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First Look: Ducati Challenges BMW’s Adventure Touring Crown with the New Multistrada V4 Rally

The 170 hp model features Ducati’s largest gas tank ever, and all the needed bells and whistles for serious backcountry exploration.

Ducati has announced that it will release the third machine in the Multistrada V4 lineup next year, setting the Rally version loose on the trails. Starting at $31,495, the Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally takes square aim at the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure model, which is currently the king of the maxi-ADV/touring class.

One of the ways Ducati looks to compete is by bringing its largest-ever gas tank to production. The 7.9-gallon unit represents a substantial 2.1-gallon increase over the one found on the Multistrada V4 S we tested last year. The Rally is fit with largely the same V4 Grantourismo motor present in both the V4 S and the Pikes Peak variant, a power plant that cranks out 170 hp and 89 ft lbs of torque. And the Rally gets the usual array of ECU modes in Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro, with the latter gaining a few tweaks.

The Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally.
The new Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally. Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

When the bike is in Enduro mode, the motor’s output is limited to 114 hp, but throttle response is more direct. At this point, the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) intervention is reduced and wheelie control is switched off, as is the ABS’s function on the rear wheel, allowing you to drift this monster into corners (if you so desire).

Compared to the motor in both the V4 S and Pikes Peak bikes, the one in the Rally takes the rear-cylinder-deactivation feature a step further. Normally, deactivation of the two rear cylinders in the V4 motor happens at standstill to reduce heat and fuel consumption, but now it’ll happen when the bike is moving, too. However, as speed increases, or you want more acceleration, the rear cylinder will be activated once more. This happens in each of the four riding modes.

The Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally.
Staring at $31,495, the bike is equipped with a 7.9-gallon gas tank to allow for longer off-road forays before refueling. Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

Compared to the base model, the Rally presents a longer travel suspension of 7.9 inches, up from 7.1 inches, and still has the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) EVO platform with its auto-leveling feature that debuted on the V4 S and Pikes Peak last year. This also includes a Minimum Preload function that lets the rider lower the bike when stopping or riding at slow speed, doing so by taking preload off the shock. And the Rally gains a new Easy Lift assist, whereby the suspension stiffens to make it easier to pull the bike off the side stand, which, we have to say, is a pretty neat consideration.

The electronics also include the radar-assisted Adaptive Cruise Control and the Blind Spot Detection software—both world-first debuts on the 2021 Multistrada V4 S—along with the usual selection of Cornering ABS, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Engine Brake Control (EBC), Vehicle Hill Hold Control (VHC) and Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) . . . the acronym game is strong with Ducati.

The Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally.
The Rally version presents a longer travel suspension than the base model, now 7.9 inches compared to 7.1 inches, and offers heated grips and seats. Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

As far as bodywork, the Rally gets a windscreen that’s more than 1.5 inches taller, and wider footpegs for both the rider and passenger. In addition, the passenger-seat area is increased thanks to the top case mounting being placed further back on the frame.

With the Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally expected to reach dealerships in May, each one delivered to the US, Canada and Mexico will arrive with aluminum side cases as well as heated grips and seats. After all, off-road exploration and refinement are not mutually exclusive.

Click here to see more photos of the Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally.

The Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally. Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.

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