2013 Ducati Multistrada Touring Sport Review (Long)

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by rogerc, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. rogerc

    rogerc FJRider

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    2013 Ducati Multistrada Touring Sport Review
    Picked up my new Multistrada on 3/26/13 for my 60th birthday. Had the 600 mile service done after just 2 days of riding.
    Below are my observations.

    The abruptness is smooth.
    Let that roll around in the brain for a moment and it will become clear.

    First, about me, coming off an FJR that I owned 8 years and loved riding it. Also had a VStrom Dl650 set up as a semi adventure bike that I also liked. Sold both and bought a new Mutistrada. I am 6’3” inches and 225 lbs., 60 years old and been riding on and off since I was 12. I consider myself an average rider, never do wheelies, ride about 10,000 miles a year. I do not commute on my bikes, they are 100% for recreational riding. I do ride some fire roads when given the opportunity but 98% of my riding style is touring roads of all varieties.

    Now about the bike.
    I don’t know what everyone is complaining about the windscreen, it is just as good as my FJR screen, which I liked. When you grow up riding anything with 2 wheels and before the invent of fairings you get use to wind… it is a MOTORCYCLE.

    The center stand is a pain and I will do something to fix it.

    The lights are outstanding and you SHOULD be seen.

    The fit and finish are outstanding on my bike.

    The seat is great but with my height I may need to lengthen the riders seat about an inch or so to be able to slide back just a tad more.

    First bike I will not have to install bar risers on. The fit of the bike is perfect for me.

    The sound is awesome and I have no intention of changing the pipe.

    Did 600 miles the first 2 days I owned it. Rode the Santa Cruz Mountains and HWY 25 in Northern California. The different ride modes are outstanding and fit all the different roads and styles I ride. It is super-efficient to change riding options and you can accomplish any change easily while riding. All modes are mapped very well and you can tell when a different mode is selected. I rode mostly in urban and touring modes, switching riding modes when the road determined that a different mode was need. There were plenty of rough spots on all the roads and this bike felt very planted and I felt secure and confident on the rough roads with this suspension. More confident than any bike I have ridden.

    Skyhook… Has me puzzled, I know that it is working but it seems invisible. I can’t explain what it is actually doing and how it changes the ride but I know I like it and can say by feel that it works.

    Will be working on how to set up the suspension for my weight etc. as I read more about the bike. How do you set the sag on this sucker??

    So far I give the suspension a 10 out of 10. Very impressed with the feel of the bike, feel of the road, response of the bike, and the confidence it inspires.
    Since I am still breaking the engine in and have kept it below 6000 rpm. I am not able to give an in-depth opinion but let me say:

    1. It rocks in 3 and 4th gear. This is a sweet spot for the sweepers.
    2. The sound is much better than I expected.
    3. Throttle response is excellent in all modes. Just make sure you know what mode you are in if you really gas it or you will be caught off guard in Sport mode.
    4. The modes are very different and provide the feel in each mode that I was looking for in this bike.
    5. For me I can now get along just fine with this as my only bike.
    6. Rode 10 miles on a fire road in Enduro mode, did better than my VStom in every respect and I gained confidence through the bikes handling on the fire road. Will be exploring this aspect a lot more but believe me I am not taking my $20,000 + bike on dirt roads that I am not 100% confident in.
    7. I am getting just over 40 MPG and have not figured out the total range on the gas tank yet. But so far will be looking to gas up at 180 miles to be safe.
    8. No surging at lower rpms and I like doing figure 8 practices which require very good touch on the throttle. I see no problem with the throttle response.

    My motorcycle buddies went over it and stated that the fit and finish were outstanding, and the bike was well thought out and worked. Each of these riders has vast experience and owned too many bikes to count.
    They gave it an entuastic 2 thumbs up.

    Summary
    Glad I bought the 2013 over a used 12 because of the evolutionary changes.
    Bike is expensive, but I plan on keeping it many, many years so it should cost-out over time. If I have to sell it in a year or two it would not be cost effective.
    So far it is everything that I had hoped for, fast, nimble, fun, easy to ride, and flexible. Just makes every road a joy to ride.
    Too early to say if it is the best bike I have ever owned but with more miles and everyday use will know in 6 months or so. So far it is my favorite bike.
    With my limited mileage I can say Ducati hit a homerun with this bike, so flexible, sweet motor, and awesome suspension. Will report back as time and miles add up on this bike.

    The abruptness on the throttle when you want to take off is so sweet and very smooth. This bike makes abruptness smooth.

    RC
    #1
  2. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    Nice. I have a deposit on a red one. Don't know what I'm going to do with my '11 GSA.
    #2
  3. Rovman

    Rovman Adventurer

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    Thanks for the feedback, can't wait to get my 13' Pikes Peak....
    #3
  4. Flightar

    Flightar Been here awhile

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    So far, I love my 13. It's poised, powerful, smooth, comfortable, and just works...no complaints.
    #4
  5. deWog

    deWog Been here awhile

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    Sell it....like I did with my '12 GSA. :evil
    #5
  6. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

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    nice enthusiast praise, but surely there are things it's missing or you wished Ducati would have done differently...
    #6
  7. Flightar

    Flightar Been here awhile

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    Yeah, the bike should have factory cruise control, an even longer riders seat, an exhaust that does not intrude on the right saddlebag, a windscreen that isn't noisy, a centerstand that does not interfere with your foot, all LED headlights, and lastly, no increase in price for the inclusion of these things as standard. (OK, well maybe a modest increase for the headlight and the cruise..say $500 for each item maybe as options.)

