Champion: Ducati Multistrada V4 S
With the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour the top honor on our 2020 sports tour, it's no surprise that the 2021 Multistrada V4 S further cements the Italian's dominance in this segment. The new V4 excels in basically every way, with a more diverse 19-inch front wheel and a world-class electronics package, including adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring and electronic Ducati Skyhook suspension.
Ducati has managed to tweak its 1158 cc power to make it easier to use around town or touring, while delivering strong performance. Combined with variable driving modes, TC, ABS and electronic suspension, users can fine-tune the ride to suit their needs. Granturismo also offers touring riders a 36,000-mile service interval, thanks to Ducati ditching the Desmo valve system for a more traditional spring system.
The 19-inch front wheel greatly enhances the off-road performance of the new Multi, while the previous model's 17-inch front wheel never felt very confident on soft terrain. This comes at the expense of some flexibility on the road, but not enough to draw too much attention. If sport touring is all your thing, the Pikes Peak model uses 17-inch wheels that will guarantee an exhilarating ride. The larger front wheel doesn't degrade performance enough to pull it out of the category, instead it further adds to the Multi's ride.
The Brembo Stylemas boasts 170 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque, so top-of-the-line brakes are a must. And the Brembo Stylemas, combined with a stable chassis, maintains a good ride stability even in exceptional situations where it shouldn't be. The ergonomics also put the rider in a perfectly neutral position, and there’s plenty of room to ride. In our opinion, the Multistrada V4 S is a top-notch station wagon whose performance is unlikely to disappoint any motorcyclist and should be priced at $24,095.
The Tracer 9gt doesn't pretend to be an adventure vehicle. Its front and rear 17-inch wheels make this clear, letting people know it's built for paved asphalt. The larger 890cc MT-09 first saw updates with a five-gallon fuel tank, luggage, plush seats front and rear, adjustable hitches, and electronic suspension.
No matter your size, this adjustable seat will keep you comfortable on long journeys. The (manually) adjustable windshield is nice. The price is $14,899.