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.
The BMW S1000XR. Lucifer’s own Bike, right here. The Ducati Multistrada is a naughty bike… This? This bike is straight up EVIL.
Satan, Darth Maul, and Handsome Jack all ride one of these.
See, the Ducati and BMW both claim 160 horse power. In actual dyno testing, the Duck gave out something like 135… and the XR put down a smoking 153, if I remember correctly. That might not sound like a whole lotta difference… But it’s the way they put down the power.
The Duck feels more like a truck by comparison… and this… This feels like a freaking F-22 Raptor. And the RPM range doesn’t stop climbing and the thrust doesn’t relent. This bike is epic fast. And better yet, you can flick this bike like it was a butterfly knife.
Okay, now give it the same ergonomic geometry of a GS Adventure Bike, and a comfortable seat. So yes, you can sit tall in the saddle, with one hand on the reigns, relaxed like Napoleon on his horse, while doing Warp Factor 10 like a Sir.
This is The Most Amazing Bike… (Clarkson Pause) In The World. You ride this bike – You WILL have to call your Doctor after 4 hours.
BMW calls this an ADV bike. You can luggage it out with BMW’s excellent hard cases… But really, this is a Sport Touring Bike for those that want to sit up more. Whatever you want to call it, the title probably fits this machine in one aspect or another.
Last word on this bike: Dynamic Mode is the Hot Sauce. Work your way up to it.
Also – This is what every Motorcycle Police in the USA should be riding. This is THE COP BIKE.