BMW S1000XR vs. DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1200 – Tested To the Limit! | ON TWO WHEELS

We Compare These Two Do-It-Alls In Every Environment We Could Imagine

Where do BMW's S1000XR and Ducati's Multistrada 1200 S fit in? They have big windscreens and side cases like touring-bikes, but they also have hand guards and long-travel suspension like ADV bikes. And yet with big brakes, high-performance engines, and loads of electronic rider aids they clearly have plenty of sportbike DNA too.

So what are the S1000XR and Multistrada 1200, and more importantly, what can they do? In this episode of On Two Wheels we set out to answer that question—on the dyno, at the drag strip, at the track, on the Pacific Coast Highway, and even in the dirt!

Watch the video above to see how these two premium do-it-alls compare in the real world, and check out the dyno, ergo, and spec charts below to see how they stack up on paper.

TECH SPEC BMW S1000XR DucatI MULTISTRADA 1200 S
PRICE $19,790 (as tested) $21,094 (as tested)
ENGINE TYPE 999cc, liquid-cooled inline-four 1198cc, liquid-cooled 90° V-twin
BORE x STROKE 80.0 x 49.7mm 106.0 x 67.9mm
COMPRESSION 12.0:1 12.5:1
VALVE TRAIN DOHC, 16v DOHC, 8v
FUEL SYSTEM EFI, ride by wire EFI, ride by wire
CLUTCH Wet, multi-plate slipper Wet, multi-plate slipper
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain 6-speed/chain
FRAME Aluminum twin-spar Tubular-steel trellis
FRONT SUSPENSION Sachs 46mm fork with dynamic compression and rebound damping; 5.9-in. travel Sachs 48mm fork adjustable for spring preload with dynamic compression and rebound damping; 6.7-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Marzocchi shock adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping; 5.5-in. travel Sachs shock adjustable for spring preload with dynamic compression and rebound damping; 6.7-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Brembo four-piston calipers, 320mm discs with ABS Brembo four-piston calipers, 330mm discs with ABS
REAR BRAKE Brembo two-piston caliper, 265mm disc with ABS Brembo two-piston caliper, 265mm disc with ABS
FRONT TIRE 120/70-ZR17 Bridgestone T30 120/70-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Trail
REAR TIRE 190/55-ZR17 Bridgestone T30 190/55-ZR17 Pirelli Scorpion Trail
RAKE/TRAIL 25.5°/4.6 in. 24.0°/4.3 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 33.1 in. 32.5/33.3 in.
WHEELBASE 61.0 in. 60.2 in.
MEASURED WEIGHT (TANK FULL/EMPTY) 535/504 lb. 548/516 lb.
FUEL CAPACITY 5.3 gal. 5.3 gal.
FUEL MILEAGE (HIGH/LOW/AVG.) 546/33/39 mpg 44/34/40 mpg
RANGE 207 mi. (including reserve) 212 mi. (including reserve)
¼-MILE (CORRECTED) 10.95 sec @ 129.4 mph 11.48 sec @ 123.0 mph
TOP-GEAR ROLL-ON 60–80 MPH 2.8 sec. 4.2 sec.
WARRANTY 36 mo., 36,000 mi. 24 mo., unlimited mi.
CONTACT bmwmotorcycles.com ducatiusa.com

DYNO

Cylinder count trumps displacement in this game. Not only does the BMW own the Ducati in peak power, but it lays down a much smoother torque curve, though the Ducati’s deserves something of an asterisk, as the fueling might be compromised by early calibration glitches.

©Motorcyclist
©Motorcyclist

ERGOS

Gerhard, meet your Italian cousin. The rider triangle on the BMW is subtly tighter, with less legroom, more rearset footpegs, and a taller bar. Ducati’s fine Italian saddle makers did a better job, even with a lower seat height. Both bikes are terrifically comfortable though.

©Motorcyclist