BMW’s S1000RR is one terrifying bike.
This is the most terrifying bike I’ve ever ridden. Never before have I been hurdled to triple digit speeds so suddenly and so effortlessly. The engine drones at an almost constant tone as the velocity increases to relativistic speeds and being so smooth and so stable, you don’t realize how fast your going.
Two things comes into play then, and do so with great abruptness… First, is the brakes. They are utterly fantastic, and backed up by an ABS system that not only works, but set the Gold Standard. Next, is the handling. It’s like a scalpel. These two factors are very important when riding a machine that has 200 Horsepower and weighs less than an Infantryman’s Ruck Sack. Because that power is going to get you into trouble, and with these brakes and handling, you not only somehow pull it off… but look like a super hero doing it.
This is one fucking terrifying machine. And I’ve been riding some insanely fast machines lately… But this bike… This thing is next level. I’m going to let Yammie Noob explain just what this feels like:
This is, without a doubt… the fastest motorcycle I’ve ever ridden. Now, here’s the thing about it. This bike is like a Nimbus 2000 with Rockets. It’s not just blindingly fast, but it’s telepathically precision guided. The bike is so good – that the bike disappears when you ride it… it’s just you and your will.
And that’s the problem… It will do everything you ask of it. It will go as fast as you can think. How is that a problem? Sounds like it’s perfect! It is… It is perfect… and that’s the problem. There is no barrier between You, the good Dr. Jeckyll… and the monstrous speed demon inside you, the Mr. Hyde. There is no filter. You get on this machine… and it all feels so bloody good… it feels magical… and the next thing you know you are addicted to the speed and power. Next thing you know, you are spending your money for Track Day passes and Knee Sliders and dipping into your Savings to pay for it all more and more.
This bike was a Classic the moment it was uncrated. Everything about it is just so good looking. It’s just beautiful. But the beauty isn’t just skin deep… not at all.
What makes it so good is the engines… The heart and soul of any bike. The Scrambler uses BMW’s R1200 boxer engine… the well known Oil-Air Cooled version. This engine really is world class. BMW’s put it in Adventure Bikes, Touring Bikes, Sport Bikes, Roadsters… they’ve pretty much put this engine into every kind of bike they’ve made…. and now they’ve put it into the Scrambler.
The Scrambler isn’t just a more rugged version of the R Nine T. It’s quite different. We’ve got a different suspension, different forks up front, different tires, different brakes, and a different rack angle on those front forks. This gives the Scrambler a completely different feel than the regular R Nine T. The R Nine T feels sharper and quicker handling, where the Scrambler feels more composed and stable, even on dirt roads. But dirt roads is not this bike’s natural habitat. This bike is an Urban/Suburban type machine that wont throw a fit if you ride over some dirt.
Did I mention how cool and good looking this bike is? It radiates cool factor like few bikes do… It attracts a lot of attention too. From all the boys and girls. I was sitting at a red light in Pineville, NC on this bike, and a car full of young ladies pulled up next to me. After a moment one of the girls starting yelling something at me. I don’t know what all she said, but it ended with “put a baby in me!” I’m not really sure all what that means… but the gist I got was that she liked the bike.
But really… Who cares about what other people think about your bike? A motorcycle is a very personal thing… it’s a very emotional thing. Because there other other practical options for personal transportation out there…. and motorcycles are not about practical and they are not about Personal Transportation.
No… a bike is about transporting your soul. It’s about how it makes you feel inside when you look at it, and when you ride it. And this is where the BMW Scrambler excels. It’s a small bike packed with a big 1200 Boxer. It rumbles with authority and you can feel the torque with just a slight rev of the engine. The machine feels like a caged lion at a stop light. It wants to rev and it wants to leap out and charge. Yet when the light turns, the Scrambler steps out smartly, but without any unwanted surges. It remains well behaved and centered. Even through the curves the Scrambler just goes where it’s pointed, with no unnecessary drama. It doesn’t tip in as quick as the standard R Nine T, it’s not lazy… it’s not twitchy. It’s just a good, solid motorcycle. One of the best on the market. One that can make you smile riding or standing still. Few bikes make me grin like the Scrambler does. This is a bike you want to own after just a few moments in the saddle with it. She’s gorgeous, she’s smart, she’s got the whole package.
Ducati is one motorcycle company that is pretty much batting a thousand when it comes to building exciting motorcycles that stir the soul. Also, they don’t know how to make anything that isn’t fast. The Multistrada keeps up with that tradition big time. It’s Ducati’s Adventure Bike. And being Ducati to the core, the formula is simple. Take the engine out of one of their super bikes, and put on a tall suspension. If you don’t know anything else about the Multistrada, that’s all you really need to know. Let’s look at the specs:
527 Pounds Wet.
5.3 Gallons of Fuel.
1198 CC V-Twin (Ducati calls it an “L” twin)
160 Horses of Power.
87 Foot Pounds of Torque.
6 Speed transmission.
33″ Seat Hight.
This is a big bike… It’s a heavy bike. But it really doesn’t feel big or heavy once your in the saddle. Unless you are short legged… then it’s going to feel pretty tall. The Enduro version is even taller by a couple inches.
The Multistrada though, is more than just a butch superbike… Thanks to the DTC and Skyhook technologies (Traction Control and Active Suspension) the Multistrada becomes a very road-worthy bike that can devour the miles on pretty much any road surface you would care to travel on… and even when there is little to no roads. You could easily take it on long trips . The bike shown in the photos is a used bike that I borrowed to check out. It’s sporting factory hard cases, and an aftermarket windshield, which sets this bike up nicely for some serious distance touring. The Multistrada is very comfortable, and after an hour in the saddle, I really felt like I just wanted to keep going.
Pitching the Multistrada into the curves is pure joy. The bike is flickable like a Switch Blade. It really thinks it’s a sport bike. Cutting the apex and gassing it, you can feel the bike wants to play.
The Engine is what makes this bike rather special… Typical full bore Ducati Twin feeling, it’s happiest when you are keeping the RPMs above 5000.
My first impression on this bike was that it was “Naughty”. It wanted to misbehave. It didn’t like to be lugged… it didn’t like to go slow… It wanted to RUN! It wanted to buck like an excited wild horse. It would lift the front wheel on a whim, and would exceed the posted speed limits at moments notice if I didn’t keep it in check! In short – This is a FUN motorcycle that you could spend a lot of time on.
I can’t speak to the offroad prowess… As I didn’t take it over anything more challenging than some damp leaves on the ground… But the Multistrada 1200S isn’t really meant for Off Road. There’s another version for that. The Multistrada Enduro… But dirt roads wouldn’t be a problem at all for the 1200S, thanks to the onboard avionics. The bike is filled with tech… gyros that measure Pitch and Yaw and bank, as well as throttle position and tire slip… it’s basically the flight control systems out of an F-16. The computers take all that information and adjusts the suspension and the power to the wheels and brakes to keep you on two wheels…. at pretty much any speed. And all done seamlessly and transparently. It makes you feel like a much better rider. It gives you confidence. It urges you to ride a little harder… It’s a naughty bike for sure!
If you think Adventure Bikes are boring… Friend… You need to try a Multistrada.