First launched back in 2021, this new generation of Ducati Multistrada could quite easily be one of the most luxurious and high-performing motorcycles on the market. Packed with tech & gadgets, fitted with the superb V4 Granturismo, and finished off with that oh-so-important Italian flair, we get an afternoon outing with the Ducati Multistrada V4S.
Ducati says the Multistrada (which loosely means ‘many roads’ in Italian) is a ‘one-of-a-kind motorcycle’ that combines sporty riding, off-road handling, long-distance touring, and everyday use into one – thus a ‘four bikes in one’ motorcycle, first introduced by the V4 Multistrada in 2010. And they’re not far wrong.
I concluded my Silverstone day with Ducati (having already sampled the Monster SP & Scrambler Full Throttle) with a brief squirt on a bike that has reshaped the motorcycle touring game, and certainly left me wanting more time on the seriously impressive Italian explorer.
Ducati Multistrada V4S Price and Availability
With a base price of £20,495, the full spec Multistrada V4S comes in a few different flavours & varieties, separated by colour options (Ducati Red, or premium Aviator Gray, and Iceberg White (both +£300) along with forged wheels or spoked wheel (+£700) options – the ‘base price’ caps out at £21,495 for the Aviator Gray or Iceberg White with spoked wheels.
All flavours come as standard with some seriously advanced electronics – a 6-axis IMU, cornering ABS, traction control, blind-spot detection, rear-cross traffic alert, radar-assisted cruise control, and hill hold control – all configurable through the full-colour 6.5” TFT display.
The model as ridden was in Iceberg White with spoked wheels, fitted with a tasty Ducati performance Akrapovic end can - and it's waiting at your local Ducati dealer for a test ride...
A new Ducati Multistrada comes with 24-month unlimited mileage warranty, with a 9,000 mile / 24-month maintenance service interval, and a valve clearance check every 36,000 miles – this is as it's not a desmodromic system, rather utilising spring distribution, granting an increase to the interval to well above the industry average (around 15,000 miles). Handy for the intrepid explorers amongst us, particularly as the Earth’s circumference is just shy of 25,000 miles...
Ducati Multistrada V4S Engine
Though fitted with a whole host of technological features (which I’ll get to shortly), the real heart of the Multistrada is its engine. Fitted with the superb 1158 cc V4 Granturismo, a huge 170 bhp (at 10,500 rpm) and 125 Nm (92 lb-ft) of torque is available at the twist of a wrist, with the signature counter-rotating crank for stability and further enhancing the ride feel & handling.
It’s simply a cracking motor to work with. Instant torque and acceleration, smooth and progressive delivery, and multiple rider modes to help get power to the rear wheel in just the way you need it, it’s easy to see why the Multistrada is so often considered one of the best adventure tourers on the market. It’ll do it all.
My ride was (rather annoyingly) a relatively short jaunt around the Northamptonshire countryside, but it was enough to really stretch its legs on some top roads, with new gearing to make 1st shorter and 6th longer along with plenty of mid-range grunt to have you forever considering the long way home on a ride, slickly quickshifting your way through the six-speed gearbox. Perhaps it’ll even have you considering a quick round-the-world trip on a Sunday afternoon.
Superior Tech Specs
If considering that round-the-world expedition, there is some serious tech here to help you on your way. Chief amongst these is the radar-assisted cruise control, the first motorcycle to adopt radar tech, detecting the speed of the vehicle in front and will then work to maintain a set ‘follow distance’ to keep you moving with the flow of traffic. It’s not a fool-proof system and can be considered to take away from the independent nature of riding, but on a long stretch of motorway riding it can be handy to allow you to lessen the mental strain of long straight-line rides to munch the miles.
When venturing over to the country roads I gave the radar-assist-cruise a go to see how it handles speed around a gradual bend, and if it could keep the throttle application/deceleration steady and could keep a good distance (even around some bends). The radar managed to keep good track of the bike in front, and if getting too close the system would disengage the throttle smoothly whilst engaging some engine braking from the big V4.
