We’ve had our big Multistrada 1260 Enduro for eight months, but how has it fared?
During the making of this issue, I’ve had the pleasure of using the big ol’ Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro as my daily ride. I’ve been commuting to work on it, going for rideouts with my missus on the back, and it’s also the bike I took on a three-day trip to the Ecky Thump Rally in Yorkshire, followed by the Three Pubs Challenge from Scotland to Wales (read about here).
On that weekend, we (ABR assistant editor, James, and I) covered close to 1,000 miles, across motorways, twisting A roads, bumpy B roads, a few dodgy single-track lanes, and a couple of gravel forestry trails. I was fully loaded, with panniers and top box full to the brim, and it was one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve spent on the bike in a long time, and the big Multi certainly played a part in that.
First off though, I’ll clear the air with my only criticism so far when it comes to the Multistrada 1260 Enduro, and that’s just how big and heavy it is, especially when loaded with luggage. Manhandling the machine off its side stand felt more like a gym workout, and when coming to a stop I had to be extra careful about where I placed my leaning leg. On the few occasions I had to reverse the bike out of tight spots, it required a lot of effort.
It was while I was dragging the bike through a rammed motorcycle parking area in Whitby that I thought back to my experience with the old Multistrada 1200 Enduro, which was bigger, heavier, and more of a tank to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Comparing the two, it’s clear that Ducati’s downsizing of the 1260 has made a difference, but it’s still a cumbersome machine. That being said, as soon as you start moving, twisting the throttle to rouse that throaty tiger that lives in the exhaust pipe, the weight suddenly seems to disappear.
Anyhow, slow-speed man-powered manoeuvres aside, the Multi excelled on our trip. It took every road in its stride; motorway miles are devoured effortlessly with cruise control taking the strain (and I just love how there’s as much pulling power at 70mph in sixth as there is at 40mph in second), the exceptional suspension soaked up the potholes and undulations of B roads effectively, and the gravel trails of Kielder Forest were a grin-inducing rollercoaster of Ducati-inspired fun.
If there’s one thing that separates the Multistrada 1260 Enduro from every other adventure bike I’ve ridden (and I’ve ridden just about every one on the market), it’s the bike’s comfort. Everything about this machine seems to be designed to contribute to, what I can say with conviction, the most comfortable adventure bike I’ve had the pleasure to ride.
After three days and nearly 1,000 miles, we stopped in Denbigh for some food. It was 11pm and we’d been in the saddle all day. James, who was on the Kawasaki Versys 1000, was an uncomfortable mess. His arse was numb and his shoulders were aching from the bike’s seating position. Me? I was feeling fresh as a daisy. The Multistrada’s seating position is so ergonomic (at least for my 6’2 frame) that I felt no aches or groans at all. The huge fairing of the 30-litre tank provides so much weather protection that there’s very little fatigue from wind-buffeting (and when it rains, it’s amazing how dry you’ll stay), and the smoothness of the ride means that there’s very little disturbance from persistent vibrations travelling through the feet. In truth, if I were to head off on a multi-week ride around Europe, with every day spent munching miles in the saddle, the Multistrada 1260 Enduro would be my poison. If only I could afford one…