Listen, I’m going to let you in on a secret — long-distance motorcycling kind of sucks. Not only is it slower than going by car, but it’s boring and painful with only brief moments of being awesome, despite what Ewan MacGregor would have you believe. But what if there was a bike that could take some of the suck out of that situation?
Ducati reckons that there is, with the introduction of its new Multistrada V4 Rally, which is focused on long-distance riding. Among the changes that Ducati made to its most technologically advanced road bike is a giant-ass 7.9-gallon aluminum fuel tank. Seriously, that’s a shitload of gas. Nearly 50 pounds’ worth, in fact, which could make moving the bike around at low speeds a little squirrelly but should also provide an epic cruising range.
Other changes include a new “Extended Cylinder Deactivation” technology. Cylinder deactivation isn’t new on bikes. Even big, dumb air-cooled cruisers like the Indian Chief (dumb meaning simple, not necessarily bad) can shut down their rear cylinder at a stop to cut down on fuel use, emissions, and, most importantly, the amount of heat thrown on a rider. Ducati is going further by allowing the Multi V4’s rear bank of cylinders to shut down while cruising, more like cylinder deactivation on a car. This means less heat, obviously, but going from 1,100cc to 550cc should go a long way towards making those 7.9 gallons of gas go even further.
Ducati also wanted to make the Multi V4 Rally more able to go anywhere, so it added extra ground clearance (sorry short riders, maybe buy a Harley PanAm instead?), a new throttle mode designed for off-road use and wider foot pegs with rubber inserts. The semi-active Skyhook suspension also gets an automatic leveling system, so no matter how much crap (or passenger) you have on the bike, the Multi will be riding at the appropriate height and without pre-runner-like reverse rake.
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The rest of the stuff that makes the Multistrada V4 S probably the best bike on sale right now all sticks around. That means you still have adaptive cruise control, blindspot warning, lean-sensitive ABS and traction control, wheelie control, etc. Seriously, the Multi V4 is almost smart enough to make you breakfast.
The Multi V4 Rally will be sold in North America in one flavor only, and that’s fully equipped with aluminum luggage, heated seats and grips and, of course, all the electronics you could ever ask for. Pricing starts at $31,495 in the US for Ducati Red; if you want it in black, add $500. Look for it in dealers starting in May of 2023.