and needles are okay too. I’ll go home to watch the high def, big screen. I don’t even own a smartphone, so I won’t miss texting while riding or playing Crazy Birds or whatever people do while riding nowadaze.
          Used to be that comparing dyno charts was how men measured penis length. Now we gotta compare the entire telemetry of our last ride on the friggin bar stool? Oh right, we do that at the Starbucks now.
          Just legalize euthanasia already!

          • Gabriel Owens

            Do you spend your alone time huddled in a corner yelling “SHUT UP” to invisible dark voices?

          • Eric

            Being so detailed with that, Gabriel, you sound familiar with the process?

        • Born to Ride

          I belong to the “next generation” you’re talking about, and I’ll tell you what I think. If you want a car that gives you a remotely visceral experience that can remotely compare to the joy of riding, you are going to spend 30 grand OTD minimum. A Mustang GT or a Nissan Z car stickers for nearly $40k once it rolls off the lot. I agree with you that this multistrada, with every single electronic “upgrade” available to motorcycles is a monster of excess and costs way more than anyone needs to spend on a bike. However, for 12,500$ msrp (14-15k OTD) you can buy either the two very finest middleweight sport bikes that the industry has to offer. That is a performance to dollar ratio that automobiles simply cannot come close to.

          I own a car that has been paid off for years, and I drive it 3-5 times a month. I have a 2 year old iPhone that I could afford to buy at the time and I have no intention of upgrading until it breaks. I pay my rent on time every month. I have a reasonable amount of student debt, that will pay dividends because I chose a lucrative field of study. And I can still budget my earnings such that I can afford to keep a few bikes in the garage so long as I only have one payment at a time. Guys my age don’t ride because of the culture we live in, not because of the expense. If you can afford a phone payment, Starbucks, vaping, a CrossFit membership, eating out all the time, and an expensive car payment, then you could have afforded a bike. You just didn’t want one. Period.

          • Larry Kahn

            You can buy used Miatas all day for well under ten grand and drive them for years. Just have to tell the ladies you’re undercompensating.

          • Born to Ride

            I was just trying to keep it apples to apples comparison of looking at MSRP. Yeah for sure, there are always gateway drugs for enthusiasts of any Motorsport. His cynicism was directed at $25k Ducatis being the death of motorcycling with my generation, but even if you had to buy new, there’s a ton of bikes that are brilliant for price tags that are a fraction of the cheapest sports cars cost.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I don’t belong to the “next generation” like you, but the 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250S I bought last year (2017) for $2,500 will blow the socks off any car that exists. So no need to spend $12,500 for performance.

          • Mad4TheCrest

            Uh, ‘any car that exists’ is an exaggeration, especially when we are talking a 100-horse, 500 plus pound Bandit in a World lousy with supercars, some of which really ARE ‘super’!

          • Born to Ride

            Without his daily dose of gratuitous hyperbole, Sayyed’s doctors have determined that his heart would literally stop beating. You just gotta let him have it.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            And how much do these “supercars” cost? The guy who started this thread was complaining about having to pay $7-8K more for the Ducati 1260S than he paid for his used car. Born to Ride offered him $12,500 sport bikes. My point was that you can do the same for a lot less by getting a like-new used or leftover bike.

            According to this Cycle World comparo between the 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250S and the Yamaha FZ1, the Bandit does 0-60 in 3 seconds. How many cars out there can do that?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75e27a158af3ab9ab4e003d84eb4eb89769393a3831d851e523498cb318b69eb.jpg

            https://www.cycleworld.com/2014/01/16/suzuki-bandit-1250s-vs-yamaha-fz1-comparison-test#page-3

          • Gabriel Owens

            Thats not completely true because you can find ford fiesta st’s for around 18.5k brand new. Read any review about those cars. Theyre absolutely amazing fun to drive and average 29 mpg. Btw im 6’1 and around 225 pounds of American asshole. The seat fits me just fine. Was expecting to be cramped in such a small car, but thats not the case.

          • Born to Ride

            And I can buy a leftover Z900 for 7 grand brand new, which will stomp the brains out of your lil turbo FWD hatchback. But you already knew that. 😉

            (See post below)

          • Gabriel Owens

            But can it carry a thirsty 30 pack and the weeks groceries? Or my tools for work?

          • Born to Ride

            I have a 2004 Subaru car-truck thing for that. And only that…

          • Gabriel Owens

            But on the reals….youre shopping Kawasaki’s a lot these days.

          • Born to Ride

            Nah I’d never buy a Z900, I was just using it to make my point. I’d ride the hell out of one though of course.

          • Gabriel Owens

            Im looking at those ninja 1000’s awfully hard to pass up.

          • Born to Ride

            I can’t afford the insurance, otherwise I’d have one instead of my Multistrada. It’s a perfect bike by my estimation.

          • Eric

            336 watt stator power is pretty low on the N1K. I’ve loved everything about the bike except the lack of additional power for accessories (it’s a touring bike) and the (STILL!) lousy insurance rates for it. Put a stonking Vtwin engine in that bike and change the name to Z1000SX like Europe, with a “ZR” model designation like the Z bikes have, and we’d be in business.

          • Born to Ride

            Yeah I don’t care about the charging system. If it can charge my phone through the trickle charger port I’ll be fine. Actually, on second thought it might be better if it couldn’t charge my phone…

    • spiff

      Can it wheelie?

      • Eric

        Some can, but then they can’t steer very well.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      You only buy a motorcycle because you want to ride a motorcycle, not because you want to save money.

      • Gabriel Owens

        I have to agree. Although I believe that scooters can be extremely economical.

      • Eric

        The point was, look at what you get for your dollar today. Bikes are crazy expesive for being about 10 years behind cars in technology and efficiency.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          But they are a lot more fun than cars. You can do a lot more with bikes than cars, especially in California. I have probably saved 2600 hours of commuting time in the last 10 years. You can go riding in the dirt or adventure riding. Canyon carving and track days. Long distance touring. It is like being outdoors. When you are in a car, you are IN a car (also called a cage). In CA, you will be stuck in rush hour traffic both in the morning and in the evening while motorcycles go whizzing by. So money is not everything. Most people who have motorcycles also have a car or truck or both. They are not looking for primary transportation.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Quite a bit of sexual innuendo in this article: “DQS makes the experience even more enjoyable as you bang through gears while the big twin screams for more”. “Elongated for Everyone’s Pleasure”. Is that a new MO trend?

    • Born to Ride

      Why? Are you uncomfortable with your sexuality? The bike is gender-fluid, ready to satisfy any and all desires you might have. All you need to is mount it, and give it good twist.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Come here to read a motorcycle magazine. The other stuff is available elsewhere.