Since its release last year, Ducati has made many claims about the new Multistrada 1200, calling it four bikes in one: A tourer, a commuter street bike, an enduro, and, not least, a sport bike. That’s a pretty tall order, even for a pretty tall bike like the Multistrada. Does it live up to the Ducati hype? Or to the hype from Cycle World, which named it the Best Open Streetbike of 2010? To answer that question, I showed up at Moto Forza in Escondido, to try one out.
The Multistrada comes in three basic configurations, but I got to take out the top of the line S model with Öhlins suspension, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), and the on-the-fly riding mode/ suspension setup.
Visually, the Multistrada looks like a big bike–and a tall one, too, with a long-travel suspension to support its enduro pretensions. Despite looking like a large, unwieldy bike, the specs tell a slightly different story, as the Multistrada weighs only 423 lbs dry, and 478 lbs fully fueled and ready to ride. That weight puts it in sport bike territory, and despite its size it’s surprisingly light once you’re sitting on it.
The center of gravity is very low. The Multistrada uses the same engine as the 1198 sport bike; the L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled power plant that puts Ducati racers on the podium. The engine has a power output of 150HP at 9250RPM and 87.5 fl-lbs of torque at 7500 RPM. In the Multistrada’s case, the engine is placed with one cylinder parallel to the ground, so the weight of the both the crankcase and cylinder are placed as low as possible. This makes the Multistrada very well balanced, and easy to hold up–even on tiptoes.
As you’d expect, the 1198 engine has been slightly neutered from its superbike version, which has a peak output of 170HP and 97ft-lbs of torque. The compression ratio has been similarly reduced from 12.7:1 to 11.5:1. Still, the Multistrada’s peak output far outshines its GS-style competition–and most street bikes. By way of comparison, the FJR1300 outputs 145HP…and weighs 200 pounds more.
The ergos are extremely comfortable, from the well-cushioned stock seat, to the easy reach to the wide handlebars. The ground was a bit of a reach for my 5’10″ frame and 32″ inseam. I couldn’t quite flat-foot the bike, so, shorter riders will certainly want to opt for the optional low seat which is 1″ shorter, but, sadly, not as well padded. The passenger seat also serves as a short backrest/support for the rider, and is something you’ll be happy to have when you open the throttle. The position of the mid-mounted foot controls is very natural and comfortable, and the upright seating position is perfect for long-distance riding. Practically everything, from the brake and clutch levers, to the foot shifter are exactly where you’d want them to be, with everything in almost ridiculously easy reach. It’s hard to see how Ducati could have done a better job creating a bike that caters to your creature comforts.
The instrumentation on the Multistrada is well thought out, too. It’s all electronic, with an LCD readout that’s easy to read even in bright sunlight. The image to the left is a good representation of what you see as a rider in bright daylight. As you can see, the entire panel is quite legible, with a large speedometer readout on top, and the tachometer readout stretching all the way across the bottom.
You’ll also notice the round “Set Up” readout on the right, showing that the engine output is set to “Urban”, with the suspension set to one rider with luggage. This “Set Up” system is central to the Multistrada riding experience, as it controls the engine’s output, the DTC setting, and the suspension preload and rebound.
The riding mode has four settings. The Enduro setting limits engine output to 60% of maximum, or 100HP, while setting the DTC at a relatively loose setting to allow for some power sliding (on well-maintained unpaved or gravel roads, anyway). The Urban setting also limits the output to 60%, while tightening up the DTC to provide more intervention when traction is lost. Both the Enduro and Urban settings provide very linear, controllable throttle response from the Mutistrada’s fly-by-wire throttle system. The Touring setting opens up the full 150HP available from the L-Twin power plant, while providing the same linear, controllable throttle response of the previous two modes. Finally, there is sport mode, which unleashes the full power of the engine, full DTC, and an extremely responsive–but not frighteningly so–throttle. In short, the mode control offers noticeably different ride characteristics. It’s definitely not a fancy switch that costs lots of money and does nothing.
