Ducati’s 2023 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak redefines its genre and may just be the bike that ruined all other bikes for yours truly. Offering a road focused sports touring package with all the fruit, it’s also the pinnacle of performance.
We have been big fans of the Ducati V4 range, including the Panigale and Streetfighter, but to have that performance motor, albeit detuned, available in a more versatile and practical package for road use, well that’s just a master stroke from the Italian brand.
Powered by the sublime 1158cc V4 Granturismo powerplant, producing 125kW and 125Nm of torque, the abundance of technology ensures you can make the most of the Pikes Peak power. It’s a standout package, at a premium price – $46,990 ride away.
What you get for the price of admission though makes this bike a worthy investment. The new electronics suite is directly derived from Ducati’s super sport range, ensures you have four ride modes, including Urban, Touring, Sport and for the first time Race.
There is even the capability for the rider to adjust individual pre-programmed settings in each mode to truly optimise their riding experience. We tested each of the standard modes, but didn’t have time during our test period to delve deeper and customise things.
Each ride mode alters the electronic suspension setup. Of the four, Urban was our least favourite as it felt like it strangled the V4 a little, keeping the bike on a tight leash. It’s perfect for heavy wet weather but offers minimal performance.
Touring offers a solid balance of easy power delivery and increased fuel range. Sport unleashes all of the Pikes Peak model’s want for performance and was great fun in dryer testing conditions.
Race is where it’s at though, turning this well mannered touring bike into a performance animal (it would be positively primal on a track). The Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak also scores ABS, wheelie, traction and vehicle control.
It’s a sophisticated combination of performance-focused electronic rider aids that enhances the chassis and handling package. It makes a great bike brilliant, and allows the Pikes Peak to excel.
Ohlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension is an undeniable highlight, with the Pikes Peak the first Multistrada to carry it. This same setup featured on both the Panigale and Streetfighter V4 S, and the handling is a huge part of why we’ve fallen in love with this bike.
The Pikes Peak also offers preloaded settings for single rider, rider with pillion and rider with luggage to its ride mode settings, all enhancing the sophistication of the touring package provided.
The chassis feels well balanced thanks to its premium suspension componentry, a single sided swingarm and high performance brakes, and rewards the rider with a supreme riding experience. That’s complemented by upright touring comfort and practicality.
With a dry weight of 214kg, the Multistrada Pikes Peak feels tall but manageable. The seat height of 840mm may prove a bit of a challenge for shorter riders though. Braking up front is provide by 330mm twin discs with Brembo Stylema monobloc callipers.
These are similar to the Multistrada V4 S setup, but in the case of the Pikes Peak, the brake pads from its similarly specified Panigale brethren feature. It provides plenty of bite and feel for the rider, and is what you would expect of a premium package.
On the rear, a single 265mm disc is featured, with a Brembo floating calliper, again providing more than adequate stopping power when bring the big Duke to a halt. A 17-inch front wheel with forged rims assists the direct and precise steering geometry.
Pirelli Diablo Rossi IV tyres add another dimension of grip to the tarmac, further enhancing the brilliance of the already dynamic handling package on offer. Even in the wet, the Pikes Peak feels effortless and confident, delivering plenty of grip.
Ergonomically the Pikes Peak ticks all the boxes too and there is good reach to the handlebars from the well supported and comfortable seat. It’s a combination that makes it easy to find a good riding position to really punt the Pikes Peak through the corners.
The bike maintains good balance for highway riding, with the screen offering solid protection. The distance from the seat to the foot pegs is spot on as well. Rounding out the goodness is a 6.5-inch full colour TFT display.
It’s the command centre for rider information, and includes range to empty, ride mode controls, and a speedo and tacho. The layout works well and would be in the top echelon of instrument clusters available.
You’ll also find blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control and full LED lighting on board, as well as an Akrapovič exhaust system, numerous splashes of carbon fibre, a two tone seat, the stunning Pikes Peak livery, and a #1 race number.
The race number is oddly fitting, as the 2023 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak is the best sports tourer we’ve ridden. Its performance, handling and overall riding experience are all first class. Sure some will think it’s pricey, but ride it and tell us it’s not worth every cent.
Our test bike was provided by Ducati Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak, contact your local Ducati dealer.