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Hi,

I am interested in buying Multistrada and not able to decide whether 1200S is good enough to ride on mud/gravel/brick roads or should I consider Enduro.

Please see pictures posted on this link to get some idea on the kind of roads (Hello from India. Long distance bike rider, shopping for Multistrada - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum) . There is no jumping etc but we do get occasional to constant pot holes at medium / High speed. We also have to ride (30-50Km continous) of mud / gravel / brick roads. My biggest concern is whether 1200S' alloys will be able to handle such roads or this is a use case for Enduro spokes? 4 of my friends who own HD iron / street have had their alloys cracked just by potholes, no village riding.

I broke my ankle during one of the rides so I feel very uncomfortable with high bikes that's the reason I rejected Triumph Tiger. With 1200S my feet touch ground comfortably, I am going to try Enduro today but little worried about the height and increased weight.

Bangalore ducati dealer says 1200S will handle 'some' off roading. Does interior roads in India come under some or little more than some off roading :) High ways are pretty good which is going to be my 70-80% ride, rest 50-30% will be mostly broken tar roads, mud roads, gravel etc.

What do you guys think?

Thanks,
Amit.
 

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Harley's have so little suspension travel compared to Duc 1200s, it's no wonder they didn't break more than wheels. Breaking wheels is a function of speed and how square edged the potholes are.

Any wheel can be broken. Fronts are more vulnerable, the old dirt rider in me says learn to wheelie.

Never been to India to fully understand the situation, but pictures are not too bad for most Adv bikes.

Bob
 

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Hi,

I broke my ankle during one of the rides so I feel very uncomfortable with high bikes that's the reason I rejected Triumph Tiger. With 1200S my feet touch ground comfortably, I am going to try Enduro today but little worried about the height and increased weight.


Thanks,
Amit.
The Enduro is higher and heavier than the S.

Honda Africa Twin would be my pick from the roads you describe.
 

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I believe that the main problem with the 1200S is that usually we have sport tires on rather than those for off-roading. Reading reviews and comparisons the 1200S is no match for the enduro despite the latter being heavier. 19 inch wheels and tires that are more gravel oriented do the trick. I can ride my 1200 (not even the S) on gravel but I have to be extra careful and it's not enjoyable by any means, but it can do it. It all depends on how much off-roading you are going to be doing. I rarely go on gravel roads and on tarmac it's a dream ....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Harley's have so little suspension travel compared to Duc 1200s, it's no wonder they didn't break more than wheels. Breaking wheels is a function of speed and how square edged the potholes are.
Hmm!! Well when roads are bad we anyway ride slow so I guess other than one sudden pothole now or then, we should be good.

Never been to India to fully understand the situation, but pictures are not too bad for most Adv bikes.
National Highways and most state highways are VERY GOOD, 150-200 Kms around big metros are good and if you are visiting popular destinations, usually roads are good but I like to visit little interior places and thats where you find less to no roads. People are awesome and so are the views :)

Thanks Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Enduro is higher and heavier than the S.
Thanks Chris. Yes, added weight and height is making me uncomfortable.

Honda Africa Twin would be my pick from the roads you describe.
Unfortunately we don't have lot of options in India. Google search says Honda Africa Twin is expected by mid 2017 but we can never trust such announcements (Jeep was going to launch in 2014 and they finally launched today :) )

What I read I also like KTM Adventure bikes but no idea when are they coming to India.

We have Versys 650, Triump Tiger, BMW 1200GS (I think they are launching F800GS by year end) and Mulitstrada (actually Enduro will be available by next month)
 

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A couple of points

I agree with whoever said tires make a huge difference. Tires need to fit the terrain you're on. If the roads are unimproved any compromise should be shifted to dirt. Street tires do not work in wet dirt (mud). The groves in the tread fill and turn it into a slick. Mud knobbies are designed to fling the mud off and stay somewhat clean. Then again they are marginal on pavement.

What was the issue with the broken foot? Technique, bad luck. And since tall bikes and dirt go hand in hand, it's something you should revisit. Training, practice, can help.

Not mentioned, bike weight is a huge factor in off-roading. The large, heavy (and powerful) bikes like the Endure are very challenging. Almost expert only. Certainly a high skill level is required. The Triumph tiger is a very capable bike. For the less skilled, preferred.

Maybe a big single like the Suzuki 400 might fit the bill best!

Bob
 
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Regarding the state of India's roads: riders in New York City complain of the severe potholes there and broken wheels, many have resorted to dual sport bikes with spoke wheels.


:surprise:
 

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Maybe a big single like the Suzuki 400 might fit the bill best!
This was my thought as well! I don't have much off-road experience, and none on my Multistrada, but I can't imagine you're going to find a 17" tire that will be capable of handling the mud shown in the OP's first photo. Once you inevitably drop the Multistrada, getting it back upright is going to be a chore.

If it were me, I'd be looking for a dual-sport bike like the Kawasaki KLR650, Honda XR650L, etc. If I knew I wasn't going to need to spend much time on high-speed (110+ km/h) highways, I'd definitely consider a smaller-displacement (400-500cc) model. The last thing I want to ride off-road is a tall, 240+kg, US$20,000+ bike...
 

