Jay Leno's vehicular interests aren't limited to cars. For this episode of Jay Leno's Garage, he switches from four wheels to two, getting the details on the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 from Jason Chinnock, the company's North American CEO.
The Multistrada is designed as a multi-purpose bike (the name means "many roads" in Italian), so it's proficient in off-roading, city riding, touring, and the sporty style of riding Ducati is known for, Chinnock said. Leno views it as the motorcycle equivalent of performance SUVs like the Aston Martin DBX. Programmable modes change the riding character; they consist of Urban, Sport, Touring, and Enduro. The bike's suspension pre-load can also be adjusted to accommodate a passenger or baggage.
Ducati launched the Multistrada in 2003 with a 2-cylinder engine, but the 2021 model sports a V-4 making 170 hp. The transverse-mounted engine has cylinder deactivation for the rear bank of cylinders, but for rider comfort not fuel economy. Shutting off two cylinders reduces heat, helping to keep riders from baking while sitting at stoplights. Winglets direct cooling air toward the rider while underway. The Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) allows clutchless shifts up and down despite the manual transmission.
2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 on Jay Leno's Garage
The 2021 Multistrada is also the first production motorcycle with radar (the unit is located between the headlights), Chinnock says, which enables blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Those features are common in cars these days, but not as widespread in motorcycles.
The bike's various features are controlled through an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster. Creature comforts include a heated seat and heated handlebars.
Ducati has been able to add more features to its newer bikes in part because it's part of the Volkswagen Group, and can use the massive automaker's engineering resources. VW was thought to have considered selling off Ducati (along with Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini) as it shifts focus to mass-market electric cars, but the automaker announced in December 2020 that it was keeping Ducati, along with Bentley and Lamborghini.
Click on the video above for much more information on the Mulstistrada V4 and to see and hear Jay and Jason go for a ride.