Scooters are usually used for local travel. Motorcycles, in addition, can be ridden for short intercity trips. For long-distance travelling, like interstate, the preferred vehicles are cars, trains or planes.
But there are motorcycles that can be ridden comfortably not only interstate, but even for intercontinental road trips.
One such is the Italian super sports motorcycle maker Ducati’s Multistrada V4 S, which we recently rode across cities in northern Italy, and without getting tired.
What is the Multistrada V4 S?
It is Ducati’s flagship adventure touring motorcycle, devoted to long-distance travel.
There are nine models of Multistrada available in India. The Multistrada V2 models are priced from Rs 15.49 lakh to Rs 17.69 lakh, and the Multistrada V4 models are priced from Rs 20.99 lakh to Rs 31.48 lakh (ex-showroom).
The V4 S model in these photos is priced Rs 26.99 lakh.
While V2 models get the 937cc engine (113 hp), the V4 models have the 1,158cc engine (170 hp).
What defines its design?
It’s got an eagle’s beak-like front look, twin headlamps, waterproof digital instrument panel, 19-inch windscreen, and an accessible seat height of 840-860 mm (far more affordable and smaller city bikes like Royal Enfield Hunter have a seat height of 800 mm).
How does it ride?
But because the rear seat is high (1,162 mm), getting your leg over can be a task for some riders. Once you start riding, the Multistrada V4 S feels light, agile and fun. Acceleration from any speed to any speed is effortless, overtaking long vehicles on a highway is a breeze, and while doing so the exhaust note is music to ears.
The riding position is so comfortable that if not for refuelling, you may not need to stop even after riding hundreds of kilometres. The claimed fuel efficiency is 14.3 km/litre, but my test unit returned close to 20 km/litre riding on highways.
Braking feels solid, and tyres provide exceptionally good grip. Be it broken roads or rainfall, if you need to brake hard, the bike just doesn’t seem to skid.
The Multistrada V4 S is also claimed to be possibly the best off-road motorcycle in the world, but a safer and better choice for off-roading would be the dedicated motorcycle, the Ducati DesertX.
The best feature
The most usable feature I found was Ducati Connect. The 6.5-inch digital display (information available in six languages) can be connected to your smartphone via the Ducati Connect app (and you also need to download Sygic Maps). When connected, the smartphone gets mirrored on the motorcycle screen. Using a joystick on the handlebar, you can access calls, play music stored in the phone, and most importantly set a destination and navigate to that place.
Others like it
Triumph Tiger 1200 (starting Rs 19.19 lakh), Harley-Davidson Pan America (Rs 18.25 lakh) and BMW Motorrad R 1250 GS (Rs 20.55 lakh) are similar motorcycles, and all have their respective strengths.
Power: 170 bhp (125 kW)
Torque: 125 Nm
Weight: 215 kg
Fuel tank: 22 litres
Fuel efficiency: 14.3 km/litre
Price: Rs 20.99 lakh onwards
Price of the model tested: Rs 26.99 lakh
Triumph Tiger 1200 Rs 19.19 lakh onwards
Harley-Davidson Pan America Rs 18.25 lakh onwards
BMW Motorrad R 1250 GS Rs 20.55 lakh onwards