Ducati Multistrada V4 S motorcycle test


La dolce-veloce vita

V4 Granturismo of 1.158 cm3, 170 hp and 125 Nm, 243 kg, radars, semi-active suspensions, from 19.590 €…

It’s been almost twenty years since Ducati tackled the trail, since the Multistrada 1000 DS of 2003. Designed by Pierre Terblanche, which gives it originality and elegance, its twin-cylinder "Desmodue" open at 90 ° and double ignition comes from the Monster. The unit then develops 84 hp at 8,000 rpm for a torque of 85 Nm at 5,000 rpm, compared with the 170 horsepower of the 2021 version..

In 2006, the trail increased to 1,100 cm3 with 95 horsepower before increasing to 1,200 cm3 in 2009. The 1,198 cm3 engine with four valves per cylinder and cooled by liquid then released 150 hp at 9,250 rpm for a torque of 11.8 Nm at 7,500 rpm. It is then the turn of the electronics to invade the machine from 2012 with in particular piloted suspensions in version S. Three years later, a system of variable admission improves the engine availability. Finally, in 2019 the machine gained 64 cm3 by increasing the stroke and is available in a final Grantour version..

And then it’s the shock of the 2021 vintage. If it is still the Multistrada 1200, the trail now incorporates a brand new V4 engine, the same one already equipping the sporty Panigale and the Streefighter V4 roadster. It is equipped with ever more sophisticated electronics and above all, general ergonomics commensurate with its claimed versatility. In short, the Multistrada 1200 V4 is a mechanical and technological revolution as well as ergonomic.

New design, new engine, new chassis, new assistanceNew design, new engine, new chassis, new assistance

550 km in one day of a small deconfined trip will allow us to gauge the Italian in sunny pre-winter conditions, before driving it again in town to confirm its points in duo.


Under the pencil of Andrea Amato, responsible for the design of this 2021 opus, the Multistrada V4 adjusts its style and is especially more compact. The more discreet and functional elegance marks the novelty. It starts with a shorter beak and fires. All the lighting is led and the double front optic incorporates a nice daytime signature. Just below it, a bulge integrates the radar of the adaptive regulator (optional). Higher up, a new and large screen with intricate cutouts slides 85mm and can be adjusted with a finger even while riding. This protective fork crown is framed by a tapered and more reduced scoop, surmounted by the broad shoulders of the tank which increases to 22 liters (+2 L). It features a small waterproof, lockable box at its top, incorporating a USB socket to charge your smartphone. A very good idea. Stylish exhaust air vents also dress the machine, flanked lower down by aerodynamic appendages regulating the temperature of the engine block and rider legs. New, differentiated, less massive seats accommodate the crew. Long, wide and flat, they are better padded. That of the passenger remains more in line with that of the pilot and is surrounded by a handle with a much more adapted profile.

Dual LED optics with daytime light signatureDual LED optics with daytime light signature

Concluded with a double light with refined LEDs, the stern is clearly refined. The new Multistrada is based on a chassis made up of 4 elements. The rear tubular trellis bolts onto the double steel plates fixed to the top of the cylinder heads of the rear cylinders. An element then joins the double aluminum hulls of the front frame. This structure integrates the motor as a load-bearing function for optimum rigidity..

LED tail lightLED rear light

And the revolution begins with the integration of the new Granturismo V4 engine already fitted to Panigale and Streetfighter, in Desmosedici Stradale version. If its displacement is greater, 1,158 cm3 (83×53.5), its throttle bodies are of smaller diameter (46 mm), the ducts longer and combustion chambers optimized for more road use. But it is its dimensions that impress. Consider, this block is 85mm narrower, 95mm narrower and only 20mm wider compared to the twin it replaces. And at 66.7 kg, it is also 1.2 kg lighter. This compactness has many advantages for this model: it makes it possible to optimize the center of gravity of the motorcycle by placing it more forward. This also allows to gain 46 mm of ground clearance !

