Ducati Multistrada 2015 Models 1200/ 1200 S

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By Bryan Harley
Ducati’s intentions for its Testastretta Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT) engine were confirmed today when the Italian manufacturer announced the engine will power the 2015 Multistrada 1200. The DVT is touted to be the first motorcycle engine to feature variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts. It concentrates on engine overlap, the interval when both valves are open at the same time, with a valve timing adjuster helping to optimize operation during these moments based on rpm, which before now was a fixed value. Output of the Ducati Testastretta DVT engine is claimed to be 160 hp @ 9500 rpm and 100.31 lb-ft torque @ 7500 rpm. Ducati achieved this while increasing efficiency as well, fuel consumption said to have dropped “by an average of 8% over the riding cycle.” A Dual Spark system, utilizing two spark plugs per cylinder, and a secondary air system also aim to keep performance of the DVT at a premium. Even routine maintenance and valve timing adjustments benefit from the new mill as both intervals between each have been extended.

While the Multistrada was already a sophisticated piece of machinery, techno-wizardry on the 2015 Multistrada 1200 pushes the envelope even further with the inclusion of a new Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that “dynamically measures roll, yaw and pitch angles as well as the rate of their change.” The IMU has a hand in just about everything electronic on the new Multistrada, from braking to suspension to wheel lift and wheel spin. On the 1200 S model it will even kick on extra lighting in dark corners.

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The IMU allowed the 2015 ‘Strada to be equipped with Ducati Wheelie Control with eight levels of adjustment, because with the added power of the new DVT engine, wheel lift is eminent. The system stems from the one used on the 1199 Superleggera, is disabled in Sport and Enduro modes and can be toggled off altogether in an any of the four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro). Each riding mode is characterized by varying levels of engine power, traction control, and now wheelie control. The ‘Strada will continue to run Ducati Traction Control (DTC) with eight-levels of adjustability as well. The DTC can even be personalized to individual preferences.
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The IMU also works in conjunction with the Cornering ABS “to optimize front and rear braking power even in critical situations with the bike at considerable lean angles.” The Brembo package features huge dual 320mm discs and 4-piston calipers on the front and a single 265mm disc with a floating Brembo caliper on the rear. The 2015 Multistrada’s Bosch 9.1ME ABS is a linked braking system that is most active in Urban and Touring riding modes and intervenes less in Sport mode. In Urban and Touring modes, rear-wheel lift detection is fully activated but is disabled in Sport and Enduro Modes. For off-road riding, ABS is still active on the front wheel in Enduro mode to allow for rear wheel lock in the dirt. ABS can also be turned off altogether if so desired.
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The up-spec 2015 Multistrada 1200 S is outfitted with electronic Sachs suspension all the way around along with the company’s semi-active Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evolution system which automatically acclimates to uneven road surfaces and riding conditions. Sensors regulate sprung and unsprung weight and the data is quickly processed and damping and rebound is adjusted accordingly to smooth out the ride. The front of a DSS-equipped 1200 S model features a new 48mm Sachs fork to go along with its Sachs rear monoshock. The ‘S’ version sees a larger 330mm front disc with a Brembo M50 monobloc radial four-piston caliper and 16mm master cylinder. It also gets the new Ducati Cornering Lights controlled by the IMU that will turn on a pair of supplementary headlights to brighten up dark spots in corners.

The Multistrada’s electronic offerings can be toggled through via switchgear on the left handlebar with settings displayed on an LCD screen. The bike must be at a standstill to change modes for everything but riding modes which can be adjusted on the fly. On the Multistrada 1200 S, the LCD is replaced by a full color 5-inch display panel and can be connected to Bluetooth to take incoming calls and control audio functions. The motorcycles also features keyless ignition.

The 2015 Multistrada S is also offered in a D-air version that is wirelessly connected to airbag-equipped D-air clothing by Dainese. The added safety feature uses on-board sensors and electronics on the bike that team with a wireless connection to active the Dainese airbags built into the riding jacket in case of an accident, deploying them in 45 milliseconds according to PR.

Another slick feature of the new Multistrada is an iOS/Android app. Using a Bluetooth connection riders can “use bike data to activate other functions which enhance, extend or let them share their everyday riding or touring experiences; the app even allows interaction with the ducati.com website and social networks.”

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Other notable changes to the 2015 Multistrada include narrowing the rider’s seat toward the front, the seat 20mm longer with 20mm of height adjustment. The passenger seat has likewise been lowered, but how much wasn’t stated. The windscreen has been tweaked to make it easy to alter one-handed, with 60mm of adjustability. The frame is said to have been stiffened and raised by 20mm to 180mm total for better clearance off-road. Electronic cruise control comes standard on all Multistradas while aftermarket options include panniers, heated grips and a center stand.

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200
Color – Ducati Red with black wheels
Features
o New Ducati Testastretta DVT engine
o IMU: Inertial Measurement Unit
o Bosch-Brembo ABS 9.1ME Cornering braking system
o Electronic cruise control
o Riding Modes
o Ride-by-Wire Power Modes (PM)
o Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC)
o Ducati Traction Control (DTC)
o Height-adjustable seat
o LCD instrument panel

2015 Multistrada 1200 S (and Multistrada 1200 S D-air)
Colors- Ducati Red with black wheels (1200 S and 1200 S D-air), Iceberg White with black wheels (1200 S only)
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Features
o New Ducati Testastretta DVT engine
o IMU: Inertial Measurement Unit
o Bosch-Brembo ABS 9.1ME Cornering braking system
o Front brake discs with diameter of 330 mm, Brembo M504 4-piston radial calipers
o Electronic cruise control
o Ducati Multimedia System (DMS)
o Lightweight machine-finished forged wheels
o Riding Modes
o Ride-by-Wire Power Modes (PM)
o Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC)
o Ducati Traction Control (DTC)
o Height-adjustable seat
o Electronic Sachs suspension (front and back) with the semi-active Ducati Skyhook
Suspension (DSS) Evolution system
o Full LED headlamp with Ducati Cornering Lights (DCL)
o Instrument panel with 5” full colour TFT screen
o D-air system (Multistrada 1200 S D-air only)
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