Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of 2020: Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour
There are Sport-Tourers, and then there are Sport-Tourers. The Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour is the latter, a cut above the rest. It checks all the boxes: stonking engine, state-of-the-art electronics, great suspension and brakes, decent-but-not-isolating weather protection, and included cargo-carrying capacity. Every time I ride the Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour, I think how retirement is a long seven years away and wouldn’t I rather just pack my bits and bobs onto the back of this bike and head for parts unplanned?
Perhaps, the song of the engine is to blame. As I said in my review, “The Testastretta 1262cc DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) is an engine seemingly without weak points. First, the DVT massages the bottom end torque for more grunt down low.…At higher rpm, the valve timing changes to benefit the increased volume of combustibles that need to be moved into and out of the twin cylinders.” The result is an engine that puts out a MO tested 89.0 lb-ft at 7800 rpm and 143.5 hp at 9,800 rpm, but perhaps most importantly, more than 80% of those pound-feet are available from 3,500 rpm. At all rpm, the throttle transitions are buttery smooth, particularly in Touring mode.
Next, the S after the 1260 in the name means (among other things) that this bike utilizes the Ducati Skyhook Suspension, which ties the semi-active suspension performance to the available ride modes. The result is a firmer ride in Sport mode and a more comfortable one in less exciting environments. Braking comes courtesy of Brembo M50s gripping 330mm discs – impressive stuff. Naturally, the power delivery and braking are controlled via a Bosch IMU linked to Ducati’s Cornering …read more