Ducati Multistrada Ready for Serious Update?

Pete Brissette
by Pete Brissette

Quirky Multi likely to get 1098 mill, or 1198 if you're nice!

This fabed-up image from a French magazine of what a new Ducati Multistrada might look like is more like a fable than fact.

This fabed-up image from a French magazine of what a new Ducati Multistrada might look like is more like a fable than fact.

If nothing else, the Internet is great for generating entertaining rumors, speculative talk, spewing hearsay, etc, etc. With the exception of chatter on where the next lucky third-world orphan to be assimilated by Brangelina might come from, nothing seems to spread faster than talk of a venerated bike receiving a thorough update. One bike that’s in the sights of ‘Net hopers and dreamers is Ducati’s Multistrada 1100S.

The companion website to French rag, Moto Revue, is alleging to have sources report from discussions with Ducati people while at EICMA this past fall that the Bologna-based bike maker will be giving a healthy revamp to the Multi. Saying that the Italian firm revealed to its dealers plans to phase out the Multistrada in its current form and unveil a new 2010 model in late ‘09, Motorevue.com contends that Ducati says the new Multi will be in direct competition with BMW’s R1200GS.

Hmm… Not bloody likely.

First of all, no bike manufacturer management team in their collective right mind would clue-in dealers to such info so far in advance. Dealers are quite often the last to know, at least officially. Secondly, though the adventure-touring segment is growing, it seems too big a gamble, especially in such economics times as these, for a bike maker to tackle a segment that’s:

a) quite new to them.

b) nearly locked up by one or two existing brands ( BMW, KTM).

Hey, I don’t have a crystal ball, so I could be entirely wrong about this, but one thing I know for sure is that such a revision of the Multistrada won’t be based off an air-cooled engine as the French website indicates. The current ‘Strada is already an air-cooled mill, just like the Hypermotard, so the likely update would be more along the lines of the new Ducati Streetfighter, a naked, stripped-down version of the company’s near-legendary 1098 superbike. The possible use of the liquid-cooled 1098 in a new Multi isn’t necessarily a revelation, especially if you follow model revision patterns.

What exactly a new Multistrada may turn out to be is still left to speculation, but I’m reasonably certain Ducati won’t stick with the ol’ two-valve air-cooled L-Twin, as I have it on good authority from my source that “when the Multi goes, it won’t be a Hyper[motard] base…”

Pete Brissette
Pete Brissette

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