Ducati usually presents its new models on stage in World Premiere attended by a few thousand journos, fans and glitterati, but that’s not possible in 2020, so this year there’s five presentations over five weeks.
The first is the Multistrada V-four, a new machine which looks like it will really shake up the touring/adventure segment. Prices range from $28,990 to $40,690 in Australia, ride away. Full pricing below.
Here are some of the highlights:
• 170hp (125kW) @ 10,500rpm/125Nm @ 8,750rpm
• 19-inch front wheel (laced available)
• 215kg dry weight
• Aluminium monocoque frame, steel tubes subframe and aluminium double-sided swing arm
• 60,000km major service intervals
• Designed for long distance riding on any road surface
• 22L fuel capacity
• Seat heights from 810-875mm
• Improved rider and pillion comfort
• Comprehensive electronics
• Improved ground clearance
At its core the new Multistrada appears to be more about touring – on and off the bitumen – than previous models. Of the V-twins, only the Enduro and 950 had a 19-inch front wheel: all the other 1200 and 1260s had 17s, which is good for sport but not so good on looser surfaces.
This points to Ducati wanting to compete with BMW’s GS rather than XR range, offering a V-four against the boxer twins.
Other bikes in the category include Triumph’s new Tigers, Yamaha’s Super Tenere, Honda’s Africa Twins and KTM’s Adventure models – most have 19 inch front hoops, some dirt-bike sized 21s.
Ducati hasn’t announced a specific V-four Enduro model – here at ARR we think that might be another year away.
There is a sports variant among the three bikes just launched – the others are a standard model (Multistrada V4) and the high-spec model (Multistrada V4S).
A compact, high-tech, powerful and low-maintenance V-four designed to sound and feel more like a twin.
At 1158cc it’s at the large end of the adventure bike class and is the only four-cylinder bike with a 19-inch front wheel. The offset crank and firing order should make it sound like a V-twin though.
Ducati’s dropped the Desmodromic valve actuation – where a cam opens and closes the valves – and moved to more conventional valve springs. This, in part, has helped move the new V4 to 60,000km between major service intervals, so your bike might be at a dealer a whole lot less often.
With class-leading power and torque figures there’s no doubt the new Multistrada will kick-arse performance-wise, and add in the four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro) and it’s likely to be able to comfortably take on anything you’re likely to throw at it.
We especially like the direction Ducati’s taken with the enduro mode – this is from the press kit:
“Thanks to the adoption of the 19” wheel, the Multistrada V4 is even more at ease when riding off road. The position of the centre of gravity, the weight distribution and, finally, the ergonomics designed to support even standing riding make the Multistrada V4 an authentic all-terrain motorcycle. Additionally, the Enduro Riding Mode sets engine power to a maximum of 115 hp, with off-road oriented suspension settings and DSS mapping for the S versions. DTC and DWC level settings are lowered and the ABS is set to level 1, suitable for off-road use on low grip surfaces: rear-wheel lift detection is off, Cornering functionality is off and ABS on the rear wheel is disabled.”
Reduced intervention, lowered power output and no ABS on the rear sound excellent for Australia’s dirt roads. In the gearbox first is lower and top gear higher than in previous V-fours, for better control at low speed and effortless cruising on highways.
The other modes – Sport, Touring and Urban – look like updated versions of the modes on older Multistradas, refined to suit the new bike.
With it’s front-end bias style – the tail of the new Multistrada visually tapers away, the new machine has a new style, but it’s still unmistakably a Multistrada.
The steering head is mounted in a monocoque frame which is bolted to the top of the motor, a stressed member and important part of the chassis. Down the back is a double-sided swingarm and trellis subframe.
The design was created to not only look good, but to offer excellent ergonomics, both seated and standing. Indeed, Ducati has emphasised it’s commitment to improving both rider and pillion comfort with a variety of seat heights (some using optional lower and taller seats), more legroom and better placement of pillion handgrips.
Incorporated into the design are aerodynamic ‘appendages’ and air vent slits which are designed to improve thermal comfort and draw heat away for the rider’s legs.
