DUCATI MULTI V4 RALLY: INSIDE THE UPGRADES
The Ducati Multistrada turns 20 this year and the latest V4 Rally is an addition to the fourth generation of this madly popular, go-anywhere adventure and touring platform, which, in some ways, it’s a successor to the 1260 Enduro twin from a few years back.
We recently got the opportunity to delve deep into the bike’s DNA at the official Australian launch at Ducati’s Australian HQ, with Ducati’s adventure bike ambassador, Nick Selleck, presenting to the assembled moto media. Before we dig in, it has to be said that Ducati has pulled out all the stops and listened to the riders with their latest evolution of the MTS V4, which first appeared in 2020. For 2023, the V4 Rally comes with more suspension travel, more ground clearance, more comfort, more range and, somehow, more tech…
RAMPING UP THE RANGE
Range anxiety was one issue that the original V4 brought with it because that thirsty, high-performance V4 literally guzzled fuel when pushed hard. So, Ducati tackled that in two ways. Firstly, a bigger tank (now 30 litres, up from 22), which in turn gives a claimed 35% increase in range. That, by our calculations, means a range somewhere in the vicinity of 360-400km (if you can show some self-restraint). This increase has been achieved by using an aluminium fuel tank instead of the double-skinned plastic tank – the external dimensions of the tank are the same, but the internal capacity increases. Secondly, the engine management system can now shut down the rear cylinder bank when cruising, automatically firing up again in response to throttle input. While the current Multistrada V4 does this at a standstill to help reduce engine temperature, the Rally takes the feature a step further. Even better news is that it was all done via software tuning, which means it will be available as an update for all you current Multi V4 owners. I mean, there’s nothing like making your 1158cc V4 beast a very expensive 579cc parallel twin, but it will get you a lot further down the road between fuel stops.
From recent test rides, our biggest niggle with the V4S was its limited rear suspension travel. And it’s here that Ducati has really upped the ante with the V4 Rally. Now with 200mm front and rear (in turn, raising ground clearance to a much more off-road oriented 230mm), this Multi can truly class itself as a go-anywhere ADV weapon. Let’s just say that this increase in rear-end travel is precisely what we were most clamouring for. Of course, Ducati tech shines bright on the suspension front. A new sensor means more precision from the semi-active Marzocchi fork on and off road by relaying the position of the front wheel in real-time.
Adding to the Rally’s off-road handling chops, lighter 19”/17” tubeless spoked wheels now come as standard, along with much bigger footpegs and that slick brake pedal seen on the DesertX – which comes with tool-free adjustability for on and off-road comfort.
COMFORT FOR ALL-DAY HAPPINESS
Talking comfort, the V4 Rally brings bigger and plusher seating, for both rider and pillion, with the tail of the bike lengthened and the top case attachment moved further back to offer more legroom for the passenger. Add to that, thanks to adjustable seats plus aftermarket lower/taller seats, the V4 Rally can be customised to suit both the rider’s and passenger’s needs. The semi-active Skyhook suspension also gets an automatic levelling system, so no matter how much stuff you have on the bike (or how hefty your passenger is), the Multi will be riding at the right height. And for the 2023 Rally, a bigger, wider windscreen offers more protection and hasn’t lost the brilliant up/down adjuster. Also of note, a centrestand now comes standard to ease the loading and unloading of the side cases and to perform any maintenance.
ALL THE TECH!
With Ducati being the current masters of electronic knowhow from years of development in MotoGP and World Superbike circles, the Rally comes stacked to say the least. In a nutshell, the Rally has all the stuff that makes the Multistrada V4S so good. That means you still have adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lean-sensitive ABS and traction control, wheelie control and more. Add to that a designated off-road mode that tunes its 170hp to 114hp, and you have a truly off-road-capable machine.
IT’S A LOT MORE BIKE
Yes, the bike has grown in stature, weight and more. So, we hear you; with all the new bells and whistles, how much does it weigh and how much does it cost? With a full tank and no luggage, it weighs in at a claimed 260 kilos, and seat height in stock trim is 870-890mm. Of course, the handlebar-activated lowering function drops 20mm off seat height, which will aid you getting on and off the machine, plus get you out of trouble off-road more than a bit, we’d say.
Pricewise, V4 Rally models start at $41,400 ride away, and from there goes north to an eye-watering $48,100 for the Full Adventure pack with Radar in the brushed aluminium colourway.
Keen? Start saving your pineapples now as the Multistrada V4 Rally will arrive in Australian and New Zealand dealerships from mid 2023 in two colours: Ducati Red and the Winter Test colours of brushed Aluminium and Matt Black – the latter with an exposed/brushed aluminium tank – with black spoked rims for both. The Multistrada V4 Rally – like all Ducati Multistrada models – is covered by “4|Ever Ducati” warranty, valid for four years with unlimited mileage that relies on the service offered by the entire network of dealers.
You can officially register your interest here.