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Hi guys. I wrote thisup for another site, but thought someone here might enjoy reading it too. Just my impressions after riding the Sport 1000, S2R800 and Multistrada 1000 S at a recent demo day.

First things first – Inglis Cycle in London, Ontario ran an absolutely super Ducati demo ride day. It was on time, the bikes they said would be available actually were, the route was good, the guys leading (and following) the group did a great job, etc. Couldn’t have been better. Didn’t hurt that it was also perfect weather: 21 degrees C and sunny. Awesome.

What doesn’t help is boneheads like me who sign up to ride bikes, but then get the times mixed up and show up an hour late. I apologized and they were nice about it. But I did miss my chance to ride the Monster S2R1000. At least I was there in time to take my turn on the Sport Classic 1000, which was the bike I was most interested in. Since I missed my chance at the Monster, I signed up instead to take the Multistrada DS1000 (S version!) out on the last group ride of the day.

One other thing before I tell you about the bikes. This was my first group ride demo type event. During this experience, it occurred to me that this really wouldn’t be a good place for a novice rider. Jumping on a new bike you have never ridden before, and heading out into city traffic in a place where you have never ridden before, while trying to keep your place in a group that you have never ridden with before, can amount to sensory overload even for experienced riders. I wouldn’t recommend this type of event to anyone who still has to think a bit about what they are doing in terms of just operating the bike safely. There isn’t enough RAM left by the time you deal with everything else.

Okay, here’s what I thought:

Sport Classic 1000. First impression was that the riding position is quite extreme. Probably even a little more so than my SS750ie was before I put the risers on it. Fashionable no doubt, but I think I would be looking for ways to raise the bars a tad.

Next impression was regarding the motor. This was the big question that I wanted answered for the day – would a bike with the DS1000 motor in it provide enough of a performance difference that I could be happy trading up from my 750? The answer is a resounding YES. They are worlds apart. Everything that you have read about the 1000DS is true. In this bike it provides positively ferocious acceleration from almost any rpm (at least by my standards). Really, it is astonishing how quickly your speed builds, at least if you are used to something with way less torque. It is also quite smooth and sophisticated feeling compared to the earlier Ducati 2V motors. For street riding, I can’t imagine needing any more power than this. The airbox and exhaust are a little too muffled though – but that is easily fixed.

The bike itself of course is very pretty. No plastic at all in view from the saddle. In fact, hard to find any anywhere on the bike. The bar end mirrors are great – excellent view, with no elbows at all. Much more effective than on any other sportbike I have ridden, and also better than those on the S2R or the Multi.

We rode at speeds up to 75 mph in places, and I can honestly say that I did not miss having a fairing. It actually was kind of neat having nothing but road out there in front of me. However, because of the lack of fairing the instruments are mounted close to the bars. They are good looking, but you have to look pretty far down to see them, and the numbering is kinda small. Probably something you would eventually get used to.

The brakes are only two-pot Brembos, but they were actually better than the 4-pot jobbies on my bike. Maybe not as powerful, but good feel and linearity. The suspension is sorta bargain basement on paper, but the forks worked noticeably better than the oversprung–never-serviced –25,000-miles-on-them-without-an oil-change units on my bike. Really, the suspension they have fitted is perfectly adequate, and we rode on some pretty crap surfaces during the ride.

S2R800 – Near the end of the first ride, while we were waiting at a red light, a guy on an S2R asked me if I would switch with him. I thought the thing was a 1000, but it was clear as soon as we left the light that this was a completely different motor. WAY less snot.

I only rode that bike for a few minutes, but coming right off the SC1000, my impressions were mostly not favourable. Of course the more upright riding position was a great relief, and the more motorcrossy stance was kinda cool. But, it really felt a lot cheaper, especially with that little headlight cowling flapping about in the wind – pretty cheesy for such an expensive bike. The mirrors were also crappy plastic units, although I know that most Monster owners bin them almost immediately anyway. I also didn’t care for the clutch - it was grabby and hard to launch. I should say that the dry clutch on the 1000DS was indistinguishable to me from the wet clutch on my bike, in terms of how it felt. This new wet slipper clutch on the little S2R is a completely different beast. Just for fun, I geared down hard a couple times just to make the slipper bit kick in. It was very noticeable, with a pretty sudden disengagement – not sure if that is typical of slippers, because this is the first one that I have used.