1.567 mm wheelbase1.567 mm wheelbase

This engine also says goodbye to the Desmo! No more desmodromic belts therefore, but chains and pinions which lead to a more conventional distribution. Four overhead camshafts move the 4 steel valves per cylinder, with spring return. As on the other two V4 models, we especially note the counter-rotating crankshaft limiting the gyroscopic effect of the wheels and their kinetic effect. Set at 70 °, the connecting rod crankpins deliver a “Twin Pulse” type ignition order. Thus, it is as if this engine reproduces the ignition sequence of a twin cylinder. The two cylinders on the left are fired simultaneously, as are the two cylinders on the right afterwards. With the following ignition diagram at 0 °, 90 °, 290 ° and 380 °. The mechanics thus develop 170 hp at 10,500 revolutions and 125 Nm of torque at 8,750 revolutions per minute. But 70% of the torque is available from 4,000 rpm and 90% at 5,200 rpm. In third, we thus have 25% more torque. Suffice to say that the approval, even charged, is at every moment. Last points, to reduce heating the rear cylinders are deactivated when stationary and the clutch is anti-dribble.

Granturismo engine, 4 cylinders in V at 90 ° 4T, counter-rotating crankshaftGranturismo engine, 4 cylinders in V а 90 ° 4T, counter-rotating crankshaft

The whole is of course under the control of state-of-the-art chips, starting with a three-axis (6-direction) inertial unit (IMU). This brain manages all the time on your evolutions and the piloting aids, themselves preset differently according to four modes: Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro. For each profile, each help can be modified according to your wishes. In addition, Urban and Enduro limit the power to 136 hp to stick more to the required use. The modes also influence the electronic suspensions (DSS) of the Multistrada V4 S. The preload is adjusted by a dedicated push button on the handlebars to 4 values. An automatic mode also makes it possible to let the machine do its work via its inertial unit according to the weight detected … We can then refine the hydraulics if necessary on the dashboard. Intuitive, the setting is simple to modify the many functions and electronic aids: traction control (DTC) and anti-wheeling (DWC) at 8 levels, ABS with 3 increments (adjusted on the central angle by its Bosch-Brembo ABS central 10.3ME) and engine brake (DEB) and setting of the quick shifter up and down (DQS). The machine is also equipped with turn signal lights (DCL), automatic turn signals, cruise control and Hill Start Assist (VHC). Besides serving good Italian coffee, what more could she do? Well an additional option will bring you the adaptive regulator thanks to the radars. When the cruise control is activated, this adjusts the distance to the vehicle in front. The machine brakes and starts again automatically. And you can also adjust this distance between yourself and the previous vehicle. A blind spot detector finally lights up the lights integrated in the mirrors.

The cycle part is just as complete. Both fully electronically adjustable, 50mm Marzocchi inverted fork with pressurized cartridge and same-origin shock absorber are continuously adjustable. The latter manages a new double perforated aluminum swing arm with the most beautiful effect. The 170mm travel is monitored by the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evolution system. The geometry evolves significantly for more agility. The column angle changes to 24.5 ° (against 25 °), the trail of 102.5 mm (against 111 mm) for a wheelbase of 1.567 mm (- 18 units).

With 5 split or spoke spokes, your choice on the S model, the rims now display 19 inches at the front and 17 inches at the rear. They fit Pirelli Scorpion Trail II in 120/70 and 170/60. To brake them, Brembo M50 Stilema 4-piston monobloc front calipers with mounting and radial master cylinder drive 330mm discs. Opposing two-piston gripper bites a 265mm disc.

The new Multistrada V4 S impresses with its finishes and the fit of its components. Good point for the enveloping aluminum shoe finishing the base of the machine. Too bad, it will be necessary to go through the option packs to graft it with certain essential elements for a traveler: central stand, heated saddles and grips, suitcases … Also, the handguards seem little covering. I just regret the presence of plastic covers on the engine, hiding the metallic beauty of the heart of the machine. Question maintenance, the simple revisions take place every 15,000 km and above all, that of the distribution is set at 60,000 km. A real feat for this engine.

Goodbye L-twin and Desmo for a V-4Goodbye L-twin and Desmo for a V-4

The standard V4 model is less well equipped as standard: no electronics for its 50 mm diameter Marzocchi fork and its adjustable single shock absorber. The quickshifter is optional. Its brake discs are 320mm with Brembo M4.32 4-piston radial calipers. The TFT dashboard is 5 ”and there is no hands-free key. But the price is more reasonable also at only 19,500 euros.

