The perfect adventure bike? Alun Davies finds out what life’s like with Ducati’s off-road-ready Multi
There’s a group of riders who convene for their mutual love of arse numbing, long-distance rides under the name of the Iron Butt Association. I admire their commitment to the cause – riding more than 1,000 miles in a 24 hour period – but have never had any aspirations to qualify for their ranks.
That’s not to say I avoid riding long distances in a single hit, it’s just that after around 600 miles in the saddle I find my concentration and reaction times take a noticeable hit, at which point feet up with a few pints is more appealing than a further 400 miles.
However, should I wake up one morning with a compelling desire to knock off 1000 miles before I next eat Shredded Wheat I’ve just discovered a serious contender for the bike I’d choose to do it on. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro.
I’ve grown to be a big fan of the standard Multistrada as a road-going adventure-styled bike over the past few years having been an admirer of the performance and long-distance comfort.
The new Enduro version extends that performance into genuine off-road ability, should you have the nerve and ability to throw a £16,690 plus machine down a green lane, plus the level of on-road comfort has gone up a gear. The long term ABR Ducati was the bike of choice on a recent trip out of Stratford-upon-Avon to complete a 900 mile round trip up the East Coast of the UK.
Making the most of the long daylight hours of a UK mid-summer we knocked off the mileage in under two days and I have to admit that with the exception of the BMW GSA I’m struggling to think of an adventure bike that would have been more comfortable and less physically taxing.
At 6ft 2in tall the position of the Enduro contact points (feet, backside, hands) feel as if they’ve been personally tailored to fit my frame and preferred style of riding position.
In addition, the seat is exceptionally comfy, the screen efficient, the extra width offers added protection, the suspension super smooth and it has that deep sitting ‘in’ rather than ‘perched’ on rider profile.
At the recent press launch in Sardinia Ducati were keen to draw the attention of the world’s press to the bikes impressive off-road performance with extended time taking on the gnarly trails of the mountainous Island.
What was almost overlooked on the launch was the effortless and comfortable way this bike eats up the miles. If only it came with a shaft drive.