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2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak: Race-Powered Adventure

It’s been more than 10 years since Ducati’s Multistrada won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with a nearly 100% stock Multistrada 1200 S ridden by Greg Tracy. That was also the first time the Multistrada competed at Pikes Peak, suggesting the bike’s inherent capabilities lined up pretty well with the mountain’s 4,720-foot climb, covering 12.42 miles and 156 turns, much of which was still dirt back then.

Following that win, Ducati did what any wise motorcycle company would do — it touted the Multistrada’s race-winning performance capabilities while introducing a Pikes Peak-branded version of the Multistrada the following year. Ducati won the race, again, that year, while setting a new course record. Multiple wins up the mountain have followed, and the Multistrada’s history on the course has coincided with a “Pikes Peak” version every year for the past decade. This strategy appears to have worked, with Pikes Peak models making up one of every six Multistradas sold. But for 2022 Ducati has done something truly special for this race-inspired version.

Dubbed “the sportiest Multistrada ever” by the Italian motorcycle company, the 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak’s unique pedigree starts with its 170-horsepower, four-valve Granturismo engine. Weighing in at a svelte 147 pounds, and offering 92 pound-feet of torque at 8,750 rpm, this is the most powerful engine in the dual-sport class. It’s paired with counter-rotating crankshaft technology pulled directly from Ducati’s MotoGP program. This creates engine rotational force that offsets the gyroscopic effect of the Multistrada’s smaller, lighter 17-inch front and rear wheels (the other Multistrada’s use a 19-inch front wheel).

Taken together — a lightweight engine, smaller, lighter wheels, and a counter-rotating crankshaft — and you’re left with dual-sport motorcycle designed to change direction (and lean angle) like the Ducati Panigale super bike from whence its engine springs. The Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak weighs in at a not-insubstantial 472 pounds dry, 527 pounds wet. While it isn’t race-bike light, the Pikes Peak benefits from those smaller Marchesini forged rims (8.8 pounds lighter than Multistrada V4 S wheels), plus carbon fiber trim and a standard Akrapovic titanium exhaust system. And while the spec sheet shows a 6-8 pound overall weight advantage versus other Multistrada V4s, it’s how that weight is distributed and managed that defines the motorcycle.

Beyond weight saving, the Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak benefits from a revised aluminum monocoque frame, with a steeper steering head rake, 25.75 degrees versus 24.5 degrees, along with a revised trail compared to the rest of the line. Additional race-derived equipment includes a single-sided swingarm that’s 10 mm longer, aiding high-speed stability while avoiding unintended wheelies. The Panigale-derived brake system uses monobloc Brembo calipers squeezing 330 mm front rotors and a 265 mm rear disc. It also features upgraded, fade-resistant brake pad material. A lower, 18 mm narrower handlebar, plus 10 mm higher foot pegs that have been moved back, enhance ground clearance and lean angles without compromising comfort.

Ducati says this Pikes Peak is the most differentiated model in the history of the Multistrada line, and this list of enhancements confirms it. Beyond the hardware, it’s also the first Multistrada with a “Race” riding mode that adjusts traction control, ABS settings and the rev limiter’s behavior, with the latter using a more gradual intervention to let riders anticipate the need to shift in high RPM situations. Additional riding modes include Sport, Touring and Urban, with unique settings for 11 parameters that range from throttle response to wheelie control to suspension stiffness. These 11 parameters can also be individually, and easily, adjusted through the Multistrada’s standard 6.5-inch full color display screen.

What does all this advanced technology, injected into a traditional adventure bike, do for the Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak? After spending several hours and close to 200 miles on the bike its clear Ducati accomplished its mission of creating the sportiest dual-purpose motorcycle ever. While it retains the “top heavy” visual impression seen on every modern adventure bike, the Pikes Peak provides sport-bike-like flick-ability. It’s somewhat surreal, requiring an acclimation period as your brain recalibrates to how quickly this Multistrada reacts to steering input. The Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 active suspension further contributes to the Pikes Peak’s lightweight demeanor, progressively limiting lift and dive under heavy throttle and braking.

Winding our way up California state route 74, between Palm Springs and Idyllwild, provided an ideal blend of high-speed sweepers and rapid right-left/left-right transitions. The Mulitstrada V4 Pikes Peak never felt out of sorts on this traditional superbike loop, slowing confidently and leaning into corners without hesitation. Yet the return, highway-heavy route confirmed its long-distance touring comfort, including dynamic cruise control powered by standard front and rear radar systems. There’s even a blind-spot detection system using LED lights in the mirrors to alert riders of a vehicle’s presence before changing lanes. Ducati also incorporated unique air channels throughout the bike’s body panels to direct engine heat away from the rider.

As the top-of-the-line Multistrada model it (hopefully) doesn’t surprise anyone to hear the Pikes Peak’s starting price is $28,995, not including shipping and handling charges. While pricer than your average economy car, that number does include all the advanced engine, suspension and radar-based technology mentioned above. Additional features, like heated handgrips, a heated seat, touring bags, a dry clutch, or even a racing exhaust system (good for 10 horsepower, but not street legal in California) can be added to the Pikes Peaks by your local Ducati dealer. Speaking of dealers, did we mention you won’t have to visit one as often as you did for previous Ducatis? This newest V4 Granturismo engine only needs to have its valves inspected every 36,000 miles.

That’s good, because if you buy this latest Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak you’ll have every opportunity to pile on the miles. High-speed touring? Twisty-road strafing? Off-road adventuring? This bike is up for all three. In the same hour, if your riding route allows it.

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