Andrea Forni Interview

Kevin Ash

Pictures: Milagro

Ducati_MTS1200_15

Ducati's Technical Director Andrea Forni provides candid answers to some of the questions about the 2013 Multistrada posed by ashonbikes forum users:

What has been done to deal with the problem of rear brakes not working?
"All brake fluids lose a small amount of vapour throughout the braking system, and this was becoming trapped due to the layout, preventing the hydraulics from working properly. We have redesigned the layout of the brake hose and positions of the components so that this vapour no longer becomes trapped and the brake is easier to bleed effectively. The components themselves are unchanged as this wasn't necessary.

What about the reliability of the suspension system?
"The Sachs system we have used is an off-the-shelf system which has been used for many years in the automotive industry, and tens of thousands of these components have been made and have proved themselves. The basic algorithms are openly available, we have added our own where necessary, otherwise it is all proven and very well tested."

Can I carry over the higher rate spring I bought for my Öhlins onto the new model?
"The spring does not fit but it is not necessary as we have a progressive spring fitted now which is better when subjected to higher loads. The softer 85N/mm rate applies for the first 60mm of travel, then it behaves as a 125N/mm spring. This is also the point of compression the suspension goes to when a passenger is on the bike. This was always a better solution but Öhlins did not offer a progressive spring so we had no choice with the old model.

Why is Öhlins no longer used?
Öhlins does not not have a full semi-active suspension system but Sachs does, and the quality of Sachs suspension components is very good. Also, because the Sachs components are produced in very high numbers for the automotive industry the costs are not excessively high, which is how we have managed to offer the new Multistrada at the same pricing as the 2012 model.

Why is there no cruise control option?
"We could fit cruise control very easily, all the components are there and with ride-by-wire throttle it is straightforward and would not be expensive. We were not asked by the marketing department and did not think there was a demand."
(At this point, the marketing manager says he did not think there was a great demand for cruise control on the Multistrada... but he does look a bit sheepish!)

There seems to have been an unusual number of cylinder head failures, can you tell us anything about this?
"Yes, there have been some problems with coolant escaping into the lubricating oil. This was caused by an unexpected internal corrosion problem caused by glycol-based anti-freeze. We have changed the anti-freeze specification to a non-glycol one and this has cured the problem. We now recommend a non-glycol anti-freeze for all existing Testastretta engines."