Last Thursday and Friday I had an overnight trip with a riding buddy up to Berwick Upon Tweed on the England / Scotland border. I wanted to test Vito as a touring bike - my pal was on his R1200GS.
Here is how Vito rates compared to Gina in marks out of ten.
SS - 7.5
MS - 9
The 1200 of the Multi is very tractable and smooth low down compared to the 939 in the SS. And the pull from 90mph is fantastic...at higher speeds it would pull away from the SS easily...no surprise given the extra BHP available.
SS - 9
MS - 9
Despite the lesser power of the SS, I'd rate the performance equally as the way she delivers her power is just as exciting. Maybe that's because of the riding position, it feels more exciting.
SS - 9.5
MS - 8
We all know that the SS is a master at handling in the twisties. And is easy great IMO at handling town traffic too. The Multi once on the move is good to throw into bends and will change direction with surprising agility. Around town, maybe because I'm a bit short for it, it feels very top heavy. The turning circle is incredible - but manouvering isn't easy. On some uphill hairpins in streaming rain and high winds the front end goes disconcertingly light. Side winds are also more of a problem for obvious reasons.
SS - 7.5
MS - 8
Only 8 for the MS? Yes...the OEM panniers together only held the same as my Kreiger 30l bag. Maybe with more packing practice I could fit in more, but for the size of them I was amazed how full they got with just one nights worth of stuff (including the usual chain, locks etc). On my Italian tour I had enough for several night away with the Krieger and the SW-Motech panniers, which look tiny in comparison to the hard ones of the MS.
SS - 9
MS - 6.5
This was the real shocker for me. How can the upright riding position cause aching wrists? Or maybe it's the vibration? It's not bad, but it's there. My wrists ache after about the same amount of time on the SS too, but they're taking some weight. Then there's the seat - it's not the worst I've ridden on, but the SS's is just so comfortable. 11 days in the saddle on the SS and was never anything other than fully comfortable. After an hour I'm wriggling, and after 90 minutes on the MS my arse needs a break. And after two days riding and about 430 miles, it's a big deal. If I decide to keep Vito long term a new seat would need to be sourced (Ducati have stopped making the replacement seats for this model). Wind protection isn't as good as expected. I've ridden with a Pikes Peak screen and the standard one. The standard keeps wind off the body well, but there's turbulent air on the top of my helmet which gets quite wearing. A Puig screen extender came in the boxes of bits I got with the bike but doesn't help. Finally on this subject, towards the end of a days riding after a couple of hundred miles, my knees start to ache just as much on the MS as the SS despite not being as tucked.
There isn't one way in which the MS beats the SS for comfort.
Having Vito in the stable has shown me just how awesome a bike the SS is. It's a masterpiece to be able to combine the range of abilities in such a neat package.
The MS, I have to say I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't do the touring bit better than it does...and not as well as the SS. The SS is a definite keeper. I'll keep hold of the MS for a while to see if it has other qualities that aren't apparent yet...and that engine is sublime. But maybe I'll look for something else after winter.