Should I upgrade my 2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak with the DVT model?

Should I upgrade my 2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak with the 2016 Pikes Peak model? That’s the question.  I’m not the only one grappling with this question since 2015, when Ducati incorporated many upgrades to the Multistrada, especially the DVT motor.

2016 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak on the right, my 2013 Pikes Peak on the right.

2016 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak on the left, my 2013 Pikes Peak on the right.

On this post I will discuss ten reasons to keep my Multistrada Pikes Peak or to get the new DVT model.  These reasons are not “either or” scenarios, they are just considerations on specific items, where, on my personal view, I would favor one motorcycle or the other.  Your take might be different than mine item by item, but you can use this framework to reach your own conclusions.

2016 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak

2016 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak

A premise for this comparison is that besides the DVT Multistrada I haven’t seen other motorcycles that would work as an upgrade to my Multistrada.  There are some motorcycles that are better on sport or touring performance.  When you combine sport and touring, though, and put together on a upright riding position package, the Multistrada is still my favorite so far. I say “so far” because I’m open to other motorcycles, and will look for alternatives if something comes up.  For now the Multistrada DVT is the natural upgrade to my sport/touring motorcycle, the 2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak.

The 2016 Mutistrada DVT Standard model I test rode

The 2016 Mutistrada DVT Standard model I test rode

Within the Multistrada line the alternatives have improved with the addition of the Enduro version.  But it is the Pikes Peak primarily the one that gathers my attention, hence the one that will be discussed here.

My 2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak

My 2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak

Now that we have discussed the context at hand, we are ready to start bringing up, one by one, the items, the differences between the 2013/14 and the 2015/16 Pikes Peak bikes, that can make me, or you, favor one or the other.

Reason 1: The Testatretta motor!

No question, one of the most critical elements that makes the Multistrada successful is its motor. When this bike first came out in 2010, the motor was all the rage. This bike was a first on that front and has created a new segment, we now have a few other options delivering similar or better level performance from their motors from KTM, BMW, Aprilia, and others. So let’s start with the Testastretta motor.

The case to keep the 2013: The dual spark motor performance and characteristics

Although the DVT motor has more power, is more stable on low RPM, and is smoother throughout the rev band when compared to the 2013 motor, its power delivery at the mid portion of the RPM range does not feel as strong as what I experience in my motorcycle’s Testratretta dual spark motor.

Testastretta twin-spark motor, Multistradas 2013 and 2014.

Testastretta twin-spark motor, Multistradas 2013 and 2014.

The 2013/14 Multistrada’s motor is a re-designed version of the original Testastretta motor on the 2010/12 models.  The re-design included several modifications that improved the management of spark, fuel, and the air mixture maximizing its efficiency and stability at lower RPM.  It was a subtle but critical improvement.

The 2013/14 motors maintain just enough of the characteristic vibration of a V-twin, it is something I actually like.  But it is not overwhelming at all, it is just a light touch you feel via the handlebars, seat and pegs. When you add the v-twin vibration to the dynamic forces of acceleration and sound, it does give a feel of raw performance, it delivers an aggressive attitude. It is telling you there is a strong v-twin in there, taking you on this high performance adventure, and in the case of this specific motor, it is willing to give you more as you climb the rev range.

The Evolution of the Multistrada Testastretta motors

The Evolution of the Multistrada Testastretta motors (the 1198 was the original motor)

In preparation for this write up, I rode my Mutistrada over the weekend, just to be reminded of what this motor is all about. At 4,500 RPM that motor is already very responsive and linear. The magic spot, the characteristic of a motorcycle where I enjoy the riding experience the most, happens at the confluence of vibration, RPM gain, speed gain, and induction sounds.  On this bike it starts just above 5K RPM on the “150 hp high” setting.  That’s the sweet spot of its motor, all the way to about 8K RPM, giving me a great latitude, a wide range for fun.  This is ultimately the reason I like this motor, and why I keep it at the 150 hp and on the high setting, where its delivery is sharp, even when on Urban mode.

Even Urban setting is kept at 150 HP with the High acceleration on my bike

Even Urban setting is kept at 150 HP with the High (150 HIGH) acceleration on my bike

The case to get the DVT bikes: The DVT motor performance and characteristics

As a counter point, though, the DVT motor is sublime. Although it is smooth at higher RPMs, you would never question there is a V-twin pulling you through when riding this motorcycle, especially at lower RPMs. There are several advantages to this motor, from technical to experiential in relation to the motor on my motorcycle.

The DVT Motor

The DVT Motor

From the technical side, it is yet more efficient than the motor from each it evolved.  Actually, there are so many differences, it is a different motor altogether.  The most important one, of course, is on its name, the variable valve timing on intake and exhaust valves.  It delivers more power and yet more improvements to low RPM motor stability, and better fuel efficiency, without compromising performance on the higher end of the rev range.  As a matter of fact, this motor has about 10% more torque than the dual spark motor.

