Ducati, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer, officially released its Multistrada 1100S in 2005 and revised it substantially in 2007. That model was carried them over without notable changes for 2009; though Ducati makes another model of the bike, the 1100S is the only one imported into the United States. The Multistrada was intended to combine the attributes of a superbike, a sport bike, and a sport tourer—hence the name, which means, literally, ""many roads.""
The Multistrada 1100S has a 1078cc, air-cooled longitudinal V-twin four-stroke Desmodromic engine with a single overhead cam and Marelli EFI fuel injection. It has a six-speed manual transmission, with belt final drive, and a wet multiplate clutch, which has an adjustable lever. An Ohlins inverted fork with adjustable preload and rebound damping—and 6.5 inches of travel—and single-sided swing arm with an adjustable spring preload shock and rebound damping. Brembo four-piston dual hydraulic discs in front and a substantial single disc in back furnish plenty of stopping power.
A flat instrument panel next to the analog tachometer gives you all the information you could need in digital form: speed, time, fuel level, and oil temperature, among other things. As befits its ambitions to be a serviceable touring motorcycle, you can add an intercom system so you can chat with your passenger.
Weighing in at 432 pounds without fuel or oil, the Multistrada 1100S has a lightweight tubular trellis frame and clears the ground by almost seven inches. The wide—but thin—33.3-inch-high seat cants the rider slightly forward within easy reach of the wide handlebars, making for a comfortable and natUral riding position. The upper fairing and the windshield offer decent protection from the wind.
While it is not really a dual-sport bike—it is not designed to take off-roading—but it handles twisting canyon roads with aplomb and has power and torque to spare, tempting riders to speed and to practice wheelies. Equally, it’s not quite a touring bike—it has no hard side cases, no power outlet—but the optional accessories let you tailor the bike in one direction or another. You can add a carbon chain guard, a front mudguard, or a tank protector if you plan on using it on rough roads, and you choose from an assortment of bags for storage.