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“More than Red” is Ducati’s new marketing slogan. The new Multistrada Enduro shows what the Italians mean by this. Not only does it set itself apart from its red sister, the already well-known Multistrada …


… many security features still set the standard by which all competitors have to be measured.

Will the Ducati make it? It is possible because a lot has been revised and improved again.


Still very fresh: The new Honda Africa Twin, which has just passed the first tests, shines with the best off-road suitability. Thanks to the 21-inch front wheel, a lot of suspension travel and balanced handling, hardly any of the large enduros can beat you. And thanks to the DCT transmission, it can even be moved in the field with less stress than any other. Can the Ducati get there? Will be difficult.


Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin.


The robust Yamaha not only shines with a high level of driving comfort and an indestructible engine, it also offers a maintenance-free cardan drive.


Even in the Worldcrosser version with numerous add-on parts and with an electronic chassis, the 1200 costs a few thousand less. A real alternative for travel freaks.


The competitors of the Multistrade Enduro at a glance.


Very brave Ducati, of all things, to rely on off-road qualities for the company’s first real travel enduro. In terms of data, materials and equipment, the Enduro looks successful: What it can really do, it has to prove in tests from March.


Incidentally, the developers do not have any concerns that the new basic Multistrada could snatch customers away. “We developed the motorcycles in parallel and designed them differently. The difference is very clear and easy to explain: The Multistrada is running, …


… the enduro jumps ”, says Andrea Ferraresi.


The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro should be suitable for off-road use.


With 744 points, the reference in the MOTORRAD 1000 point evaluation is the fat BMW. Best suitability for everyday use, good standard equipment and …


Even the suitcases are included in the price of 16,390 euros. The Multistrada Enduro can keep up, but is much more expensive.


So far ahead in terms of standard equipment: Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally. From the crash bars and auxiliary lights to the semi-active chassis with automatic spring base adjustment, the rare northern Italian shines with full equipment.


Martially equipped, the fast Desmo long fork drifts into the middle of the terrain of BMW, KTM & Co. But she has a chance there?


First, let’s see what the Duc has to offer: Thick comfort seats, large suitcases (special equipment), high windshield and a powerful 30-liter tank will delight long-distance travel freaks, …


… Wire-spoke wheels, longer suspension travel, increased ground clearance and stable engine and radiator protection make the Ducati more suitable for off-road use.


The 90-degree Desmo-V2, which has been continuously developed further, has a huge gallery of ancestors, but has been increasingly optimized for smooth running and pulling power for years.


The heads of the enduro development team (from left): chief designer Gianandrea Fabbro, project engineer Davide Previtera, senior designer Gianfelice Marasco, design director Andrea Ferraresi, product manager Federico Valentini.


And another clever detail: Simply pull it out a little, turn it around and the asphalt becomes an off-road footbrake positioned 15 mm higher.


Ducati specifies 160 hp, which must set 254 kilograms of vehicle weight in motion.


Time for a comparison with the respective reference.


No question about it: The displacement monster from Mattighofen sets the standard in almost every respect. Real 159 hp, endless torque and the best running smoothness with smooth response. Since the Desmo-V2 has to bend despite variable timing, probably also in the Euro 4 Enduro version. But it is not lacking much, perhaps a little flywheel for the low revs.


KTM engine.


Thanks to additional equipment, there is also the possibility of traveling for two.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro in focus

How is the new one positioned?

"More than Red" is the new marketing claim from Ducati. The former super sports brand is slowly becoming a full-range supplier. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, which has been upgraded for off-road use, grabs right in the middle of the terrain of BMW, KTM & Co.

GThe Ducati managers had repeated it for years in an ebullient manner: No, the Multistrada was not intended to compete with the BMW GS, it was a different concept. The attempt to copy the GS has always gone wrong, so the Bolognese, they do not want to join this round of unsuccessful ones. 

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro in focus
How is the new one positioned?

Ducati is bringing the Multistrada 1200 Enduro, and a GS competitor could hardly look any clearer: long-legged and athletic, with a pointed beak, long suspension travel, a higher exhaust, large tank, robust engine protection and traveler cases as accessories. Where did the change of heart come from? “It’s not at all,” says chief designer Gianandrea Fabbro. "We didn’t copy the GS, as others have already done, but instead built an independent competition concept."

But where should the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro score in comparison to the numerous other travel enduros? “Offroad”, answers project engineer Davide Previtera like a shot from the pistol. "We are convinced that we offer the best off-road performance." Offroad, of all things? So far, not exactly a core competence of Ducati. “That’s not true”, contradicts the design director, the engineer Andrea Ferraresi. “The Cagiva Elefant has won the Dakar twice, and it had a Ducati engine and was developed by us.” But that was in the 1990s; In order to survive in the off-road sector today, the development team frankly admits, they oriented themselves towards current competitor motorcycles, especially the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure – one of them because of the impressive sales figures the others because of their brilliant engine.



