In the old days, the exalted ‘RS’ badge would only be applied to the very finest of race-ready superbikes. But it’s a mark of where we are that Ducati has just launched this: the 2024 Multistrada V4 RS. High-end adventure tourers now get just as much performance and kit as superbikes, and with this ultimate machine, Ducati’s shown just how far you can go.
The main upgrade is to the engine: the RS gets a full-on desmodromic version of the V4 Desmosedici Stradale engine out of the Panigale. That’s right: an engine with its roots in MOTO EFFING GP is now sat in a tall, big-beaked adventure tourer, complete with radar-assisted cruise control and pannier mounts. Brilliant. The Multistrada version of the V4 desmo engine has had a retune, down to ‘only’ 180bhp from 215.5bhp in the superbike, with more midrange and lowered final drive gearing. It also keeps the dry clutch from the Panigale, so you can use that mad low-friction Ducati Shell Advance oil for even moar bhps.
The chassis has been upgraded too, of course, with a new aluminium monocoque frame that gives sportier geometry, and a bloody titanium subframe to save weight. There’s a proper single-sided swingarm as befits such a posh machine, while the forged Marchesini wheels, 330mm discs and Brembo Stylema brakes are just as you’d expect. Suspension is the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active setup, and it’s all integrated into the riding modes, which includes the usual cornering ABS/traction control/wheelie/launch/engine brake control, and up/down quickshifter. And you get a proper 17-inch front wheel, not some pretend dirtbike 19-incher.
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What’s the downside I hear you cry? Well it’s the obvious one: a £31,995 price tag. You’re getting a lot for that cash though: carbon fibre bodywork, Akrapovic pipe, limited edition numbered plaque – and the fanciest Multistrada ever built. We also suspect there won’t be too much depreciation on that price: every previous Ducati RS model has kept a lot of value.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 RS will be on sale in January. More info: www.ducati.com