It’s an unlikely relationship, Ducati and Pikes Peak. Being a company so associated with sportbikes and racetracks and circuit racing, it makes sense for people to think of racing and Ducati together.
But not like this.
However, the story of how the two names became intertwined is an interesting one. It was Carlin Dunne, riding his own personal Multistrada, winning the event in 2012 – the last year the course had any dirt left – that really set the wheels in motion for Ducati to really take the event to another level.
Dunne would later move to the official Ducati factory team, where he would take more victories on Multistradas. Ducati likes winning, and to do so in such an unconventional event for them as this, it must have been the inspiration for the Multistrada Pikes Peak edition.
There have been other Pikes Peak Multistradas, but those were all powered by V-Twin engines. With the release of the V4 Multistrada, some might have thought the model was moving in a different direction. More towards its roots.
The 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak seems both odd, and yet totally in line with Ducati and the Multistrada family. The Multistrada was originally intended as Ducati’s version of a comfortable sport-tourer that could (maybe) handle some very light-duty adventure-style off-roading.
When it came to attacking the pavement, Ducati had plenty of other options to choose from.
However, with Dunne winning on the V-Twin Multistrada, it served to prove yet again that Ducati’s a racing company after all.
Fast forward to the V4 Multistrada and you have a bike seemingly able to do it all – unless you were serious about leaving the dirt and focusing on pavement.
Its 19-inch/17-inch front and rear wheel combination isn’t the right choice for asphalt riding.
So, in honor of the hill climb – which, sadly, motorcycles are no longer able to participate in after the tragic death of Dunne – the Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak has been tweaked to focus solely on pavement pounding.
If your definition of sport-touring involves wearing racing leathers, then this is the Multistrada for you. The big change compared to the standard Multistrada V4 is the switch to proper 17-inch wheels front and rear.
These are forged pieces from Marchesini Ducati says are six pounds lighter than the wheels used on the Multi V4 S.
Staying true to Ducati’s racing roots, the double-sided swingarm on the standard Multi has been replaced with a single-sided swingarm on the Pikes Peak version. Not only does this look better and show off the rear wheel design, but it also makes it easier to take the wheel on and off. This is a big clue that this bike has no intention of hitting the dirt.
A sporty bike deserves sporty ergonomics, and this is where we see another subtle change to the Pikes Peak version of the Multistrada V4. The bars are now lower than the standard bike and a little narrower, too.
Accordingly, the footpegs are raised up and back slightly. This combination of footpeg and bar changes puts the rider in a more committed position (but isn’t close to a real sport bike) with the rider’s head a little more forward.
To help the rider have an unobstructed view of the road, the windscreen gets trimmed down a little, too.
Maybe the biggest change for the Pikes Peak version, aside from the 17-inch wheels, is the suspension. The Multistrada V4S uses the Skyhook Suspension, which adapts well to conditions you might see both on the road and in the dirt.
For the Pikes Peak edition, Ducati fit the bike with the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension plucked straight from the Panigale V4S.
It’s a more sport-oriented system that is better suited to pavement and sport riding. It also allows the rider to switch to full manual mode if they want and adjust settings like traditional forks and shocks.
The transition over to sport from dirt for the Multistrada Pikes Peak includes different brake pads (the same ones used in the Panigale), but the Stylema calipers are the same.
Stouter pads are a good thing, because the 1160cc V4 engine the standard Multistrada uses hasn’t changed. In case you forgot, Ducati says it makes 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque – and it uses regular valve springs, not desmodromic valve actuation, resulting in valve checks every 37,000 miles!
So, you’re promised an insane amount of speed, enough brakes to handle those speeds, and basically unheard of service intervals.
To keep things in check from an electronics standpoint, the rider aids on the Multi are fairly standard Ducati fair, which means it’s very robust. With the Pikes Peak bike you also get a new Race mode instead of the Enduro mode.
Proof yet again that this bike has no intention of playing in the dirt. Race mode gives you snappier throttle response and changes the TC and ABS settings to have more fun on the road. You can control it all through the huge 6.5-inch TFT display.
If you’ve made it this far, then you must be an ADV rider who also dabbles in sportbikes, too. The Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak seemingly combines both of your worlds very well.
You’ve got the look and seating position you’re used to on the ADV side, but with the underpinnings of Ducati’s outrageous Panigale to let you surprise unsuspecting sportbike riders on the street.
If you were a sportbike guy in the past but gave it up for the dirt life, this is a ticket to get back to your old ways. If ever there was a bike you could ride to a track, do a whole track day, then ride back home, this would be it.