2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak first test

In 1916, Floyd Clymer rode an Excelsior motorcycle to victory in the first Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). Sadly, World War I broke out in 1917 and motorcycles would not return to the mountain until the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) sanctioned racing in 1954. With technical advancements in the following decades, competitors plunged into the less. 14 minutes. times in the mid-1970s, broke the 13-minute mark in the early 1990s and set the first time below 12 minutes in 2006.

Just six years later, in 2012, Carlin Dunne broke the ten-minute mark with a 9-minute and 52-second charge in the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. That same year, Ducati released the first Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak to commemorate Greg Tracy’s 2010 PPIHC Victory. Dunne was not done with the Multistrada, taking the PPIHC checkered flag with the 1260 Pikes Peak edition in 2018. Sadly, the following year, in 2019, Dunne passed away attempting to break the PPIHC record when a highside ejected the rider of his Ducati Streetfighter V4.

Dunne’s passing not only shocked the road racing world, but also forced the organizers of Pikes Peak to postpone all motorcycle competitions. Despite this indefinite ban, Ducati still owes an important part of the Multistrada’s success to the Race to the Clouds. To date, the sporty finish accounts for nearly 17 percent of the Big Caliber Adventurer’s total sales. For these reasons, Ducati is bringing the Pikes Peak Multistrada back in 2022, but will the new V4-powered ADV keep the road racing spirit alive?

Ducati invited us to Palm Springs in December 2021 to answer this same question. A scenic ride along the mountainous Palms Mountains to the Pines Highway (HWY 74) was the perfect place to put Pikes Peak to the test. Sadly, torrential downpours, high winds and freezing temperatures only proved that we could survive the mountain on the Multi, not conquer it. So, Ducati left a Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak 2022 to us for a week to determine if it can really rule all the mountains.

Back to its roots

When Ducati introduced the original Multistrada 1000DS in 2003, the company decided to combine supermoto handling with the comfort and convenience of a tourer. Ducati struck that balance with a 17-inch wheelset, Showa suspension and an 85-horsepower 90-degree V-Twin. While the standard Multistrada V4 family now offers a 19-inch front wheel, the Pikes Peak V4 returns to the model’s sporting roots with 17-inch roll bars, Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension and a 1,158cc Granturismo V4. .

The latest Pikes Peak also adopts Ducati’s signature one-sided swingarm and Marchesini forged wheels that reduce the base Multi by 8.8 pounds. The renewed geometry adjusts tilt to 25.75 degrees and lengthens the wheelbase to 62.8 inches. These numbers may seem like a step in the wrong direction for the Pikes Peak’s sporting ambitions, but Ducati reports that the new dimensions strike a balance between agility, stability and comfort. After spending a considerable amount of time aboard the V4 PP, it is difficult to argue with them.

In addition to the V4 Granturismo powertrain derived from the Multistrada Superbike, Ducati equips the adventure bike with the same Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension and Brembo Stylema calipers as its sporty Panigale V4. Pairing this powerful set with a pair of Marchesini forged wheels delivers the power of an eternal heavyweight with the agility of a glitter-tipped featherweight. Steering is light and direct, and maintains a line with precision and predictability. The Pikes Peak is ready to tip at any time and it dives into the bends at the slightest entry.

2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak - Esses, Left
2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak - Esses, Right

The bike’s sporty handling is most evident in the axles, where the V4’s counter-rotating crankshaft and lightweight Marchesini wheels allow the 527-pound adventure bike to take two steps with the lightest sports bikes. While the Multistrada’s quick side transitions belied its size and weight, the chassis is equally composed when entering and exiting corners. The Granturismo V4’s peak 170 horsepower and 92.2 lb-ft of torque may make headlines, but the Brembo radial master cylinder and Stylema calipers easily tame the fire-breathing mill.

