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I havent been in the bike world for a while. Most of my riding days was strictly track Rode street initially but quickly ended in the track.
Fast forward a little; wife, kid, house, priorities and busy schedule. No more riding, been 4 years. Tried off road enduro and not really a fan.

Anyways I came to understand that no matter what I ride I feel the need to have something that could offer me the benefits of a sports bike, not necessarily the top speed, but the torque and handling and just the fun of having that power when an occasional power wheelie out of a turn is necessary. Yes a bit of a hooligan, cant help it.

Reason why im looking at an adventure bike vs a sport bike is because I have a group of friends that does adventure riding (mostly asphalt) in mountains and want something comfortable to drive the distance. Im also no longer a speed demon but still wish to have that occasional burst of thrill/power.

So with that being said, I am deeply in love with the looks of the multistrada but keep reading reviews and comparisons of the S1000xr being better suited for what im looking for. However the s1000xr imo is hideous, the front looks like a woman with 60 botox injections on her lips.
Will the Multi be able to offer enough performances that im looking for, could it be that all the power and handling the XR has over the multi are not all that needed?
I could test drive one which I plan to do, but I was also hoping to hear someones opinion that has ridden or owned both without being biased towards one or the other.

Ive owned one ducati (hypermotard) and one BMW (S1000RR). I kinda hated both to be honest. Only reason I am considering these brands again is because my reason for riding are different now and ive read both brands have improved in the areas where I noticed flaws. So as it is im skeptical to begin with.
 

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What? It’s the BMW competition for the Multistrada.
Hmmm ... I took a look. There is one HELL of a lot of electronic/digital complexity going on with it ... actually with either the Ducati or the BMW. What gets my attention is how many electronic issues are fielded in this forum every week regarding failures and/or glitches in the Multistrada. That BMW seems like it sure has a LOT of buttons, switches, jingles and jangles. The more complex the machine, the greater the likelihood of a failure (or many failures).

I fully understand the appeal of these bikes for some folks. I do, I really get it. But with all of the troubles computer operated motorcycles have, those types of bikes contradict the whole point of owning a bike. Of course, that is my point of view. There are obviously enough people that feel differently than I do or there would not be such a great deal of supply of that type of motorcycle (re; supply and demand). I realize I belong to an ever-shrinking group of outliers that prefer stone-simple motorcycles.

But still, look at all of them buttons on that BMW!!!! Holy Radioactive Coyotes, Batman! Makes me glad I'm not a bike mechanic working in a BMW (or Ducati for that matter) dealership. Oh, the headaches of those troubleshooting nightmares!

:wink2:
 

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@krisnet55
I have not ridden the XR therefore would never comment on that note.
Notwithstanding, I have ridden many different Multitrada's.
One this note, there's a world of difference in handling between the 1260 Pikes Peak edition and the rest of the Multistrada's.
I'm very close to saying that's they're not the same bikes.
 

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@krisnet55
I have not ridden the XR therefore would never comment on that note.
Notwithstanding, I have ridden many different Multitrada's.
One this note, there's a world of difference in handling between the 1260 Pikes Peak edition and the rest of the Multistrada's.
I'm very close to saying that's they're not the same bikes.
What might that be due to? Are the suspension systems just set up differently (improved shock/forks)? Or are the frames' dimensions and weight distribution that different from one another?

:confused:
 

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What might that be due to? Are the suspension systems just set up differently (improved shock/forks)? Or are the frames' dimensions and weight distribution that different from one another?

:confused:
Ohlins suspension fore and aft. Lighter forged wheels.
Moreover, in my case i have switched the heavy lead acid battery for a Lithium with a weight savings of about 8 lbs.
That may not seem like a lot but considering that it's located right at the top of the bike, you'll feel the difference going side to side.
 