Integration with your lifestyle is becoming a priority for motorcycle manufacturers and Ducati’s taken that to a new level with a phone holder built into the tank cover, complete with USB port for charging and both WiFI and Bluetooth integration. There’s an additional 12v outlet on the dash.
The standard model gets a 5-inch display with integration for calls and music. The S models get a mineral glass 6.5-inch display (for improved visibility and reducing reflections) with suspension setting information and extra smartphone integration for mapping with Sygic navigation.
The phone can be ‘mirrored’, giving access to phone books, answer incoming calls and more.
Other features to make you more comfortable include optional heated grips and seat.
You can order the S model with radar technology – adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection. Available on motorcars for years, we suspect Ducati leaned on parent company Audi for assistance developing a system for bikes, but either way the result sounds impressive.
The front radar allows the rider to set a distance to the vehicle in front, which the bike will then attempt to maintain that distance, accelerating and decelerating as required.
The rear radar is for blind spot detection, with warning lights built into the mirrors if someone is in your blind spot. The lights flash if someone is approaching quickly.
Safety features include Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, cornering ABS brakes and Vehicle Hold Control.
Brakes and wheels
All the new Multistrada V4 models have a 3.00-19 front wheel and 4.5-17 rear, sizes well suited to touring both on and off the bitumen. Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres are standard – 120/70-19 and 170/60-17.
The S models can be specified with laced wheels ex-factory.
The base model – Multistrada V4
Available in red only, the base model is also the lightest at 215kg, but misses out on many of the high tech electronic features of the V4S.
There’s the LED lighting, adjustable seat, 170hp motor, new chassis, wind-tunnel designed aerodynamics, power modes and Ducati Multimedia System 5-inch TFT instruments.
Standard electronics include ABS Cornering, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), all controlled by an IMU.
The suspension is by Marzocchi, adjustable 50mm USD forks up front and a cantilever adjustable rear shock. Brakes are 320mm discs with Brembo M4.32 4-piston radial calipers.
In red of Aviator Grey, the V4S has all the features of the standard model with upgrades to the suspension, electronics and extras.
There’s electronic semi-active Marzocchi Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evolution suspension system with Autoleveling function, 10mm bigger brakes and upgraded Brembo calipers, Ducati Cornering lights, hands-free ignition, 6.5-inch TFT instrument panel, Ducati connect for your smartphone for calls, music and navigation, Ducati up-and-down quickshifter, cruise control and Vehicle Hold Control.
V4 S Sport
If you order the Sport it is supplied standard with the Akrapovič homologated carbon fibre and titanium silencer and carbon fibre front mudguard and Sport Livery graphics.
Trims and accessory packs
There’s a huge range of accessories and options coming for the new Multistrada V-fours, but to make it easier Ducati has put together a range of packs to suit different roles.
The ‘Trims’, for the V4S and Sport, are only available ex-factory, so must be ordered with the bike: accessory packs are available from your dealer.
For the V5S, you start by choosing alloy or spoked rims. Then there’s Travel (Panniers, centrestand, heated grips and seat), Travel & Radar (Panniers, centrestand, heated grips, heated seat and radar), Performance (Akrapovič homologated carbon fibre and titanium silencer) and an option to go Full – all of the options listed so far.
Accessory packs include Enduro (radiator guard, crash bars, engine protector, spotlights), Touring (panniers, centrestand, heated grips), Urban (top box, tankbag, USB hub) and Performance (Akrapovič homologated carbon fibre and titanium silencer).
For the Sport model, only the Performance and Full Trim packages are available, while the accessory packs remain the same.
The standard model’s accessory packs are the same as the V4S, except there’s and extra one called Functionality which includes the quickshifter, vehicle hold control and cruise control.
Multistrada V4 – from $28,990 Ride Away
Multistrada V4 S – from $33,490 Ride Away
Multistrada V4 S + Travel Package – from $35,990 Ride Away
Multistrada V4 S + Travel + Radar Package – from $37,590 Ride Away
Multistrada V4 S + Performance Package – from $35,690 Ride Away
Multistrada V4 S + Full Package – from $39,690 Ride Away
Multistrada V4 Sport S Performance Package – from $36,790 Ride Away
Multistrada V4 Sport S + Full Package – from $40,690 Ride Away