Multistrada 1200 (MTS1200) Snippets (Tips & Tricks;-)

Multistrada 1200 (MTS1200) Snippets (Tips & Tricks;-)

Tips, tricks, quick advice and ‘snippets’ of information relating to the Multistrada 1200 – MTS1200 motorcycle maintenance and servicing, riding the Multistrada 1200, MTS1200 workshop stuff – any tips, tricks and recommendations that’ll make life a bit easier for Multistrada 1200 owners.

** Please contact me with your favourite tips and tricks **

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Multistrada 1200 Colour Schemes / Paint Codes
Ducati Anniversary red 473.101 (PPG);

  • Clear lacquer part no. 228.880 (PPG);
  • Racing Gray frame and black wheel rims.

Pearl white, code L2909004 (LECHLER);

  • Enamel code L2920057 (LECHLER);
  • Clear lacquer code 228.880 (PPG);
  • Racing Gray frame and black wheel rims.

Black diamond code 57E22714 (AKZO);

  • Enamel code 54M22705 (AKZO);
  • Clear lacquer code 228.880 (PPG);
  • Racing Gray frame and black wheel rims

Multistrada 1200 Keyless Ignition
PIN Code Activation & Immobilizer override procedure
Your Ducati Dealer should have reset the factory default and advised you of the new PIN when you took delivery of your new Multistrada 1200 and recommended that you set your own personal PIN.

The PIN Code system allows you to turn the ignition on / start your Multistrada 1200 “temporarily” in the case of HF (Hands Free) system “malfunctions”. I recommend that EVERYONE practice starting your MTS1200 using the pin code system (a) so you know that your PIN is right and (b) so you’ll be familiar with the system as and when the need should arise! . Owners Manual pages 94-99 and 105-113.

The pin code does not get reset with firmware updates, the data is stored in different non-volatile memory area then the firmware.

Multistrada 1200 Electronic Key / Key Fob
keep your key safe! Drill a 2mm hole as shown and you can attach the key to a key ring or lanyard and maybe attach a tag with your mobile phone number in case of loss 😉 (thanks to ‘dgmulti’)

…and a variation for attaching a keyring to the Multistrada keyless electronic ignition keyfob (click the image below for a pictorial ‘how to’) – thanks to member ‘xemaliaris’

Indicators / Turn Signals – Hazard Warning (4-way flashers)
There’s plenty of circumstances where it’s nice (and safer!) to be able to run your vehicle indicators / turn signal lamps to flash as hazard warning lights – sadly not possible with the Multistrada 1200! However it seems that Ducati may have acknowledged this omission as apparently they have now said that by September 2011 they will introduce an update for all Multistrada 1200’s It’s not clear if this will be as simple as just a ‘software’ update or require hardware as well (additional flasher relay?) and whether it will be free of charge or not.

Starting your MTS1200 / False Neutral light!
It’s good practice when starting any bike (any vehicle) to hold the clutch in when hitting the start button (less stress on the starter motor as you’re not turning gearbox components;-) Apparently (no experience personally), the Multistrada 1200 can be prone to showing the green neutral light / indicator when in fact the bike is still in gear…..result of hitting the starter button in such a case is the probability of a dropped bike! (it has happened to several people….you’ve been warned!!). Let the clutch lever out slowly once the bike is running 😉

Multistrada 1200 / MTS 1200 Rear Brake Performance
Excessive travel of rear brake pedal ~ ineffective / poor rear brake ~ no rear brake ~ regular rear brake system bleeding required ~ faulty rear brake. Aug 2011: details of the official Ducati repair/fix added to this article:
Multistrada 1200 MTS1200 Rear Brake System Bleeding

MTS1200 Battery Charging – Flat Batteries!
There is no mention of the need to put the bike’s battery on charge on a regular basis in the Multistrada 1200 Owners Manual but Ducati Dealers are advising owners to charge the battery regularly in view of the amount of ‘electronics’ on this motorcycle! Apparently some Ducati technicians are stating that bikes should be hooked up to an Optimate or similar (battery ‘tender’ not a basic battery charger;-) regularly!
No definitive answer yet but see this discussion (article lost – Ducatisti forum closed;-)
See also: BMW R1200GS Motorcycle Battery Care & Information as much of the information/advice is relevant to the MTS1200 (both motorcycles with a CANbus electrical system, both prone to flat batteries)
See also: CANbus, what’s that?

Memo from Ducati ‘Avoid irregular battery discharge’

“…during product running tests, we have noticed that, when in its ‘down’ position, the red sliding switch on the right-hand switch gear may inadvertently remain pressed in when the instrument panel is turned off or after locking the steering. This may lead to an irregular running-down of the battery while the vehicle is off. In order to prevent this possibility, we advise that, after switching off your bike’s instrument panel or after locking the steering, this switch be brought back up and left in its top position. We are preparing a software update that provides a warning on the dashboard when the switch remains in the incorrect position.”

After Battery Disconnection
All electronic settings retained in the various ECUs will default to factory settings on reconnecting the battery! You will need to reset the clock, switch DTC back on (you’d think DTC ‘on’ would be default?!), change speedometer units (default is Km/h), change fuel consumption units (default is Km/l) and re-input any custom Ride Mode / suspension settings etc.
If you are going to disconnect the battery for any reason check and make a note of all the settings for the dash readout options and any ‘custom’ changes you have made to other configurable setting for suspension and riding Modes etc before disconnecting 😉

Maintenance tip! – Multistrada 1200 standard OE exhaust system butterfly valve
The exhaust valve behind the heat shield between the CAT box and silencer is purely a ‘noise control’ system and not a performance related system like EXUP valves / power valve. However that said if the valve is not operating correctly (the external mechanism can seize / partially seize due to dirt/corrosion/lack of lubrication resulting in the valve remaining closed or failing to fully open;-) your bike will run ‘rough’! Dependent on the level of inoperation you may get an EXVL error show up on the dash display.
Regularly check that the mechanism operates freely and that there is not excessive free play in the cable that operates the valve. Use an old paint brush or similar to clear any dirt that has accumulated in the spring mech and spray with ACF50 or WD40.
Some owners choose to remove the valve altogether – check out the ‘How to’ & FAQs section for an article to be added soon.

