Prototype caught near Bologna looks virtually finished
Caught heading out in the rain at Bologna, the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 might, at first glance, look the same as the previous L-twin powered bikes currently in the Ducati range – but in truth this is an all-new machine that’s bristling with a hulk of an engine and loads of tech.
As our exclusive photos show, the new bike will have Ducati’s ARAS (Advanced Rider Assistance System) radar fitted to it which monitors distance to the vehicle in front of the bike and gives warnings if a vehicle is approaching too quickly from the rear. The radar units are sited in-between the bike’s headlights (the grey box where an air intake hole would normally be) and directly under the rear brake light.
What are the other changes to the new Multistrada V4?
- Double-sided swingarm with what looks like trellis/bracing parts (which have been taped over to hide the actual shape of the metal underneath). The current Strada has a big single-sided swingarm unit. The double-sider is used to keep the bike narrow.
- New forged Marchesini wheels
- New front mudguard that’s lost some of the rear ‘lip’ on some Stradas currently in the range
- New Ohlins rear shock, off-set to the left hand side of the swingarm
- New mirror stalks, new shape and they’ve been cast with braced parts to reduce weight
- New LED lights with bigger top-strip of lights built into the headlight unit themselves; new rear LED units too
- New adjustable screen (note, this could be a Grand Tour version of the V4 that we have photographed here so this might not make it on all V4 models across the board)
- The V4 engine is much more narrow than the L-twin lump and the side-mounted oil-cooler which can be seen through the bodywork shows how keen Ducati is to keep the whole bike feeling compact width-wise. You can see the difference between the L-twin’s front cylinder pointing out at the front wheel on the current bike and the V4’s unit being much more compact
- Dash-cam type cameras are fitted to the test bike and these may be incorporated into the production version. You can see a dashcam-type camera bolted on an arm to the front of the bike’s fairing with another mounted by zip ties to the bottom of the pillion’s grabrail frame, just above the taillight
- There’s a new, larger TFT screen which is likely to be touch-sensitive with haptic response too
- The floating numberplate holder of the current Strada is gone, replaced with a conventional set-up bolted to the underside of the seat
- Painted a handy red, the bike’s rear subframe is now trellis steel instead of cast. This swaps completely with the current Strada where on the 2020 bike the main frame is trellis and the subframe cast – the new bike has the trellis subframe and the main frame is cast, using the V4 powerplant as a stressed member
- The bike is running a 19-inch front wheel
- New, larger metal sump guard
Larger, GT-style rider seat with pannier-acceptors built into the bodywork under the pillion seat too.