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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From my blog:

Some friends and I had talked about doing a touring ride of some sort for the Labor Day weekend, and undoubtedly that would have been fun. However, a couple of weeks beforehand I noticed that my friends at Apex Trackdays were going to have a trackday at Miller Motorsports Park on Labor Day, using the Full Track configuration, which is my favorite. I hadn't really had an opportunity to do a trackday this year, and looking ahead at my schedule for the next couple of months, this looked like my last opportunity of the season. I've been wanting to try the Multistrada on the track since I got it early last year, so I thought, what a great way to enjoy Labor Day! I talked to my buddy Tommy, and we decided to head down from Idaho to Miller, and go have some fun.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from the Multi on the track. I know how well it does everything on the street. As I've said before, I can't imagine a better street bike. It's even really good on the rare occasion I take it into the dirt. But the track? Especially the full track, with it's exceptionally long straightaway? I wondered how badly I'd get strafed by the racers and fast guys on true track bikes, sportbikes which are at their best on the track.



The chicken strips were gone in the first session



It was a beautiful day, sunny and mid-80's for a high. Perfect conditions. A couple of months back, I'd replaced the Michelin Pilot Road tires with some more trackday-oriented tires - the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires, which I have been incredibly impressed with on my Husaberg supermoto bike. I removed the undertail with its taillight and turn signals, and did the other minimal prep required to convert the bike for safe track use. I also had heard that the preferred setting on the electronic suspension for track use was "Rider + Passenger + Luggage," which of course stiffened up the suspension quite a bit.



I took the bike out in the first session, and twisted the throttle to the limit. Immediately around the corners I figured out that my toes were going to be dragging on the ground a lot! Not just because of my giant size 12 Sidi boots, but mostly because the footpegs on the bike are pretty low, and not adjustable. By about the fifth turn I had my knee on the ground (wasn't sure how long that milestone would take to achieve), but had to really work at leaning further off the bike and standing it up, along with sliding my foot back as far on the pegs as possible, to keep my toes from dragging.



Despite the ground clearance issues, the bike was just incredible, and fun! Although the size, weight, bulk and engine characteristics meant that I wasn't exactly able to race the top riders on sportbikes, I still wound up passing quite a few of them throughout the day. That was fun! It must have looked a little weird to them to see a big guy on a giant, tall bike with wide handlebars go by them into and through various corners. I had a big smile inside my helmet thinking about that all day.

I joked with a few people through the day that it felt like I was riding a big comfy couch on wheels around the track. All I needed was a place to put my feet up, and a remote control with a football game projected onto my windscreen. I've certainly never ridden such a cushy, comfortable bike around the track before. Despite how smooth and relatively soft it felt, I was quite amazed at how well the bike handled. Tire grip was amazing, which was a tribute to how truly great those Pirellis are, along with how well the suspension on that bike kept the tires planted on the ground, no matter how hard I pushed (and I pushed pretty hard!). As you can see in the picture of the tire above, the wear pattern indicates just how planted the bike was. Very impressive.



The other thing that blew me away was how stable the bike was, at every point around the long and complex track. On the long straight, I maxed out at an (indicated) 150 MPH. The bike was just as smooth and stable as could be, with no wobbles or headshake whatsoever. I confess that I've had the bike up to some pretty high speeds on deserted public highways before and been impressed with its stability, but this was extreme, all day long. It was simply brilliant. I was up near the redline all the time, session after session, and the bike never once gave any sign of complaint. The tranny was amazing too. A Ducati at a trackday, pushed hard all day, without one false neutral? Never experienced that before.

The only thing that was a little weird (other than my constantly dragging toes) was the ABS (which I could have switched off, but didn't). The rear brake was pretty useless on the few occasions when I tried to use it for backup, as it would just go into ABS mode and not provide much stopping power. Several times through the day, when I'd brake very aggressively (with front brake) into the Blackrock Hairpin, the ABS would really seem to limit my stopping power, causing me to run quite wide. It wasn't all the time, just when I really pushed the envelope. Granted, it's a big load to try to stop in a hurry, but I certainly don't think of myself as locking the front brake when I go into a corner hard on a race bike. However, I guess it gets close enough to locking that it engages the ABS. Maybe in the future I'll play with the settings a bit to see if I can improve that, although I'm not going to be racing it, so it wasn't that big a deal.