Multistrada 1200 Paddock / Motorcycle Stands
Single Sided Swingarm Paddock Stands (Rear stands / Reversible swingarm stands)

The rear axle is the same at the 1098/1198/Streetfighter so stands listed for those models will ‘fit’. The axle internal diameters are:
41mm on the sprocket side, 43mm on the open side.

Front Stand (Headstock stands) – 24mm ‘pin’ required to fit the headstock tube

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pannier System Mounts
Check the rubbers on the pillion peg mounting “brackets”. The rubbers have a ridge on the back side that interlocks with a groove on the pillion peg mounting “bracket” when properly pushed home.. They can be pulled off but it doesn’t appear they would leave of their own accord however they could be pulled off when removing the panniers and lost, or at least disengaged partially from the securing ridge, allowing them to vibrate off later. Remove the rubbers and reseat having applied a silicone adhesive or similar glue;-)

Rear Wheel Nut / Hub Sprocket Carrier Nut
Check your hub circlip regularly, if it’s still loose the nut hasn’t moved relative to the hub but if it’s tight the nut needs to be tightened.

Digital Dash Speed Display / Speedometer – How to convert kmh to mph
With ignition off, hold in the headlight flasher and the indicator cancel switch together then turn on the ignition. The main display will show ‘units’ and you can then use the indicator cancel to select which ones you want, save (keep the indicator cancel button depressed) and exit.

Vehicle speed indicator (Digital speed display / Digital speedometer)
From the Multistrada 1200 Owners Manual: This function displays vehicle speed (Km/h or mph depending on the set measurement system). The instrument panel receives information about the actual speed (calculated in km/h) and displays the number increased by 8%.
i.e. true speed is the displayed speed x 92.6% – examples:

Indicated/Displayed SpeedActual SpeedIndicated/Displayed Speed

Multistrada 1200 Riding Modes (Dynamic Control) 

ABS on
ABS on
ABS on
ABS off

All models have the 3 engine maps and DTC. The Standard model can be had with or without ABS. “S” models (Sport or Touring) get Ohlins DES with appropriate front/rear compression & rebound as well as rear preload suspension adjustments.
All features can be further tweaked to match your individual preferences. The bike will remember your settings. The exception is ABS which will always have to be manually turned off in the Sport, Touring, and Urban modes (the ABS remains on to some extent in all modes – it has to be separately shut off every time the ignition is turned off and back on).
In the default settings, when choosing enduro mode, the ABS is not active, however it is not completely disabled (I’m not aware of any varying levels of ABS), so if you switch from enduro mode to any of the other three modes, ABS will be active again.

The presets provided by Ducati are starting points – you can go into sub menus and fiddle around to your heart’s content, tweaking a few clicks of compression damping, changing the horsepower, shutting off the ABS or traction control, to make the presets your own. You can always reset them to the factory provided defaults with the click of a button, too.

Maintenance Tip Always tie your front brake lever down so the bike won’t move forward and slide off the side stand. If the bike moves it tends to fold the kickstand up and thats a no no. Binding the front brake has always worked well for me. Ride safe….Les (lesbrownjr59)

No Time for a Proper Polish Job? Use a spray household wax furniture polish – spray on to a clean rag to avoid overspray you’d get applying direct to the bike. Quick wipe over, leave a few minutes and buff up…..quick, effective and effortless.
I’ve found I can just wipe away any tarnish or water marks on my Titanium cans with Pledge Orange (and I guess any Orange polish), much easier than conventional auto polish.

Cleaning your motorcycle A soft clean cloth soaked in WD40 is good for lifting greasy stuff and buffing up exhaust pipes etc. White Spirit or Paraffin are good for lifting tar spots and won’t damage paintwork. Pledge Orange Furniture polish is great stuff for getting a nice finish quick!! (and cleaning screens and visors – spray on, leave a few minutes and polish off with a soft clean cloth 🙂 [more cleaning tips]

Chain Lubing Try lubing after a ride. The chain is warmer and the lube can sneak into the tiny gaps (wipe the chain over first with a rag soaked in WD40). Then overnight the lube will ‘dry’ and will be much less likely to fling on your next ride. Lubing just before a ride doesn’t allow time for the lube to gel and guarantees fling. Also with an O-ring chain you just need enough lube to cover the rollers. The sideplates and pins have lube in them sealed by the O-ring. Don’t bother lubing the sideplates, unless you have installed a non-O-ring chain or you’ll be riding in wet or salty conditions. Do a Google search on chain lubing for lots of info.

Getting Chain Lube Off The Rear Wheel Parafin (kerosene) is excellent stuff for removing chain lube (and WD40 is pretty good also). To avoid lubing the rear brake instead of directly spraying the wheel, spray into a small piece of rag, saturate it, then wipe the Parafin/WD40 on the wheel. Wait 5 minutes and wipe the Parafin/WD40 off. WD40 is a great cleaner, but never mistake it for a lubricant. Pledge Orange and similar household furniture polishes are good also!