Similarly, the suspension control automatically adjusts the preload and rebound of the Öhlins suspension to handle a single rider, rider with luggage, two riders, or two riders with luggage.
In addition to the preset factory settings, you can also set the DTC, engine mode and suspension setup independently, and you can store those personalized settings in order to call them up at need. this allows you to tailor the engine modes, DTC, and suspension settings to your personal preferences for various types of riding.
Starting the bike is done via a keyless ignition system that depends on the close proximity of an electronic key fob. If you lose the fob, however, all is not lost, as an alternate method is available that allows you to start the bike by entering a 4-digit PIN. Also, if you’re on the road, and you drop the fob out of a pocket or something, the electronic display immediately flashes a message telling you that the fob is lost, which substantially narrows down your search area.
There is, by the way, a price to be paid for all this electronic goodness, which is that there is a constant drain on battery power at all times. Leave the Multistrada sitting in the garage over the weekend, and you’ll be OK. Leave it there for a week, and you’ll need to hook it up to a battery tender.
Once the engine is running, the Multistrada produces a throaty growl that hints at the vast reserves of power on tap. Clutch pull is fairly easy, allowing for one-finger operation. The friction point is also set very close to full out, so that the clutch engages with very little pull. Give it a little throttle, ease the clutch out, and the Multistrada pulls right away from a stop, without requiring excessive revving.
Starting out in downtown Escondido, I set the engine setup to “Urban” and I was off. The Multistrada is very maneuverable in town, although, if you plan on splitting traffic at stoplights, you need to be aware of the extra-wide handlebars. The Urban setting provides very controllable power in traffic, and you can flick the bike from lane to lane with ease. There’s more than enough power to pull away from traffic or for passing, but the 60% power limit ensures that it’s never anywhere near the limits of the rider’s control.
Two minor shortcomings are apparent in city driving. First, the engine hates anything under 3,000 RPM. It shudders, rumbles and coughs. It’s nowhere near as revvy as a sport bike, but it clearly doesn’t want to stay in the low RPMs. Above that, however, the throaty L-Twin smooths out, with surprisingly little vibration. Second, the transmission really wants to make neutral easy to find when downshifting from 2nd gear. Kicking the shifter, releasing the clutch, and being rewarded with a screaming rev and no power is…embarrassing. You need a firm foot to get it back down to first. It’s easy to learn, and it only happened to me once, but it was a bit of a surprise.
Prior to getting onto the I-15, to head towards my favorite canyon road near Bonsall, I changed to Touring mode. Throttle response was still very smooth, but you could certainly feel the increase in torque, as the acceleration pushes your butt back against the front of the passenger seat. I told you you’d be happy to have that passenger seat back there, because, even in touring mode, the Multistrada has a ton of acceleration. First gear on the 6-speed gearbox is fairly short, but in second, the 10,500 redline allows you to hit speeds in excess of 90MPH almost instantly. But be careful: when you hit the redline, the rev limiter kicks in and it is not unobtrusive. On the freeway, 5,000RPM translates to 90MPH indicated in 6th gear. At highway speeds, 6th gear is relatively gutless, requiring a downshift to pass briskly. The rear-view mirrors, while having a noticeable amount of vibration, are still usable at highway speeds.
Also, at highway speeds, you notice that the relatively small, manually adjustable windscreen comes up a bit short in the wind protection department. There’s a lot of airflow over the shoulders and arms, and noticeable buffeting on the helmet. There’s an optional, larger windscreen, but it’s only about 1/2″ wider and 1″ taller, so I’m not sure how much of an improvement that would provide. As such, long-range touring, while technically possible with the 5.3 gallon tank, would get a little tiring over the course of the day. Happily, California Scientific already has an aftermarket windshield to help solve that problem. What can’t be helped is the Multistrada’s high profile, which does make it susceptible to freeway crosswinds, so it does do a little bit of a dance in those situations.
