Last year, I got to ride some pretty awesome motorcycles, but none of them were more impressive than Ducati’s fourth-generation Multistrada. Dubbed the Ducati Multistrada V4, this Italian monster ADV is now better than ever and comes loaded with new age tech that will blow you away. The new Granturismo V4 engine itself will set your heart racing, and the overall Ducati performance is unbelievable.
The world of ADVs is truly expanding every year, and right now there are plenty of options for you to choose from. I am no pro, but I usually tend to enjoy the middleweights better, and I was a little apprehensive about the Multistrada getting a V4 powermill. The last Multi I rode was the more powerful Pikes Peak version of the previous generation model. That motorcycle was near perfect, and I didn’t think that the two-cylinder engine needed any retuning. But, knowing the engineers at Ducati, it came as no surprise to see the latest Multistrada proudly wearing a V4 badge.
The new Multistrada V4 has shown me what a true adventure sports motorcycle is. Never have I experienced such an incredible performing, big ADV bike like this. The Multistrada V4 is an engineering marvel, and as I rode it over the next few days, I realized that it's quite possibly the best motorcycle in the world. Read on to find out just how versatile and impressive the new Multistrada V4 is.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 Is The Best-Looking ADV Today
The new Multistarda V4 has evolved beautifully to look even better now. While there are numerous changes throughout, the overall design is still very much a Multi, and the Italian touches are clearly visible. The sharp beak and massive DRLs at the front give the bike an imposing face, and the massive 5.8-gallon fuel tank with the purposeful fairings adds some muscle. The Multistarda V4 gets a new seat design that is now narrower, and it sits above a more compact engine and new frame. This makes the mid-section of the bike appear narrower. The rear section is still very sharp and is inspired from Ducati’s high-performance sports bikes.
There are now plenty of new air vents that allow the air to move to the right places, making the Multistrada one of the most aerodynamic ADVs on the market today. The Multi V4 was developed in the same wind tunnels that are used for Ducati Corse MotoGP machines. There is also a new easily adjustable multi-element windshield that offers full protection. The aerodynamic features also move hot air away from the rider to increase comfort levels.
The Multistrada V4 will no longer come with an Enduro version. Instead, riders will be able to choose between alloys and spokes for the wheels, and that is why a new double-sided swingarm has been introduced. The front-wheel is 19-inches, which allows the Multi V4 to perform well on all terrains and therefore makes it more versatile.
The Multistrada V4 also gets massive front forks, a new instrument panel, Brembo brakes, and a whole list of other goodies to make it look tough and sporty. The bike has incredible road presence and with the Ducati Red paint scheme, it looks absolutely stunning.
The Heart Of The Multistrada V4 Is Where All The Magic Happens
Ducati has conducted extreme testing to make sure that the new Granturismo V4 engine is optimal for every condition and yet still offer blistering performance that is on par with super bikes. The new 1,158cc four-cylinder powermill is a thing of beauty. It is by far one of the most tractable and performance-oriented engines I have ever felt in an ADV. Ducati has managed to make the V4 unit smoother than the previous generation, but it’s still not as perfect or refined as its Japanese and German counterparts. What the V4 engine does offer, however, is unlimited power on tap that can be used in every situation.
When I first rode the bike, I was blown away at how the V4 unit still sounded and felt like a twin powermill. At lower revs, there is plenty of grunt and the bike picks up speed and accelerates effortlessly. The mid-range is where the engine really starts to bloom, and there were instances I rarely needed to shift gears to get more juice from the engine. With 170 horses on tap and 92 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,200 rpm, the Multistrada V4 can race from 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. That is incredibly quick for a 530-pound motorcycle.
The Multistrada V4 feels the best on the open road, and highway touring is where you will get an opportunity to really let it rip. As the engine pulls into the higher revs, it never runs out of breath, and the bike will continue to pick up speed effortlessly. Let’s not forget, that this engine has the same basic engineering as the Panigale V4, and all the Moto GP tech is clearly evident in this unit. With different Riding Modes to choose from, you can decide just how effectively you want the engine to provide all that power.