I will say though that the 800 motor has a lot more juice than my 750. I did get to rev it up once through a few gears, and the pull was impressive. Just nothing like the 1000. Did make me think though that the SS800 must be a nice ride.

Multistrada 1000DS (S version): I didn’t want to like this bike. I REALLY didn’t want to. It just isn’t my style. But darn it if riding the Multi wasn’t the most fun I have had in a long while.

The thing is tall. But not too tall. I have a 33” inseam and had the balls of my feet down. Good enough for safe riding. And the payoff for the high seat is an amazingly comfortable riding position. Really, I can’t imagine how the stance it put me in could have been any better. The super wide bars made it very easy to turn, and the nose fairing kept the wind off me. Sport riding doesn’t get any more convenient than this.

I personally didn’t like the digital instrument panel as much as the analog clocks on the SC, but it WAS more legible. The view from the saddle, again, contains lots of cheap looking plastic, but overall is much better looking that the Monster. And nothing flaps in the wind.

What about that Ohlins suspension? Well, sure enough, it had a very sophisticated feel to it, and was obviously superior to that on any other bike I have ridden recently. But as I said, for normal street riding within the sanity envelope, it really doesn’t matter all that much.

But here is the kicker. This particular group ride was burdened with a couple really pokey people who were preventing anyone behind them from stretching their legs. So, as the opportunities presented themselves in traffic, lane changes and whatnot, I worked my way up to the front with the ride leader. Then we got to the section of the ride with seven or eight really nice fast sweepers out in the country, and the leader (on the Sport 1000) puts the hammer down. DAMN it was easy to keep up on the Multistrudle. Going fast was absolute child’s play. Okay we were only at 75 or 80%, but remember this was on a bike that I had only been riding for 15 minutes, and mostly in city traffic. It was easy as pie to just turn up the wick and tell the bike where to go. Very impressive. We actually had to slow right down to a crawl after the fifth curve or so, because there wasn’t another rider anywhere to be seen in our rear views.

The weird thing is, the 1000DS motor works better in the Multi than it does in the SC. I played around a bit, trying stuff like lugging the engine in 6th at about 3000 rpm (that’s maybe 100 kph); it just kicked up its heels and pulled strongly from that speed. The SC wouldn’t really do that. Surely the difference is in the final drive gearing, since the Multi is at 15/42 whereas the SC has 15/38. Which I guess just shows you how much better the SC could be with the right sized rear sprocket on it.

So, yeah, objectively, the Multi was the better bike. But the funny thing is, most of the time I was riding it following the ride leader, I was just admiring the Sport Classic that he was on. Which of course says something important to me about which bike really turns my crank.

I’ll need to get bar risers though.
 

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Nice report. Followed a group of about 7 Ducs this weekend in my truck (not for long), one of which was a Multistrudle. From the back the position looked very comfortable, the bike looked good as well from the back. However, the side and front view was something else, here is a case where function won out over form. But, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and some people say the Multistrudle is ugly to the bone. I call it different, I wouldn't mind having one, especially over rough roads we have here in California.
 

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I recently coincidentally demo'd the same bikes in addition to a 999 but not a demo day, just at my dealer, with his demo fleet... yeah, other ducati dealers listening in... not one day of demoing but every day... anyway... I'd agree with most of you comments but I'd say the Multistrada was kind of an odd bike to ride... high up and very light... not as stable from my vantage point as it probably is... well made and quick but just odd ergos... and I say that owning a BMW GS, which is less ON than in the bike... Big thumbs up on the SportClassic bike...
 
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