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Old 10-22-2012, 01:54 PM   #16
Lion BR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oalvarez View Post
agree completely....the rider from MCN believed it to be more "touring like" in nature. will be interesting to hear what others will have to say.
This seems to be the common response from journalists so far.

Justin Dawes, Motorcycle USA:

This brings us to what you’ve been patiently waiting for – the evaluation of the Skyhook Suspension. Short and simple answer, it works and works well. As we headed out of town I immediately set to switching up the riding modes to see if I could feel a difference between them. Without a doubt the changes between each mode is marked and noticeable.

Each is calibrated to that mode’s intended usage with Sport being the most stiff and Enduro the softest. That being said, each model was amazingly compliant when needed. Even in the Sport setting the suspension was glued to the tarmac no matter the surface. As well as it works, not all is perfect. I am a rider that relies on front-end feel to gauge my margin for error when entering a corner. Because the suspension follows the road so well and back-to-front weight transfer during braking is reduced, feedback from the front tire is slightly muted. This is most notable on turn-in. That being said, after about an hour in the saddle I gave up caring that I had less feel and things got fun. You just have to trust the system as you would traction control. As soon as that trust was established, the Multistada was a corner-carving virtuoso. Ducati Skyhook Suspension takes electronically adjustable suspension to a new level and is unbelievably calibrated for a first generation system.

John Burns, Cycle World:

Skyhook is fully integrated with the selectable riding modes (Touring, Sport, Enduro and Urban), and adjusting damping and rear preload is as simple as pushing a couple of buttons. In the correct sequence. It’s not too difficult even if you’re jet-lagged, overhung and over 40. The latest Bosch 9ME combined ABS is likewise fully integrated with the various riding modes, and now lets the rider lock the rear wheel in Enduro mode, among other things. It uses the same control unit as the Panigale.

The new, dual-rate rear spring’s second stage is stiffer than before. Between it and the Skyhook, the bike is able to put all its considerable power down and really launch itself out of corners, with a nice seat bolster to keep the rider in place and a widish, tapered aluminum handlebar to keep him somewhat in control.

On the other hand, when diving into those tight corners with the brakes on, Skyhook didn’t seem to allow the front end to stroke deep enough to weight the front tire as much as some might prefer. (After our Bilbao ride, some other journalists said that Touring mode is the way to go for more weight transfer.) Later, reading through the press material, I realized it’s also possible to add or reduce compression and rebound damping from either end by manipulating the DSS buttons. My bad. Less compression up front might’ve been just the ticket. Apart from that, you’ll have to be a swifter rider than yours truly to find fault with the Multi’s ride and handling. We’ll delve (dive?) deeper into tuning DSS when we get a testbike stateside.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dave.0 View Post
The new suspension may be "great", but I suspect this was more of an accounting move for ducati than actually trying to improve the performance of the bike.
I doubt it was just accounting. Most people bought the S Touring. And if you look hard at the changes they made for the 2013 model, they are all, without exception to make the Multi a better touring bike:

1) Slightly higher windshield
2) Better low rpm handling
3) Touring suspension that'll adjust on the fly to make it "just right"
4) Longer seat
5) Better fuel economy
6) LED lights
7) Easier adjustable windshield
8) Hazard lights

These are all things a touring bike rider that spends more than 20k USD on a bike is looking for.

The Multi was (and is) already a superb carver, I really think they added/changed exactly the right components to attract more of the customers they already mostly get with the current Multi: people with money who want an excellent bike that can really rip but is also a great tourer. The "really rip" part was already near perfect, the touring part was good, but had room for improvement to pull over more GS / Tenere / Tiger / ... riders.

For example, all the changes make me re-consider the Multi. I want to test ride the 2013 model again, after I was fairly disappointed with the 2010. My riding is 50% weekend trips, 40% day trips on really bad back roads, 10% commute. For that the 2010 Multi just didn't feel right to me. Will be interesting to compare to the new one.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #18
Lion BR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cug View Post
I doubt it was just accounting. Most people bought the S Touring. And if you look hard at the changes they made for the 2013 model, they are all, without exception to make the Multi a better touring bike:

1) Slightly higher windshield
2) Better low rpm handling
3) Touring suspension that'll adjust on the fly to make it "just right"
4) Longer seat
5) Better fuel economy
6) LED lights
7) Easier adjustable windshield
8) Hazard lights

These are all things a touring bike rider that spends more than 20k USD on a bike is looking for.

The Multi was (and is) already a superb carver, I really think they added/changed exactly the right components to attract more of the customers they already mostly get with the current Multi: people with money who want an excellent bike that can really rip but is also a great tourer. The "really rip" part was already near perfect, the touring part was good, but had room for improvement to pull over more GS / Tenere / Tiger / ... riders.

For example, all the changes make me re-consider the Multi. I want to test ride the 2013 model again, after I was fairly disappointed with the 2010. My riding is 50% weekend trips, 40% day trips on really bad back roads, 10% commute. For that the 2010 Multi just didn't feel right to me. Will be interesting to compare to the new one.

