This is only a short review because we are still (or were at the time) in lockdown, of Ducati’s new V4 Multi Strada, and before you shoot me, for riding during the lockdown, I had to have some work done on my bike, so, I could use it for work purposes.
As the years are being unkind to my body, it may be time to change my sports bike to a more comfortable bike, however, although the body is weak the mind is still active and hungry for fun (men never grow up, we just get bigger toys ). So if I was in the market I’d still be looking for a bike with that excitement factor as well as comfort. The new Ducati Multistrada seems to fit the bill (or so we are led to believe) for those of us who refuse to get the pipe and slippers out just yet.
A while ago, a time before Covid, I think I can still remember that far back, I test rode the previous Multistrada, and to be fair it didn’t blow me away. Would the new one impress or disappoint me? Well looks wise they look the same to the untrained eye, apart from the change from a single-sided swingarm to a more conventional one, looks are very similar. I have heard that a lot of “true” Ducati Multistrada owners don’t like the changes, some people just don’t like change do they? Anyway, I digress.
Right so we have the looks out of the way, it’s a very nice looking and imposing bike, the next thing that stands out is the dash, it’s almost as big as an iPad mini (other tablets are available), there’s loads of information on display and accessible features to delve into which I didn’t have time to go through (the “youth” would love it), and to be honest I didn’t want to, it just baffles me, the owners’ manuals nowadays are akin to War and Peace, but if you want to play with all the gadgets, there’s plenty of buttons to play about with on the handlebars.
I just want to get on a bike and ride, luckily you can do just that – put the bike in a suitable mode, which most bikes have these days and off you go. This bike being the ‘S’ has electronic suspension which adapts accordingly to how you are riding (even has settings for luggage, pillions etc) which I guess, is very handy. It also has keyless ignition which is a great asset, come on, we have all done it, got all suited and booted, only to find out we have left the ignition key in a pocket So on the press of the button it fires up, it’s pretty loud, well it is a Ducati after all, and it did have the optional Akro end can, they don’t do subtle, do they. As expected, but still surprising for me is the riding position, big wide bars, upright riding position, plenty of room, riding a sports bike is like sitting on a packed tube train, whereas the Multi feels like an armchair, which is a nice change, but has it got the excitement I still crave, that grin factor? Well, it’s certainly no slouch, instant pickup, maybe something to do with the 170 BHP and 125 NM of torque I’d wager. But it’s no screamer, no need to chase the rev’s, but then again you wouldn’t want to, this is about fast relaxing comfort not rushing through the gears. There’s plenty of usable power all over the rev range, you can cruise around in 4th at 30mph and still have plenty of instant power to manage overtakes without worrying about changing down gear or two.
A dash bigger than my iPad!
So let’s go find some twisties, we know it’s built as a tourer, so why would I want to test that part of the bike, it’s a given it’ll cope all day with motorways, it has a very good screen which is easily adjusted with one hand mind. The bike copes really well through bends with great poise and stability that belies its weight (240kg). Could be down to that electronic suspension. Brakes are strong with good feedback, it’s fun, it certainly makes you grin, perhaps more fun than it should be, especially as it’s Comfortable fun at that.
So yes you can have your cake and eat it.
It would be remiss of me though not to mention the weight, yes you don’t notice it when riding, trying to move it around by hand though, boy you do notice it, especially when you have the extra fear that if I drop it, it’s not going to be cheap. Oh and remember I said about the advantages of the keyless ignition, well there is also a downside. After my test ride I rode home, the long way, when I got home pretty tired to be fair, I started to remove all the bike gear, just then I reached into my jacket pocket, and yes, you’ve already guessed, the key was still in my pocket. Right, suit up and return the key, luckily they weren’t shut…
More buttons than an Xbox controller
Thanks to Paul Carter, ELAM
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