July 20th, 2010 7:46pm - Posted By: John Metzger
Sorry GS and Tiger. Sorry Adventure and Ulysses (really sorry). But the new Ducati MultiStrada 1200 is now the one and only king of endurance sport-touring.
Ducati NA’s Multi 12 demo bike proved itself through the paces of the Southern California Motomarathon at the end of March. Routemastering by the local experts was deeply appreciated by us climate-challenged Coloradoans – who, as I write, patiently await a snowless four-day window for the Centopassi Motomarathon in mid-June, and the New England Motomarathon, coming up next month (yes, it’s 80° right now at Cliff’s Cycle Revolution at the start/stop point in Brookfield, CT, and no, it hasn’t stopped snowing in Colorado). But SoCal was the perfect off-season venue for testing the state-of-the-art in long-distance, technical carving machines. The new MultiStrada represents a paradigm shift in this relatively new category, delivering what Motomarathon purists would consider the highest performance motorcycle experience to be had on public roads.
In addition to the Multi, Motomarathoners shared some saddle time on Ducati’s new HyperMotard 796 and StreetFighter as we shredded the varietals of SoCal back roads, from Big Bear to Tecate and San Juan Capistrano (where the sparrows migrate!) to the Salton Sea.
The little Hyper can keep up with its bigger compatriots no problem, and handled like a BMX bike in the tightest of the tight in San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (you guys paved these roads? Cool.)
And whenever one of us tired of the Hyper’s flickability, or the Multi’s deep power, fuel range and all-day comfort, there was the StreetFighter standing by for some track-crouched relief and a chance to turn your right hand into a writhing, death-grip cage-fight between the throttle’s butt puckering, other-worldly power and the ‘holyshitwhatthefuckareyoufreakingkidding’ reaction of the front brake.
The latest standings are now posted on www.motomarathon.com. For some visuals, check out www.highway94photo.com and the pix on March 26th.
Since the inaugural ’09 season and only three official events, a mere four riders have completed all the check points to lead the lifetime standings: Paul DiMarchi, Mike Disney, John Hartman and Scott Miller.
The best way to keep up is to establish a lifestyle that allows a four-day ride window several times a year, and a spiritual commitment to the quest for new terrain, scenery and Nirvanic moments – your job and The Man be damned.
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