Ducati Multistrada 620 Blog
Welcome to my Multistrada 620 blog! The most recent entries are entered in order from latest to oldest on this page (below).
As the page fills up, I’ll move the older articles to page 2 and hopefully there will be many more!
There’s a lot of information about the Multistrada out there from owners who are way more knowledgeable about the bike than I, but the 620 is such a unique — and now rare — bike, I wanted to share our experiences with this newest member of the webBikeWorld garage.
If you have any tips on parts or accessories for the Multistrada, please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
April 23, 2013 – “R.A.” writes that “CA Cycleworks is taking orders for replacement Multistrada tanks ($600 delivered in the US, more in Canada and overseas). This is to address the problem of tank expansion caused by putting ethanol in gasoline.
The tanks will come in red, black, and white; and they are made of a material that won’t be affected by ethanol. This should solve the tank expansion problem once and for all!”
[Editor’s Note: At this point, this is a “crowdfunding” project; it’s not really taking orders, they don’t have a product to sell.
This is a search for investors so they can develop and manufacture the tanks, using the “Invested In” crowdfunding website.
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of these arrangements, there seems to be little security for the “investor”.]
BBut R.A. responded:
“You get all of your money back if the tanks aren’t produced. Also, CA Cycleworks has made replacement tanks for the Hyperstrada, so they already have a track record.
You can follow the development of this project on the Multistrada.net website. The other thing is that if you don’t “get in” on the initial run of tanks, I think they will be a couple of hundred dollars more expensive.
You might contact Chris (Kelly) at CA Cycleworks about their replacement tank projects. I’d bet he’d be happy to share the relevant info, especially if it meant more publicity for their replacement tanks. I think your readers would be interested, too.”
UPDATE (June 11, 2013) – CA Cycleworks is taking orders for replacement Multistrada tanks ($600 delivered in the US, more in CA and overseas). This is to address the problem of tank expansion caused by putting ethanol in gasoline.
The tanks will come in red, black, and white; and they are made of a material that won’t be affected by ethanol. This should solve the tank expansion problem once and for all!
An update: we made the $40K minimum for the replacement tanks, so the project is going forward. There are still a few days to order a new ethanol-proof tank at $600. The projected price for a tank in the future is $899. There are several new funding options, too.
▪ Flo Reusable Stainless Steel Oil Filter
May 13, 2012 – We replaced the stock oil filter with an excellent Flo Oil Filter and here’s why.
▪ Michelin Pilot Road 3 Tires for the Multistrada
May 15, 2012 – Off come the very nice Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires and the even better Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires are installed on the Multistrada. This is the full report.
August 30, 2012 – From “I.S.”: “A couple days ago i had a problem with my shift lever. Yes, it’s broken. When that happened, i remembered i saw a broken shift lever on your website. Surprisingly exact same shape and same place.
I couldn’t take pictures because i was about to late to work and drive 20 kilometers with a broken lever (don’t ask me how I do that 🙂 ) There i made it work, quickly tore down the piece completely and welded it.
Then I took some pics (below).
Yeah I know my bike is too dirty and rusty. I made it from scratch and needs a lot more care. Anyway, more importantly, I figured out what makes the shift lever broken. First I bought the bike with the shift lever was at its topmost point.
When I shift up the lever touches the engine block and it forces the lever outward. This stretches the connection point of the lever at a time. Then crack. The pictures show how my lever is broken like this way.
You see where the lever chafed the engine. Now the lever is at bottom position. When shift up it doesn’t touch the engine.
This is a manufacturing design problem and I learned the new Multistrada 1200 has the same problem, see this YouTube video.
Now the next thing I’ll do is to clean the welded place and paint it to its original colour. After a while i will order the original piece.”
February 6, 2012 – From webBikeWorld reader and Multistrada owner “R.B.”: “I went today after months of dreaming on this ride on a 100 km trip on my MTS 620 and the shifter broke in the pivot, the trip ended up short, and I was lucky to have cellphone coverage for the rescue didn’t take that long and didn’t have a GPS!
It seems that the pivot where the shifter foot lever hangs fatigued the assembly and “tore” from it, probably due to some flexing and the whole subassembly called has to be replaced or perhaps I could have it welded…
I have been looking for the part on eBay, tomorrow I will call the dealer.
I hope that part can arrive soon, but I believe this is not an isolated issue. I read a similar story on Multistrada.net but I haven’t been able to find it nor to enter the site, as my password/user might be outdated or obsolete!
