In the last 35 years of Superbike racing, Ducati has won 15 rider championships and 18 constructors’ titles, so it knows a thing or two about making high-performance high-tech motorcycles. Sports bikes have been the bread and butter of the company for decades. Bikes like the 851, 888, 916, 996, 998, 999, 1098, 1198, the Panigale V2 and now V4 are on the tip of the tongue of any Borgo Panigale enthusiast. But do you know which current motorcycle in the Ducati range says it is the most technologically advanced model of all time? The Multistrada V4 Rally.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Sports bikes are designed with the aim of riding as fast as possible on asphalt. But an adventure bike must meet completely different criteria. How to make a robust machine work as well on asphalt as on dirt? Ducati has been working on this problem for 20 years, and the answer is Electronics. And our recent experience with a variety of Ducati machines from all over the range shows that it is at the forefront of this department, the Multistrada being its jewel of execution.
In a slightly different alignment with a traditional press event for the first race, Ducati USA has planned a multi-day adventure with its new 2023 Multistrada V4 Rally, the most offroad machine in the Multistrada range and the bike that commemorates the 20th anniversary of the original Multistrada 1000ds from 2003. What better place to put a motorcycle like the Rally to the test than in the mountains of southwestern Colorado? Our ride would take us from Durango to Telluride on the first day and from Telluride to Silverton the next day. We would get a little bit of everything, from the incredible asphalt turns on the Highway to the miles of dirt roads to an epic climb over Cinnamon Pass, barely cleared of snow at the top of 12,620 feet. In two days we covered about 400 miles on the Multi. The goal was to show how versatile the Multistrada has become.
Before we get into electronics, we really need to get into the details regarding the V-4 of the Multi. After all, it is the lungs that make this bike sing. But first a little bit of multi-history: twenty years ago, when the Multistrada was born, it used the 992 cm3 air-cooled Desmodule used in the Monster at the time; the second generation motorcycle used the Testastretta Evoluzione 11 ° engine of 1,198 cm3; In 2015, the third generation model was the ultimate expression of the V2 in the form of the 1262 cm3 Testastretta 11 ° DVT with variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust cams. But in 2020, the Multistrada jumped on the V-4 train and followed its Panigale Superbike cousins into the world of four cylinders.