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There have been a lot of posts/articles/discussions that revolve around BMW vs. Ducati. The pros of owning a BMW are: German engineering and reliability. They do what they're supposed to do, they rarely break down, they're not terribly flashy and you don't hear about a lot of folks customizing their BMW or popping power wheelies at stop lights. When the S1000RR hit the streets BMW showed it could do with sport bikes what it had been doing with touring bikes for decades. The single cylinder GS bikes owned the adventure/rally/dual sport world before it was a thing. The pros of the Duc are somewhat tough to describe: sure, the handling and power are there, but it's more than that... it's a feeling that V-twin sound gives you when you twist WOT and the front lifts up. It's the sexy Italian look. Historically BMW has sunk more $$ into development and refinement of their bikes which means less glitches, recalls, general f#ckups for buyers. However, Ducati has come around and their technology is right up there with the Germans. Reliability? Well, I'll give that one to BMW but not by a longshot like it used to be. Both bikes are chock full of electronic rider aids, wheelie control, traction control, ABS, cornering ABS, rider modes, electronically adjustable suspension, etc. YMMV, it comes down to personal preference... which bike makes you feel like da' boss? I own a multi and love it. My background is filled with all sportbikes but I turned 50 last year and my back and neck and forearms were tired of the crouch and I finally have enough time to do some longer riding trips. The multi is supremely comfy on long rides, the ergos will feel weird for the first season or so... those pegs are just way too far forward and you feel awkward trying to hang off the bike in any way but it comes with time and the bikes will lean and grip. I'd suggest riding both bikes, do a few test rides in varying conditions and see what your senses tell you about each bike.
 

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Ohlins suspension fore and aft. Lighter forged wheels.
Moreover, in my case i have switched the heavy lead acid battery for a Lithium with a weight savings of about 8 lbs.
That may not seem like a lot but considering that it's located right at the top of the bike, you'll feel the difference going side to side.
Yea, they're a nice improvement. In my case I saved 10.5 pounds going to an Anti Gravity L-Ion battery over the lead/acid lump that the bike had in it when I bought it. As you mentioned, that weight is very high, it ends up at about 1.25 gallons of gasoline worth of weight in the tank. Will hold a charge for about two years as well.

.
 

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I went from an 04 gsxr1000 to a 2010 multistrada. The power and torque is good but I miss the smoothness and top end power of the inline 4. I hit the rev limiter way too much on this with out even realizing it’s coming. Handling can be tight and good but suspension can be changed from the electronics to be soft and plush.

Depending on your engine preferences you may like one based on that alone.

Maybe should wait for the v4 multistrada if you have that kind of cash to spend.


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You have really got to try them both.

I had a 15 dvt (bought it new). it was the best bike i had ever ridden, but the worst id ever owned... all down to reliability.
I then tried the XR. A great bike, very fast, very flexible motor (not as much torque as the multi, but fuelled much better lower down), but really quite firm suspension and it didn't have the adjustability of the skyhook. I find the skyhook just the perfect suspension.

Perhaps Im alone when I say I prefer it to the ohlins on the PP - i just find them too firm. The Skyhook is so flexible in its approach.

Ultimately, I think the multi suits me better and id like another (a 1260), but the reliability worries me.

Try the bikes and see what suits you.
 

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I looked, and rode both before I ended up buying a multi. The bmw is faster up top, but the multi has the twin torque and feel. I ultimately got rid of the multi bc I ride too much and it was always in the shop. It made previously owned BMW's seem stone cold reliable. I too hate the look of the XR. Rumor has it that they are redesigning it for 2020. Well see how that turns out. As others have said, ride them both and see which one turns you on.
 

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I own a 2014 Multi, pre-DVT obviously, and rode an S1000XR for 11 days in the Alps last year.

They are very different bikes and, for me, the BMW had better handling and brakes than my Multi even though I never adjusted the BMW at all, and, in the last few months, I've developed some niggles with the Multi. Nothing major where I would claim one brand is unreliable vs the other, just niggling things like the ongoing fuel sensor debacle, a MAP sensor failure, a clutch slave now replaced with an Oberon but still generally clunky gear changes and the whiff of some clutch problem.

I'm not in the market for a different bike right this minute, but a change is a possibility next year and the S1000XR is on my list, I won't automatically trade up to the latest Multi. Ride them both, preferably several times.
 

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Personally, the BMW was out because of the engine it runs. I've never met an inline 4 that I loved, and really only one that I could have tolerated (FJR1300). I find the power delivery of your average inline 4 to be poorly suited for road riding, which is where I use my motorcycles. I don't ride on the track, and have no intention of doing so. If I did, I would want an inline 4.

The Multistrada has more than enough power and performance to do the things you want to do. If you plan on riding at the track frequently, or like you're on a track, consider buying the Pikes Peak model while they're still available. You give up the broad on-the-fly adjustment of the S models electronic suspension, but get Ohlins kit that can be fine tuned in a way that's better suited for riding near the edge of performance. The S model suspension is plenty capable for most riders, it's really very good. But if you want that extra edge the Pikes Peak is there to give it to you. It would be nice if Ducati still offered the Ohlins mechatronic suspension on the Multistrada like they do on Panigale, so you could have the best of both worlds. They don't, so you have to choose.

