The Ducati Multistrada V4 S is a world-famous motorcycle. It first caught headlines for its V4 mill and then for said powerhouse’s 60,000-km service interval. We got a chance to experience this rocketship in the humble surroundings of Pune and here are all the essentials.
How does it look and what is new about the styling?
Let us cut to the chase, the Ducati Multistrada has always been a beautiful motorcycle. The new bits include modifications to the front and rear ends to accommodate the Bosch radar units. The massive bodywork now hides a radiator each on either side. The fins near the engine may look straight off Pecco’s Desmosedici GP21 but their main job is to channel the engine heat away from the legs. The Multi’s ripped side comes out towards the rear which flaunts the trellis subframe. Saying ‘Bellissimo’ a few times is justified.
Is it an instrument console or a cockpit?
This is difficult to answer because the Ducati Multistrada V4 S gets a large, 6.5-inch colour TFT screen that displays a plethora of information in addition to the conventional dials and clocks. The five-way joystick allows for easy navigation and the rider can access multiple menus and customize many options. Customizable riding modes, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection are just some of the highlights of the Multi’s many features.
Tell us about the V4 engine
Sharing roots with the manic Desmosedici Stradale V4 that powers the Panigale V4, the Multistrada draws motive force from a reworked version called the ‘V4 Granturismo’. The bore has been increased by 2 mm and the displacement is now 1,158 cc. The engine develops 170 hp at 10,500 rpm and a peak torque of 125 Nm at 8,750 rpm and comes mated to a six-speed transmission. Yes, it gets an up-and-down quickshifter as well.
What are the chassis components?
In the suspension department, this S model is managed by semi-active Skyhook suspension with a 50-mm, fully-adjustable fork and a fully-adjustable monoshock. One of the highlights here is the electronically-adjustable preload settings (rider, pillion, baggage, auto-levelling).
Braking equipment includes twin 320-mm semi-floating discs bitten on by radially-mounted Brembo
monobloc, four-piston calipers. At the rear it gets a single 265-mm disc with a two-piston Brembo caliper, and all of this is supplemented with the safety of cornering ABS.
Connecting the motorcycle to the road are Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres and they offer good traction both on- and off-road. A 120/70 ZR19 is wrapped around the front wheel while the rear wheel gets a 170/60 ZR17.
How does it ride?
The minimum saddle height of 840 mm is more approachable than it sounds and offers a friendly riding position for short riders as well and the motorcycle’s weight distribution makes the 243-kg heft rather easy to manage both in the city and off-road.
There is lots of torque to tap into in the bottom- and mid-range and it is almost effortless to slice through the air at triple-digit speeds and even whack open the throttle mid-corner. Unsurprisingly, Ducati’s electronics further improve the riding experience and makes the Multi very friendly and usable. Find a riding mode you are comfortable with and the power is not difficult to manage. Furthermore, the hydraulically-actuated clutch makes a world of difference when chugging along in traffic.
My favourite part about the Multi is its refinement. The V4 engine is not exactly quiet but there is almost no vibration (for something this size) throughout the rev-range, making it quite usable and friendly as an everyday bike. In the corners, this Ducati eggs you on to tackle each corner with gusto. In fact, it prefers to be ridden like a sport bike because it dives into a corner, holds the line effortlessly and powers out like a bat out of hell. Similar prowess over the rough stuff as well means that this Ducati is capable of covering huge distances in one day without breaking a sweat.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 S is a remarkable motorcycle and even a benchmark in its segment for beautiful, fast motoring over any road. Of course, such prowess comes at a price and this one’s is a whopping Rs 23.10 lakh (ex-showroom) but there is nothing else out there quite like this one.
Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Sanjay Raikar