As Ducati prepares to reveal the 2013 model year’s changes to its strong selling Multistrada 1200 model range in Germany later this week, it has released details of how it has taken the already tech laden model to the next level. The 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 adds semi-active Skyhook suspension to the mix along with the latest in ABS braking.
The 2013 Ducati Multistrada family presents an innovative and technically advanced evolution of an already award-winning range, now updated with restyled aesthetics, a brand new Granturismo model and the new Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) system that provides confidence-inspiring, intelligent electronics to ensure this multi-tasking motorcycle is instantly ready for every road.
The new range, full of owner-inspired improvements, signals the next stage of the Multistrada adventure with a long list of fascinating and high-tech features that continue the model’s reputation for industry- changing innovation. They include the second generation Testastretta 11° DS engine, the very latest Bosch ABS 9ME braking system with full Riding Mode integration, a new headlight design with LED low-beam illumination and subtle aesthetic updates to the front fairing.
Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS)
The ‘S’ versions of the Multistrada 1200 are now equipped with electronic 48mm Sachs front forks and rear single shock, both featuring the new Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) system. The new technology features a semi-active suspension management that constantly re-adjusts damping to maintain optimum vehicle composure – as if the motorcycle was suspended from the sky.
The innovative new system removes the compromise of conventional, passive suspension by continuously re-evaluating the dynamic relationship between the wheel following the road surface and the comfort provided by a constantly steady vehicle body. With the intelligent DSS system, many of the negative attributes of a soft or hard set-up are eliminated without compromising performance in the environments for which they were intended.
DSS uses data delivered from a number of sensors situated both on the “sprung” and “unsprung” sides of the chassis to calculate and provide the smoothest possible operation. Vertical accelerometers situated on the front lower triple-clamp and in the rear sub-frame deliver “sprung” data, while additional sensors on the front fork leg lower and rear swingarm – close to the wheel hubs – deliver “unsprung” data.
DSS then uses an algorithm in its programming which considers an imaginary fixed reference point above the vehicle: “a hook in the sky”. The system then responds to the inputs of both the vehicle and wheel movements with instantaneous damping adjustments to help maintain a constant relationship between the Multistrada and the reference point, providing optimum vehicle equilibrium and a smoother ride.
To smooth-out the longitudinal forces created by braking and acceleration/de-acceleration, the system employs the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) longitudinal accelerometer sensor and the new ABS pressure sensors to instantly calculate and execute a response that will reduce the positive and negative pitching effect subjected to the vehicle.
DSS works by instantly calculating all relevant data and responding with immediate adjustment of the compression or rebound damping appropriate to the current Riding Mode. The resulting increase or decrease in damping significantly reduces the magnitude of force generated when riding over uneven terrain or when braking, accelerating or de-accelerating, enhancing motorcycle stability and considerably increasing comfort for both rider and passenger.
Normal suspension adjustments to rebound and compression damping and rear spring pre-load are automatically integrated with the Multistrada’s Riding Modes as before, and can be further personalised by ￼￼entering a user-friendly control panel in the instrumentation. In addition to the Riding Mode of Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro, there is also an option to quickly change the suspension setting to suit ‘rider only’, ‘rider with luggage’, ‘rider and passenger’ or ‘rider and passenger with luggage’. DSS recognises any personalised settings as its new “zero point” and reconfigures itself ready to interact. ￼
Bosch Brembo Braking system with the latest ABS
Now an integral part of the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP), the 2013 Multistrada 1200 is equipped with the very latest Bosch ABS 9ME controlled Brembo braking system, an unbeatable combination of state-of-the-art security and track-proven power.
Shorter stopping distances with enhanced stability are vital prerequisites, whether for Sport or Touring, but add full Riding Mode interaction to the set-up, and the latest system enables zero-compromise performance for Urban and Enduro also.
Using the same processor that controls the ABS of the 1199 Panigale Superbike, the new Multistrada now provides an optimised front-to-rear combined braking system in Urban and Touring Riding Modes, instantly adjusted when operated in Sport and Enduro Riding Modes, riding environments in which a less automated control is normally preferred.
The stability-enhancing front-to-rear combined braking feature uses four pressure sensors – one in the front and rear master-cylinder and one in the front and rear calliper circuit – to precisely understand the vehicle’s braking performance and provide an additional and optimised braking pressure on the rear when the front brake is applied.