Also, while highly subjective, I prefer the riding position on the Multi over the S1000XR, for long rides. The S1000XR leans you forward more, almost like a true sport-touring bike, vs. the Multi which is more upright. My impression only, I didn't ride the S1000XR for very long at all, but it didn't feel like a 700 mile a day ride to me.
 

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I test rode the XR and seriously considered purchasing it. Commonsense (and my wallet) prevailed. Several months later, I happened upon a left over new base '16 Multi and was offered a deal too good to pass up. Love the bike. I didn't have much seat time on the Beemer due to a short test ride, so this is a first impression. I've owned the Duc for a bit more than a year, so I have more feedback on it. Note I am a sport touring rider and not a sport rider. Some of my subjective observations of the two:

2016 BMW S1000XR
Pros: Excellent handling, superb top end rush, good ergos. Surprisingly good windscreen airflow management, no buffeting at highway speeds or above. Note I am 5'-7" so YMMV. I consider this an sporty bike with an upright riding stance. I didn't get to test out the electronic aids due to the relatively brief test ride.

Cons: Vibration that comes through the bars and pegs at highway cruising speeds. Apparently there are fixes for this with varying degrees of success. Also, I didn't feel it had much low end torque and found I had to fan the clutch a bit more than usual to get it moving from a stop. Another potential issue that concerned me was the radiator was in the line of fire of the back of the front tire since the fender doesn't extend back much, if at all. It will get sprayed with road debris and any large stone strike can cause major damage to the radiator. There are rad guards available but I have heard (not confirmed) this could void your factory warranty, if still intact. Lastly, if you have a short inseam like me, you'll find yourself on your toes at a stop, even with the factory low seat set-up.

2016 Ducati Multistrada (base model)
Pros: Excellent handling, great top end rush (not as strong as the XR, but pretty good). Mid-range has a slight dead spot. Decent low end grunt with the stock gearing. Awesome sounding intake and good exhaust sound from the factory setup when accelerating/decelerating. Ok-good ergos. Relatively low seat height on the low setting option, compared to the XR. Good long distance machine, with some personal customization.

Cons: Stock rider seat is slanted forward causing groin/buttocks discomfort on a long ride. I sent my seat to Sargent for modification and it is now a dream, with the trade-off being increase effective seat height (the seat is a little taller and wider than stock). Windscreen airflow management not great, but not terrible. Note again my height listed above. However, the windscreen is one hand adjustable while riding. I think the XR windscreen is tool-less adjustable, but not one handed (I don't recall) Somewhat weak heat from the heater grips (I have the touring option) even on the highest setting. This is compared to some of my other bikes that have aftermarket grip heaters. Stock handlebars are a bit too straight and wide for me and I find my hands numbing up/getting a little sore after 30 mins or so, if I don't move them around. Wish for more back bend (rake?) on the bars. Stock halogen H11 low beams sufficient , but when switching to high beams it makes you think, did one of the headlights burn out? The high beams illuminate the road a little better than an average pair of LED flashlights. I experimented with several drop-in LED bulbs for the high beams, but did not gain any satisfaction. I'm guessing due to the very small reflectors for the high beams, the light pattern is very narrow.
Lighting from LED drop-in bulbs for the low beams is awesome. But I decided to pick up some Denali D4 aux lights to turn night into day and will be installing them in the near future.

Conclusion - Both are great bikes. Both have strengths and weaknesses. Would I buy the XR? Probably yes, if I had more space in the garage, time and money. Would it be my long distance machine (>1,000 mile trip)? Probably not. Do I envision the XR as a good day ride bike? For sure. Am I satisfied with the Multi? Yes. Do I spend a shite load of money and time farkling it up? Uh huh. Is it worth it? Definitely. Does the Ducati have more soul than the Beemer? IMO, yes.
 