On the experiential side of things, when comparing to my 2013, the DVT motor does feel more stable at low RPM.  However where I noticed the most improvement was on how smooth it is under strong acceleration.  And since we are talking about strong acceleration, there is rush of power you get above 6K RPM from this motor… it is something out of this world. That’s where the sweet spot of this motor resides.

Although that rush of power is great, it comes with a down side. If you are in touring mode you will experience a slow down on the acceleration rate when the motor goes from 4K to 6K RPM. It is somewhat of a disappointment to have that flat spot on the torque curve, but it only makes the acceleration you experience above 6K so much more intense.

In conclusion, I would say both motors are great. The dual-spark motor delivers more of a raw performance, it is an in your face performance, and you get some nice induction sounds along the way, it is a true v-twin motor, perhaps the last of a generation.  The DVT motor, on the other hand, is a lot more refined, but it is still delivering a thrilling performance. It requires a change on how you use the gears, if you want to be on the sweet spot, but when you are there you will be rewarded! For as much as I like the feel of the dual spark motor, there is no looking back, the DVT motor on itself is already a good reason to upgrade to a 2015 or 20156 model.

Reason 2: Reliability and Service intervals

Anytime someone knows I ride a Ducati one of the questions that comes up in the conversation is about reliability and service intervals.  These are important items to consider when we know these bikes are expensive to maintain and service.

The case to keep it: reliability

The twin-spark motor turned out to be reliable.  My motorcycle has never had any mechanical problems.  It was also the first Ducati motor to have a 15,000 mile service interval, which is great progress for these service demanding Ducati motors.  However, it still requires belts to be changed every two years.

The 2013 Twin-spark motor, 24,000 Km, 15,000 miles service interval.

My 2013 Twin-spark motor, 24,000 Km, 15,000 miles service interval.

The case to get the DVT bikes:

While we are still learning about the DVT motors, who knows what reliability level they will reach, they incorporate lots of changes and new technology.  What we know is that these motors have yet a longer service interval than the motor they substitute. Its service interval is 30,000 Km which translates to 18,750 miles.  And I hear (to be confirmed) the belts need to serviced only every 5 years.  That is not bad at all.

DVT Motor: Desmove service every 30,000 Km, 18,750 miles

DVT Motor: Desmove service every 30,000 Km, 18,750 miles

I would say, in the long term, the DVT motor, with its longer service intervals, will carry more value, not even considering what it already gains in performance and efficiency from the variable valve timing technology.

Reason 3: The Suspension

Aside from the motor, another important item that makes the Multistrada successful is the suspension.  The 2010-12 models had the Öhlins suspension, and from the 2013 model the Multistrada line comes equipped with Sachs semi-active suspension, also called the Skyhook which with Ducati’s name added to the acronym it becomes DSS.  In 2015 the Multistrada continues with the Skyhook, but with evolutionary upgrades.

However the 2015-16 Pikes Peak comes with an evolution of the Öhlins you would find on the first versions (2010-12).  This makes for a difficult decision here, and it will probably be the most important one for several people.  I remember on motorcycle forums in 2013 some people were very passionate for Öhlins or for Sachs semi-active suspension. The reason for the controversy is obvious: they are both good suspension systems.  But they are also different.

The case to keep it:  Sachs Skyhook Suspension (DSS)

The case for Skyhook is comfort and the easiness to get performance from it.  You can dial it in to your own style of riding going through a series of menu items. It is incredible how the DSS, Ducati’s semi-active suspension, works.

DSS: Ducati Skyhook Semi-active suspension.

DSS: Ducati Skyhook Semi-active suspension.

Once you ride a motorcycle with it, and you happen to like it, which is my case, you want all suspensions to work the same way, especially when you travel on rough surfaces. On sport mode, for example, it keeps the damping you need for aggressive riding, but softens the edges of imperfections on the road. Overall, it is likely to keep the wheels on the ground on a more evenly fashion while making the ride more comfortable as well.

Therefore, you should get more performance, safety, and also comfort out of it.  The tendency is that more and more motorcycles will have semi-active suspensions. We already these systems on premium brands such as KTM, Aprilia, BMW, and MV Agusta.

The case to upgrade to the DVT: Öhlins suspension, including the fully adjustable Öhlins TTX36 shock

On the other hand, Öhlins is known to deliver high performance suspension. I rode a 2010 Multistrada with Öhlins and liked it. I also rode the 2016 DVT with the standard  suspension (not semi-active) more recently. After so many years riding Skyhook semi-active suspension, I’ve gotten used with it. However, riding the standard Multistrada I got reminded about how good it is to have better feedback from the front end of the bike.

Ohlins front forks

Ohlins  front forks, the gold stanchion is back…

Semi-active suspensions don’t give you that important detail, the feedback you may want to feel at the handle bars. The feedback makes it easier to ride faster, even if semi-active suspensions deliver optimized performance in varying conditions. You need to trust the semi-active suspension, you read the bike better on “analog” suspension.

