Ducati is set to introduce a new member of the Multistrada family, powered by a 1158cc version of the Stradale V4 engine. The new model, which we’ll call the Multistrada V4 for lack of a better name, will join the 2021 Ducati lineup alongside the twin-cylinder 1260 and 950 Multistradas.

UPDATE: Ducati has started teasing the Multistrada V4, releasing new information suggesting it will not get an 1158cc engine but a smaller V-Four instead. The 1158cc mill will be for something else, perhaps for the Panigale V4 as part of its Euro 5 update. Our theory, therefore, might be wrong, but we’re leaving the original post intact here.

The information comes to us via Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) decoding documents Ducati submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The documents outlines how the VIN codes for Ducati numbers are defined.

According to the VIN decoder, the seventh character represents the engine type. “A” for example, is the Scrambler Sixty’s 399cc air-cooled V-Twin, and “N” is the 1103cc engine used on the Panigale V4 and Streetfighter V4. The latest engine code is “V” which represents a 1158cc liquid-cooled four-cylinder with four valves per cylinder.

Ducati Stradale V4 engine

Ducati confirmed the new model was in the works a year ago, saying that “in 2021 the Multistrada family will expand to see the twin cylinder 1260 and 950 motorcycles joined by a version with a new, specific V4 engine.” The 1158cc engine is clearly that new version of the Ducati Stradale V4 engine that will be used for the Multistrada V4. The VIN document doesn’t describe the engine’s performance, but we expect it will be tuned for an adventure-touring application.

According to the VIN decoder, the sixth character represents the product line. Letters “A” through “K” (“I” is skipped because it can be too confused for a “1”) are used for model families that we recognize from the existing lineup. “L,” however, denotes a new product line with a placeholder name: “1706 Project,” which we expect will be for the Multistrada V4.

  • A: V-Twin Panigale models
  • B: Supersport
  • C: Liquid-cooled Monster models
  • D: Air-cooled Monster models
  • E: V-Twin Multistrada models
  • F: Scrambler models
  • G: Panigale V4 models
  • H: Diavel models
  • J: Hypermotard models
  • K: Streetfighter V4 models
  • L: 1706 Project

For those not familiar with the nomenclature, Ducati uses a four-digit code for its new projects. The first two digits represent the year the project started, and the last two representing the specific projects for that year. Project 1708, for example, was the codename for the Superleggera V4. Project 1706 would therefore have began in 2017, with development started before work on the Superleggera V4 began.

Spy photos of the Multistrada V4 have been popping up over the last year, with a double-sided swingarm, and both wire-spoke and cast wheel versions. We expect the Multistrada V4 will come with adaptive cruise control which Ducati said it will introduce in 2020.

Ducati typically announces its new models in November at EICMA, but this year’s show has been called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, we expect Ducati will announce the Multistrada V4, and other 2021 model year updates at around the same time. Check back here on Motorcycle.com for the latest.


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