2020 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour: best travel companion

21 January 2020

Here’s the ultimate travel machine according to Ducati: the Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour, a top-of-the-line ride with an exuberant list of features that will satisfy even the most lavish among us.

It stands out from the crowd

After the Pikes Peak and Enduro versions, make way for the new Ducati Multistrada Grand Tour that kicks out 158 horsepower at 9500 rpm, with improved comfort and a plethora of equipment. In addition to the traditional equipment found on this type of hybrid GT ride, the Ducati boasts a better padded seat, heated handgrips, an electrically-operated fuel filler cap, tire pressure sensors, an aluminum water pump cover, fog lights and an LED lighting display. The Grand Tour remains a fairly tall motorcycle with its seat perched between 825 and 845 millimeters off the ground. On the other hand, it’s among the lightest in the GT class.

If you’re inclined to compare it to a Kawasaki Versys 1000 and its SE equipment or a Suzuki V-Strom equipped with its touring package, you should know that Ducati does everything it can to set the Grand Tour apart from the competition. It succeeds with its sporty engine, the 1262 cc Testastretta DVT twin-cylinder engine and its generous torque over a long rpm range (97 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm). The chassis steps up to the plate, with 330-mm Brembo disc brakes matched with M50 calipers, a sublime mono swingarm, a steel trellis frame and Ducati’s signature finish. It also comes in a dark grey colour with red trim and red frame.

Time travelling

The new Grand Tour version of the 2020 Ducati Multistrada is also a time machine, with a set of electronic steering aids to make a space shuttle blush. It boasts state-of-the-art electronics derived from the Panigale and controlled by a 6-axis IMU inertial unit with 6 steering aids. These include engine mapping and steering modes, traction control (DTC EVO), DWC wheelie control, two-way shifting assist, adjustable ABS that remains in action when cornering, vehicle hold control, cruise control and a semi-active electronically adjustable steering and suspension damper that can be fully controlled via the Bluetooth-capable TFT colour screen.

There will be no surprise to see a powerful V4 engine at the heart of a Multistrada. However, to keep us waiting, Ducati offers us this variation of the Italian queen of hybrids, the Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour; the Italian-made touring bike seeks out unexpected summits.

By Pascal Bastien