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Is the 2024 Ducati Multistrada Rally V4 the top line in comfort in the adventure world? We ride one in Italy to find out.

Ducati has redesigned the Multistrada to make the “Rally”, a premium adventure bike to travel faster, further… and more comfortably to the world’s end, even Off-road and with a passenger. We were one of the first to ride the 2024 Ducati Multistrada Rally V4 in Sardinia, Italy.

The first air-cooled Multistrada 1000 DS hit the market in 2003 with a 17” front wheel and represented a concept of its own that did not want to be an all-terrain tourer but a sporty bike with a more comfortable riding position. Under the codename “Cayenne”, Ducati developed the second generation with the water-cooled twin-cylinder for 2010, in 2015 they launched the 1200 DVT with the Testastretta engine and finally in 2021 the fourth stage V 4 Granturismo was presented. With the Rally, Ducati goes one step further and squeezes almost everything technically feasible into the Multistrada to establish it as a luxury adventure bike that can comfortably take two people almost anywhere.

Improvements to the chassis, comfort and fuel range figured in the specs, while engine power remained unchanged (170hp at 10,750rpm and 12.3kgm of torque at 8,750rpm). To reduce the fuel consumption, the electronic engine management was revised and a temporary deactivation of the rear cylinders is applied in certain riding conditions. During the 180km loop on and off-road in southern Sardinia, a slight increase in fuel-range was noticed. The larger aluminium fuel tank now has a capacity of 30 litres, fortunately, the outer shape of the tank remained the same still offering a comfortable position for the knees and legs.

To improve off-road driveability, the suspension travel has been increased by 30mm at the front and 20mm at the rear. Ground clearance under the 3mm thick engine protection plate has been increased to 235mm. The brake pedal has been repositioned so that it no longer protrudes downwards beyond the skid plate which could translate into a problem riding through rocks on the old Multistrada.

With this chassis update, the rider’s adjustable seat has been raised to 870mm, there are options with different foam heights, also for the passenger seat. To provide more space for the passenger, the aluminium panniers have been moved back by 30mm and now hang from a frame that can be either flexible or rigid. The manufacturer recommends the flexible solution for fast highway travel, attainable by removing two mounting plates and the rear strut. The speed is limited to 180 km/h with panniers.

To make it easier to lift the bike from the side stand with a weight of almost 280kg with a full tank and all accessories, Ducati have developed a system called “Easy Lift”. This opens the suspension hydraulics on the fork and shock absorber so that the Multi sinks slightly into the springs when being lifted up. Also at low speed and when stopping, the suspension is lowered slightly, thanks to the “minimum preload”, that reduces the preload of the shock absorber.

During the test in the southwest of Sardinia the 2024 Ducati Multistrada Rally purred during the first miles, making the rider feel safe and protected behind the higher windshield (+ 20 mm) that remains adjustable with one hand. The seating position is very comfortable without having to crouch too deep in the seat. New transparent spoilers cover arms and hands better, and flaps are now fitted to the air intakes on the side of the engine to keep cold drafts and rainwater away from the rider.

While getting familiar with the Rally it occurred to me that Ducati is now riding on two trails in the ADV segment. The DesertX takes over the task for riders who may also have sporty ambitions à la Antoine Meo (former enduro world champion and now “Ambassador” for Ducati). The purpose of the big Multistrada instead is luxury travel at high speed, if necessary also on exotic tracks, the focus is now clearly on the road.

The Italian V4 no longer needs to compete against sporty bikes such as Yamaha Ténéré or Aprilia Tuareg as the DesertX does that job now. Instead, the Multistrada Rally can proudly stand alongside the Audi Q8 from the company group as an absolute premium touring machine with off-road characteristics classy, expensive and with lots of power!

And you bet we are putting the 170hp to the ground on the winding 30km road test that snakes directly along the ocean! On the grippy tarmac the Multistrada Rally throws herself into the turns with ease as if she was a Panigale Superbike. Hard braking hardly worries the Pirelli Scorpion STR tires, the Multistrada keeps pointing straight into the corners, exactly where you want it. At the same time, the front fork responds to heavy braking manoeuvres with ingenious progressivity, compressing only as much as you need to get a clear feedback on tire contact with the road.

Sporty or relaxed, the Rally is suitable for any riding style and it seems that the Pirellis have never offered such exceptional performance on the road as they do with the Ducati. No doubt this is also to the credit of the exceptionally good overall chassis design, which covers a very wide range of riding conditions. In all three riding modes tested during the loop like Sport, Touring and Enduro, the suspension set-up was perfect.