With a direct and linear feel at the lever, the rider can control the speed up to a percentage point. This braking precision and Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso IV tires allow users to place the Pikes Peak anywhere on the road. Whether it’s reaching the summits or pulling out of a corner, the V4 mill also keeps control in the rider’s right wrist. Even in the new Race driving mode, the Multistrada remains manoeuvrable thanks to a more progressive rev limiter and more direct throttle response.

Race mode not only changes the power profile of the Pikes Peak, it also adapts the Öhlins suspension to aggressive road riding. In Urban and Touring mode, the electronic suspenders lower the preload to the fourth setting for more comfort, while the Sport mode reaches up to eight pawls. Race mode takes it a step further, raising the preload to 14.

Of course, the event-based suspension system adjusts stiffness to suit the rider’s style and current conditions. However, even in Race mode, the suspenders are still suitable for road use. Hitting only successive big bumps in incline compromised the steel self-control of the chassis, but Öhlins’ latest suspension wizardry delivers equal doses of high performance and high comfort.

On the long term

2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak - Radar

To promote a more aggressive riding position, Ducati moved the Pikes Peak’s footrests up and back by 10 mm (0.4 inch). The team also lowered the handlebars by 15mm (0.6 inch). This tighter rider triangle can encourage a brisk pace, but it doesn’t sacrifice comfort in the process. The cockpit is just as spacious and accommodating as the standard Multistradas. After several hours in the saddle, I have never encountered any stiffness or aches, despite this more compact riding position.

However, not all of Ducati’s sport-oriented revisions are suitable for long-distance travel. The smoky windshield may be reminiscent of the award-winning Multis of the PPIHC, but the shortened unit doesn’t offer the same wind protection as its Dirt-worthy counterparts. In the lowest position, the shield directed the wind just below the chin bar of my helmet. Fortunately, the side deflectors helped distribute the air evenly, allowing it to pass my cover with minimal disruption.

The same cannot be said of the windshield in the highest setting, as the raised screen introduced turbulent air into the crown of my helmet. Of course, the results will depend on the build of the rider, but at five feet and 10 inches a large chunk of Pike’s Peak owners will likely opt for an extended unit from the Ducati accessories catalog.

If you’re really planning on nibbling miles with the 2022 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak, then Adaptive Radar-Assisted Cruise Control (ACC) will definitely come in handy. Similar to the system found in the 2021 Multistrada V4 S and the 2022 BMW R 18 B, the ACC developed by Bosch works surprisingly well right off the bat. Rider’s may take some time to build confidence with the new technology, but his reaction to traffic speeds and four-level following distances never made me feel uncomfortable or out of control.

The addition of rear-facing radar and a blind spot detection system also ensures that the Pikes Peak has all six riders. Several times meandering through traffic, the blind spot lights mounted in the mirrors caught my eye when I couldn’t spot a car in the nearby lane. This technology is also useful on open roads, where speeds are high and passing power is critical.

While the MTS V4 PP has more tour-friendly stuff than many of its competition, the lack of heated grips or a heated seat feels like a faux pas. Especially with the contoured hand guards of the Pikes Peak, the heated grips would keep the feel in the rider’s numbers and the Multistrada on the road. On the flip side, the thirsty V4 has only brought in 30 mpg in our day with the heavyweight ADV. With a 5.8-gallon tank, riders can expect a range of 174 miles. That total may satisfy some hikers, but dedicated travelers will prefer a bike that covers over 200 miles per fill.

The last word

2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak - Pass

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will continue without motorcycles this year, but that hasn’t stopped Ducati from delivering one of the most comprehensive packages of 2022. The Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak may not play in dirt, it does. may not have heated grips, but there is always the optimal balance between performance and comfort.

At $ 28,995, Pikes Peak’s latest MTS is anything but cheap. However, impeccable handling, advanced Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension, premium brakes, forged wheels, evocative V4, radar-assisted safety features and cutting-edge electronics suite easily justify the price. Without the PPIHC, the 2022 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak may have lost its sweet spot, but the sport-focused ADV proves it still has what it takes to conquer the mountain.

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