I agree with you. And to add to your rational, a few extra points:

1. Average age of the Multistrada buyer: 47
2. For the majority of Multistrada owners, it was their first Ducati (so the Multi is that important point of entry to the brand).
3. The Multistrada is Ducati's highest seller.
4. Besides the current lineup, and the updates to the Multistrada, Ducati has three new bikes coming up at the midlevel point, which will be more targeted to the younger crowd.
5. Ducati has been targeting the American market.

So I agree, the Multistrada 1200, not unlike the Diavel, is a new and successful marketing segment for Ducati. And the new 2013 Multistrada is a better touring bike. The Grandturismo is the finetuned, upgrade of that touring mode. The Pikes Peak is the model for the ones that look at it from another vantage point, but can sill tour with the bike.

So yes, like Ducati itself says, they have heard they customers, and they have analyzed who their consumer base is.

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Old 10-22-2012, 07:59 PM   #19
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Better low rpm running is a big deal to me since I routinely seem to be riding steep hairpin turns with wet leaves and even small tree branches on them. I never even bothered to test ride the 2010 model because of this.
I'm starting to run out of reasons not to buy this bike.
If they had replaced timing belts with timing chain and simplified or eliminated the valve adjustment that would have made the difference for me.
Who knows what will happen after my test drive? December, right?

On a separate note, from the pictures, does the paint job on the old Pike's Peak model look better than the new one, or is it just me?
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by coast range rider View Post
Better low rpm running is a big deal to me since I routinely seem to be riding steep hairpin turns with wet leaves and even small tree branches on them. I never even bothered to test ride the 2010 model because of this.
I'm starting to run out of reasons not to buy this bike.
If they had replaced timing belts with timing chain and simplified or eliminated the valve adjustment that would have made the difference for me.
Who knows what will happen after my test drive? December, right?

On a separate note, from the pictures, does the paint job on the old Pike's Peak model look better than the new one, or is it just me?

Valve adjustment, every 15k miles. At least you've got that.

Now, the color scheme of the 2013 Pikes Peak: attractive on a slutty sort of way.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:32 PM   #21
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ABS stays off

On the new ABS, from deep in the Ducati site:

"Level 1 provides the utmost off-road performance, and rear wheel lift detection is disabled to allow for controlled rear-wheel lock-up.

"Riders who wish to try out unassisted braking performance can disable the ABS from the instrument panel menu. The ABS will remain disabled at the next key-on and this setting can be stored for each Riding Mode."

Contradicts what is said elsewhere on the site but this is from the blurb under "equipment" specifically on the new Bosch 9ME system so perhaps it is accurate.

Not sure how different this aspect would be from the current models.

It is also not clear whether the traction control can be disabled. Appears it is always on to some extent.

I know this is considered somewhat academic as few Multis will see much off-tarmac work.

However, Ducati seems quite keen to promote the bike as a gravel-road contender, and has said its work on the 2013 was aimed at improving it in that sort of use. From many accounts it works well there, tho clearly not its primary role.

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Old 10-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #22
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And another qualified report on the Skyhook, in a report from Greg Drevenstedt just posted at Rider:

"Regardless of mode, the S Touring was well behaved, with minimal chassis pitch and good damping. What was hard to pinpoint, however, was the semi-active component of suspension action. According to David James, Ducati’s international press manager, that’s the point: “DSS is supposed to be seamless, like a well-designed traction control system.” Maybe so, but the new setup felt somewhat numb relative to its Öhlins-equipped predecessor. We’ll reserve final judgment until we can do a more thorough road test."

We are not getting ringing endorsements of this Skyhook stuff. People don't quite know what to make of it, it seems. And yet, overall the reactions seem quite good.

Doubtless we will see some back-to-back testing when the production bikes arrive. I wonder whether they will be any more conclusive.

My guess is that suspicion of the Skyhook will linger, but that for typical sport-touring use owners will love it. The ability to run a very soft setting that firms up when necessary sounds quite helpful.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #23
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It would be nice if Ducati offered the 2013 Pikes Peak version with Ohlins.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:26 AM   #24
Lion BR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moronic View Post
And another qualified report on the Skyhook, in a report from Greg Drevenstedt just posted at Rider:

"Regardless of mode, the S Touring was well behaved, with minimal chassis pitch and good damping. What was hard to pinpoint, however, was the semi-active component of suspension action. According to David James, Ducati’s international press manager, that’s the point: “DSS is supposed to be seamless, like a well-designed traction control system.” Maybe so, but the new setup felt somewhat numb relative to its Öhlins-equipped predecessor. We’ll reserve final judgment until we can do a more thorough road test."

We are not getting ringing endorsements of this Skyhook stuff. People don't quite know what to make of it, it seems. And yet, overall the reactions seem quite good.

Doubtless we will see some back-to-back testing when the production bikes arrive. I wonder whether they will be any more conclusive.

