Ducati’s Flagship Multistrada That Thinks It’s A Supermoto

Ducati’s Multistrada family is well established at the top end of the adventure-bike field, but the Pikes Peak is the absolute pinnacle of development and it serves as Ducati’s flagship model. As its devilishly clever name suggests, the Pikes Peak is built around hill-climbing performance, and that applies to both engine output and handling. A robust electronics suite packs in all sorts of safety-oriented yummygoodness on top of top-shelf suspension components with carbon-fiber bits here and there to drop sprung and unsprung weight.

  • 2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
  • Year:
    2018- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    L-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1262 L
  • Top Speed:
    150 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    25495
  • Price:

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak Design

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
- image 822745
Ducati manages to take a rather utilitarian machine, apply its eye for design and turn out something with gobs of curb appeal.

With the Multistrada, Ducati manages to take a rather utilitarian machine, apply its eye for design and turn out something with gobs of curb appeal. Sure, it isn’t exactly pure sex-on-wheels like the Diavel, for instance, but it does bring a certain sensuality to the table all the same.

The weight-saving measures begin right off the bat with a heavily bobbed front fender that runs with carbon fiber at the forward half. The angry-bird visage greets the world with an opaque, carbon-fiber insert in lieu of a windshield up top, and if you prefer to see as much as possible you can mount the clear screen that comes as part of the standard equipment package.

Carbon-fiber cheek fairings channel cooling air over the radiator which then reintegrates with the slipstream through the vents at the trailing edges. The handlebar runs with very little rise, so it encourages an aggressive riding posture in keeping with its “Race To The Clouds” nature.

Instrumentation is handled in its entirety by a revised, five-inch, color TFT screen, and a wireless Bluetooth connection networks with your smartphone for hands-free access to communication and music-playback features via the Ducati Multimedia System. Seat height is adjustable with two positions — 32.5 inches high and 33.3 high — and the saddle features red stitching that stands out in contrast with the two-tone gray cover pairing well with the red, white and black Pikes Peak livery.

Fold-up, subframe-mount footpegs, a wide pillion pad and large J.C. rails handle all points of contact for your passenger with a vertical offset that forms a deep butt-bucket for the pilot. The taillight fills the fork between the tip of the tail and the mudguard extension, and like the rest of the lighting on the bike, it’s a bright LED projector.

While the license plate extends the mudguard, as is typical, the real spray control falls to the pair of huggers; one mounted up forward on the swingarm and another single-side one out back. Yeah, that’s a lot of coverage, but the Pikes Peak manages to not look too busy even with all that stuff.

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak Chassis

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
- image 822747
The steering geometry reveals some pretty agile numbers, so you can count on it taking whatever you have the nerve to dish out.

Ducati rarely misses an opportunity to show off its Trellis frame, so the Ducati Red bones stand out nicely against all that blackout treatment around the middle. Since the engine is used as a stressed member, a large chunk of frame is made superfluous, but the steering head comes set for a 25-degree rake with 4.37 inches of trail. Those are pretty agile numbers, and you don’t have to look far to find pictures of someone dragging an elbow, so you can count on it taking whatever you have the nerve to dish out.

Öhlins provides the fully-adjustable stems at both ends with inverted forks up front and a TTX36 monoshock to tame the single-side aluminum swingarm. A pair of 17-inch, forged-alloy rims round out the rolling chassis with a lightweight, triple Y-spoke layout meant to reduce windage, drag and unsprung weight that contributes to the gyroscopic forces generated while under way.

Pirelli’s Scorpion Trail II hoops make the connection to the pavement with a 120/70 up front followed by a 190/55 on 62.4-inch centers. Part of the electronic fandanglery includes an Inertial Measurement Unit, and the brakes are the first system to benefit from it. The IMU feeds the ABS system data on the forces operating on the chassis so the ABS can factor it into the available-traction equation that it’s constantly trying to solve. Additionally, the Pikes Peak comes with a Vehicle Hold Control feature that will hold the rear brake for up to 9 seconds so you can put both of your training wheels down ahead of an up- or down-hill takeoff.

Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame
Rake: 25°
Trail: 4.37 in (111 mm)
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment. Electronic spring pre-load adjustment with Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evo. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Front brake: 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted monobloc Brembo Evo M50 calipers, 4-piston, 2-pad, radial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Rear brake: 265 mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper, with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Front wheel/Travel: 3-spoke ψ-shape forged light alloy 3.50" x 17"/ 6.7 in (170 mm)
Rear Wheel/ Travel: 3-spoke ψ-shaped cast light alloy 6.00" x 17"/ 6.7 in (170 mm)
Front tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 120/70 R17
Rear tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 190/55 R17

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak Drivetrain

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
- image 822740
The real story lies with the torque. You can count on around 85-percent of the 95.5 pound-feet of torque to come on right around 3,500 rpm.

The Multistrada line runs the same mill across the board; Ducati’s Testastretta DVT L-Twin engine. It’s majorly oversquare with a 106 mm bore and 71.5 mm stroke set in a 90-degree “V” to make up a total displacement of 1,262 cc. Compression is pretty high at 13-to-1, but that’s the price you pay for the power boost that claims over 150 horsepower and a deep torque well extending below 3,500 rpm. We’re talking about 155 ponies to be exact, that cap at a lofty 9,500 rpm, but the real story lies with the torque.

You can count on around 85-percent of the 95.5 pound-feet of torque to come on right around 3,500 rpm. Unsurprising, since that is the nature of big, twin-cylinder engines, though the high redline is a departure from the norm. Ducati’s Desmodromic valvetrain sees to that with a pull-closed cam that replaces the valve return spring and eliminates the possibility of harmonic valve-float setting in. Yeah, the old-school Desmos were fairly high-maintenance items, but the factory has the service interval up to 9,000 miles (15,000 km), and that’s not bad all things considered.

This new “1260” also rocks the Desmodromic Variable Timing feature that moves the cam relative to the drive gear, and that’s where the bottom-end grunt comes from, for the most part. A slipper clutch provides an extra layer of security for the rear contact patch and delivers a lighter-than-usual clutch pull for the six-speed transmission, and Ducati’s Quick Shift system that sends you up and down the range sans clutch action.

The fandanglery continues with a ride-by-wire throttle control that sends its signal through a number of filters including Riding Modes, Power Modes and Wheelie Control in addition to the lean-sensitive Traction Control and Cruise Control. Throw on the Ducati Multimedia System and you’ve got just about everything you could hope for; straight-up top-shelf stuff, folks. Top speed clocks in with an approximate 150 mph.

Engine: Ducati Testastretta DVT with Desmodromic Variable Timing, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valves per cylinder, Dual Spark, liquid cooled
Displacement: 1,262 cc
Bore x Stroke: 106 mm x 71.5 mm
Compression ratio: 13:1
Power: 155.8 hp (116.2 kW) @ 9.500 rpm
Torque: 95.5 lb-ft (129.5 Nm) @ 7,500 rpm
Fuel injection: Bosch electronic fuel injection system, elliptical throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire, equivalent diameter 56 mm
Exhaust: Stainless steel muffler with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, Termignoni carbon fiber silencer
Gearbox: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.84:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 40
Clutch: Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak Pricing

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
- image 822739
At $25.5k, the Pikes Peak is a lot of bike for the buck, though it lacks the auto-adjustable suspension found on the 1260S.

At $25,495, the Pikes Peak is a lot of bike for the buck. That’s $4500 more than the 1260 S, so I leave it to you to decide if its worth the extra cheddar. Bear in mind; the S rocks automatically-adjustable suspension, and I’d argue that unless you just enjoy tuning your ride, that’s a pretty big incentive to go for the lesser 1260.

Instrumentation: Color TFT display 5”
Safety Equipment: Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), Riding Mode, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (Bosch Cornering ABS + DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Ducati Cornering Lights
Standard equipment: Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down, Cruise control, Hands-Free, Backlit handlebar controls, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), Full-color TFT display, Full LED headlmap, Auto-off indicators, ready for Anti-theft
Additional Equipment: Ducati Performance by Termignoni homologated exhaust, Carbon fiber windscreen, Plexiglass windscreen, High Performance Öhlins suspension, Carbon fiber mudguard, Carbon fiber side panels and Hands-Free cover
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
Color: Pikes Peak Livery
Price: $25,495

Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak Competitors

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
- image 823306
2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR
- image 781622
The Tiger is significantly less expensive than the Ducati and you get a lot of bike for a lot less money.

Nothing can compare to the sexiness that the Multistrada brings to the table, so I’m not even going to try. Instead, I’m going to grab a Tiger 1200 XR for my head-to-head. Triumph’s adventure-bike line carries itself with a bit of dignity in its pragmatic, street-tastic design. It has a similar, bird’s beak fairing and doubles down on the spray control with a rather full front fender, wide front fairing and clear, vented windscreen.