The front tire got a workout as well, and held on, never letting go



I'm really glad I got the chance to test the bike out on the track. I thought it would be pretty good, but it was a hundred times better than that. I don't know how soon I'll do it again, as that's not really why I bought it, but it's sure nice to know how well it can do out there! The Multistrada is a really, really impressive bike, that just seems to do everything exceptionally well.

I shot some video from the bike in a couple of the sessions, but haven't had a chance yet to go through it. Tommy and I did an epic session in the afternoon, with him chasing me on his GSXR-1000R, filming me with my camera. It was great, with lots of passing and high-speed fun. Unfortunately, we found out later that the stupid battery in the video camera had died! Arrrgggghhhh!! Oh well.

Huge thanks to Apex Trackdays for another great event, and thanks also to Stephen Clark for the action photos.
 

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Nice wear pattern and you're running stock exhaust. Cool
 

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Love this post! After seeing the Multi slay sportbikes on Pikes Peak and hearing ( and seeing, great photos) stories like this, there are really no limits for this bike.
 

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track day

Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Wow, you're quite the rider.
 

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Sweet! I want to do a track day with mine as well but I'm scared to wipe out with a track bike in the garage lol. I have adjustable pegs and still have a very hard time with foot placement with the pegs though. It's not like a sport bike and makes it hard to hang off the bike. I too run 12 Sidi/A*s so it's a pain.
 

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Sweet! And great pictures!
The Multi 1200s is great to use on a track!

You may want to consider these pegs.. a bit higher and felt a lot better regarding grip and riding position. Found on ebay. Cheap.



My Dunlop Sportmax Sportsmart felt the heat as well...
 

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Great write-up and nice pics.
Were you using just the factory set Sport Mode + Passenger + Luggage? Or you customized it a bit?
How tall are you and how much do you weigh if you don't mind me asking?
Also what tire pressure did you set for the track day?

I have been planning to do my first track day on my MTS. So trying to gather as much data as possible :)


Thanks,

Sideout.
 

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Bloody awesome pics but bin those standard pipes and CAT. You'll smash those Sportbikes next time 'round for sure.
D
 

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excellent post and pix! you have me totally stoked to try a track day. I see a sportbike in your stable. do you hit the track often? I imagine it was quite an adjustment given the riding position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great write-up and nice pics.
Were you using just the factory set Sport Mode + Passenger + Luggage? Or you customized it a bit?
How tall are you and how much do you weigh if you don't mind me asking?
Also what tire pressure did you set for the track day?

I have been planning to do my first track day on my MTS. So trying to gather as much data as possible :)


Thanks,

Sideout.
Thanks very much, glad you liked it.

Yes, factory sport mode + passenger + luggage. I didn't tweak it beyond that, mostly because I was just there to have fun - plus the fact that it worked so darn well set up just like that for me.

I'm 6'2", weigh 190 without gear. I ran the Rosso II's at 32 psi front and rear, which was what my Pirelli rep recommended. I run them at around 25 on my supermoto bike (Husaberg FS570), but that's with a much smaller rear tire on a tight track where I can really keep them heated up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
excellent post and pix! you have me totally stoked to try a track day. I see a sportbike in your stable. do you hit the track often? I imagine it was quite an adjustment given the riding position.
Thanks. The sportbike in the pics is my buddy Tommy's GSXR1000. I don't have one currently, but have had many over the last 10 years. I most recently raced an Aprilia RSV-4R, and before that a 1098, 848, 749R, CBR1000RR, etc., so I've spent a fair amount of time on the track.
 

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Very cool!! Great write-up and the photos look amazing!! Makes me love my Multi even more!!
 

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wow the pics are awesome, cant wait me and my buddies are lining our first track day up for spring of next year at pocono track. Cant wait!
 
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