The Ducati Multistrada is powered by a revised version of the 1198 superbike V-Twin, cut down from 170 crankshaft horsepower to a still-very-potent 150 horsepower. It has a 76-degree steering sweep, which makes maneuvering in tight places easier than it has been with any other Ducati in decades, especially for tight U-turns. A die-cast aluminum center frame section joins the steel trellis front frame, and rear sub-frame. The Ducati Multistrada feels solid, and holds the rider tight when ridden aggressively, or at top speeds.
The 2010 Ducati Multistrada also features a Bosch-Brembo antilock brake system as standard equipment. This feature comes in both Touring and Sport versions. ABS is an option for the non-S version, which substitutes an ordinary Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock that are manually adjustable, in place of the Ohlins electronic suspension. Both models supply a generous 6.7 inches of travel front and rear, so there is nothing lost on either choice.
With a seat height reaching 33.5 inches from the street, straddling the Multistrada might be difficult for the average-sized rider, but getting the toe to the curb shouldn't present too big of a problem. Experienced riders will enjoy the ride at this height and in a crouched position, taking in the road as it was made to be ridden on a Ducati.
The Multistrada’s cockpit is a minor luxury with a narrow windscreen, which is adjustable without tools, over a range of nearly 2.5 inches. Just below is a large and comprehensive LCD gauge package that includes virtually all the information a rider would want, including ambient temperature, instant fuel economy, gear selection, tachometer, speedometer, and trip odometer. The rider's foot-pegs are set slightly to the rear, but still offer plenty of legroom. Hand guards, which offer highly visible integrated LED turn signals, offer some helpful wind protection. Visibility up front is enhanced by an LED ""lightguide"" below the headlights. The stylish mirrors, set slightly wider than the bars, provide a clear rear view. The instruments are all highly readable, and reasonably navigable while riding.
The Ducati Multistrada comes with reshaped intake and exhaust ports, a design that allows for a more superior low-end performance. Ducati also goes on record to say the Multistrada’s 11-degree powerplant produces more horsepower and torque than the 1198, below 6500 revolutions.
The brakes for the Ducati Multistrada come standard with front dual hydraulic disc brakes, and rear hydraulic disc brakes, so the stopping power on the bike is superb. If the rider cuts a corner too tight, or hits the turn too fast, the Ducati Traction Control kicks in, first by retarding ignition timing, then by cutting fuel supply at varying levels (if wheelspin should continue). Ducati Traction Control intervention is monitored by a circular red light that rings around the rider-adjustable instrument display. The system adds a sense of security, especially in damp conditions.
The Ducati Multistrada can achieve 47 miles per gallon at a steady 75 miles per hour, good for a range of nearly 250 miles from the 5.3-gallon fuel tank. That translates to more time spent on the road rather than in the gas station, given the bike's great fuel economy. The Multistrada also handles very well in light off road conditions.
Overall, the 2010 Ducati Multistrada performs the duties of a sports bike, a tourer, and a commuter bike, all with stylish Italian flair. This is a motorcycle that can navigate city streets, long highways, or a day racing at the track, with comfort and proficiency, while riding at peak performance.