Yup, definitely a busy week for the Naza Group’s Italian brands. After Ferrari and Maserati, Ducati Malaysia (Next Bike Sdn Bhd) takes centre stage with its Ducati Malaysia Premier 2018 event held last night in Slate @ The Row, Kuala Lumpur.
Three new models were officially launched starting with the Monster 821 naked, followed by the Multistrada 1260 adventure sport. The night then culminated with the local debut of Bologna’s latest track missile the Panigale V4 superbike.
Here’s what’s in store with each.
Slotted above the entry-level Monster 797 launched last year, this new ‘mid-spec’ Monster 821 has been heavily upgraded from its last iteration, with this 2018 model promising to be much sportier and more agile whilst offering increased usability.
Powering this naked is an 821cc version of Ducati’s signature liquid-cooled Testastretta 11º V-twin (or ‘L-twin’ as they call it) that delivers 109hp and 86Nm. Both are sent to the rear wheel through a six-speed box that’s primed with a wet, anti-hop slipper clutch feature too.
Equipped onto this naked’s chassis are a set of refined 43mm front forks and pre-load adjustable rear monoshock, dual Brembo 320mm front disc brakes with M4-32 radial monobloc calipers, as well as a decently-sized 16.5-litre fuel tank. There’s also a neat new fully digital TFT instrument display that boasts gear position and fuel indicators.
Complementing the refined chassis is the adoption of the Ducati Safety Pack that adds both a Bosch ABS and the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) suite. On top of that, there are three selectable ride modes present too, allowing riders to transform the Monster 821’s riding nature and dynamics when needed.
This mid-spec and -sized version of the famed Bologna brand’s mainstay street bike is now available in either Red or classic Yellow colour schemes, the former tagged from RM65,900 onwards and the latter from RM66,900 onwards instead.
Multistrada 1260 S
Next up comes the revised Multistrada 1260 S adventure sport offering. This uprated version of the outgoing Multistrada 1200 DVT benefits with a larger new engine and a host of improved features that improves its renowned versatility even further.
Starting with its heart, this uprated Multistrada is now powered by a larger new 1,262cc version of Ducati’s Testastretta DVT V-twin mill, outputting 158hp and 125.9Nm – the latter from 4,000rpm onwards. Again, a six-speed box manages both, but this adventure sports benefits further with the Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) suite too.
The chassis, on the other hand, now sports a longer swingarm plus a new front-end shape, promising increased comfort and stability. There’s also a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) computer on board that controls several other features such as Cornering ABS, Ducati Cornering Lights and Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC).
Other notable features in the list include the highly revered semi-active Ducati Skyhook suspension (DSS) Evolution control system and Vehicle Hold Control – the latter ensuring easy and safe uphill starts. In short, the Ducati for all roads just got a little bit better than before, edging ever closer against its rivals here too.
The uprated Multistrada 1260 S adventure sport can be had in either red or grey, the former tagged from RM129,900 onwards whilst the latter commands a higher base price of RM130,900.
Panigale V4 & V4 S
We saved the best for last, by which we mean the Bologna institution’s very latest track ready missile known as the Panigale V4. This is a landmark new offering in Ducati’s superbike history as it packs the brand’s first ever production four-cylinder mill instead of its usual powerhouse V-twins.
As its name suggest, this seductive new superbike packs a brand new Desmosedici Stradale 90-degree V4 mill primed with a revolutionary counter-rotating crankshaft. Derived directly from the brand’s Desmosedici MotoGP racer, this mill outputs a whopping 214hp @ 13,000rpm and 124Nm of torque @ 10,000rpm, thus making it the brand’s most powerful road-going bike to date too.
Like the V-twin-powered 1199 and 1299 Panigale before it, the V4 is yet another lightweight frameless machine as the engine doubles up as the main load-bearing structure. Coupled with an aluminium single-sided swingarm assembly, the Panigale V4 weighs in at a scarcely believable 175kg dry in its entirety.
Of course, power is nothing without control, and the Panigale V4 has got plenty of electronic rider aids ensuring this. Highlights include uprated ‘Evo’ version of the DTC, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Engine Brake Control (EBC) and DQS suites, the adoption of a six-axis inertial platform data (6D IMU), followed by the addition of the Bosch Evo ABS Cornering and Ducati Slide Control (DSC) suites.
By the way, the Panigale V4 can be hand in standard or hotter and slightly lighter Panigale V4 S forms, the latter boasting gold Öhlins front forks, forged aluminium wheels plus a lithium ion battery. However, you’ll need to fork out a premium of RM169,900 for this hotter S version – RM40,000 more than the standard V4’s RM139,900 price tag.