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2021 Ducati Multistrada V4S: Road Test Review

22 November 2021, 04:44 PM Pratheek Kunder

Intro

Ducati Multistrada V4 Right Side View

Pros: Excellent engine with lots of torque, loaded with electronics, highway manners are top notch

Cons: Unnerving to ride off-road

The first time I ever experienced the Multistrada was around a few years ago. Then it was called the Multistrada 1200S and it had all the bells and whistles. Luckily for me, I had the bike for a few days and had the opportunity to ride it over almost 1500kms which obviously I did. But there was a problem that arised after the ride. I just couldn’t like any other adventure tourers. I mean, I like them but the Multistrada 1200S was so good that I just couldn’t get comfortable with any other motorcycle. And now, I think I’m about the make a similar mistake – say hello to the Multistrada V4S – one  of the most powerful and feature rich adventure tourers on this planet. 

Ducati Multistrada V4 Front View

Quality

Ducati Multistrada V4 Right Side View

The Italians have a flair for taking things slow when it comes to motorcycles, but they do it the right way. It takes some time to get the best of quality out, and it’s the same story at Ducati. The company focuses a lot on getting the premium quality out, and it’s obviously seen on the Multistrada. The paint quality, the chassis welds, and the usage of plastics – all have been worked on with finesse to bring out the best experience possible. Even the basic black plastics have some kind of premiumness in it. 

Comfort

Ducati Multistrada V4 Left Front Three Quarter

Just a while ago, I talked about how intimidating this bike looks from far. But does it look same to the rider? Well, not really! Let me just swing my leg over first. As you can see, I’m neatly sitting in the bike and that gives a sense of confidence. I can reach the handlebar with ease. The bar is slightly tilted towards me and I find this setting quite perfect. You also have the option to tweak this reach the way you want. For off-road, I will definitely change the settings. But right now, this is perfect for me.  

Now coming to the seat height – well, this one right here is 840mm which could be a problem for a lot of Indians. But Ducati does offer lower seat options as well.  

Ducati Multistrada V4 Left Side View

In terms of seating comfort, well, the Multistrada has always been known to offer top-class seats and it’s the same story with this one. The feel, the touch, the cushioning – it’s all excellent – on the rider’s seat as well as on the pillion. 

Performance

Ducati Multistrada V4 Engine From Right
Ducati Multistrada V4

Ducati Multistrada V4

  • Displacement1,158 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)167.62 bhp
  • Kerb Weight240 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 18,99,000

The engine on the Multistrada is the one that we also see on the Panigale and the Streetfighter. But makes 55cc more from 1103cc to 1158cc. It also makes less power at 170bhp at 10,500rpm instead of over 200bhp at 12,750rpm. The torque figures are similar to that of the Streetfighter but it makes all of it at lower revs. What I really loved about this engine is that it retains the twin pulse firing order and interval for that V-twin feel. It also deactivates the rear two cylinders at standstill for better heat management and trust me when I say this, but this feature is such a brilliant move. Because this Ducati doesn’t heat up like the other models and that is such a boon especially while riding in the city.  

And then there's feel. This motor offers tonnes of refinement and smoothness. Something that makes it addictive. But the addiction gets to a new level when you open that throttle. This engine wants you to ride hard all the time. It has a race intent and that’s why you will see a lot of riders take the bike to the racetrack. 

Ducati Multistrada V4 Engine From Left

Also, for the first time in many years, Ducati has used valve springs instead of Desmo valve gear – it’s just cheaper and lighter to make. Plus, it increases the service intervals - something that is needed for a fast tourer like the Multistrada V4S. Ducati decided to chuck the enduro variant and offer some off-road capabilities on this model itself. That’s why you see a 19-inch front and not a 17-inch that we have seen in the older models. I guess the idea was to reduce the number of variants, maybe because the Enduro didn’t sell much. But was that a good call? Well. 

Ducati Multistrada V4 Left Front Three Quarter

Now you need to understand that the Multistrada V4S is a large bike and it tips the scale at 240kgs. Plus, when I look at this motorcycle, I just don’t feel like riding it hard off-road. Maybe it’s due to those large body panels and the costs of fixing it haunting me. But this bike can surely do mild off-roading really well. So things like riding on dirt trails, sand, and ruts – all these things this bike does it superb. But if you want to ride really hard off-road that means lots of jump, some crazy U-turns or maybe even some fast corners – it’s quite unnerving. Even though the bike has lots of electronics and a special Enduro mode for these needs, the size and the weight of the bike does make things little difficult.  

