It’s around nine in the morning. I’m cruising down the Mumbai-Nashik highway at a leisurely speed, or at least that’s what I thought. I take a quick glance at the speedometer only to realise I’m going faster than usual. “That doesn’t look right,” I tell myself as I gently roll down the throttle. Moments later, the same thing happens – I’m cruising at speeds much higher than usual. What wizardry is this? These speed figures should not feel this comfortable.
As a part of my job, I get to test some really exotic motorcycles. So, I make it a point to not get overly attached to one as it will eventually go back. I tried to do the same with the all-new Ducati Multistrada V4 S that was in our garage for a week, but failed miserably. My colleague, Pratheek Kunder reviewed this motorcycle and you can read all about it here. Also, FYI, this isn’t a paid promotion.
With the shoot done and dusted, and having ridden the Multistrada V4S to his heart’s content, Pratheek handed the keys (keyfob, actually) of the motorcycle to me for a day before we had to return it to Ducati. This isn’t the first Multistrada that I have ridden. I have tested the Multistrada 1200 S and the Multistrada 1200 Enduro in the past. It was ridiculously easy to fall in love with one of them while the other, as a famous phrase goes in BikeWale, didn’t pull the heart’s strings. For 2021, Ducati decided to have just one Multistrada that combined the characteristics of the standard motorcycle and the Enduro. Thus, you would find a sporty motorcycle with some off-roading capabilities, kind of a luxury SUV of the two-wheeler world.
The Multistrada V4 S was with me for a limited period, and so I decided to do a no-nonsense ride on roads that I am very familiar with, the Mumbai-Nashik highway. I’ve ridden several motorcycles on this route, the likes of the Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6, the BMW F 900 XR, the KTM 390 Adventure, and the Triumph Tiger 800 XRx. This motorcycle, however, outdoes any other experience.
The V4 engine feels smooth and you would be surprised to see the numbers on the speedometer. Going fast is also easier thanks to the spectacularly tuned bidirectional quickshifter that feels crisp and precise. It doesn’t get scary either as the Brembo braking system, which is also seen on the 200bhp+ Panigale V4 superbike, delivers oodles of confidence to brake late. It’s the closest that you can get to experience hitting a wall without actually running into one. Then there are the electronic nannies that ensure you aren’t left with skid marks. It’s ridiculous, how fast I covered the distance between the two cities despite taking breaks to click many photographs.
The comfort department deserves a special mention. If you have been following my posts here, you would know that I am recovering from a lower back injury. But the Multistrada V4 S is so comfortable that I could barely feel any fatigue despite riding the motorcycle for nearly 400km in a day. You’re cocooned behind a well-designed windscreen as the Multistrada V4 makes kilometres feel like inches. It doesn’t get very hot either, thanks to the smart electronic sorcery called the Cylinder Deactivation System. So, you can say goodbye to the medium roasted thighs. There’s also the radar system which is a first-of-its-kind feature on a two-wheeler sold in the Indian market. While I couldn’t use the adaptive cruise control system, the blind-spot detection system worked wonderfully and other vehicles, too, should get this feature for added safety.
But it isn’t without flaws. The fuel bills run high as the V4 engine guzzles petrol faster than youngsters drink shots today. Then there’s the 19-inch front/17-inch rear setup that reduces the tyre choices. Sure, you can opt for the Pikes Peak edition of the motorcycle but that isn’t here yet and you’d have to pay a bomb to purchase it. But I love the Multistrada V4 S despite all those flaws, and you would too.
So, if you have the money, there is nothing in the Indian market right now that will satisfy you as the Ducati Multistrada V4 S. It’s attractive, agile, appealing – and those are just the A’s. But if you can’t afford one, save yourself a heartbreak and do not test ride the Ducati Multistrada V4 S. It will spoil you for life!