Other than that, however, this is a very comfortable highway bike. The ergos are so natural and the seat is so comfortable that solving the air management problem would make the Multistrada a truly all-day steed. What would make it even more of one, would be to have cruise control, and maybe self-canceling turn signals, neither of which seems like an unrealistic expectation in a motorcycle with a $19,995 MSRP.
Getting off the highway to attack the curvy canyon road of Camino Del Rey, going into Bonsall, I set the Multistrada up for Sport mode, and tightened the suspension to the firmest setting. At the lower settings, the long-travel suspension seems a bit too cushy for serious sport riding, being comfortable but lacking that firm, sporty feel. Once tightened sufficiently, however, it transmits the feel of the road right to your seat and hands, and it turns the Multistrada into a surprisingly–and highly–capable sport bike.
Strafing the canyons on the Multistrada is a real pleasure. Its height makes it easy to lean, and gives you tons of ground clearance. Both 2nd and 3rd gears are fairly wide, so you can pick a gear appropriate for the desired audacity of your attack. If you choose 2nd gear, the Multistrada accelerates aggressively, and once the L-Twin power plant hits 5,000RPM the Multistrada is a rocket. It can power through curves at a speed substantially north of twice the suggested speed, taking curves with a suggested speed of 30MPH in excess of 80MPH. The throttle, while noticeably more responsive than in Touring mode, is aggressive without being snatchy. Even in full-on Sport mode, the Multistrada is a confidence-inspiring bike, and allows attacks on the curves to be far more aggressive than I can manage on my FJR1300.
Turn-in requires a bit more input than you’d expect, thanks to the Multistrada’s conventional, even conservative, geometry. It’s not telepathic like an R1 or a Gixxer. So, initiating a turn requires some input on the bars or in body English. It’s not a lot of effort, but the Multistrada needs a little more rider guidance than a full-on sport bike. The upside to this is that the Multistrada will pull an enormous amount of lean while remaining rock-steady through the turn. It is in no way as jittery as a CBR, with its more aggressive geometry, and doesn’t require constant inputs through the turn to hold a line. Instead, it holds a line like no one’s business. Or like it’s on rails. Take your pick of metaphors. When you hit the apex of the curve and roll on the throttle it rockets out of the turn, once again scrunching your butt into the front of the passenger seat. You’d think a more low-slung sport bike would work the turns better. You’d be wrong. The Multistrada eats curves for lunch, and miles of tarmac for dinner.
It also transitions from side to side very well, remaining composed and stable. Again, flicking from side-to-side takes a bit more effort than a dedicated sport bike, but it’s extremely compliant, following the rider’s inputs to the letter. In short, the guys on ZX-10s will not be leaving you behind when the going gets twisty. If you know what you’re doing, quite the reverse may be true. And you’ll be far more comfortable throughout the day, with no sport bike kinks to work out of your back when you’re done. Did I mention the Multistrada was comfortable? It’s quite nice to get sport bike performance without suffering through the tortuous sport bike ergonomics.
The canyons also show off the power and reliability of the Brembo brakes. The brakes simply have loads of feel, and the response is progressive and powerful. They can get you out of trouble about as fast as you can get yourself into it. The key word, there, being “about”.
The ABS isn’t intrusive, nor is the DTC when you get into serious sport mode.
Heading back to Escondido, on the long sweepers of Old Highway 3, I switched back into touring mode, and set the suspension to the cushiest, single-passenger setting. The suspension smoothed out the rather poorly maintained tarmac, while the user-friendly throttle response smoothed out the bike’s acceleration, while not taking much of anything away from its exhilaration.