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Then again, sometimes the solution are multiple bikes.

A multi for pavement and improved dirt. A big single for the more challenging dirt with some road capability.

Bob
 
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The only pic that looks bad is the mud road... the small diameter tires on the multi don't like soft stuff very much. The other roads are very consistent with the kind of dirt roads I've ridden without difficulty on the Multi. However... you do need to keep speeds lower when thing are very bumpy/pothole to avoid damaging the alloys.

If you want to blast along on those roads then I agree with the consensus that the multi isn't the way to go...

This is a 40'ish mph road (potholes can be dodged most of the time):
 
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Checked a few MTS Enduro recently at dealerships overseas, bike looks great sitting on the showroom floor but gets into "whale" BMW GS1200ADV territory (dimensions / weight), did not take a test ride as absolutely lost interest just looking and sitting on them various MTSE bikes (with / without panniers and "pizza" delivery box). Yes ~ I am able to flat-foot a MTSE, thats not a problem...

Riding my MTS-PP (2012) all over Mainland China incl. Tibet / Mongolia regions (high altitude, deserts, shitty petrol, crappy roads, etc.).
Only problems have been flat tyres during 4+ years ~ bring a good compressor (tyre inflator) and tyre repair kit (sticky rope plugs)... rock and ride on ~ 'nuff said...

>>>watch the video, xBhp takes a Ducati Multistrada 1200 to World's Highest Village<<<​
 

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Personally I'd go for the Enduro version if you are actually planning to be on non-paved terrain regularly. I love my bike but I find the MTS to be anything but enjoyable off the pavement - my Triumph Tiger 800 (roadie edition even) is leaps and bounds better for these situations and is always my choice if there's any chance I'll be off road. Hard to beat an R1200GS(A) or a KTM but I know you're limited on options.
 

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...I love my bike but I find the MTS to be anything but enjoyable off the pavement - my Triumph Tiger 800 (roadie edition even) is leaps and bounds better for these situations and is always my choice if there's any chance I'll be off road. Hard to beat an R1200GS(A) or a KTM but I know you're limited on options.
Ever heard of Greg Tracy?


Having learnt the hard way, buy yourself an extra shifter. Upon touchdown, they're among the first things to break and leave you stranded.
 

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...I love my bike but I find the MTS to be anything but enjoyable off the pavement - my Triumph Tiger 800 (roadie edition even) is leaps and bounds better for these situations and is always my choice if there's any chance I'll be off road. Hard to beat an R1200GS(A) or a KTM but I know you're limited on options.
Ever heard of Greg Tracy?


Having learnt the hard way, buy yourself an extra shifter. Upon touchdown, they're among the first things to break and leave you stranded.
 

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Ever heard of Greg Tracy?
Yep, and I'm not saying it's not possible (I've done it myself also)...only that I don't find it desirable or enjoyable. Put another way, there's no way I'd personally buy anything except the Enduro model (or one of the other bikes I mentioned) if I knew I'd be off the pavement regularly.
 

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Yep, and I'm not saying it's not possible (I've done it myself also)...only that I don't find it desirable or enjoyable. Put another way, there's no way I'd personally buy anything except the Enduro model (or one of the other bikes I mentioned) if I knew I'd be off the pavement regularly.
I agree with this for the most part... it's odd but there are some dirt roads that I'm very fast on when riding the Multi, but generally my old Triumph (110hp, no electronic aids but with bigger front tire and more rake) is generally much faster on dirt than my Multi. I'm not a technical enough rider to pick apart exactly WHY, I've just ridden enough dirt through my life to know when things are getting iffy and back off. Last month I rode an R1200GS for a couple hours with a short dirt segment and even in that short time I could tell I was a LOT faster on the GS than I am on the Multi... it just felt more stable on dirt. Didn't get to take the Enduro on dirt so I don't know how that feels.

So generally... Multi is dirt capable... but it's not really happy there. If you're not in a big hurry the Multi is perfectly adequate on dirt and it's pavement performance more than makes up for the deficiency (for someone like me who's 95% pavement).
 

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Go to ajcrider.wordpress.com and look at the posts under the heading - From Vancouver to the Arctic Ocean by Motorcycle - for the story of a trip I took last year on my 2013 Multistrada 1200S. See pictures and text for details of how the bike fared. The short of it is that the bike can handle short jaunts down unpaved roads if they're relatively smooth but is just not up to long distances on roads that are rough or have a lot of potholes and washboard. Between the Alaska trip and a couple of shorter ones, I went through three fork seals as well as the other problems described in the blog.

That's why I sold a bike which was only three years old and was everything I could want on the pavement. My new Multistrada Enduro is turning out to be pretty bulletproof, though it needs a front fender extension to stop mud from caking the radiator and causing the motor to overheat (like my 1200S did) and Barkbusters or another handguard protector to keep the plastic handguards intact on a tipover. Otherwise, a fantastic street bike and so far, a fully competent unpaved-road machine. And the spoked wheels on my new bike must surely be a whole lot more durable than the alloy rims on the old one.
 
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