Ducati Multistrada 1200 S: The First Four-In-One Motorcycle

Ducati’s electronic suspension helps create the first four-in-one motorcycle

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S

Engine: 1198cc L-Twin Horsepower: 150 in Sport and Touring; 100 in Urban and Enduro Price: $20,000 Get It: ducati.comCourtesy Ducati

Many of today's motorcycles use an electronically controlled suspension to make adjustments that used to require busting out the tool kit. Yet most of these systems can handle only minor modifications, such as softening the suspension to accommodate an extra rider. Ducati's electronic suspension system on the 2010 Multistrada 1200 S is the first that transforms the bike's entire personality. A button toggles among four customizable settings—Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro—that determine ride height, traction-control setting, throttle map, and horsepower setting (either 100 or 150). The system, which Ducati designed in conjunction with the racing-suspension manufacturer Öhlins, uses a CPU to control a set of actuators that do the fine-tuning. When we tested the system, the switch between modes was seamless, and Enduro (which raises the rear ride height by 0.6 inch) easily carried us across rugged terrain.