There was one final problem I noticed with the Multistrada, which is the annoying tendency of the speedometer to display triple-digit speeds, when your seat of the pants speedometer is telling you that you are traveling substantially slower. When it’s in Sport, or even Touring, mode this bike is, as our friends in Boston would say, wicked fast. You expect something more like the BMW R1200GS in performance when you look at the Multistrada. But when you ride it, you notice that you’ve hit 90MPH…and haven’t shifted to 3rd gear yet. 50MPH on the Multistrada seems…painfully slow.
I didn’t take the bike onto a dirt road or fire road, so I can’t speak about its Enduro performance. I suspect the 17″ front wheel would limit its Enduro ability, compared to the BMW GS, with it’s 21″ front wheel. But I can say that for city streets or canyon-carving, Ducati has created a truly enjoyable, versatile motorcycle in the Multistrada. I would be perfectly happy to have this as a replacement for the FJR. This is about the best all-rounder I’ve ever ridden.
So, it seems like Ducati’s claims for the Multistrada’s versatility are not so much hype as…the truth.
Moto Forza in Escondido has a brand new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S waiting for me to take out for a test ride. More will definitely follow…
In the meantime, Motorcycle.com has a new shootout with the Ducati Multistrada 1200, compared against the Honda VFR1200F, and the Kawasaki Z1000. Interestingly, their goal in this shootout is to try and determine which of these three bikes might make a decent sport-tourer.
I may be able to get on the Multistrada as early as tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll have my review up as soon after that as I can, while the experience is fresh in my mind.
I recently mentioned the new Ducati that’s going to be unveiled later this year. There was one lame spy shot, and a concept drawing of the Ducati Project 0803 motorcycle. Well, today, we got another spy shot, this time courtesy of Italian motorcycling site Moto Sprint.
This is much better, despite the camouflage paint splotches and masses of black electrical tape. Nice looking exhaust. Interesting side-mounted radiators. Single-sided swingarm.
The American press has been calling this a new model of the Monster, but I think that’s just notional. Over in Italy, they’re just referring to it as a maxi-cruiser.
Maybe it’ll be called the “D-Max”.
Ducati has announced the first of its 2011 motorcycles, the new version of the 848, now christened the 848 EVO. The EVO designation denotes that its a refinement of an existing model, rather than anything really new. But that isn’t meant to sound dismissive, as the Italian manufacturer has created some added value.
First, performance increases over last year, with 140HP and 72.3 ft-lbs of torque, compared to last year’s 134HP and 70.8 ft-lbs. Second, chassis upgrades are included, with a standard steering damper and the brakes being upgraded to Brembo monobloc racing calipers.
Hard to believe that, just a few years ago, an Inline-4 literbike claimed 140HP as a respectable output. Now, Ducati’s putting that out in a mid-sized twin.
There’s been a lot of talk of a new Ducati model coming up for 2011. Maybe a big, new Monster. Or something. Apparently that talk has some basis in fact, because we’re now seeing both spy shots–whether from interested bystanders or directly from Ducati PR isn’t clear–and an interesting concept sketch of “Project 803″. That sketch is on the right, and is clickable for a hi-res image.
The PR department at Ducati is responding to all the rumors of a new bike with this statement:
As many you may have noticed, there has been quite a bit of activity in the past few weeks surrounding a supposed new Ducati model. I wanted to take this opportunity and send you a note saying indeed we do have a surprise in store for this year’s EICMA show. Our R&D department is working around the clock to complete development of this radical new motorcycle, for which time to complete final design and engineering elements will surely come down to the wire.
I’m sending this letter today in order to inform you of our communication plan. Since many details of the bike (big and small) are still being sorted out; I have elected not to forward information or photography until the rolling prototypes come close to resembling what the final product will look like.
Stay tuned for further information from the Ducati Press Department; and I can assure you the final bike will impress all with the design, performance and technology everyone has come to expect from Ducati.
It looks like at Italian V-Max. And that “Testastretta 11 degree” engine says it probably comes off the 1198. So, an 1198 V-Max. Nice.