The rhythm picks up, the colleagues really pull on the gas and I just turn the throttle and follow, it was never easier to zoom from one turn to the next with almost 300kg of engineering technology under the butt! The 114hp in Enduro mode are enough, as on roads like these you can surf on the torque curve without the need to squeeze the last horsepower out of the rev limiter. When the traction control and rear ABS are deactivated in Enduro mode, it is possible to dare a little bit however going sideways into the turns in Supermoto style!

The engine works vibration-free and with a discreet mechanical noise, in the lower rev range it can be ridden smoothly and gently, even in higher gears. Above 5000-6000rpm the beat changes significantly as the V4 gallops up to the limit at almost 11,000rpm. Electronics help with extremely precise tuning to get the power on the road, the transmission and quickshifter work flawlessly and the ratios fit exactly, especially on the road. Only the search for neutral was sometimes a bit difficult.

Even on the very narrow inland roads with many curves and switchbacks, the Multi handles very well. But, due to the high centre of gravity with a full tank and the associated inertia, fast direction changes and slow corners should be faced with maximum concentration so that the Ducati “pendulum” doesn’t swing over too much when whipping the Rally from one side to the other.

As it was said already, the 2024 Ducati Multistrada Rally no longer has to compete with the lightweight ADV bikes, but our group suddenly turns onto the gravel road where we tested the Aprilia Tuareg at the end of 2021. I have to get out of the dusty turmoil of the group to plunge down the rally track into the valley at an increased pace directly behind the tour guide. Suddenly, as I know the track so well, I am comparing the Multi with the Tuareg. Verdict: you can actually ride the Multistrada Rally off-road, but this requires experience, riding skills and composure.

The seating position fits well and the distance between the footpegs and the seat allows you to stand up effortlessly, while the wide handlebars help to keep everything under control. The Enduro mode becomes mandatory, giving the V4 about 56hp less and adjusting the hydraulics and spring preload to better handle potholes, jumps and rocks. Given the dimensions and weight, some inertia is understandable, so tracks should be chosen carefully and putting the bike’s rear end sideways (with panniers!) should be approached with extreme caution.

The chassis swallows bumps well and remains stable even on loose debris, but sporty ambitions should definitely be left on the road. It seems possible, however, with an adapted riding style to go beyond the end of the dirt roads even with a passenger and with luggage to reach the beach or the refuge in the mountains.

Despite the heavier weight and longer suspension travel, the Multistrada Rally has conserved all its qualities as an excellent road bike. Comfort, range and off-road driveability have been improved, and lower fuel consumption is noticeable. The bike’s workmanship, quality and design are absolutely first class and currently make it the ultimate adventure tourer at a (hefty) base price of $41,400


Engine:                      Liquid-cooled 90-degree V4 engine with counter-rotating crankshaft, 4 valves per cylinder.

Displacement:          1,158 cm³.

Bore x stroke:           83 x 53.3 mm

Cooling                      Liquid-cooled

Compression ratio: 14.0:1

Power:                       70hp (125 kW) at 10,750 rpm

Torque:                      121Nm at 8,750 rpm

Fuel injection:          Electronic fuel injection, 46 mm elliptical throttle bodies with ride-by-wire system

Tank capacity           30L

Transmission:          6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift

Clutch:                       Hydraulically operated oil-immersed multi-plate clutch with anti-hopping and servo-assist function

Exhaust:                    Stainless steel muffler with 2 catalytic converters and 4 lambda probes


Wheelbase                1,572mm

Seat height                Adjustable from 870 – 890 mm

Ground clearance    235mm

Claimed Weight       260 kg wet


FRONT                     Fully adjustable 50mm USD fork with travel sensor, Ducati Skyhook Suspension EVO (DSS) with electric adjustment of compression and rebound damping, 200mm travel

REAR                        Fully adjustable rear shock, electronic compression and rebound damping adjustment, Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) with electronic spring preload, double-sided aluminium swingarm, 200mm travel


Front                          2 semi-floating 330 mm discs, Brembo Monoblock radial caliper with 4 pistons and 2 calipers, radial pump, Bosch cornering ABS

Rear                           265 mm brake disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, Bosch ABS


Handlebar                 NA

Front tyre                   Pirelli Scopion Trail II 120/70 R19

Rear tyre                   Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 170/60 R17


RRP $41,400


Warranty                    4 years unlimited kms

For the full feature, check out issue #533 of ADB.

Words // Klaus Nennewitz  Photos // Alex Photo, KN