If you are anything like us, yesterday’s announcement of the revamped 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 line left more questions than answers. Semi-active suspension on a Ducati? A Second-generation Testastretta 11° motor? Give us the deets Bologna! Surely both these changes are going to make it beyond just the MTS 1200 in the Ducati model line-up, yet Borgo Panigale is mums the word on what these changes are exactly, beyond their actual existence.

We do have some clues however, since Ducati released photos of the 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo motorcycles. A close look at the forward-facing cylinder head shows a feed for a second spark plug (2013 model on the left, 2012 model on the right), while the absence of the usual obnoxiously gold-colored forks raises some eyebrows as to whom Ducati is using to source its new “Skyhook” semi-active suspension.

The use of a dual-spark system on the second-gen Testastretta 11° motor is an interesting one, and likely more of a response to the ever-tightening European emission standards than anything else. The move should be a boon for 2013 Ducati Multistrada owners though, as the dual-spark configuration should for a more powerful and smoother motor on the adventure-tourer.

We assume the second-generation Testastretta 11° motor will find its way into the 2013 Ducati Diavel as well, with possibly the 2013 Ducati Streetfighter 848 and yet to be announced Ducati Hypermotard 848 also getting similar revisions made to their 849cc lumps.

Obvious from the pictures release yesterday, the 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S models are sans their usual gold-colored Öhlins fork suspension, and instead use grey-colored units from an unknown supplier. With only a handful of companies offering electronically adjustable semi-active suspension pieces, the guess list is pretty short.

Our speculation would be internals from either WP or Öhlins are underneath the otherwise bland-looking fork tubes, but what will be interesting is whether this is the same unit developed for the 2013 BMW HP4 superbike, which also debuted semi-active suspension this year. As always, time will tell.

Photos: Ducati

  • Rob

    Since when does spark travel through a rubber hose with a clamp on it? That seems to clearly be a secondary air injection port, not a second source of spark. You can be all but assured the DS days are over. However you were correct in your ever stricter emissions comment! Good find, I never even noticed this looking at the photos.

  • Rob

    Also of note, it seems they’re ditching the Coil on Plug setup as well. The SINGLE spark plug on the new bike appears to have just the plug lead, indicating ducati is reverting back to older style coil, wire, then plug setup ala 1199. When I first saw this on the 1199, I imagined it was for package constraints, but this seems silly.

  • Josh

    That is not a second coil. It looks to be some sort of breather valve. Why would they put a spark plug on top of the exhaust cam ???? Common sense guys.

  • DucRacer

    Most likely what you’re looking at is a modfied version of the air system that is used on the 1199 to meet emissions. It uses air from the airbox through a control valve and a reed valve in the head to help burn unspent hydrocarbons…

  • Richard Gozinya

    Since the suspension system uses the same name as Maserati’s active suspension, that might be a clue.

  • Bas Huisman

    I have to agree with Rob, the setup on top of the forward cilinder looks exactly the same as the PAIR system on my honda RC51. Highly unlikely that it is a secondary sparkplug.

  • Mark

    Me? I’m just waiting for the 11 degree 1198 to be dropped into the Streetfighter. The 848 Streetfighter is nice and reasonably refined, but a little more excessive power would be even better.

    If they build that bike, I’ll buy my first Ducati.

  • According to the MTS mini site it appears that Sachs is the official Skyhook suspension provider. I wonder how much this damages the perceived value of the MTS. I would certainly opt to pay more for a bike with Ohlins’ electronic suspension vs. Sachs. Who makes the BMW system?

  • Michael
  • I should have taken bets on this one…

  • mechelaar

    Ok, it turns out that MTS has a DS motor… I believe that is either a lucky guess or you had more information than you posted…

    By using those pictures alone, there’s no way to tell that that is a DS motor… Or at least you should have posted a picture with an OUTLINED difference because here you can just say “Oh, you guys just weren’t looking in the right combination of pixels…” LOL

  • mxs

    Jensen Beeler says:
    September 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    I should have taken bets on this one…

    You really are lucky you didn’t, not if you thought it was a DS motor. The clamp on the hose gives it clearly up …

  • Josh

    Ok so these guys are right. It is a DS motor for 2013 but what thu pointed out isn’t the second plug. They were pointing out the fresh air injection system which is almost identical to the setup on the 1199. The other plug is on the left hand side of the head. At an angle like it would be on a 2 valve motor. Just throwing out the facts I know ;)