I‘ve never been a big fan of Ducati. I don’t dislike them, and they make some very fine-looking–and performing–motorcycles. They just don’t personally appeal to me all that much. Not that I’d turn one down, you understand…or even a chance to test-ride one.
But they do have a loyal following, and one of their much-beloved models, the Multistrada, got a complete overhaul for this model year. The new Multistrada 1200 has has generated a lot of excitement during the wait for its release. Now, the wait is over, as Motorcycle Daily’s Basem Wasef and Motorcycle USA’s Adam Waheed have both gotten a chance to ride the new Multistrada, and jot down their experiences for us.
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman still wouldn’t pick the plucky new Duc for a hypothetical third ’round-the-world journey. But for the rest of us whose primary milieu is pavement with a touch of dirt, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 is an impressively well-rounded sport adventure tourer whose available electronic aids make it ready to tackle more rugged trails than you might expect. Considering the Italian manufacturer’s image is so laden with historical baggage-both good and bad-the Multistrada 1200 challenges the past, and redefines the essence of the Ducati brand.
Waheed concurs in his judgement:
Coming into this test, I had lofty expectations of Ducati’s new do-it-all two-wheeler. And after spending only a few hours aboard the bike, I quickly realized it was everything I thought it would be and then some. With the tap of a button it’s as sporty or as docile as you desire; it’s in its element blasting around a corner with the engine roaring at lean, or just quietly soaking up the countryside on a backwoods highway. The Multi somehow manages to be both comfortable and sporty, plus has realistic cargo capacity when you feel the need for an adventure coming on. It actually works for mild off-roading and its pavement-based rider aids (ABS and DTC) only increase its off-road potential.
The new Multistrada 1200 is a big – no, scratch that – humongous step forward for Ducati. It’s mainstream enough for any rider to appreciate, yet still retains that wild, rip-roaring Superbike pedigree that we know and love.
So far, the response to the Multistrada 1200 has been unanimously positive.
The new bikes are now being officially unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan, and it’s a nice crop so far. Ducati and MV Agusta have made the big splashes today, with MV showing off the 2010 F4, and Ducati releasing the long-awaited Multistrada, as well as the Hypermotard 1100 EVO.
Click on any of the pics below to enlarge.
Let’s start with the 2010 MV Agusta F4. MV Agusta says that they’ve updated the Tamburini design to a more modern look. If by modern, you mean “acutely angled and sort of ugly”, well, I guess they did. There’s lots of improvements under the fairing though, getting an additional 3 HP out of a 3cc smaller 998cc engine, and shedding 22lbs of dead weight. It also comes with a 8-level traction control system, a new chassis, swingarm, and 4-1 exhaust system.
The 2010 Ducati Multistrada has a new 150HP engine pushing 417lbs down the road. The new powerplant is called the Testastretta 11° engine, and comes with a nice slipper clutch, because while a slipper clutch might not be a usual requirement for an on-road enduro bike, it should be for a Ducati.
There will be three variants of the Multistrada:
- The 1200 base model with ABS brakes,
- The 1200S with the new Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) system and Öhlins suspension components,
- And, the 1200S Touring with all the above and hard bags.
“Hypermotard” always seems like some sort of non-PC epithet you’d call a developmentally disabled dirt-biker, But the Europeans seem to disagree, so we’ll use their unflattering word for the Ducati Hypermotard 1100 EVO. It’s got 95HP and weighs 379lbs, which is 15.5 less than last year. There’s also an EVO SP model. It’s got an upgraded suspension, with an Öhlins setup in back and Marzocchi forks up front.
Finally, Ducati released a poor man’s 848, called the 848 Dark. It should retail for about $1,000 less than the base model of the 848. Nobody seems sure yet how they’ve downgraded it from the “base” model. But if you want a cheap, black Ducati 848, here you go.
Somehow, official photos of new motorcycles have been leaking out prior to the officially scheduled release at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.