Underlining its similarity to the 1199 Panigale, the ABS system also enhances control by maintaining optimum ground contact for the rear tyre during severe braking with a rear-end anti-lift feature in addition to providing ABS function on the front brakes only in certain conditions. The system integrates perfectly with Ducati’s four-bikes-in-one Riding Mode concept by dividing its features into a three-level operating system.
Level two provides an appropriate combined front/rear balance ￼￼and no lift-up detection for Sport riding, while level three delivers optimised combined braking with lift-up detection to provide the maximum security management for Touring and Urban use. Level one provides maximum performance for off-road use, removing lift-up detection and enabling the rider to drift the rear- end under braking with a pre-set number of seconds of front only ABS.
The front brakes use twin radially-mounted Brembo four piston, two pad callipers actuated by a master cylinder with an adjustable lever. The fronts grip 320mm discs, while a single 245mm disc on the rear is gripped by a single Brembo calliper. Typical of all Ducatis, these components ensure high performance braking and set the standard in this segment.
￼Introducing Testastretta 11° DS – The second generation
For 2013, the arrival of the second generation Testastretta 11° DS engine introduces a number of important and highly effective enhancements, increasing torque to 12.7kgm (91.8lb-ft) and overall mid-range power delivery with even smoother operation. The improvements perfectly complement the new Multistrada 1200 by using a combination of new technologies proven on the 1199 Panigale’s Superquadro engine, and established technologies reintroduced to further enhance the overall package.
The Testastretta 11° DS’s fuel injectors have now been repositioned to target spray directly onto the rear of the hot intake valve instead of the relatively cold surface of the intake port wall. The enhanced vaporisation achieved as the fuel hits the valve, fully atomises the incoming charge, eliminating the chance of compromised combustion efficiency experienced if droplets of fuel enter in liquid form. Having achieved the delivery of a fully vaporised inlet charge, Ducati engineers decided to reintroduce the concept of Dual Spark (DS) to the Testastretta 11°, with two spark plugs per cylinder-head providing a twin flame-front that ensures complete and efficient combustion across a shorter period of time.
In order to achieve a smoother cycle-to-cycle engine operation, there is a necessity to increase the fuel injected during specific engine operations and to achieve this without affecting emissions, a secondary air system has been introduced similar to that designed for the high-performance 1199 Panigale engine. This optimisation of fuel-mapping without compromising emissions is achieved by completing the oxidisation of unburned hydrocarbons, which reduces HC and CO levels.
The system is activated when the engine ECU ￼￼recognises specific conditions in the engine’s operation via the lambda and throttle opening sensors. It then opens a valve enabling a flow of clean air from the main airbox to a reed valve situated in each cylinder head, which enables one-way flow into an air gallery exiting into the exhaust port close to the exhaust valve. Entering the hottest point of the exhaust gasses, the fresh charge of air enhances the burn environment, eliminating any unburned fuel that escapes during the exhaust cycle under certain conditions.
With its 150hp and 0.7kgm (4.3lb-ft) increase of torque to 12.7kgm (91.8lb-ft), the Testastretta 11° DS sets a new standard for Ducati twin-cylinder engines. Constant attention to every last detail has enabled Ducati to achieve an even more favourable torque curve at low rpm, which remains strong through a wider range. This characteristic now enhances the Multistrada 1200’s effortless ridability even further.
￼2013 Multistrada new features overview
All Multistrada models
- Second generation Testastretta 11° DS engine
- Latest Bosch ABS 9ME anti-lock braking system
- New 1199 Panigale wheel styles
- New headlight with LED low-beam illumination
- Hazard lights
- Larger screen with easy, pinch-and-slide adjustment
- Larger cockpit stowage with easy push-push lid latch
- Aesthetic enhancements (Front fairing, headlight, screen)
- Progressive spring (rear suspension)
- New colours
All Multistrada ‘S’ models
- Sachs electronic suspension front and rear
- Ducati Skyhook Suspension System (DSS)
New Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo model
- Extended screen ￼• Larger side luggage
- Top case
- Internal soft bags for luggage
- Pirelli Angel GT tyres
- 20mm higher handlebars
- Ducati Performance Comfort Seat
- LED spot lights
- Engine crash-bars
Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak
- New race replica livery
- Forged wheels by Marchesini ￼
The first public showing of the 2013 Multistrada range will be at the INTERMOT motorcycle show in Cologne, Germany from 3-7 October. The brand new Multistrada 1200 models will be available via the official Ducati dealer network from December 2012.
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