Radar tech, with arguments on the ‘intrusiveness of modern motorcycles’ will forever have its own positives & negatives, but in the right hands it can really assist you in a long ride - and it’s certainly not something you’d want to rely on too heavily as it’s good to stay fully in control, but I’d say it has some great real-world applications. There are some comments online about it picking a slower car in a different lane to match the speed, which didn’t occur for me in the limited time testing it.
Elsewhere you’ll find rider modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, Enduro), a 6-axis IMU, blind-spot detection, cornering ABS & traction control, a one-hand-adjust screen and Ducati smartphone Connect for the 6.5” TFT. It all contributes to a motorcycle that would easily be a first-choice option for any tourer.
Multistrada Frame, Suspension, and Brakes
With aluminium monocoque frame, semi-active Marzocchi suspension with Ducati Skyhook Suspension, 19” front and 17” rear wheel (given Pirelli Scorpion Rally or Scorpion STR homologation options), and Brembo Stilema brakes (twin 320mm up front & 265mm rear disc).
It’s a seriously well-specced bike, though it is a huge beast – 840 to 860mm adjustable seat, 243 kg wet weight, and 1567 mm wheelbase, and 22 litres of tank capacity (and a supposed 6.5 L/100 Km consumption).
All in, the Multistrada V4S handles like a bike well out of it’s weight class, and is responsive and comfortable to ride for a taller rider (I’m 6 foot 3 and fit perfectly on it). The suspension quite literally glided over the more questionable road surfaces in the Towcester area, allowing for superb ride feel through successive corners, and really allowing the Granturismo motor to do its thing.
Again, the ride with the V4 S was short, so no time to really in-depth figure out the ins & outs of the suspension system, which is fully adjustable – but it was certainly enough to thoroughly enjoy the ride.
There’s certainly a lot to look at with the electronic prowess of this bike as I’ve touched on, but ultimately it comes down to the elite capabilities of it as an all-around touring icon. It has power for days (and had no trouble keeping up with the Panigale V4 of the guide rider in front), it’s extremely comfortable for a taller rider, and the entire set-up all contribute to a bike that - whilst pricey - absolutely feels like it is worth every penny.
Looking at the potential rivals and options on the market, it’s hard to turn your nose up at this latest generation of Multistrada V4S, whether seeking an option for a two-up tourer or a one-for-all motorcycle that can quite easily do it all.
Lumber this with luggage, take it on a precarious off-road jaunt (though I’d be scared to drop it and risk any damage in all honesty), and head for the scenic roads – I can’t think of many better options for a bike that ticks all of the boxes than this Ducati Multistrada V4S.
Plus, if you’re after a tourer that can connect to your smartphone for maps, music and phone calls, it’s a top touring set-up on offer. Worth noting it has keyless ignition, also!
2021 Ducati Multistrada V4S Verdict
Though only afforded a brief stint at the tail end of the Ducati taster day, the Ducati Multistrada V4S still easily secured itself as the gold standard of touring motorcycles - and quite rightly so. Seriously specced up with electronic gadgetry, the real star of the show was the V4 Granturismo motor which is an impeccable bit of kit.
You can tell the heart and soul that’s gone into the production of the Multistrada over generations starting in 2003 with the first model, the 1000DS, but that gold standard does (naturally) come with a golden price tag, with new & used models fetching some of the highest premiums for bikes of this type – and that’s without speccing it up with aftermarket bits.
Smaller riders may struggle with the dimensions, particularly if fully laden with touring gear and a pillion, though once the road opens up and the wheels are in motion, it’ll be a breeze. Questions can be asked, also, about the consumption and economy – whilst not able to test this in the brief hour or two with the ‘many roads’ machine, it’s natural that a V4 will be a thirsty unit if ridden in full ‘attack mode’ that is seriously tempting on a bike such as this.
But this doesn’t take the shine off a seriously competitive touring motorcycle. It’s an all-rounder that can just about do it all – and now with a huge service interval and game-changing electronics, it’s just about the pinnacle bike to do everything on. From a first impressions standpoint, I’d happily tour the length and breadth of the country on this!
Head to Ducati for more information about the bike (there's plenty to read), full specs and further pricing information. If you’re looking for an insurance deal on a Ducati Multistrada, try Lexham Insurance direct.