The five-gallon fuel tank produces a genre-typical hump that tumbles down abruptly to the adjustable seat that rides as low as 32.87 inches off the deck and pulls the pilot down into the machine. For agility, the Tiger runs with a sharp, 23.2-degree steering rake with 3.93 inches of trail, and while that may actually be a skosh more nimble than the Pikes Peak, only top-level riders are liable to notice much of a difference. I mean, it doesn’t get much deeper than elbow-draggin’ deep, and most of us don’t have the nerve for that anyway.

Triumph sticks a 1,215 cc triple in there that churns out a whopping 139 horsepower and 90 pounds o’ grunt against Ducati’s 155/95, so the Tiger falls a tad short in power. The Tiger comes with a half-dozen rider modes and a switchable traction control and standard (non-leaning) ABS feature, so it isn’t all that far behind in the fandanglery department. The Tiger 1200 XR rolls for a base MSRP of $16,500, so it’s significantly less expensive than the Ducati and you get a lot of bike for a lot less money.

He Said

“The Pikes Peak may look a little proud at the checkout, but it brings a lot of name-recognition value with it, and machines that carry carbon fiber are always priced at the upper end of the range. If money were no option, the Ducati wins hands down to mine eyes. If I’m honest, I’d never do it justice; I just don’t have that elbow-draggin’ skillset.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This bike has some nice torque and you can feel it when you twist the throttle. There’s definitely a Supermoto feel in the twisties, too. It’s fast and so much fun. Rider position is upright with the pegs positioned a bit high so you can stand for terrain maneuvers, but tall folks might find it a little cramped for long-distance rides.|

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Ducati Testastretta DVT with Desmodromic Variable Timing, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valves per cylinder, Dual Spark, liquid cooled
Displacement: 1,262 cc
Bore x Stroke: 106 mm x 71.5 mm
Compression ratio: 13:1
Power: 155.8 hp (116.2 kW) @ 9.500 rpm
Torque: 95.5 lb-ft (129.5 Nm) @ 7,500 rpm
Fuel injection: Bosch electronic fuel injection system, elliptical throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire, equivalent diameter 56 mm
Exhaust: Stainless steel muffler with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, Termignoni carbon fiber silencer
Gearbox: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.84:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 40
Clutch: Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame
Rake: 25°
Trail: 4.37 in (111 mm)
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Sachs unit. Electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment. Electronic spring pre-load adjustment with Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evo. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
Front brake: 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted monobloc Brembo Evo M50 calipers, 4-piston, 2-pad, radial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Rear brake: 265 mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper, with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Front wheel/Travel: 3-spoke ψ-shape forged light alloy 3.50" x 17"/ 6.7 in (170 mm)
Rear Wheel/ Travel: 3-spoke ψ-shaped cast light alloy 6.00" x 17"/ 6.7 in (170 mm)
Front tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 120/70 R17
Rear tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 190/55 R17
Dimensions & Capacities:
Seat height: Adjustable 32.5 - 33.3 in (825 - 845 mm)
Wheelbase: 62.4 in (1,585 mm)
Dry weight: 454 lb (206 kg)
Kerb weight: 505 lb (229 kg)
Fuel tank capacity: 5.3 gallon (20 l)
Consumption: 45.2 mpg (5.2 l/100 km)
Number of seats: Dual seat
Top Speed: 150 mph (est)
Details:
Instrumentation: Color TFT display 5”
Safety Equipment: Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), Riding Mode, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (Bosch Cornering ABS + DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Ducati Cornering Lights
Standard equipment: Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up/down, Cruise control, Hands-Free, Backlit handlebar controls, Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), Full-color TFT display, Full LED headlmap, Auto-off indicators, ready for Anti-theft
Additional Equipment: Ducati Performance by Termignoni homologated exhaust, Carbon fiber windscreen, Plexiglass windscreen, High Performance Öhlins suspension, Carbon fiber mudguard, Carbon fiber side panels and Hands-Free cover
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
Color: Pikes Peak Livery
Price: $25,495

Further Reading

Triumph Tiger 1200 XR

2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR
- image 783006

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XR.

Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S
- image 810013

See our review of the Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S.

Ducati Multistrada 1260

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260
- image 777811

See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260.

Ducati Multistrada 1260 S / S D-air

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S / S D|air
- image 779494

See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260S / S D-air.

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro

2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro
- image 801246

See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro.

Ducati

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- image 792903

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