I have the parts manual for the US Multistrada and the part number is 824.1.098.1B. I will have it quoted tomorrow. Perhaps I can weld the support.
From “S” (February 2012): “Just reading your blog and the pics and look just like what happened to my 2006 Multistrada 620 Dark. I found your page by searching for the (Multistrada shift lever) part number.
Take a look at my pics. Maybe there should be a recall?
Follow-up: “Ducati got back to me. I couldn’t find a recall before because I was looking under 2006, but the recall was issued in 2005.
Looks like I’m going to be taken care of. It is Ducati Service Bulletin TSB-05-002, Condition: Unable to select gears using the LH foot peg gear lever.
Cause of condition: Breakage of the LH foot peg plate on the screw mounting point. Replace with new modified plate part number 82410982B. (See bulletin for more details).
December 17, 2010 – Carbon fiber parts are difficult to justify for a street bike, but it sure looks good on a Ducati!Shift-Tech carbon fiber belt covers were recommended by webBikeWorld readers and local Ducati owners. So I installed a set on the Multistrada and they look great. Here’s my Shift-Tech Carbon Fiber Belt Covers review.
April28, 2009 – Finally got a hugger installed on the Multistrada! It’s not carbon fiber, but it works.UPDATED June 11, 2009 with photos and information on drilling the swingarm.
The only thing I’ve done is keep the tank full with fuel.Just wanted to check in and let you know that we installed a Cameleon chain oiler on the Multi; so far it’s been working fine and once I got it sorted and figured out the best location for the oil drip tubing, everything works as expected.I haven’t put many miles on it yet due to the weather, so I’ll report back once I start getting some serious mileage on the bike again when the weather warms up!
February 15, 2008 – Wow – seems like forever since I’ve posted an entry here! Sorry about that, but the weather has not been cooperating at all and the Multi has pretty much been sitting in the garage.Burn and I are in the process of installing a Cameleon oiler on the bike, and we’ll report on that soon. It’s all ready to go, but I want to take it out for a spin to try the oiler before we finish writing it up.
In the meantime, since the Multistrada serves as the “hack bike” for our various motorcycle product reviews and adventures, I wanted to find a nice, small piece of luggage that would be unobtrusive but hold things like a camera, voice recorder, bottle of water, and other small items.
A tip from long-time webBikeWorld visitor “L.S.” led me to the Hepco & Becker “Small Sportstar” expandable rear tail bag, which looks like it could be a perfect fit on the “two tiered” back seat, so I ordered one and it’s on the way.
L.S. sent another tip on this nice bag from this good-looking “STARR” bag from RKA luggage, which comes in several sizes.
I’m looking for a small set of saddlebags also for longer adventures, but haven’t found anything yet. If you have any photos and can write a paragraph or two about luggage you’ve discovered for your Multi, send it over and I can add it here for others to see!
My Multi is my second bike, and I’m still a new rider (about a year and a half now) so I had some initial trouble adjusting to the small friction zone on the clutch as well using the 4 finger “never grip the left handlebar” approach from my MSF course.I ended up riding on dirt with a bunch of riding buddies (from sport-touring.net) and the lead rider was on a tractor like large BMW GS (don’t remember which GS).He was fine going 3-7 mph on a lot of the trail, but as I’m sure you know, the multi does not like to go that slow. I ended up having to keep two fingers on the grip and using my index and middle on the clutch to keep going slowly behind the GS.After we got back on the pavement, I kept using two fingers on the clutch and realized I had much better feel for the clutch that way. With the lever resting against my ring and pinky fingers it also seems to engage the clutch all the way past the friction zone, unlike other bikes with wider friction zones.Anyhow, point is, you might want to try two fingers if you currently use 4. If you use 2 already and you still hate the friction zone I’m out of ideas though.”Thanks for the tip – this may be a way to “make lemonade out of lemons” by exploiting the Multistradino’s way-out-there friction zone…
November 3, 2007 – Now that I have a couple of thou on the bike and I’m over the initial enchantment that occurs immediately after the purchase of a new motorcycle (have you ever noticed how any new bike gets the “This is the best bike I’ve ever owned!” treatment?), I’ve been able to collect some thoughts.First of all, I still really like the Multi. It’s so much different than the GT1000, and I like both, but it’s amazing to me at how they can both satisfy, but in such different ways.
Although they’re both fun, the Multi seems playful while the GT is more serious.
A couple of things about the Multi bother me, but I think at least one can be fixed. First, I have really come to dislike the ATDC clutch.
I think it has a terrible feel; the “friction zone” is way too tiny, and the clutch feels more like an on/off switch than a linear control device. It’s very hard to make smooth starts, especially on a slope at a stop light or stop sign.