Here’s a photo gallery of what we’ve gotten so far
The big motorcycle show, Italy’s EICMA, will be happening in 20 days. Traditionally, this is a show that always brings some surprises for the new year. So, what’s up this year?
Obviously, Aprilia will be rolling out the RSV4 and RSV4-R. That’s a no-brainer.
BMW might be an interesting presence this year. The rumors of what is going to happen with the R-Series bikes has been rampant, with everything from a new 1300cc boxer, to the 1200cc boxer getting an update with the 130HP DOHC motor ported from the HP2. I’ve written about the GS getting that motor, but there are rumors that the whole R-series will be getting that upgrade as well, which would make both the GS and RT extremely attractive. And with 130HP, the lighter-weight RT would approach the performance of the FJR, making it a true sport-tourer. The 1300cc K bikes and the S1000RR are old news already, so the only conceivable surprise would come from a revamping of the R Bikes.
Ducati’s new 1200cc Multistrada and Hypermotard 796 will be there. We’ve already seen the Hypermotard. And we’ve seen the new Multistrada, too, except with lots of duct tape hiding the fairing. The removal of the duct tape will be Ducati’s big event.
MV Agusta has had the same model lineup of two bikes–the F4 and Brutale–for the last decade. This year looks to be a little different, however. We’ve already seen the two new Brutale models, so, while they’ll no doubt be there, no one will care. What we haven’t seen is the revamped F4, other than the teaser image MV released several days ago, So I expect that to be unveiled. But what we really haven’t seen are the two entirely new models that have been rumored over the last month or so. The 675cc triple that has shown up is spy shots, and the company’s new Superbike, which is expected to lead MV Agusta back to participation in WSS or WSBK racing. We don’t even know if it’s a completely new model, or WSBK-compliant F4 model. But, after a decade with the same old line-up, MV might be the surprise of the show this year.
Neither Honda now Yamaha will be there, which, in Honda’s case seems a bit odd, since their new VFR1200F has just debuted, and it’s supposed to be the basis for a whole new line of motorcycles from Big Red. So, it seems strange that they won’t be at EICMA so show it off.
Triumph will be there, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the new Street Triple R show up, with its new black and gold paint scheme, reminiscent of the John Player Special motorsports paint scheme of beloved memory.
But, surprises aside, with thingsas bad in the motorcycle manufacturing and sales world as they are, it seems that this year will mostly be a low-key affair, which the absence of two of the Big Four won’t help.
BTW, I wonder if Harley-Davidson will be pulling the Buell 1125R from the show?
Ducati has officially announced the availability of the new Ducati Hypermotard 796 for the US market for 2010. The b ike will have an air-cooled engine, and tip the scales at just 368 pounds. According to Ducati’s press release:
A brand new model for 2010, the Hypermotard 796 incorporates many new features requested by Ducatisti worldwide; striking color selections, lighter weight, lower price point, lower seat height, and the inclusion of a super-light action APTC clutch. Whether it’s dicing through the daily commute or attacking the open roads, the 796 perfectly balances Ducati’s unrivalled twin-cylinder power and sportbike heredity with the lightweight and minimalist Supermotard concept. The Hypermotard 796’s engine is a brand new powerplant; air-cooled with 2 valves per cylinder as per Ducati tradition. Rated at 81hp and 56 lb/ft of torque, the engine promises to deliver an exhilarating ride without compromising the smooth tractability found in Ducati’s other L-Twin engines.
Continued chassis development to the Hypermotard includes redesigned top and bottom fork clamps, and an improved frame layout which eliminates almost all of the forged elements used previously on the 1100. This adds up to an agile, lightweight, 368 pound package that is guaranteed to attack corners.
The bike’s official unveiling will take place in Milan in a few weeks, and it should start showing up in US showrooms–with a price tag under $10k–in December.
Motorcycle USA has their comparison of 2009 streetfighter motorcycles online. In this comparo, they put the Ducati Streetfighter, Buell 1125CR, and the Aprilia Tuono 1000R head to head, both on the track, and on the street.
