Test Ride: Ducati Multistrada S

A trip Friday up the Hudson River to visit the good folks at Hudson Valley Motorcycles in Ossining, NY. Second generation owner bob-bylineRich Alexander and his team are hosting the greater New York areas only stop on the Ducati Demo Days Tour. Alexander and his Ducati Sales Specialist, Romy Ruette, are being assisted by folks from Ducati North America to put on this event, which runs thru today.

Hudson Valley Motorcycles has been a Ducati dealer for about three years and have had great success with the brand. In fact, they were the highest volume Ducati selling dealer in the entire U.S. last month. There are five technicians in their service department to take care of Ducati, Suzuki and Kawasaki bikes for which HVM is an authorized dealer.

Visitors are greeted by a very well organized presentation of about 15 Ducati’s representing most of the product range. Sign-up for a ride on your model of choice and have a box of water while you wait. Yes, the complimentary water was provided in cartons that resembled small cartons of milk.

MTS-1200S - leaned over

Photos courtesy of Ducati

The demo rides are about 45 minutes of riding as a group north from the dealership through Garrison, NY returning via route 9D which include the downhill twisty run on route 6/202 from the eastern end of the Bear Mountain bridge to the traffic circle in Peekskill. Top speed on the ride was about 65mph and some of the curvier roads were taken at a moderately brisk pace. The ride provided a decent first look at my chosen mount, a 2015 Multistrada S. Given the necessary constraints of the demo, one would need a solo ride to further “test” the capabilities of the bike.

There are lots of in-depth online reviews of the new Multi’s, so I’ll confine my comments to a few general observations. Having previously owned a Multistrada 1100S, I can say that the intervening years of product development have resulted in a totally new and improved bike. The seating position is very reminiscent of BMW’s R1200GS (the Multistrada’s main competitor). Riding position is bolt upright with the handlebar high and wide.

MTS-1200S - right side

The 160hp L-Twin motor provides instantaneous response to right hand input. New this year is Ducati’s DVT variable valve timing technology which is said to provide power in just the right fashion for any riding circumstance. From my perspective, 160hp in a 518 pound (wet weight) bike is more than adequate to get you down the road with loads of fun factor.

The standard wind screen is quite small, but does a decent job of blocking the wind. For longer, high speed, rides I would go for the optional big screen to provide a larger clear air pocket. The wide handlebar and superb suspension provide a level of control that will bring a big smile to your face. Without the pain of super bike ergonomics, this bike will most likely keep up with just about anything on the road. It will take a very skilled rider to extract all of the performance potential this bike has to offer.

MTS-1200S - front action

About Bob Rosen

A longtime motorcycle enthusiast who has ridden more than 200,000 miles on a variety of motorcycles, Bob Rosen spent seven years as general manager of a BMW-Ducati-Indian motorcycle dealership after an extended career in manufacturing and business management.