Why they decided to put a slipper clutch in a 620 is beyond me — I’d have suggested they spend the money on making a nice, smooth, progressive take-up instead, which would be much more beneficial for beginning riders.
The Pazzo levers (see below) have helped a bit, but the clutch still has a very numb feel, combined with the on/off very narrow friction zone. Not much to be done about this, unfortunately.
Second, the bike feels very light, and although it’s very flickable, I don’t think that it has the corner stability that it could or should. I ride it pretty hard, and I find myself having to make more very slight mid-corner corrections than with other bikes.
Bumps in the corner also will upset the Multi’s stability.
In long sweepers, once the bike is leaned over and takes a set, it’s usually pretty good, but the fast back-and-forths seem to feel more jerky or tentative than, for example, the GT1000, which is actually too stable, due to the sticky Michelin Pilot Classic tires for the Ducati SportClassic, which have very noticeable understeer — more than any other tire I’ve ever tried.
But I think this can be fixed, if not helped, by new tires for the Multistrada. I honestly feel that the original equipment Pirelli Diablo tires have the wrong profile for the 620.
They feel like they take too long to warm up; the sidewalls feel too stiff and the profile is too sharp for the bike. Also, the bike’s non-adjustable suspension feels very stiff, which doesn’t help matters.
In doing some research, it appears that the Metzeler Sportec M-1 (here’s a Canyonchasers review) has the fast warm-up times and compliant sidewall that I think could help. This tire may be just the ticket for the Multistradino.
I had first considered the new Continental Road Attack, but that tire seems to have a too-sharp initial turn-in, which is just what I don’t want. I also don’t see anything that Pirelli offers that addresses my goals.
So as soon as the Multi needs new tires — and maybe before — I think I’ll try a set of Metzelers. Actually, the GT1000 could probably benefit by the Pirelli Diablos, while the Multi could probably use the Michelins!
I don’t think the Michelins come in the 120/60-17 front and 160/60-17 rear sizes though.
One webBikeWorld visitor suggested going to a 70-series front to solve this problem, but after thinking it over, I’m not sure how that would help.
If you have any comments or suggestions on this, feel free to send them to me.
UPDATE: OK — it’s a few hours after I wrote the above, and I started thinking “What is it about the Multi 620’s suspension that feels “stiff”?
So I went out for about a 25-mile fantastic sunny and clear fall day ride on the GT1000, then switched bikes and did the same route (beautiful two-lane back country roads with lots of twisties) on the Multi.
And I now think that part of the problem is the Multi’s…shall we say…less expensive suspension components?
There’s definitely a different feel for how the Multistrada 620 controls normal road imperfections.
It’s just not as compliant as the GT1000 — not that the GT has the best suspension in the world, but there is definitely a noticeable difference in the two and I can’t believe Ducati used the same components on both bikes.
Although it would probably be a miracle if a simple set of tires “fixed” the problems, well, miracles do happen I guess, but I still think the Pirelli Diablos don’t do much to help the situation.
This may sound crazy, but I bet the Multi 620 would benefit much more from, say, an Öhlins suspension treatment (if there is one for the 620) than would the GT. The GT would go from “really nice” to “very nice” or something like that, while the Multi would go from “feeling cheap” to “Wow!”. At least that’s my theory…
So who would spend multitudinous shekels on a Multistrada 620 suspension? Well, why not? Everything else about the bike is pretty cool, and let’s face it — the engine really does have enough power to make the bike faster than probably about 95% of the cars on the road.
Remember: “It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow”… I’ll have to think about suspension upgrades for the 620 and see what I come up with.
October27, 2007 – The Multistrada 620 comes with non-adjustable levers. The reach to the levers was rather long for my normal sized hands, and I also felt that the clutch engagement point was set too far towards the end of the lever travel.Why Ducati spent money on what I think is the foolish and artificial-feeling ATDC slipper clutch, rather than a decent set of levers, is puzzling.
But Pazzo to the rescue — here’s how to install a set of these beautiful levers on your Multistrada (and GT1000)!
I looked in the Multi’s owner’s manual and found that the low beam is listed as an H3 bulb.
So I ordered an H3 Nokya Hyper Yellow bulb, but when I went to replace it, I discovered that my Multistrada actually has an H9 “L” shaped bulb instead!
I looked back at the owner’s manual, and sure enough — it’s listed as an H3.