You’d probably think that the Ducati Streetfighter would be a shoo-in to win this comparo, but surprisingly, they though it was too track-oriented to be a good daily ride. They liked the Tuono, but thought it was just a tad too light in the torque/acceleration department. The Buell, on the other hand, had a significant horsepower deficit. When all the pluses and minuses were added up, Motorcycle USA concluded:
Never in a million years did I think the 1125CR could best the Ducati. But it did. And it isn’t because it’s the fastest or prettiest – because it’s not. Not even close. It’s top dog because it delivers the most important intangible sensation when riding: Fun. It handles so perfectly that you feel like the bike is an extension of one’s being. Its ergonomics are well thought out and while its engine isn’t the fastest, it still has character and delivers all the right sensations, albeit at a tad slower speed. In fact, our only real complaints are some very minor styling and fit-and-finish issues. So, if it’s the best handling, most fun, easiest-to-use Streetfighter that you’re looking for, look no further. Say hello to the 2009 Buell 1125CR.
It really is interesting how often the Buell 1125R comes out on top in these comparison tests.
Over the past month or so, some spy shots of the 2010 Ducati Multistrada, equipped with a 140HP version of the 1098 engine, have been popping up. The trouble is that all of the bike’s body panels have been covered with electrical tape and wrapped with padding or something, so you can’t really see what the bike looks like. Since that’s the case, I’ve refrained from mentioning it.
Because this spy shot, taken out of someone’s car window in Italy, shows a little something extra. Ducati is apparently offering saddlebags and a touring trunk with the new Multistrada. Yes, the rest of the bike is still covered up with tape and whatnot, but the luggage appears to be shown in all its glory.
The Multistrada isn’t truly an adventure bike competitor with the BMW R1200GS, but with this luggage, it’s just jumped into the “very nice and versatile sport-tourer” category.
It’s no secret that the recent worldwide economic downturn has seriously affected motorcycle sales, sending them plunging by a third. Now here in the United States, it’s become a common thing to see executives at big firms take huge bonuses, even when the company isn’t doing so hot. The most egregious example of this was when failed insurer AIG took billions of dollars in Federal money for a bailout of the company, then promptly paid off millions and millions in executive bonuses with it.
Apparently, things are different in Italy, where senior executives at Ducati, faced with slumping sales, did the right thing.
Senior executives at Ducati have taken a 10 per cent cut in their pay and will not receive any bonuses because of the decline, while [Ducati CEO] Mr [Gabriele] Del Torchio said he had taken a 20 per cent pay cut.
Let’s leave aside any legalistic or other arguments about whether the executives should be compensated or not. At the end of the day, when you’re cutting production, and laying off staff, it seems only right that the pain should be shared by everyone else in the company, all the way to the top.
Kudos to Ducati for setting an example of shared sacrifice.
The annual march of media bike choices continues, with Motorcycle.com weighing in with thir top picks of the year. Their choices are interesting, and a bit different than I would have expected.
For the overall bike of the year, they picked the Triumph Street Triple R.
Best Sportbike honors go to the Kawasaki ZX-6R, with the runner-up being the Honda CBR1000RR.
The Ducati Monster 1100 gets the nod for best standard motorcycle, with second place going to the Harley-Davidson XR1200.
The best cruiser pick is the all new Triumph Thunderbird 1600, with the Suzuki Boulevard M90 taking an honorable mention.
The award for best touring bike goes to the BMW R1200RT, closely followed by the Honda Gold Wing.
BMW also take both first and second place spots for sport-touring, with the K1300GT winning, and the F800ST getting the honorable mention.
BMW stays in the winner’s circle for best off-road bike, with the top honors going to the F800GS, and the second spot going to the Aprilia SXV/RXV 5.5.
They also have picks for best eccentrics, scooters, technology, and more, so why not go there and read them?