In the saddle

Two possible saddle heights, 840 or 860 mm, allow you to find the best place on a narrow saddle at its junction with the tank. The 1.70 rider will be just on tiptoe in the down position. An option at 810 or 875 mm will satisfy all sizes. My eighty-four especially appreciates the additional 21 mm between the saddle and the footrests. The general position is excellent, the legs slightly bent. We are now sitting ON the machine and no longer in it. And that changes everything for piloting.

The hands fall on a wide handlebars ahead of an elegant cockpit. An accessory socket is ideally positioned to the right of the instruments and completes the USB socket present in the mini-safe of the tank. The fully sheathed fork well adds to the perceived quality. Under the eyes, a new 6.5-inch TFT screen brings together plethora of information and very well arranged. I especially appreciate the “classic” tachometer mimicking an analog element. Everything is readable, including under the sun, with a very effective anti-glare treated screen. New joystick allows easy control of functions.

TFT panel of 66 "5 TFT panel in clear and readable dashboard

The numerous push-buttons are all backlit for ease of use at night. And most are uni-function. The + and – keys are used to adjust the sensitivity of the optional adaptive regulation radar. The TFT screen can also be rotated to 4 values. It can automatically switch to negative at night or in tunnels.

Backlit controls, joystick under the thumb for the dashboard menusBacklit controls, joystick under the thumb for the dashboard menus

In the city

The sound of the V4 is just like the machine: refined. We lose in thunder what we gain in melody. It is much more pleasant and civilized. Without being cutesy, far from it. Likewise, the mechanics are very accommodating in town. Softer than the twin Testastretta, the Granturismo takes the crew gently, ideally assisted by precise selection and flexible clutch. The quick shifter up and down works perfectly and also smoothly. With more pleasant ergonomics offering better control, an excellent turning radius and ideal docility, the Ducati traveler is also a beautiful everyday tool. Its more discreet and less aggressive sound contributes significantly to the general approval in town. And few vibrations now come out of the block. Available, it easily tolerates a fourth gear at 50 km / h. And you can even push it into sixth gear at 50 km / h, which is its limit so as not to knock. Finally, the mirrors return a wide field, crisp at full speed and adjust correctly on their magnificent micro-blasted aluminum supports..

Able to drive at 50 km / h in 6th gear if requiredAble to drive 50 km / h in 6th gear if required

However, we will not forget to look for the horizon. Civilized, the Multi V4 has many other qualities to offer.

Motorways and expressways

Civilized, of course, but not sluggish or slack in the knee. Ah, no … The Transalpin water heater without hesitation carries the crew well beyond the regulations. In remarkable comfort. No vibrations, contained mechanical music. In legal terms, the V4 boxing quietly at 5,000 laps. Fairing and bubble provide excellent protection, leaving only the end of the shoulders to take a little air. In the high position, the windshield returns the air to the top of the helmet without any eddies or infrasound. And I trace my quiet route in the ambient 4 ° C, heated grips on. At 3 ° C, the display indicates the risk of frost. And at 0 ° C, we appreciate the heated saddle, heated grips, handguards and high screen that effectively protects from the cold..

Likewise, the course is flawless and the cushioning is felted. What to engage the regulator. The adaptive system is a real plus, I am the first surprised. Those used to expressways or other everyday commuters will find this a significant help. Especially since we keep our hand at all times. Finally, the suitcases are mounted on a pendulum system which avoids any swaying effect, even very quickly … which we verified at a 240 km / h on the German motorway during the following day..

Excellent protection offered by the screen and the hand guards at shameful speedsExcellent protection offered by the screen and the hand guards at unspeakable speeds

This wader seduces me. But the time for the road is ringing to test its liveliness and its qualities as a winding asphalt looper..


Imperial in tariffed straight lines, the Italian immediately asserts other qualities on the secondary network. And not the least. His key word? Ease. And yes, the Multi 2021 is obvious, in every way and brings astonishing ease. It is the whole machine that creates this feeling of serenity. New geometry and ergonomics associated with an optimized distribution of masses and traversed by few vibrations give a whole new face to the Italian. Absolute volcanism gives way to pure long-term efficiency.