Off-road reference: Honda CRF 1000 L Africa Twin

The team developed the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro at the same time as the new Multistrada 1200, which was launched last year. And not with a simple off-road kit, but as a new model. In terms of technical data, this means: a slightly shorter wheelbase, flatter steering head angle, longer caster. The one-arm swing arm was replaced by a two-arm swing arm, which is a much better choice for off-road developers because it is more stable. “The motorcycle was practically created with the rider in the saddle, ”says design director Ferraresi. “Even with the clay model, there was an off-road professional who tried out, for example, whether footrests and levers are positioned so that they also fit perfectly for cross boots.” You would have liked to have seen that, like the Ducati workers there modeling around a person with plasticine … 

The engineers paid particular attention to the off-road tuning of the Sachs suspension elements of the semi-active chassis. With success: "According to our testers, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro masters obstacles in the field that can hardly be mastered with the KTM and not at all with the GS Adventure", says project engineer Previtera, himself very enthusiastic. "This is due to the coordination, but also to the balanced weight distribution: 49 percent in front, 51 percent in the back."

The 30-liter tank made of steel is also part of the off-road and thus desert suitability. Plentifully chubby at the front, it tapers sharply towards the back, and the transition to the bench is narrow. On the one hand, this should be conducive to standing up, and on the other hand, it should make it easier to climb the 87 centimeter high bench. The developers raised the exhaust of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, "so that water crossings work", as chief designer Fabbro reports, but there are also more mundane reasons for this: The Touratech aluminum cases in Dakar dress, which are available as accessories, see this just look much better. A fascinating detail is the steel foot brake lever, which can be easily turned around in two easy steps: Then it sits 15 millimeters higher and is therefore better suited for off-road driving due to the toothed surface.

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro has even been tested on motocross tracks. "Of course we know that 95 percent of buyers never go on the cross-piste with it, because that’s not what it is made for," explains Design Director Ferraresi. "But when the motorcycle works under such extreme conditions, it means a great gain in safety." Whether the Enduro offroad does better than our reference, the new Honda Africa Twin, is doubtful. "It pursues a different concept and is therefore not comparable to the enduro," protests product manager Federico Valentini. “With 95 hp, the Africa Twin does not fall into the category of maxi enduro bikes.” That’s true again.



Engine reference: KTM 1290 Super Adventure

Ducati specifies 160 hp for the Desmo-V2 with variable valve control, it comes from the Multistrada base model. A MOTORCYCLE measurement showed only 150 HP on the crankshaft, while the reference in this regard, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, produced a real 159 HP on the test bench. However, it is not the pure numbers that determine driving pleasure, but responsiveness, smoothness and load changes. The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is still a stranger, because its riding modes have been re-tuned: "It needs modified algorithms, because the flywheels differ significantly from those of the basic model," explains project engineer Previtera. On paper, the requirements of the Enduro are right for a place well ahead, but only a test can really provide information here.



Equipment reference: Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally

The equipment list of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is almost endless: semi-active chassis, full-LED headlights with cornering lights, TFT info display, ABS that can be switched off, cornering ABS, four riding modes, traction and wheelie control, cruise control, Electronic starting aid on the mountain, height-adjustable soccer brake, plus main stand, hand protectors, aluminum mirrors and robust engine protection – “no other Maxi-Enduro”, assures product manager Valentini, “has such a comprehensive range of standard equipment”. Ducati chose this carefully in order to be well ahead of the competition. 

The suspicion arises, however, that the scoring of MOTORRAD is also being looked at, because safety-relevant features are a real plus for us, especially when they are on board as standard. 



Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro

The most difficult thing to design, according to designer Gianfelice Marasco, was the tank: “If you want to accommodate 30 liters, it will just be a huge thing.” But you also have to see the positive side, he adds with a smile: “We have now built it that way that it protects the legs from rain and wind in the best possible way. ”In order to create the indestructible impression, the designers mainly used round and angular basic shapes and special materials for the Enduro. The side front panels are made of anodized aluminum, which not only looks tough, but also feels so; the clearly visible screw connections underline the adventure character, although do-it-yourself repairs probably don’t really work in view of the complex electronics. The massive engine protection and the flat one-pot exhaust reinforce the impression of indestructibility. However, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro also turned out to be quite large and, at 254 kilograms, also massive when ready to drive, especially in view of the fact that Ducati wants to send its customers off-road with it. “It depends on how you measure it,” says designer Marasco. "When it stands between the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, it looks rather delicate."



Price reference: Yamaha XT 1200 ZE Super Ténéré Worldcrosser

At 19,990 euros, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is at the top end of our range. Even compared to its direct competitor, the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, the price is high, which the developers justify with the good equipment, the powerful engine and, last but not least, the high-quality materials. It can always be more expensive, namely with additional equipment packages such as the touring package. It offers heated grips, a Touratech aluminum case and handlebar bag for a further 1550 euros and even outperforms the fully equipped BMW.


Very brave Ducati, of all things, to rely on off-road qualities for the company’s first real travel enduro. In terms of the data, the materials and the equipment, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro looks successful: What it can really do, it has to prove in tests from March. Incidentally, the developers do not have any concerns that the new basic Multistrada could snatch customers away. “We developed the motorcycles in parallel and deliberately designed them differently,” says Andrea Ferraresi. "The difference is very clear and easy to explain: the Multistrada runs, the Enduro jumps." 

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