Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro


Alun Davies gets back on two wheels for the first time in nine months

For all those who’ve not been paying attention, I’ve had a bit of an extended lay off from riding over the past nine months. For all those who have been paying attention, stop the stalking, it’s not good for you. I’ll let you know what happened in due course, suffice to say It was not through choice.

Anyway, one of my better memories from 2018 was waking up on a sun-drenched Thursday morning during the height of last summer’s drought and thinking, ‘I want to ride a 1200 Multistrada Enduro Pro down the Strata Florida green lane’.

What was odd about this vision was that it had occurred before the first coffee of the morning and thus prior to any cognitive thought occurring in the Davies household. Of course, by the time I’d had a few shots of caffeine, the idea of including ‘Ducati Multistrada Enduro Pro’ and ‘Strata Florida Trail’ in the same sentence sounded ludicrous.

However, when there’s one parked outside the house and it hasn’t rained for the best part of six weeks, it’s as good a time as any to do ludicrous. In case you don’t know, the Strata Florida trail is a challenge on a lightweight 250cc enduro bike with a group of mates, let alone riding it solo on a 250kg monster of a machine.

As it happened, the Ducati proved to be an excellent companion on the superb roads of Mid Wales and a revelation on the river crossings, rock steps and deep mud of the Strata Florida Trail. It was a truly inspirational to be riding such a fantastic machine in beautiful surroundings on a glorious day.

In fact, that day was to be my penultimate ride of 2018, the next one (not on a Ducati) didn’t end so well, unless you consider a week spent on a morphine drip in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary inspirational. And so, to bring you up to date.

Having recovered to the stage where I could consider riding again, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I found out my long-termer for 2019 was to be the new Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro. I can safely and confidently say that I’ll not be attempting the Strata Florida Trail anytime soon, but I could not think of a bike I’d rather choose to end my extended lay-off than the new 1260.

Price: From £17,755
Engine: Ducati Testastretta 1262 liquid-cooled, L-Twin 2-cylinder, four-stroke engine
Power: 158bhp @ 9,500rpm
Torque: 128 Nm at 7500rpm
Suspension: Front; 48mm fully adjustable USD forks, electronic compression and rebound adjustment with Evo Ducati Skyhook Suspension. Rear; Fully adjustable Ducati monoshock with electronic compression and rebound adjustment with Evo Ducati Skyhook suspension.
Brakes: Front; Twin 320mm semi-floating discs with radially mounted Brembo M4 32-piston calipers. Bosch cornering ABS
Seat Height: 860mm
Tank Capacity: 30l
Weight: 254kg

First thoughts include; the engineers may have changed many things about this machine, but the designers have managed to keep the look as stunning as the old 1200, offering that perfect Italian image that oozes with style, sophistication and performance.

Despite the increase in engine capacity, the new 1260 maintains the same weight as the old 1200, but offers an all-round more manageable size that’s easier to live with (wrestle the 1200 Enduro out of the garage was no mean feat).

A lower seat height as standard (860mm rather than 870mm), lower bars (by 30mm), lower footpegs, and 15mm less suspension travel will no doubt appeal to many riders who may have been intimidated by the weight and bulk of the predecessor.

There are a lot more upgrades to check out and report on over the next few months but right now, and probably most important of all, it’s brought a smile back to my face.