I’ve sent an email to Automotive Lighting USA, where I bought the yellow bulbs, to see if I can exchange the H3 for an H9. The H3’s came in a box with 2 bulbs, as does the H9’s.
This is OK with me, as it will give me a spare bulb just in case.
In the meantime, here are a couple of photos. The top photo (left) indicates the top wire that holds the cover over the light bulb.
There’s a bottom wire also; I had to reach up underneath the Multi’s fairing to get it, but both wires are pretty easy to move out of the way.
It takes a bit of shuffling around to move the cover out of the way, but once it’s off, the top (low beam) bulb is easily accessible.
Don’t forget – try not to touch the bulb, but if you do, make sure you clean it off with some alcohol (I have a bottle of rubbing alcohol I keep in the garage) before you install it. The oils from your hands can cause hot spots on the halogen bulb, leading to premature failure.
I’ll report back after I install the correct H9.
November 4, 2007 – The H9 Nokya Hyper Yellow came and I had no problems mounting it per the info above. I’ll take a photo as soon as I can…
October 6, 2007 – I took the Multi in to a local dealer for the 600-mile service, and although I usually change the oil and filter myself (see our article on changing the oil and filter on a GT1000), I wanted to save some time, so I asked them to do the job, using the super-deluxe Motul 300V ester 15W50 synthetic World Superbike oil.
The oil, filter and washers cost $67.42, which is about what I used to pay for the old Thunderbird Sport’s Mobil 4T oil, filter and washers. The Motul 300V is their top-of-the-line lubricant, and it costs $12.71 per quart!
I figured since the Multistrada 620 has no oil cooler and seems to run so hot, I better put the best oil I could find in the engine.
I don’t know how much they charged for labor on the oil/filter change, but the entire 600-mile service, including the oil and filter change, the belt check and a check of the gear change, which is hard to downshift when it gets hot, cost $191.57.
If it wasn’t for the belt check, I’d do it myself (anyone do the belt check yourself? How about writing a webBikeWorld article about it?).
I also brought the GT1000 in for the same thing, and the oil/filter change on that bike cost $93.79, with apparently an extra labor charge because the front cylinder header has to be moved to access the oil pickup screen (!).
The Motul synthetic motorcycle oil is pretty interesting stuff. It is an unusual green color — it looks just like antifreeze.
I have noticed both easier shifting and that the bike runs much cooler — by about 15 degrees, I estimate, under the same types of conditions as before the Motul.
I may be dreaming such a dramatic difference, but I know that in 80-85 degree ambient temperatures before, the Multistrada was running 200 to 235 degrees, and now it seems to stay around a steady 185; in fact, I it barely cracks 200.
I had the temperature gauge on that bike up near 300 once, with the original Ducati oil when I was riding up a long, steep grade, and I thought that was too hot.
Anyone else have a Multistrada oil and filter change experience they’d like to share?
September 13, 2007 – Here’s a Multistrada 620 suspension tip from “E.W.”: “Sorry for taking so long to send you this, but your request for resources might include Evolution Suspension in San Jose (California).
While I love my MTS620, I wasn’t too happy with the non-adjustable front suspension. Over Bott’s Dots and the like, I would find the handlebars almost wrenching out of my hands!
Late last year, I was fortunate enough to find Evolution Suspension in San Jose. Robert Sission diagnosed the MTS as having too much rebound damping and insufficient compression damping.
Over a few months, using a spare set of forks I picked up, he was able to fit Suzuki GSX-R 750 internals. Now, I have rebound damping adjustment and preload.
Unfortunately, it was too expensive to work on a way of getting compression adjustment. But hey, I am VERY happy with what I have! As of now, Robert has upgraded five MTS620’s from around the U.S.”
From “E.L.”: “I have a 620 MTS too…very cool bike. It’s interesting you mention the handlebars being wrenched out of your hands on road dots… One of my complaints is the bike tends to fall into corners.
I went to a 70 aspect (ratio) front tire which helped immensely. The increased steering inertia is negligible. I’ll be keeping an eye on your site. (Editor’s Note: E.L. installed Bridgestone B014 tires).
September 8, 2007 – I forgot to mention…I removed the Multistrada’s evaporative emissions canister, but this time I simply left all the hoses in place and just clipped the hoses at the top of the canister.
See the article on this procedure that I wrote for the GT1000. I ended up with more hoses underneath the engine, but the canister can be easily reinstalled if necessary and I didn’t have to worry about plugging the balancing ports like I did on the GT1000.
As on the GT1000, the Multistrada 620 has a fuel overflow hose that completely bypasses the evaporative emissions canister and system anyway.
