Ducati's Multistrada has always been one hell of an excellent way to travel. It's fast and comfortable with great range, and because it's a Ducati, it makes a fantastic noise. It is a truly epic sport-touring motorcycle, but for some reason, people keep wanting it to work off-road. To appease these maniacs, Ducati created the Enduro trim level for the last-generation Multistrada, and it's back again with the newest 1260 generation, announced on Friday. What makes the Enduro different from a standard Multi? Lots, actually.
The most obvious change is to the wheels. The 2019 Multistrada 1260 Enduro gets spoked wheels with knobby tires — a 19-inch roller up front with a 17-inch wheel out back. The idea being that a larger front wheel will have an easier time rolling over things like rocks on the trail.
The next biggest change is how much fuel it can carry. The tank on the Enduro holds an almost-staggering-for-a-motorcycle 7.9 gallons of gasoline, which gives it an effective claimed cruising range of 280 miles.
Next, it has some off-road-specific electronics tweaks, like the ability to turn off only rear ABS and a throttle map more suited to dirt, allowing the rider to turn down power and have more control over the massive L-twin engine's prodigious output. There is also a semiactive electronic suspension system from Sachs that lets riders easily adjust for different terrains and cargo weight levels.
The Multistrada 1260 also gets revised ergonomics over the previous 1200 model that all work out to a lower center of gravity, something that makes a big difference on dirt, especially when you drop your bike and have to try and pick up a motorcycle that weighs more than 600 pounds when fueled.
And there's the downside to the whole big powerful adventure bike dream. They are huge and heavy and require a ton of skill and strength to manage on challenging off-road paths.
Where these bikes really shine is versatility. The Multistrada 1260 Enduro will let you keep up with your friends on sport bikes on the weekend and stop off at the grocery store on the way home from the canyons. It'll get you safely down a dirt road to an amazing camping spot or transport you quickly and comfortably to work every day.
Quickly is the operative word, too, because the new 1,262-cubic-centimeter, water-cooled, L-twin engine is a seriously powerful mill. Thanks to variable cam timing (a rarity in the two-wheeled world) and some other tweaks, it outputs a superbike-like 158 horsepower. The new Multi also gets Ducati's excellent Safety Pack electronics with multilevel, lean-sensitive ABS, traction control, wheelie control and a dynamic quickshifter that allows clutchless upshifts and downshifts.
The Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro will be shown at the EICMA show in Milan in November and then should hit your local Ducati dealer in February 2019. We don't know for sure how much it will cost, but we fully expect it to land somewhere north of $20,000.