There I was sitting in my office doing a final edit of senior editor Colin Fraser’s review of Ducati’s Multistrada V4 S (watch for that review in the next issue of Inside Motorcycles) when I received a call inviting me to travel down to California the following week and the test ride the all-new 2022 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak model. While an opportunity to spend time in sunny California in December is never to be taken lightly, I did take a few minutes to consider whether it made sense to review a bike that was so similar to the one staring back at me from the computer screen. Then I called back and said, “Count me in!”
In reality, while it shares the Multistrada moniker, Pikes Peak is a unique motorcycle unto itself. Introduced in 2011 to celebrate company’s success at the legendary hill climb event, Ducati has positioned the 2022 model as the most advanced version ever. At first glance, style elements including a GP-inspired livery, carbon fibre components and a single-sided swingarm, create a unique one-of-a-kind visual, while closer inspection reveals sport-focused ergonomics built around a purpose-built frame with increased rake and trail. Forged 17-inch Marchesini rims not only accommodate the bike’s sporting intentions, but also reduce overall weight by 4 kilograms compared to the V4 S model, making the Pikes Peak the lightest model in the current Multistrada V4 lineup. An Akrapovic titanium-carbon fibre muffler is also included as standard equipment on the Pikes Peak model. Adding to its appeal and performance, the 2022 Multistrada Pikes Peak draws heavily from the premium V4 S Panigale and Streetfighter models including the Ohlins Smart EC electronic suspension and the Brembo Stylema brake setup.
The combination of these leading-edge components with the most advanced electronics package ever in a Multistrada give the Pikes Peak the capacity to fulfill the company’s “Rule All Mountains” slogan. With this in mind the team from Ducati’s North American headquarters selected southern California and its spectacular mountain passes as the location to introduce the 2022 Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak to journalists from around the globe.
Heading through morning traffic Palm Springs, I was simultaneously impressed and maybe a little disappointed in the linear, even somewhat docile power delivery from the V4 Granturismo engine – after all, this engine has 170 horsepower on tap. However, whatever my impression in the first few minutes, it became completely irrelevant once our group made its way out the city limits and onto the highway, where a snap of the wrist brought forth acceleration that totally smashed through every expectation I had.
Heading south along Hwy 74 and leaving the year-round summer-like temperatures of Palm Springs in the distance as elevation started to accumulate quickly, the real fun kicked in with a seemingly never-ending series of switchbacks and tight corners. For a bike that was created to not only pay homage to, but also triumph at the most famous hill climb in the world, it would be hard to imagine a more perfect road for this test, and the Pikes Peak was definitely in its element. Whether it was aggressive leans, full acceleration or hard braking, the Pikes Peak’s chassis, electronics and V-four powerplant worked in perfect harmony to provide a ride that left me dreaming of what it would have been like to ascend that legendary hill on this motorcycle.
The team at Ducati had forewarned that the unseasonal forecast for this region would require some warm weather gear and as we continued to head to higher elevations, I was glad to have followed their advice, especially when temperatures fell to freezing levels as we road along over a mile high on Hwy 243 through Mount San Jacinto State Park. And yes, we did encounter snow. I guess Albert Hammond never thought to mention snow when he sang It Never Rains in Southern California, oh well with it being a just week before Christmas the snow seemed appropriate and added a little character to a truly exhilarating day of riding on an amazing motorcycle.
There is so much more to tell you about the 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak, and we look forward to bringing you a complete in-depth review in an upcoming issue of Inside Motorcycles. In the meantime be sure to follow Inside Motorcycles on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more images of this all-new motorcycle and our adventures in the California snow.