With cruise control, blind-spot detection, and a host of other amenities, the new bike may give BMW real competition in the market segment
Ducati has been firing on every cylinder possible over the last few years, introducing a slew of model variants. Many of these have been focused around the Multistrada platform, which over the last 24 months has seen the V4 S, V4 Pikes Peak, and V4 Rally all make their debut. Ducati was the first manufacturer to fit radar-adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection software to a production motorcycle back in 2021, doing so on the Multistrada V4 S, a safety feature many of Ducati’s competitors still haven’t yet matched. Now, Ducati is wheeling out the big daddy of the family, the 2024 Multistrada V4 S Grand Tour.
The Grand Tour’s appearance in the Ducati lineup takes even more pressure off the base-model V4 S, a motorcycle we named Robb Report’s Best of the Best in 2021. That machine was saddled with the responsibility of being all things to all riders. The Grand Tour, as the name suggests, is aimed squarely at long-distance touring and thus completes the circle from the performance-focused V4 Pikes Peak, the ultra-versatile V4 S, and the V4 Rally, the latter of which takes care of the off-road crowd.
You get the same 170 hp, counter-rotating-crankshaft V4 motor in the Grand Tour as you do on the original V4 S, however, the Grand Tour gets cast aluminium wheels, a slightly taller handlebar mount and 60 litres of storage capacity due to the integrated plastic side cases. Then there’s the electronically adjustable suspension, LED lights, heated hand grips, heated seat, tyre-pressure-monitoring sensor, and a keyless ignition—all of which come standard. As does the aforementioned radar-adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection software.
Another handy feature is the Minimum Preload function, which was an extra on the V4 S. It’s now standard fitment for the Grand Tour. This allows the rider to lower the bike when coming to a stop or while riding at low speeds by reducing the suspension preload. And you can create the opposite effect by engaging the Easy Lift function, which opens the suspension’s hydraulics and makes it easier to lift the bike off the side stand when loaded up with a passenger and luggage.
The most striking feature of the new Grand Tour, though, has got to be how it looks. Its body is dressed in metallic grey and black with red accents, complemented by black for the frame, swingarm, fork clamps, side cases, and handlebars. The Grand Tour’s overall aesthetic is a stealthy departure from the more brightly coloured style of the V4 S and V4 Pikes Peak.
The US$28,395 Multistrada V4 S Grand Tour is available to preorder now, and you can expect it to reach dealerships in February. Ducati knows that it has to pull out all the stops ahead of the 2024 model year because BMW, who arguably controls this maxi-ADV/touring segment, will soon be debuting the long-awaited R 1300 GS, a bike we will be riding in Spain next month.
This story was first published on Robb Report USA