2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Scorches Roads, Takes Off-Road Pounding, Too


Let’s cut to the 80-mph-and-beyond chase.

Climbing aboard the handsome, ferocious and pricey Ducati Multistrada V4S is like a putting on a Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke suit, some of which sell for $22,000. The 2022 Multistrada V4S is $26,095. It’s not such a stretch. You feel like a boss. Not a DB boss, though. Just a lover of speed, style and the high life.

The Multistrada is waiting for me in dealership parking lot, by itself, parked on its sidestand, engine on, when I arrive at precisely 3 PM.

The man who helps me familiarize myself with it kindly removes, at my request, two enormous strong boxes mounted on the vehicle’s left and right flank. They are easy to take off and put on once you understand how to hang them and lock them, but right now I am not interested – I just want to get rolling. But I keep the storage box on the back.

I don’t mind being long. I just don’t like being wide.

I see this is, too, the first Ducati I’ve ever driven that isn’t red. It’s “Iceberg grey” save for the bit of red on the frame, near the back. I’m out of my element. But as my week’s test rolls on, I’m glad for the grey. A red bike screams fun, speed, recklessness. Grey means you’re all business. Grey means “I don’t have to tell the world that I have one of the most exclusive motorcycles on the market.”

Off with me, and the first thing I notice is how much quieter the 4th generation Multistrada is than the Monster and Supersport I tested. Again, no need to prove anything, or startle the crows on the wire outside my house.

The next thing I notice is how surprisingly plastic-y the cockpit materials are, as is the compartment on top of the gas tank. It takes a good sock to get the compartment to pop open, it doesn’t close any easier and, since it’s too small to hold my ball of keys or my Droid, it remains empty for my test – except sometimes it pops open because you really have to bang it shut. It’s like your fly opening. Unless you lock that zipper, it’s XYZ, boss.

But that was my first and last real gripe about the motorcycle. It’s designed for both touring and lite off-roading, and I put it to the test immediately in the dirt about 18 miles from where I picked up the motorcycle, in “touring” mode. I headed straight for and into and out of each massive pothole, no problem – just gripped the wheel and steady on the gas via the V4 Granturismo engine, and eventually back out onto the highway again, where I threw it into “Sport” mode.

And here is where the motorcycle and I matched each other. I’ve always been in a hurry and “Sport” mode and a twist of the throttle shot me, again and again, far ahead of traffic, or leaning into corners in low gears – which made the engine woof just a little bit at last – and my face hurt from smiling. That’s all I ask from a motorcycle, more or less – that it makes me forget about everything except what’s in front of me.

Specs:

I made up my mind that I loved the Multistrada V4 S in less than half a day. In time, of course, I read up, watched videos and learned the following:

It’s the first motorcycle in the world equipped with front and rear radar, with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Blind Spot Detection (BSD) systems which represent a precious aid to riding comfort and safety, especially on long journeys. I especially appreciated the blind spot detection warnings in my mirrors.

It’s also got some pretty generous maintenance intervals, with valve clearance control set every 37,000 miles. All models of the family have the exclusive “4Ever Ducati” warranty, valid for 4 years with unlimited mileage – but only in Europe, for some reason. But it’s still a pretty generous deal, and represents a good company standing by their product, knowing people are going to smack the crap out of it.

For your electronic package, the main update lies in a new semi-automatic function of the electronic suspension for the Multistrada V4 S, called Minimum Preload. This feature allows you to reduce the height of the motorcycle and makes it easier and safer to place your feet on the ground during city use or when maneuvring at low speed, especially with a passenger on board. I didn’t have to use this feature because the motorcycle fit me fine, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you need it.

Another important software update concerns the interaction between the rider and the bike, which is now more functional thanks to the improvements implemented in the Infotainment (Ducati Connect) and HMI (Human-Machine Interface) areas.

The new package of updates is available both as a standard feature on new motorcycles and free of charge for those who already own a Multistrada V4 S. Multistrada owners who can take advantage of these new features will be contacted gradually through the MyDucati App and via email and will then be able to go to Ducati Service to receive the updates.

Another color, Iceberg White, is available, joining the Ducati Red and Aviator Grey options. The bike can be ordered in five different trims (Essential, Radar, Travel & Radar, Full). Check out the website for more information.

Oh, and about those cases I didn’t want? They’re called aluminium side panniers, and they’re designed by the Centro Stile Ducati and made in collaboration with Givi.

Internal bags are also available as an accessory, made of resistant waterproof fabric with heat-sealed seams and customized with the Ducati Performance logo. The practical handles also allow you to carry them as hand luggage, making them a versatile product, capable of optimizing comfort and functionality on every journey.

Would this be my motorcycle of choice if I was going to buy? It’s highly likely, but I’d narrow it down between this motorcycle and perhaps the angrier 2022 Monster. But it’d be close.

As always, there is more, much more, and I’m in a hurry and so are you. Ride a Multistrada and you’ll discover goodies galore as you go along, each a new delight.



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