Ducati India has launched the 2018 Multistrada 1260 starting at an introductory price of Rs 15.99 lakh. The bike is available in two variants in India – the 1260 and the higher-spec 1260 S. The latter is priced at Rs 18.06 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom, India).
The 1260 is the company’s flagship adventure-tourer and comes with a number of changes over the model it replaces. These updates include additional power, a revised chassis and new equipment.
The Multistrada gets a new 1,262cc, liquid-cooled, L-Twin motor. It produces 158hp at 9,500rpm, a 6hp increment over the 2017 Multistrada. Torque, too, has gone up by 1.5Nm, bringing the total up to 129.5Nm, which is delivered at 7,500rpm. The new engine features what Ducati calls Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT), which, combined with Desmo valve actuation, results in good low-end torque. This tech also helps make the engine Euro-IV emission norms compliant.
Internationally, the Multistrada 1260 is available in four variants, the 1260, 1260 S, the S D|air and the Pikes Peak – the last two will only come to India later, if at all. Like before, the standard 1260 makes do without the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS). The 1260 S, meanwhile, does get DSS and it shares its 48mm fork and a fully-adjustable Sachs monoshock with the rest of the Multistrada variants. The bike also features updates to the chassis, including a 48mm longer swingarm and increased steering rake (from 24 to 25 degrees). These changes have resulted in a longer wheelbase (1,585mm), up by 56mm compared to the older model. The dry weights of 209kg (1260) and 212kg (1260 S) have remained unchanged from the previous model.
Ducati has always equipped its flagship adventure-tourer motorcycle well and the new Multistrada is no exception. The 1260 now comes with cornering ABS, back-lit handlebar controls and automatic turn signal cancellation. The bikes also feature four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro), Ducati Wheelie Control, cruise control and hands-free connectivity. An important addition is that of Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), a standard feature that’s part of the new ABS unit. In effect, this holds the bike steady by activating the rear brake (for a period of nine seconds, after which it automatically deactivates if unused). Exclusive to the 1260 S, in addition to the above features, is the colour TFT display for the instrument cluster, full-LED headlight and cornering lights.
In terms of competition, the Multistrada 1260/S is primarily up against the BMW R1200 GS, which is sold in two variants in India – Standard (Rs 15.7 lakh) and Pro (Rs 18.9 lakh). The Triumph Tiger 1200 can be regarded as a rival, too, except that it is now sold only in off-road guise (XCX, priced at Rs 17 lakh; all prices, ex-showroom, India) in the country, while the 1260 is yet to spawn an Enduro variant.