ROADTEST: Multistrada vs. the World!
What's a Multistrada?
From Ducati's refreshingly off-center perspective, the Multistrada is an altogether new breed of animal. More mutant than clone, it's an iconoclast. A heretic. A category-buster meant to blend the best of the resolute 999 Superbike, broadband Supersports and ST sport-tourers--as well as the stylish Monster--into one motorcycle. It's also a tall order (and a tall bike). Beyond its adventure-touring stature, the Multistrada has no off-road ambitions. So how do you test the bike that's supposed to do (almost) everything?
We slid it in between two benchmarks: Honda's eminently sporty VFR Interceptor and Yamaha's YZF-R6--the feistiest, most responsive 600 super-sport you can buy. Spec sheets and masters of the obvious suggest the Multi won't be as good a pure sportbike as the R6, nor as good at long distances as the Interceptor. Maybe, but what about all that riding in the middle where we all spend most of our time? Let's see....
FIRST RIDE: KTM Duke 990
By Alan Cathcart
Over a year ago Alan Cathcart wrote an exclusive, behind-the-scenes development story for us (November 2002) on KTM's Duke 950, a naked, V-twin-powered street rod that represented the Austrian company's first all-street offering (the rally-esque Adventure 950 being a dirt/street machine). Alan was completely impressed and predicted that the quick handling, unique aesthetics and narrow stature would carve a new niche-while changing rules in the naked bike category.
Alan's latest run-in with the KTM has caused him to quickly graduate from being impressed to being shocked by the difference a year makes.
"It's an exciting experience to witness the birth of a major new streetbike from a close-up and hands-on perspective, especially when its creation coincides with the emergence of a company that's developing into a major new force in world motorcycling. As an illustration of the growing emphasis on streetbike sales targeted by KTM Chief Stefen Pierer and his partners, the latest V-twin Duke has grown hair on its chest in the form of added displacement for the liquid-cooled, eight-valve, DOHC, 75-degree V-twin; it's now a full 999cc, compared with the 942cc of the prototype I rode a year ago." -Alan Cathcart
Showtime! The Milan show
Roland Brown reports on some of the more surprising scoots from the Milan show including: the Ducati ST3, Ducati 749R, Triumph Thruxton 900, Moto Guzzi Breva 1100, BMW Montauk and many others including Yamaha's radical Supermoto concept bike, the MT-03, got everyone's attention, though Yamaha refused to comment on whether the bike would ever see production.
Multistrada vs. the World!
KTM Duke 990
The Milan show: Yamaha MT-03 Prototype: Yamaha refused to comment on whether the bike woul
Laverda's rebirth under Aprilia's control gets nearer with the unveiling of the production