The 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak was made to rule all of the mountains, but it makes its mark as a weapon for the streets.
Make no mistake, the Ducati Multistrada V4 platform is indeed a mountain king. With the V4 Granturismo 1158cc powerplant, the Multistrada V4 advances the model’s pedigree from its humble beginnings by light-years. However, the V4 Pikes Peak edition is something altogether different. Combining advanced moto-technology with high-performance sport-driven components with progressive ergonomics, the Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak doesn’t only combine the best of the sport, touring, and adventure worlds… It is the perfect storm in the expansive sea of dual-sport motorcycles.
The Pikes Peak edition of the Multistrada takes its namesake from the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which held its first competition in 1916. Floyd Clymer took the winning honors for the motorcycle class. Ducati’s relationship with the racing event is significant, beginning in 2008 and having won a total of four times on a Multistrada 1200 (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) and again on a Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak edition (2018), piloted by the late and legendary Carlin Dunne. The 2011 Mulistrada 1200 S Pike Peak was the first Ducati to be named for a North American race event and would go on to prove its worthiness in performance and sales. Since 2011, one out of every six Multistradas sold has been a Pikes Peak edition.
That brings us to the 2022 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak, a sportier and more aggressive version of the 2021 Multistrada V4, V4 S and V4 Sport. With an invitation from Ducati North America to test the 2022 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak in the hills of Southern California, I couldn’t think of a better reason to saddle up and put the new ride through its paces.
The Pikes Peak models have all had sporty colorways to promote their competitive pedigree. The 2022 model continues that tradition with a MotoGP inspired livery, specifically that of the factory Ducati team’s Desmosedici GP21 machine. Carbon fiber components and accents such as the front mudguard and beak, the carbon fiber tipped Akrapovic titanium muffler, the two-toned “V4” branded seat initiate the visual distinguishments between the V4 Pikes Peak and the base models.
The V4 Pikes Peak utilizes a single-sided swingarm whereas the base models employ a double-sided or standard swingarm configuration. The spoked front wheel on the base versions is larger, measuring 19 inches, and is equipped with Pirelli Scorpion tires. The V4 Pikes Peak sports weight saving Marchesini forged wheels (8.8 pounds saved overall compared to the Multistrada V4 S), with 17 inch front, fitted with Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV tires (120/70 front, 190/55 rear).
In the saddle, very little adjustment time was needed. A rider of my size (6 foot, 270 pounds) often needs to make several adjustments before finding a sweet spot in the seat. Not the case for me with the V4 Pikes Peak. Straight away, the ergonomics worked for my build. Flat-footed and all controls within a comfortable reach, I felt right at home.
Turning on the bike, you are greeted with a sleek animation on the large 6.5 inch TFT display. The dash includes all the vitals of the motorcycle, additional data and serves as an interface for the Ducati Connect smartphone app. On the dash you can select your riding mode, there are four to choose from: Urban (low power output at 115hp), Touring (full 170hp output with a smooth throttle response), Sport (full 170hp with a sport suspension mode and lower engagements of traction control and wheelie control) and Race (high power, least amount of electronic aid engagement, also known as beast mode). The adaptive cruise control status is also displayed when activated. All activations, settings and adjustments are made via a switch cluster at the handlebar.
It was a little chilly on the day of the press ride and the route would have our squad of riders traveling up, over and through Palm Desert, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, and Idyllwild. Through the stop-and-go traffic of Palm Springs en route to the mountain roads, I can see how the Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak would perform as a commuter bike or as a daily rider. It is ridiculously light and nimble for a bike of its size and weight (527 pounds, wet). It moved through traffic with agility and a hint of grace. Later on in the day when filtering through the evening rush hour, those qualities were highly appreciated.
On and upward into the hills, the Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak ripped on the asphalt with exhilarating performance and a rhythmic heavily noted roar from the Akrapovic exhaust. Being from the East Coast, I don’t get to ride the canyons roads in California as much I would like to so I typically approach these roads with respect and assertive caution. Not so much the case on this ride. The stability and handling of the V4 Pikes Peak is a confidence amplifier. Ascending the hills and blasting through the twisties, the output of the V4 Granturismo engine is delivered smoothly and deliberately. No hesitation. No jarring. Maneuverability required minimal bar input and less physical effort. It was fun. And that’s what riding should be… Fun.
The Pikes Peak borrows the suspension from the Panigale V4 S and Streetfighter V4 S, employing the Ohlins Smart-EC 2.0 electronic system that features event-based technology. This suspension auto-adjusts based on the “event” or how the bike is being ridden. At the front end, you’ll find a set of fully adjustable Ohlins 48mm forks while an Ohlins TTX36 handles the work at the rear. The Brembo braking setup includes Stylema calipers with 330mm front rotors paired with the same brake pads found on the Panigale V4, providing a better initial bite without the drag. When you compare the overall dynamics of the V4 Pikes Peak chassis to the base Multistrada V4 models, there is an increased rake and trail (25.74 degrees and 4.7 inches), a decreased 6.7 inches of rear wheel travel, and an increased wheelbase (62.8 inches). These all factor in how well the bike handles the road. And I found no faults, even at higher elevations and lower temps. It handles better than a majority of sportbikes on the market. Its looks are very deceiving.
Toward the end of the ride day, we hit a stretch of highway where I was excited to open the throttle wide and let that V4 motor flare. Tucked in behind the windscreen at higher speeds, the V4 Pikes Peak remained stable and unwavering. I took the opportunity to explore the adaptive cruise control. The dual radar-based system (radar units at the front and the rear of the bike) is comprehensive, to say the least. I would need more time before I would be accustomed to its functionality but the overall benefits are undeniable. In short: You set your cruise speed and carry on, if another vehicle in front of you is moving at a slower rate of speed, the bike will detect it, and slow itself down, when the road in front of you clears, the bike returns to the set cruise speed. Those radar units also provide blind spot detection that alerts you when another vehicle, perhaps out of your usual field of vision is getting closer than it should. Cutting edge moto-tech, indeed.
The 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pike Peak has an MSRP of $28,995 and is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in February of 2022. Ducati has successfully created a true multi-purpose machine that can cater to the needs of the global riding community. I wouldn’t be surprised to spot a V4 Pikes Peak burning laps at the track. For the tourers and weekend warriors, the Pikes Peak V4 can handle the long hauls, especially when fitted with panniers and other touring accessories. For the commuter, the V4 Pikes Peak’s impressive ergonomics provide comfort and rideability even in stop-and-go traffic. And for the hooligans and canyon carvers, the 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak just might be the bad influence that’s been missing from your life.
Images: Mike Levin/Phlewid Films