European Motorcycle Diaries



No it’s not the lottery, but opening the throttle to overtake on the Multistrada. You know what it’s like. There’s a Nissan Micra in the outside lane doing about 64 mph that has finally moved over.

Fortunately you have a 1198cc Testrasetta motor to take the frustration out with; nice growl from the airbox and job done. Quick glance in the mirror and ‘Oh, the Nissan Micra is now a Nissan One Pixel’. Quick glance down to make sure the terminal velocity isn’t too illegal, and ‘Oh My’. It’s a three-figure one again.

Among all the things I love about the Multistrada is that it’s so bloody fast. And that’s just in ‘Touring’ mode. In fact I’m beginning to think that in most situations it’s faster in Touring than Sports. I mulled over buying the base model without the electronic Öhlins. In the end I thought that the Öhlins were possibly worth the extra on their own. I haven’t ridden the base model so I don’t know, but this is without doubt the most sublimely composed motorcycle I have ever ridden. And I put it down to a relatively long wheelbase, a long swingarm, and the unbelievable levels of control provided by the Öhlins.

Riding a sportsbike on the road – at least in the UK – the limiting factor in your progress is more often than not the choppiness created by poor road surfaces. This is where the Touring mode shines. I’ve ridden the same roads on Sports and Touring settings. ‘Sports’ just reminds me how choppy sportsbikes feel, and how the Touring setting just swallows road undulations allowing you to concentrate on progress. It often feels as though Touring mode allows you to progress quicker,



The only problem with all this glorious control and composure is that you only realise how fast you are going when you get some other point of reference – like the speedo, a look in the mirror – or as per my last post – a policeman. . .

Lots more to report on owning the Multistrada as well as my son-in-law Chris’s new Ducati Diavel.



Muttley & Dastardly on the Beach. 'Watch the tide' - they said in the pub

Coming up in European Motorcycle Diaries:

Fitting and navigating the Garmin Zumo 660
Our upcoming coast-to-coast Spanish trip (Multistrada, Diavel & BMW GS1200 Adventure)