Wednesday, 1 July 2015

2015 Ducati Multistrada S Review

--> 2015 Ducati Multistrada S

Picture yourself packed for a weeklong ride that will be a combination of highway and twisty mountain roads.  You want something comfortable and yet want to shred the mountain roads like you could on a sportbike.  You’d also like to venture up a dirt road if you found an interesting one to follow.  What motorcycle would you chose?  Consider the 2015 Ducati Multistrada.

 The Touring Package

Multistrada, which means Many Roads, is the name Ducati has used for years to describe its multipurpose motorcycle.  Defining which category to place the Multistrada in is difficult.  Is it a pavement oriented Adventure Touring motorcycle that will take to the gravel or dirt roads if needed or is it a funny looking Sport Touring motorcycle?

By the numbers, the 2015 Ducati Multistrada is a Superbike in Adventure Touring clothing.  With a claimed 160 hp and 100 lb.-ft of torque, this motorcycle is powerful and fast!  Add Ducati handling, Brembo brakes and the most advanced semi-active suspension on the market (S Model) and the Multistrada is one of the best all around motorcycles on the planet today.

The biggest change for 2015 is the introduction of Continuous Variable Valve Timing to the Testastretta engine.  This means the “hyperactive” Testastretta works better at low RPM’s and is easier to ride at slower speeds.  The previous Testastretta had a light flywheel and was very difficult to ride smoothly at slow speeds.  This made it challenging to ride in city conditions or on the dirt.  The introduction of the Continuous Variable Valve Timing has made a significant improvement in this area.

The Multistrada does come in a “base” model for about $3,000 less then the standard S Model.  Having ridden both, spend the extra and get all the electronic “enhancements” as they’re worth it.  The S Model can be ordered in four (4) different packages which include Touring, Sport, Urban and Enduro.  Each package adds “extras” that come from the Ducati factory and then you can add more bits if you want.

Multistrada “low” points.

  1. The motorcycle may have an “enduro” mode, however keep it to the well-graded dirt.  The Multistrada is a street bike.
  2. Speeding tickets will likely be a cost of the riding experience unless you watch the instrument cluster and adjust your speed accordingly.
  3. Expect to develop permanent “laugh lines” on your face.

Multistrada “high” points.

  1. The handling of this motorcycle is confidence inspiring.  You’ll be plotting your trips based on how many corners the road has.  The more, the better.
  2. The new Ducati Continuous Variable Valve Timing system makes the Multistrada smooth and “friendly” at low speeds / RPM’s
  3. The Multistrada is comfortable to ride and if you choose to bring someone along on the ride, the pillion position is comfortable too.  At least according to my wife.
  4. It’s Italian!

More information can be found on the Ducati website:  Ducati

The 2015 Ducati Multistrada is a motorcycle for the person who wants the performance of a sportbike with the comfort and hauling capacity of a touring bike.  If that’s you, take one for a ride.

I'm getting ready to take the Multistrada S for a ride

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

The next Adventure Touring review will have to wait until the middle of August when I’ll be spending 5 days on the Triumph Explorer XC in Nevada, Utah and Arizona.


  1. Nice review of a bike I had never considered before now! How is the reliability of the bike over time? Ride Safe.

    1. From what I understand the reliability is comparable to other motorcycles in this category. It also has some nice service intervals (9,000 miles) and valve clearance check intervals (18,000 miles), which is MUCH better the the Ducati's of only a few years ago.

  2. I have a 2011 w/37,600 original miles, and I love it...except at slow speeds. The 2015 is very tempting!

    1. Nice! The biggest difference between the 2013 that tested and the 2015 was at slow speed. The variable valve timing works! On the other hand, I feel there is a difference in the seating position and I liked the 2013 better.