Öhlins Mechatronics System gives Ducati Multistrada all-rounder even more versatility

Öhlins Racing has developed a pair of upgrade kits which allow Ducati Multistrada 1200 owners to add true semi-active suspension to their motorcycle.

The Swedish suspension experts have a proven and pioneering track record in semi-active suspension applications. The technology, developed in-house by Öhlins R&D, was immediately successful upon its debut in World Superbikes during the 2008 season. Since then Öhlins have developed aftermarket electronic suspension systems for BMW’s immensely popular R1200GS adventure machine, as well as a semi-active shock absorber for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R sport bike. Now Öhlins combines all its know-how and experience by offering true semi-active suspension for a machine that combines sport bike power and handling with adventure bike practicality: the Ducati Multistrada 1200.

Two Mechatronics upgrade options are currently available from Öhlins depending on the model year. For the 2010-2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, fitted with Öhlins EC suspension as standard, all that’s required to add semi-active functionality is an Öhlins Suspension Control Unit (SCU). With a simple plug and play fitment, this device uses a set of pre-programmed smart algorithms to constantly alter the damping settings of both the front fork and rear shock. By monitoring the motorcycle’s speed, acceleration and various other bike parameters, it can ensure the suspension is continuously optimised, improving chassis feedback, ride quality, grip and agility. In addition, the SCU is able to adjust the damping further than the standard ECU, giving double the range of adjustment

The SCU works with the bike’s standard screen and riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, Enduro) ensuring seamless integration. In addition, fixed suspension settings can also be used in every single mode, as before.

Ducati Multistrada S SCU Technical Highlights ‘at a glance’

  • Fits Ducati Multistrada 1200 S
  • Semi active suspension
  • Twice the range of damping adjustment
  • Easy plug-and-play installation
  • Integrates with original Multistrada dashboard

But owners of the base model Ducati Multistrada 1200 haven’t been left out. The world of Öhlins semi-active suspension is still accessible, thanks to an upgrade kit that provides every part required. The kit includes new forks, a new shock absorber, a new dashboard, an SCU and, of course, everything required for installation.

The suspension units themselves are of the highest quality. Front forks are a set of Öhlins Road & Track units, using NIX internals and TiN-coated sliders for minimal friction, while the shock absorber is taken from the TTX range and features an advanced twin tube design. Already highly-praised components in their own right, they are brought alive by the Öhlins Suspension Control Unit, which adds semi-active damping control.

This upgrade kit completely transforms the base model Ducati Multistrada 1200, lifting it from a motorcycle with damping rates that require manual adjustment, to one with a wider range of settings that are effortlessly, automatically and continuously chosen without the rider having to think about a thing. It improves this already great road bike both dynamically and practically, further enhancing its reputation as a machine for all situations.

The first models available for this upgrade are the 2010-2012 Multistrada 1200 models but Öhlins are already working on similar kit upgrades for the 2013-2014 version.

Ducati Multistrada 1200 semi-active suspension upgrade kit ‘at a glance’

  • Fits Ducati Multistrada 1200 (non-S)
  • Semi-active suspension
  • Complete kit including forks, shock absorber, extra dashboard, SCU and installation parts
  • Road & Track NIX technology front forks and TTX shock absorber