2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Preview

Details leaked. Think 150-horsepower BMW GS!

Update: At long last, Ducati has unveiled a series of studio pictures of the 2010 Multistrada 1200. Click here to see all six photos in our photo gallery.

The photos show the new Multistrada in three colors – white, black, and red. The photos of the white Multistrada 1200 feature matching hard bags.

Continue reading for the rest of the preview.

Ducati confirmed the existence of the long-rumored new Multistrada a couple of days ago when it launched a teaser website for the new bike, but there is nothing more than some teaser images.

However, after some gentle water-boarding of our “reliable source,” we've been able to get a bunch of exclusive details of the new Multistrada 1200!

After three years in development, Ducati's new “many roads” bike is armed with a 150-horsepower salvo to go after the lucrative adventure-touring/big-trailie market dominated by BMW's excellent R1200GS. No, the new Duc isn't intended for Dakar, but most GS owners rarely take their do-it-all steeds in serious off-road situations.

Here's the only official shot of the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 we can show you.

Ducati is describing the new MTS as “four bikes in one,” claiming some measure of an off-road capability. “From a sportbike for outright excitement to a tourer for long journeys with passenger and luggage,” reads an October 30 press release, “and from an everyday bike which can breeze through the daily commute to an agile enduro able to tackle off-road routes, the brand new Ducati transforms itself to suit the rider’s demands.”

We've got plenty more to tell you that the press release doesn't. First off, we can confirm the MTS1200 is powered by a variant of the 1199cc liquid-cooled V-Twin found in the 1198 Superbike. It's called “Testastretta 11°” in reference to the valve angle in the new cylinder heads that are said to aid combustion efficiency. A new fuel-injection system is controlled by Ducati's first-ever ride-by-wire throttle that is said to offer much better sub-3000-rpm fueling than the Superbike.

Our reliable source tells us the new Multistrada 1200 looks very much like this development mule, minus the black duct tape.

There is rumored to be a sophisticated electronics package that allows the ignition and fuel maps to be switched at the touch of a button. There will be perhaps four settings to choose from. The full 150-hp output will be on tap when you want it, but will be able to convert to a 100-hp setting for use in the rain or in off-road situations. Lever pull from the wet clutch is said to be quite light. 

As is typical of Ducati, there will be an S version to go along with the base model. The standard bike will be suspended by a Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock, both fully adjustable. Brakes are, of course, by Brembo. Wheels look to be identical to the 1198's. An under-engine bash plate is standard equipment, as are hand guards.

Note the tall windscreen, standard hand guards with integrated turnsignals and a front fender similar to the Hypermotard.

A new three-piece frame underpins the MTS1200, using a new cast aluminum component around the swingarm pivot area to join with Ducati's traditional steel-trellis arrangement up front. We're told to expect a dry weight somewhere around the 425-lb mark.

Behind an adjustable windscreen resides comprehensive instrumentation that will include displays for trip time, lap time, range to empty, and current and average fuel consumption. Don't be surprised if you see a form of keyless ignition similar to what's found on modern Harleys. At least one, probably two, 12-volt sockets will be part of the package. Anti-lock brakes will be optional.

The high-line S models will have all that and more. ABS and traction control will be standard, and a tire-pressure monitoring system will be offered. Like other Ducati S models, these will have Ohlins suspension. But these Ohlins pieces are rumored to include some sort of electronic control that can be adjusted on fly, similar in concept to the ESA system on some BMWs. It is believed that this system is also tied into the engine control computer. So, punching in, say, the enduro mode will dial in a stiffer suspension and softer throttle response.

It's possible that the S package will be divided into two sub-models, a sport and a touring version. If that's the case, expect the touring iteration to include saddlebags and perhaps heated grips and a centerstand.

Gold fork tubes indicate the Ohlins fork on the 1200S, said to offer on-the-fly electronic adjustment.

Full details of the new Multistrada 1200 will be revealed on November 9 at the EICMA 2009 International Motorcycle Show in Milan, but we're already going to guess an MSRP starting around $15,000. The S models may be pushing near the $20K mark.

We anticipate the first shipment of Multi-12s to arrive at dealers in late Spring, but we may get our chance to ride it as early as March. Air-cooled purists will still be able to choose the old Multistrada from Ducati's 2010 lineup.

Related Reading
2009 Ducati Multistrada 1100 S Review
Spy Shots of New Ducati Multistrada?
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2009 Ducati Multistrada 1100 S Review

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