So like I said in the GT1000 article, I remain puzzled as to how the evaporative emissions system on the Ducati does indeed capture all of the fuel vapor if the fuel is still allowed to bypass the canister and spill on to the ground?
August 28, 2007 – It’s easy to clean up the messy-looking reflectors on the back of the Multistrada. Simply remove the license plate, unscrew the assembly that holds the side reflectors and the bottom rear reflector and you’re all set! Here are a couple of photos:
seems strange that this assembly is made from metal just to hold 3 cheap
reflectors. It’s probably more robust than many other parts on the bike!
August 26, 2007 – From “H.H.”: “Strange but true, taken from sport-touring .net: It seems the spec 15 liter capacity 620 has the exact same tank as the spec 20 liter 1000/1100 minus the venting that allows the back half of the tank to be available during fill-ups.
If you fill your tank and then ride a mile (or so) you will notice your tank will take an additional gallon or so. That is to say the tank will burp and the trapped air in the back of the tank moves forward and the fuel moves back allowing you to refill and access the additional 5 liter capacity; i.e.. Fill/drive/fill.
The full size Multistrada has an elaborate venting system that allows the tank to be fully filled. This is missing for cost cutting measures on the 620.”
▪ Multistrada LED Brake Lights
August 19, 2007 – I had an old set of Life Brite LED auxiliary brake lights and another old Signal Dynamics LED Brake Light Bar in the garage; both have seen duty on multiple bikes, including my old BMW K75, Thunderbird Sport and the Triumph Tiger.
So I figured I may as well spice up the Multistrada’s rear end with some extra lumens, and as it turns out, it was actually a pretty easy project. I’m writing it up in a separate article and hope to get it posted this week, so stay tuned!
August 15, 2007 – One of the first things I do whenever I get a new bike is add an SAE connector for a Battery Tender. I had no idea that the battery was under the Multistrada’s left-hand “fuel tank” cover! This means that the battery is incredibly easy to access…thanks Ducati!
The orange arrow below shows the routing for the custom harness I soldered together, and the yellow arrow on the right points to the SAE connector, attached with a cable tie to the frame. Ducati, why did you have to put the frame number on that ugly silver decal right on the frame tube, out in the open?!
August 15, 2007 – We’ve been using the Steel Horse rear swingarm stand for many years (wBW Review), and when I tried it on the Multistrada…it worked!
Now this may seem logical, but not all swingarm stands work on all bikes — for example, the Steel Horse stand does not work with the GT1000; we had to buy the specially designed (and very nice!) Pit Bull Ducati SportClassic swingarm stand instead (wBW Review).
The Steel Horse stand has adjustable saddles that can be positioned to make the stand wider or narrower, and the saddles are coated with Rhino Linings polyurethane for a tough and anti-slip surface.
By the way, see the wBW Motorcycle Video Review page for a link to our YouTube video that illustrates how to raise and lower the Multistrada on a rear stand.
As far as I’m concerned, a rear stand is a “must have” for any bike without a center stand, and I’m glad to see the Steel Horse stand is back in business on the Multistradino!
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From “D.R.” (February 2012): “It has been a delight to find your site and info and comments about this bike. I purchased mine new at BCM (now deceased) in Laconia, New Hampshire in 2006 and have loved every mile on it.
It is good to hear of little tendencies about the 620 that I have noticed and accepted for these years; some of these are identical to what you have experienced and others not so much.
On the suspension stiffness….amen. I am very light and with all the adjustments taken out it still takes bumps like a tank yet I do not intend to spend money on any alternatives.
On the slipper clutch the very narrow engagement range only bothers me, I assume like everyone, in starting up and at low speeds……very challenging. Otherwise I have no complaints, at speed the shifting is very quick and simple, bingo.
One thing I have heard said is that what it does do is soften the clutch pull, which is very easy and unlike your GT 1000 which I road tested once and can agree it is very stiff. So perhaps it has sun and moon aspects, but it is very challenging in low speed maneuvering.
I enjoyed your comments on tires and my own serendipitous path was to replace the Pirelli’s w Michelin Pilot Roads dual compound…what an amazing difference! It feels like the grip is like Velcro without any downside.
I have never felt such confidence in twisting roads of which we have many on Martha’s Vineyard…and after some 7-9,000 miles I can see almost no wear.
But the bottom line is that every time I go out I love this bike: light, maneuverable, smooth, and it wants to GO! Who really needs more than 60hp……….my thanks for your fine website. P.S. The guys at BCM took off the canister before I even picked up the bike(:-).”