2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S long term review: After 6,200km and seven months

Shubhabrata Marmar Updated: August 31, 2017, 05:41 PM IST

I was in heaven. I'd managed to source the Denali D4 lights I so wanted, and discovered more goodies for the Multistrada for testing were also inbound. To wit, the Scottoiler - review soon - was also mounted and rolling and the Ducati felt absolutely great to ride. Precise, enthusiastic, comfortable and, when the mood took you, impossibly good.

So naturally, the Uber/OLA Wagon R, driven by Mr Murphy was waiting for me. I stood up on pegs to get through a pothole. 40kmph or less in first gear, I think. And he swerved towards me to avoid another pothole and in the process swiped my handlebar towards the footpath. And naturally, he drove off without stopping to even apologise. Oh well. I managed to get home and that's where the story begins.

ducati multistrada longterm 4

Roadside assistance

I have to compliment Ducati on having a great little system even though the communications could be easier. For example, the "I've crashed the bike" is always followed by "Are you okay? What help can I get you?" The bit that confused me was the offer to send a "custodial person from grab" to help you load the bike. Eh? After a long, circular conversation, I understood that they meant to send a chap from a food-delivery service to ensure the bike was loaded on the Ducati pickup vehicle securely so that I could leave and be attended to at the hospital or whatever. This is a great idea - luckily, I didn't need this kind of help. To their credit, the truck came on the dot as promised, and they loaded the bike without fuss and took it away.

The damage to the Ducati was mostly cosmetic...The damage to the Ducati was mostly cosmetic...

Repairs and insurance

The beauty of comprehensive, zero-depreciation insurance is that it is hassle-free in terms of process and coverage. Ducati did take almost a full month a bit to procure parts and have it back on the road, but I contributed to the delay by almost 10 days too. As it stands, the bike is back on the road, running nicely and HDFC Ergo are still to process the broken parts disposal - there's a couple of lightly damaged things, like the mirror which I would like to retrieve and store. All told, I am happy with the repair speed as well as quality and I guess I would have liked Ducati Service to keep me informed of progress more pro-actively but that aside, they've been very good.

...except for the gear lever...except for the gear lever

Ceramic lacquer

How did I delay the repair process? Since all the bodywork was off for repairs and two-three body panels were brand new, I asked Zubinn Design in Mumbai to take the panels and give it a coat of ceramic lacquer. Right when the hermetically sealed paint booth was under annual maintenance. Sigh.

Zubinn Design took the opportunity mid-repair process to paint the bikeZubinn Design took the opportunity mid-repair process to paint the bike

This hard, super-glossy coat felt necessary to me. The Ducati uses water-based paints as is the eco-norm and on plastic panels, they're quite fragile. The hard clear coat is very hard to scratch and I'm really enjoying how glossy and shiny the Ducati now looks. It isn't cheap though - Rs 20,000 would be the cost of just the lacquer on a motorcycle the size of the Ducati and if you wanted the stripes done - I got Feroci's stripes finally done in paint rather than vinyl - you would add another Rs 10,000-15,000-odd to the process. Not cheap. But a month a bit later, the gloss of the lacquer is still a surprise and my habitual urge to ride before I fully clean the Ducati seems to have produced no scratches whatsoever. Which, for me, is a victory.


The Pirellis are nearly at the end of their lives, I acquire hard luggage and we get the Ducati's first half-service done.

Date acquired: Feb 2017

Total mileage: 6,200km

Last report at: 6,006km

Fuel: 13 litres

Economy: 13kmpl (city), 16kmpl (highway)


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