Living engine, maneuverability, a weapon of war on small roadsLiving engine, maneuverability, a weapon of war on small roads

The V4 energizes / dynamites the Multistrada at all times. And this Granturismo version gives it the ideal character for its dynamic road destination. Guided by precise injection, its performance is modulated at any time using the handle. While in control, the cavalry can just as well send the front axle towards the skies as to ensure more serious but just as pleasant and (very) fast evolutions. Available over the entire available engine range, the mechanics get carried away from 4,800 rpm when their power and torque curves intersect, with even better at 7,000 rpm. And the latter continues to grow over nearly 4,000 revolutions. It sends heavy, but without excess, in the deep snores of the air box. When the engine power trumps the excellent rear envelope, the electronics ensure skidding and drive perfectly. From the tip of the boots, we climb on the fly the reports of a box that locks instantly. The quickshifter is the best, both uphill and downhill and the anti-dribble clutch allows you to downshift sporty. Devoid of inertia, the mobile crew climbs towards the red zone. Its counter-rotating crankshaft also contributes to this general ease and to the general lightness of operation. The efficiency is remarkable on the acceleration and braking phases.

Despite a 19-inch front wheel, the machine can be taken without forcing at all and this dimension even provides additional comfort. Remarkably stiff, the Multi V4 tilts in a single block, its precise steering gear chiseling the curves. With the tips of gloves or boots, the trail is placed on its trajectory, dives in turns and settles on its line. You can easily correct its evolution if necessary and you keep, smoothly, a trickle of gas on the angle. The neutrality of its chassis also gives great confidence and you quickly force the pace. The 170 rear tire also boosts agility. The wader moves from one angle to another always effortlessly, the machine almost piloting itself. This evidence is most relaxing.

Comfortable and at a rolling pace, almost a long-haul roadComfortable, and at a curled pace, almost a long haul road

At a good pace, the Multi V4 S can enter a curve on the brakes without movement despite the machine’s 243 kg. The grip of the lever however freezes the direction a little, but the progressiveness of the caliper and its excellent control ensure excellent decelerations. Transparent in its implementation, the ABS is triggered late, wisely. The electronics watch over the entire bike when cornering. Thus, the suspensions also adjust and clearly limit mass transfers. The balance of the cycle part does the rest, leaving the pilot a remarkable natural ease. Likewise, the road feel is very convincing and the precise front axle provides good feedback. Whatever the quality of the bitumen, the comfort remains of the best.

In more curled piloting, the maxi-trail now gives the pleasure of long-distance adventurers. Its comfort and ease make it easy to imagine access to distant destinations during the day..

170 hp, above all 125 Nm and 4 driving modes to choose your pace170 hp, especially 125 Nm, and 4 driving modes to choose your pace


With its remarkably stiff chassis and top-of-the-range damping, the Multistrada V4 S is imperial whatever the look and style of riding. The whole confers an intuitive grip and an up and up approval. Efficient, the suspensions provide excellent comfort, are responsive to adjustments and combine with pleasant seating.


Powerful, the superlative Brembo M50 Stylema front calipers deliver an always flexible attack. Their mastery brings an excellent feeling of decelerations, even on the strongest. Now more controllable, the rear clamp leaves full latitude to its pilot to correct his attack. And the back may even be enough in town.

2 330 mm discs, Brembo M50 Stylema 4-piston radial calipers, curved ABS2 330 mm discs, Brembo M50 Stylema 4-piston radial calipers, curved ABS

Comfort / Duo

The upholstery is well designed, giving the crew firm and lasting comfort. The position is ideal on the handlebars and the passenger is also remarkably seated. The passenger handles are perfect. The frontal protection to the air flow is very good, reinforced by the comfort of use of the screen which can be adjusted with a finger, even while riding. The whole erases all the faults of the road and we can even swallow fast-paced backs without suffering or jumping..