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SZ VS MS

An interesting comparison. I've been fortunate enough to have owned four Ducatis ( '15 Multistrada 1200 currently) and eleven BMWs so I should have at least a representative impression of the two brands. Right off the bat even though the focus of the two is similar the character, style and "feeling" are quite different. The XR is a 160 hp FOUR cylinder that is rather tall, can have a buzzy sensation to it and is quick. The MS is a 160 hp TWO cylinder with lower seating, with good torque and it too is quick. To me the XR felt top heavy and a little awkward. Something you did not mention but that will have a bearing, is how strong your local Ducati/BMW dealer is? Both bikes are relatively close in price, but how you feel about your dealer is quite important. Reliability was once a BMW mainstay, but I can personally attest that "it ain't necessarily so!" Severe stalling issues ( with 3 newer models), bad electronics ( 2 models), excessive front tire cupping ( 2 models...probably due to the unique front suspension) and I could elaborate. The available electronics on both bikes are really neat, however, some times simpler is better...that is to say more trouble free. Personally I placed my bet on the MS without the electronics. Let's be frank here, Ducati does not have the best of reputations when it comes to electronic related features. If any visceral input whatsoever becomes involved in your decision then I'll simply say enjoy your new Ducati right now!! Listen to the two engines and tell us I'm wrong! Sorry for the rambling response, but as I said from the get go "an interesting comparison". Good luck!
 

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... Somewhat weak heat from the heater grips (I have the touring option) even on the highest setting. This is compared to some of my other bikes that have aftermarket grip heaters...
This really surprises me, almost makes me think your heated grips may be defective. Mine, which I would think are the same part (2018 S model), get so hot that I rarely use them in medium, and can't recall ever turning them to high. If they got any hotter they'd burn my hands, and this is through unperforated leather gloves.

OTOH, maybe it's mine that are defective? They certainly do work, though.
 

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Conclusion - Both are great bikes. Both have strengths and weaknesses. Would I buy the XR? Probably yes, if I had more space in the garage, time and money. Would it be my long distance machine (>1,000 mile trip)? Probably not. Do I envision the XR as a good day ride bike? For sure. Am I satisfied with the Multi? Yes. Do I spend a shite load of money and time farkling it up? Uh huh. Is it worth it? Definitely. Does the Ducati have more soul than the Beemer? IMO, yes.
I nearly pulled the trigger this summer on an S1000R, the naked, to fill the day ride gap; personally I wouldn't slot the XR in that spot AND keep the Multi.
 

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I did a lot of trackday riding and rode 600/1000 superbikes for the past 12yrs on street/track. I picked up a bagger as a touring option and found myself liking it so much I sold my current other street ride a GSXR1000. But after 3yrs found I really missed some sportiness and shopped the S1000XR, MTS, KTM 1290 Adventure, GS1200, and every other more Sport-Touring options like Concours, Z1000SX, etc.
I wanted a sporty bike that I could lift the front end when I wanted yet be touring comfortable, hold a passenger in comfort, and be something I loved looking at.
There's a few bikes I really wanted to love such as the Concours (big motor, shaft drive, comfy) and S1000XR but I just couldn't get over how ugly they were and honestly I knew I would buy one and regret not loving the looks. The S1000XR also feels more sporty, it's less 2-up friendly, and less comfy IMO, and with numerous friends on modern BMW's I don't feel the reliability would be any better than a modern Ducati with the issues their Beemers have had.
It came down to the 1290 Adventure (the SDR just wasn't enough touring adequate for 2 plus luggage) and the MTS. I bought the MTS1200S DVT with Touring package that my local dealer gave me a good deal on (they're also a KTM and Triumph dealer). I had intentions of doing some wider offroad trails but realistically I ride hardcore singletrack on my dirtbike and I like my streetbike clean so I forego the offroad abilities. The MTS "S" Touring comes with heated grips, cruise, LED headlight (all of these work excellent btw). The bags are quite large yet look good and when they're not required the bike looks clean and with no ugly cages left behind. The power is quite good. It will not loft the front end like a 1000 Superbike and the MTS comes geared too tall OEM so be cognizant of that if you test ride one. It really needs a 42T rear sprocket which I've done and is an excellent improvement. It also may need a different screen depending on your height (I use a MVA shorty and it works better and also looks better) but all bikes will need some type of user customizing. I find the Skyhook suspension excellent and after having numerous Ohlins equipped bikes including my track bikes I can honestly say once the Skyhook is properly set up for your weight/riding style it is excellent, with great front end feel and goes from canyon carver to plush touring with a button press. I love the look of the MTS, it's definitely sporty enough for me, touring and 2-up comfy, and after 30,000km has had no issues.
 
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