While the performance of the engine is unmatched in the ADV segment, and perfect for tarmac riding, I was pleasantly surprised to see that even when riding on trails and taking the Multistrada V4 off-road, the engine provides plenty of tractable power whenever you require it. Simply change the riding mode and the throttle response lessens to allow for more controlled inputs. Even the new transmission works exceptionally well and the gearbox is totally dedicated to all riding styles with new ratios that make the bike more versatile. There’s now a shorter first gear and a longer sixth gear, which makes it easy for off-road riding as well as highway touring.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 Handles Like A Dream
The Multistrada has always been known for its excellent ride and handling capabilities, and the new V4 is even sharper and more agile than before. This is perhaps the only heavyweight ADV that you can also take to the track on occasion and actually keep up with proper sports bikes. You can attack corners with speed, the braking is incredible, and the engine delivers all the power you need to pull out with pace. The optional quick-shifter also works its wonders and allows for an even sportier ride.
There are plenty of sporty elements because obviously this is a Ducati. The handling is probably one of the best in the entire segment and the new improved frame offers plenty of solidity at the rear and the newly developed subframe improves the overall robustness of the bike.
The electronic suspension on the V4 S model I was riding is also one of the best in the business. When riding on the tarmac, it feels stable, smooth and comfortable all the time. Then, as soon as you go on to any off-road section, you can just set it up with the press of a button and the Multistrada V4 truly surprised me. The new seating ergonomics are brilliant, and you can stand up on the pegs and feel in complete control. Seat height can also be adjusted for different riders.
Still, the Multi V4 is more road and highway biased, and its only downside is that the bike also drinks a lot of gas. When riding hard, don’t expect more than 25 MPG, otherwise it averages at about 30 MPG.
Unlimited Technology At The Press Of A Button
The Multi V4 gets some of the most amazing features you can find on any motorcycle. Some tech comes straight from Moto GP, and there are also plenty of rider aids. The biggest addition to the new Multistrada is the radar system at the front and the back that allows for adaptive cruise control, and blind spot warning. The electronic suspension is absolutely brilliant, and the other rider aid electronics are top-notch.
Using the controls on the handlebars is very easy, and you can monitor everything from the new TFT display. It’s a similar Bosch unit that is used for the BMW GS bikes. You can also connect your phone and use navigation, but the only problem with that is your phone screen needs to be on all the time. There is even a nice little compartment to store your phone on top of the fuel tank, and you can charge your phone in it. You get other safety features such as traction control and ABS, and you can control how they function depending on your riding surface. The Multistrada V4 truly is a high-tech machine, and some of these features are not available on other full-size ADVs. There are also plenty of accessories and packages that you can opt for to get even more features.
The Multistrada V4 Carries An Incredibly High Price Tag, But Somehow It’s Worth It
The biggest downside of this bike and probably the only thing that will keep a lot of buyers away is the price point. The Multistrada V4 is one of the most amazing adventure bikes I have ever ridden, and perhaps one of the best motorcycles on the planet. However, because of all the technology, and of course that beautiful engine, prices for the Multistrada V4 start at about $20,000 and can go up to about $28,000.
In terms of capability, there are plenty of big ADV bikes out there that cost much less and can offer you a beautiful riding experience. But then again, if you are looking for all-out performance in an ADV package, the Multistrada V4 really is the best in the business. The overall handling and engine versatility is unmatched; plus, it’s a Ducati, and the badge itself carries a premium over every other motorcycle.
If I had the money, I wouldn’t even think twice before buying one of these Italian masterpieces. You are guaranteed the best riding experience with unlimited amounts of fun. Whether it's cruising, touring, city riding, or off-road trail riding, the Multistrada V4 can do it all, and it does it in style. It’s the perfect blend of sportiness with comfort and off-road capabilities. I spent only a few days with it, and that’s all it took to convince me that this is the most versatile do-it-all motorcycle I have ever ridden.