Double aluminum swingarm and adjustable monoshock shock absorber with semi-active DSS system, 180 mm travelDouble aluminum swingarm and adjustable monoshock shock absorber with semi-active DSS system, 180 mm travel

Only downside: the gap between the passenger and the pilot can be 10cm or even 20cm depending on the size and it will then be difficult for the passenger to tighten his legs around the pilot. The handles will then be the only means of support, which is not ideal. We will not hesitate to change the position of the passenger seat which can be adjusted to two positions, allowing it to be brought closer to the pilot..

The duo is ideal on this model if the pilot is a large size. Indeed, it will then be glued to the back of its saddle and the grip for the passenger will be better..

Heated rider and passenger seat with two levels, adjustable in two height levelsHeated rider and passenger seat with two levels, adjustable in two height levels


The small box on the tank allows you to house your smartphone and especially to recharge it with a standard USB socket. There is also an accessory socket to the right of the dashboard.

The suitcases can be accommodated, the one on the left making it possible to accommodate an integral of the Shoei type in our test with its 35 liters. The one on the right offers a reduced capacity because of the exhaust on the right and it is suddenly cut off from a part of storage capacity in comparison, offering only 25 liters..

Side case that can accommodate a full face helmet (left)Side case that can accommodate a full face helmet (left)


The computer admits an average consumption of 8 liters at a dynamic pace, able to go down to 7 liters with a less sustained pace, ensuring approximately 300 km of autonomy (22-liter tank), even if the gauge indicates 360 kilometers once the full done. But even the consumption in the city turns on these figures there, unless you really roll on the last report.

Ducati Multistrada V4 S: to go farDucati Multistrada V4 S: to go far

The test of the Multistrada V4 in video


It took me 17 years and 4 versions to finally appreciate the Ducati trail. This Multistrada V4 S is a revelation of dynamic Transalpine tourism. Finally comfortable in every way (ergonomics, sound, vibration, mechanics) and always more efficient and demonstrative, the novelty invites you to travel. Comely, seductive, its homogeneity is astonishing. The Italian is now a formidable competitor in the segment of high-end fast travelers. Priced at 19,590 € in the standard version, it is however expensive. The S version of our test calls for € 22,190 to which we must add the essential Travel pack (suitcases, central stand, heated handles and saddles) and radar … a cost of € 24,340, in red. It’s starting to get high.

The Germanic BMW S1000XR will find there a competitor to its measure. Now priced at € 17,900 base, the German becomes a top-of-the-range road Concorde if we add the price of options. Its cousin R 1250 GS asks for € 18,100. In another style, the best-seller from across the Rhine also finds someone to talk to. Less efficient in engine, the GS will oppose its gimbal and the flavor of its flat twin. At the southern border, the Austrian KTM 1290 Super Adventure S can be obtained from 17,899 €. Its 160 HP twin and a maximum torque of 140 Nm gives it serious dynamic arguments. It is also the most capable in offroad, DNA obliges. But she is less conciliatory than the Italian.

Road diva, the new Ducati Multistrada V4 S is likely to abuse the road segment it covets. Its ease of handling, its new ergonomics and attractive mechanics give it its best weapons. Now attractive, it is surely the most versatile of the range. The Multi V4 combines character without fatigue, comfort without boredom; It’s the dolce-veloce vita.

Strong points

  • motor
  • cycle part
  • agility
  • braking
  • behviour
  • comfort
  • finishes

Weak points

  • price with options
  • seat height

The technical sheet of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 V4

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: small varied roads + highways + city
  • Motorcycle mileage: 800 km

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8 thoughts on “Ducati Multistrada V4 S motorcycle test

  1. Morning.

    Some have probes of softness of the gearbox and / or firmness of the shift locks…

    Not me: I have a CT DCT that I bought almost without doing it on purpose: following the theft of my Transalp 700 in the street one fine morning, I went back to the Honda dealership that had sold it to me, so that I could ” he informs the importer of the theft of the motorcycle by his serial number.

    I must have looked annoyed (of course: convinced that a T @ was not prone to theft, I had not taken this guarantee …) because he suggested that I try the CT DCT which ‘he had in customer trials.