Ducati Multistrada V4 Front View

After riding the 1200S for 1500kms a few years ago, I realized one thing – there’s a big market for bikes that lets you tour in comfort and style. And now with the Multistrada V4S, things have gone to a whole new level.  

Ducati Multistrada V4 Right Side View

I’ll first talk about the most exciting feature of all – the radar guidance system. The box that you see upfront is the latest tech in the world of motorcycling. This system is needed for the adaptive cruise control. What this feature does is, it lets you follow a vehicle ahead with enough distance – distance that you can set it from four options. So if the vehicle up front slows down, the bike will automatically slow down as well. And if the vehicle speeds up, the V4S will linearly increase the speed too. This system works flawlessly and is a boon for highway touring. Btw, there’s a radar system at the back too. This one is needed for the blind spot detection. There are two amber lights positioned on the mirrors. So when the system detects someone coming close to you at the back and is at a total blind spot, the lights lit up, making you aware of the vehicles around you. I used this feature in the city as well as on the highway and it’s such a boon to have it. This tech is so good that every motorcycle should come with one.  

Ducati Multistrada V4 Front View

Now coming to the highway manners, well, the bike is extremely planted. High speed rides are extremely stable. There’s good feedback from the front. There’s some wind buffeting but you have the option of adjusting the screen using this handle and you can use just a finger and can be done easily on the go. We managed to clock couple of hundred kms in a day and the overall fatigue level was almost nonexistent. 

Technology

Ducati Multistrada V4 TFT / Instrument Cluster

This part could take a while because we are going to talk about features and it’s a Ducati. So their bikes are always loaded with top-spec stuff. First, I’m going to talk about electronics. This bike right here gets Ducati’s EVO system – that means it has the multiple traction control levels, cornering ABS, wheelie control and also bi-directional quickshifter. There’s also multiple riding modes – sports, touring, urban and enduro. Each modes have individual settings associated. So every time you change the mode, you get a completely different motorcycle experience. There’s also cornering lamps which is a boon in case you are riding in some hilly terrain. 

Ducati Multistrada V4 Handlebar Clamp

Now coming to the suspension system – well, it is all electronic. The compression, rebound, damping and preload – all can be adjusted by using a few buttons. To make life easier, Ducati has given a total of four suspension settings – rider, rider with luggage, rider and a pillion and finally – rider with pillion and all the luggage. I found this system to be practical, useable and more importantly – likeable.  

The 6.5-inch full colour TFT screen is excellent. It houses lots of information and shows them in a neatly and easy way. I found this screen to be intuitive. Also, there’s navigation on this one and you can explore more of it once you connect your phone. 

Fuel Efficiency

Ducati Multistrada V4 Right Side View

In the city, this Ducati guzzles fuel a bit more than you’d expect. I got around 15kmpl in the city traffic, but on the highways, this Multistrada can give you more than 20kmpl, depending on your riding style. So with a fuel tank capacity of 22 litres, the bike can be ridden for approximately 350kms in a tank full, but in touring scenarios. 

Verdict

Ducati Multistrada V4 Front View

Now it is time to give our verdict. But let me first tell you how much this bike is going to cost. This variant right here is priced at Rs 27 lakh on-road Mumbai and I genuinely don’t remember the last time I said this for a big bike, but the Multistrada V4S offers lots of value at 27 lakh. The bike is supremely comfortable – be it in the city or on the highway. Even the pillion will be quite happy sitting at the back for long hours. 

Ducati Multistrada V4 Right Front Three Quarter

And then there are tonnes of features – features that are not just there for marketing purposes but they are practical and works quite efficiently. My personal favourite is the Blind Spot Deduction system. Then there’s also this styling that gets attention every single minute. You are almost like a star whenever you are on that saddle. But the most important aspect of the bike – the performance. 170bhp of pure performance. This engine is smooth. Offers lots of refinement and grunt all throughout. In short, if you are in the world of adventure touring, you should find ways to own the Ducati Multistrada V4S one day. Well, I am. 

Photography by Kapil Angane

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