    Other than those things I can't think of much to wish for.
    #7
  8. rogerc

    rogerc FJRider

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    Cruise control should be on a bike priced this high.
    No excuse for the center stand problem. They knew it was a problem and ignored it on this update. Besides those problems the overall bike is fantastic.
    I have never had a bike I did not have to immediately start "fixing". This bike needs far less fixing than any of my past bikes I have owned.
    Besides a different seat, This bike is fits me perfectly. The seat needs to be about 1" longer for us taller guys. I am 6'3" with 36" arms so I tend to want to slide back more on all motorcycle seats. Suspension is very good for me at 225 lbs. Motor needs nothing and the exhaust sound is music to my ears.
    RC
    #8
  9. Moronic

    Moronic Long timer

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    The late Kevin Ash put the question to the chief engineer at the press launch for the 2013s.

    The engineer said it would have been a simple thing to add but it hadn't occurred to him that anybody would want it.

    Makes you wonder what sort of world these guys live in. But I suppose the answer is: Europe.

    Thanks for your write-up on the bike.
    #9
  10. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

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    Different strokes... cant fathom the appeal of cruise control. Never use it in my cage. Even less appeal on a bike. In fact given the magic wand I would ban it outright on safety grounds, but thats just me:1drink
    #10
  11. deWog

    deWog Been here awhile

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    I would happily pay extra for cruise control just to avoid speed camera fines. it would pay for itself in just one trip through our eastern states here in Oz.....seems too easy to creep up in speed when my right hand is in charge...
    #11
  12. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

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    Great write up. I too have an fjr with 118k miles and I am looking for my last big bike purchase as I am approaching 62 yoa, and the multi is on my short list along with the r1200gs, f700gs, and hyperstrada, and the new fjr. Keep posting. I have a friend with a 2012 who loves his. Cruise is probably not on this bike because I can't imagine the engineers thinking anyone riding this bike is just going to sit there and put down the road. lol How did you get past the cost of ownership and possible longevity/reliability issues between the fjr and the multi?
    #12
  13. Pampero

    Pampero Verbose Adventurer

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    I'm thinking you should keep riding, sir. I am five years your senior and won't stop until I'm physically unable to ride.

    As regards cost of ownership, you have to factor that against the understanding that life is short. This is an expensive motorcycle, but I'm coming to the conclusion that all the good iron is expensive if you can't or don't want to service it yourself. Japanese ownership is less costly. It's something you either come to grips with or you don't. For what it's worth, service doesn't seem to me to be any more dear than BMW prices. That's seems to be the case with most of the European marques; they cost a bit more to own but deliver a unique blend of qualities and style.
    #13
  14. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

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    Thanks Pampero. I didn't mean I was going to stop riding but what I buy next is going to be with me a long long time, ie the question ref. cost of ownership/longevity/reliability. If I get another one after this next one I can see it being a Triumph Bonneville or something to just put around on and do 4-8k miles per years vs 20k miles. Thanks again.
    #14
  15. Pampero

    Pampero Verbose Adventurer

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    You're welcome. For what it's worth, I live in the city and do a fair amount of "just putting (or perhaps putzing)" around on my Multi. It works fairly well for that. A Bonnie will be a fine motorcycle to see you into older age, but before you write off the Multi entirely, a lot of very nice used low mile bikes are coming onto the market just now. The 2013 update has flushed them out of the hands of those who have to own the latest and greatest. These bikes will generally be well optioned, very well cared for and could represent a good way to get into a 4 valve for a fair price. A good deal of the initial expense is sure to have been wrung out of them. The ride itself is hard to beat so if you do happen to demo one, the result (urge to buy) is frequently irresistible.

    The Bonnie and Multistrada are two very different propositions. I could see owning both, actually.
    #15
  16. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

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    Has anyone posted up having put some mileage on the 1200, ie 50k miles or better. Since there have been 4 model years there should be some info on the longevity of this bike.
    #16
  17. NCGS

    NCGS De Oppresso Liber

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    Saw the new '13 Pikes Peak MS at the Duc shop in Greensboro two Saturdays ago. Simply a stunning m/c.. I didn't want to leave it behind. However, the cost of buying one is currently beyond my finances, especially when I'd likely want to add bags, a touring windscreen and - maybe - a Termi pipe ($2,600 - huh!?).

    That puts the bike in K1600 money.
    #17
  18. rogerc

    rogerc FJRider

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    The stock exhaust is not bad. I have read several reports of guys stating that the exhaust upgrade was not worth the cost.
    #18
  19. deWog

    deWog Been here awhile

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    ....except that the whole exhaust box weighs a ton !!. Remove it and you shave a good 7-8 kgs off the bike.
    #19
  20. Pampero

    Pampero Verbose Adventurer

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    $2600 to save 15 pounds? Think of it this way; you retain the cat and the bike is road legal. You can shave 15 pounds off of any bike these days by dumping the cat. There are ways to do that for $300 if saving the weight is what is on your mind.


    It hardly lacks for power, and compared to...oh a K1600 comes to mind....weight is not the issue.
    #20