    I left with ……………… And on the way back, I bought it! With 600 km, at -17% and with certain accessories as a gift: high screen, alarm, I also had -15% on the Givi luggage, the TTRv4, the wheel licker, the reserve mat, the central beq, the while posing for free.

    I shed 14300Ђ instead of ~ 18500 if I had to have bought everything.

    And my experience with my CTа DCT gearbox is very positive: machine smoothness and hyper torquey engine willpower.

    The faults that I can cite are all in all reduced: in Drive mode, the gears pass at full speed which puts the engine in 6th at 60 km / h (and 2000 RPM). Fortunately, we can regain power, either permanently (in manual mode) or temporarily, to downshift (in auto mode). In program S, the motor expresses itself much better and shows what it is capable of. But it consumes more. We can then set up the gears under the same conditions.

    Visually, I have a problem with the digital dashboard, even if it is very complete: I would have preferred good old round dials! Likewise, the duckbill at the front is not very happy (personal opinion), as well as the weak passive safety of the engine in the event of a bowl or the narrowness of the rear part of the motorcycle: guaranteed back spraying. ! Hence the hugger, which should be provided as standard. Likewise, why is the central stand not in the basic equipment, as well as the high screen? It’s petty…

    All this is ultimately just trivia! The bike is well born, it gives a feeling of pleasure and very enviable security, it is not too widespread (so much the better! Like that people question the pilot) and demonstrates the relevance of the choices of Honda for the technological party of this model.

    In short: testimony of a happy man with his motorbike.

  2. Well then Waboo, we let some shells go ?

    "win 46 cm ground clearance "

    Woaw, enough to greatly improve the crossing abilities

    "No more desmodromic belts then"


    ("no more belts or desmodromic timing", I guess respect )

    I may be saying something stupid, but it seems to me that on the Ducati "top of the range" engine, the belts have disappeared since the 1199, right?

  3. Thank you for this very well done test ! V

    A few remarks, you consider this bike to be a great traveler, okay, suddenly I find it unfortunate that Ducati did not take the opportunity to install the new Regina maintenance-free chain.

    Another thing, you speak of the Aprilia V4, but you could have mentioned the 1200 V4 of the Honda Crosstourer, or that of the VFR 800 X, if indeed the second does not box in the same category, we must not forget that 1200 came out 175hp in version F.

    When I see this Multistrada I tell myself that Honda has missed something for not having made its maxi Trail evolve. !hum

  4. Hello,

    I am a 46 year old beginner biker who has been riding a Varadero 125 for 1 year. I am looking for a new mount. I had the chance to try an HD Sportster 1200, a Motoguzzi V7, a Transalp and in my youth I unofficially rode in XT350 and 600 XLR. Of course, I recently learned not to like the ER6 too much..

    Not tasting more than that the maintenance of a chain, I look for a belt mount, or better gimbal and I come to ask myself the question of the Crosstourer, which seems to correspond to what I am looking for, knowing that I I like above all to ride on torque and that I’m not quite skeletal (104 kg for 1.88m).

    The Crosstourer is known to be powerful, torquey and heavy, but also very well balanced and supple. Do you think possible to really start the "real" motorcycle with this machine given my size and a little impulsive character? ?

    Thank you to everyone, even those who are going to throw stones at me.

    P.S.: Well, I give it a try, even if I think it will end with a Deauville …

  5. Quotefift
    Well then Waboo, we let some shells go ?

    "win 46 cm ground clearance "

    Woaw, enough to greatly improve the crossing abilities

    Yes, a real wader … 46 mm, it’s already a lot… wink

    I may be saying something stupid, but it seems to me that on the "top of the range" Ducati engine, the belts have disappeared since the 1199, no ?

    I write too fast. Since the 1199 it is a cascade of gables. But distribute desmo.

  6. it does not make me want to change my Pan st 13 … even if it is starting to date a little .

    This CTX 1300 does not even have an electric bubble, nor a reverse gear, nor a radio, let alone 6th gear. I don’t think this is a good sequel to Pan 13. Am very disappointed.

  7. Hello,

    it is by no means the "continuation of the Pan".

    It is a custom taking again the V4 of the Pan. That’s all. Its fairing allows it to ride comfortably for a cruiser.

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