My guess is that suspicion of the Skyhook will linger, but that for typical sport-touring use owners will love it. The ability to run a very soft setting that firms up when necessary sounds quite helpful.
I think even if the DSS system works better than the Ohlins in most riding modes, serious riders are likely to say they prefer the Ohlins. It can be because people know Ohlins better and DSS is an unkown thing on the moto world, people in general don't deal with change very well, and of course, there is the Ohlins bling factor.

In the end, Ohlins is probably more expensive than the Sachs DSS system, and may not be as good as what the DSS can deliver on the majority of riding situations a rider may encounter. And we know Ohlins is not quite reliable (not talking only about its application in the Multistrada).

In the end, I wish we had the option to order it with Ohlins. But to be honest, I wouldn't know what to select, because unlike the majority of people, I like new technology. I like having all the amenities: DTC, ABS, R-b-W and all that. I'm sure DSS is a move forward for overall riding. Maybe DSS won't be the best solution for the people who really work on dialing in a bike's suspension on very specific way, ride on the limit, and rely on feel and seat of the pants more than high technology to live on that limit. Or they will have to re-tune in their minds, what is the new seat-of-the-pants. Many comments were related to a perception that with no nose dive, they didn't know if the back-to-front weight transfer "feel" they are accustomed to was there or not. *Perhaps* it was there, but with suspension movement to spare, to keep that front end more adherent to the road on a curve, but the rider could not know based on his/her own traditional standard.

Interesting stuff. BMW has also moved to something similar in their HP4 and the 2014 R1200GS. They must have reason to believe this is an upgrade.

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Old 10-27-2012, 05:59 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Lion BR View Post
I think even if the DSS system works better than the Ohlins in most riding modes, serious riders are likely to say they prefer the Ohlins. It can be because people know Ohlins better and DSS is an unkown thing on the moto world, people in general don't deal with change very well, and of course, there is the Ohlins bling factor.
You just described me in that paragraph.

For several years Ducati caught my attention by marketing the "S" model with the Ohlins for only $1000 more. When the 1200 S Touring came out, the ease and flexibility of the suspension was one of my major buying decisions.

The only downside was after I started becoming comfortable with the bike, it became very apparent that I needed to re-spring both the front and the rear. It was like riding someone else's bike with a very good suspension (I weigh 200 lbs and do take my wife with me often).

I can't imagine owner feedback being anything but positive about the Ohlins and what negatives they are getting would not be addressed with DSS. The bling factor of the Ohlins is high to me, for several years I wanted a high end suspension and Ohlins for most people is the benchmark product. I'm sure a great deal of that is most everyone knows Ohlins name.

Another pleasant surprise about the Ohlins is that their springs cost no more than Race Tech. I have re-sprung my forks and shocks myself in the past, but this time I used Boulder Motor Sports. I've never been happier handing a shop my money, that shop was a class act.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #26
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Termi

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Originally Posted by Moronic View Post
The Termi is just the slip-on, which does nothing at all - same ECU and all the muffling is under the motor.

But likely all that is needed.

Thanks for reporting the club-rider comments. Sounds promising.

Yes, would be nice if the Skyook proved durable. Time will tell - when it is too late for most of us.
That is not correct...it comes with full system and race ECU? That's the carrot which makes you consider the pikes peak over the grandturismo - full system vs the bags and stuff....
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:40 PM   #27
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That is not correct...it comes with full system and race ECU? That's the carrot which makes you consider the pikes peak over the grandturismo - full system vs the bags and stuff....

Hope you're not disappointed. In the US, AFAIK, you don't even get the Termi slip-on with the 2013 Pikes Peak. The importer deleted it from the spec to keep the price under $22K.

You do get forged wheels (the other models make do with cast wheels), lots of carbon fibre body bits and the paint.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:48 PM   #28
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A real pity they could not have a model with a 19 inch front wheel for moderate off road use with a good tyre selection.
If they did I would have one. But I guess they are onto a good seller already and don't want to go that way as it reduces road handling.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:24 AM   #29
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A real pity they could not have a model with a 19 inch front wheel for moderate off road use with a good tyre selection.
If they did I would have one. But I guess they are onto a good seller already and don't want to go that way as it reduces road handling.

I just put down a deposit and ordered the 2013 Pikes Peak Multi. I fall into a different category of riding than most on this site. I am coming off of a BMW F800GS (whick I loved and never had any issues with). I did not and never planned to take the GS on any real "trails" or off-roading, instead I am a street rider (occassional gravel roads) that prefers the upright riding position of the adventure style bikes.
The F800GS fit the bill very well outside of wanting more power for touring (or sport touring)...enter the Multistrada...
For me...the bike is perfectly set up for what I want to do...sport touring, day trips and a couple week long trips a year...Upright riding position and great suspension to soak up the crappy paved roads in the PNW with a longer travel suspension.

I have a Honda CRF450 for when the dirt comes-a-calling...and I can abuse that bike with whatever comes my way.

Multi for me...PERFECT.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:25 AM   #30
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Any touring reviews/experiences out there? Like range, luggage, buffeting & reliability?
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