Overall, I would like to have both suspensions, and then switch to one or the other by a flick of a button. Since that is not possible, if I had to opt, I would give a try to Öhlins next.  I know I would miss the Skyhook, though.  That is a tough decision.  You can go with Multistrada S with DVT, in which case you get the DVT motor, but an evolutionary version of the semi-active suspension.

Reason 4: Riding technology package, the case to get the DVT bikes

Since both bikes offer high level of technology, and the choice is between these two bikes,  having technology is not an issue favoring one or the other bike. As a matter of fact, riding technology is another element that characterized the Multistrada, since it was one of the first motorcycles to have a full package including riding modes, power delivery modes, suspension settings, levels of ABS and traction control.

That is, if you like a Multistrada, chances are you like the technology that comes with it as well.  Therefore, when comparing the 2013/14 Multistradas to the 2015/16 models, there is no question, advantage goes to the DVT bikes.

Latest version of Bosch's ABS, with stability control (the "cornering ABS)

Latest version of Bosch’s ABS, with stability control (the “cornering ABS)

And that’s because of the upgrades it includes.  Two items are probably making the case unambiguous:  Bosch’s ABS with stability control, the famous “cornering ABS”; and cruise control.

Thanks to Bosch and KTM for introducing the cornering ABS to their Adventure models, a technology that has become a requirement on all top brands since then. KTM has it, BMW has it, and the DVT Multistradas have it.  I want my next performance motorcycle to have cornering ABS.

The second item, cruise control, is not the most important item, but there are moments when you really wish you had it, when you need to do something with both hands, things you shouldn’t be doing  (like turning the camera on).  Or when you need to rest your right wrist on a long ride. It is very convenient even if you only use it once in a while. I’m at the “why not” camp for that one. I want my next touring motorcycle to have cruise control.

Cruise control on the DVT

Cruise control on the DVT

Reason 5: Seat height

The DVT Multistradas have a lower seat, offering better reach to the ground for inseam challenged people.

Lowe seat height can be a major advantage for the DVT models

Lowe seat height can be a major advantage for the DVT models, should you be inseam-challenged

Depending on how tall you are you may find this a reason to upgrade or not.  For me, this is a major positive item!  When riding my Multistrada I’m always observant when stopping about how at least one foot will reach the ground and how stable that reach needs to be.

Reason 6: Marchesini wheels, the case for the 2o13/14 models

On the previous Pikes Peak models, Marchesini wheels has been the one major item that characterized the model, besides the color scheme.

Marchesini wheels on the Pikes Peak, discontinued on the 2015 and 2016 models.

Marchesini wheels on the Pikes Peak, discontinued on the 2015 and 2016 models.

That’s no longer the case, the DVT Pikes Peak models come with cast wheels.

Cast wheels on the 2015-16 Pikes Peak

Cast wheels on the 2015-16 Pikes Peak

This is not a priority item, but it makes a difference on performance and strength of the wheel and is one of those contributing items that help with the decision.

Reason 7: Information display, the case for the DVT models

This is a no-brainer. The new TFT color display of the DVT models is so much better than the monochrome displays of the previous series.

2010-14 Multistrada Monochrome displays

2010-14 Multistrada Monochrome displays

Some have complained the new TFT displays scratch easily. There is always a downside, right? You can apply protective film to them, problem solved.

The TFT color display in the DVT model. More informative, easier to navigate

The TFT color display in the DVT model. More informative, easier to navigate

Aside from looking better, the DVT model offers a much easier navigation process. Just one more reason to go for the DVT models.

Reason 8: Engine sounds and the Termignoni silencer, the case for the DVT Models (2015/16)

When Ducati announced the Pikes Peak model in 2013 it showed pictures of the bike with the Termignoni slip on. It happened that it was not included on the bikes destined for the American market. Now it is part of the Pikes Peak package.

Termignoni slip on on the DVT Pikes Peak

Termignoni slip on on the DVT Pikes Peak

It happens that I like the sound of the DVT bikes better and with the Termignoni silencer it gets even better.  It is the case of getting the Pikes Peak DVT.

Item 9: The overall package, the case for the DVT bikes

There are so many other items on the new model, like cornering lights (lights that come on when the bike is leaned to illuminate the direction when cornering), back lit switches. I also like the shorty carbon fiber wind screen on the DVT better.

Carbon fiber shorty on the Pikes Peak DVT, another point for the DVT bikes!

Carbon fiber shorty on the Pikes Peak DVT, another point for the DVT bike!

The overall fit and finish quality seems to have been improved as well. It is, overall, a more refined motorcycle.

Item 10: The looks! So subjective…

It took me a long time to acquire a taste for the Multistrada, what with the beak and the  angry bird face. The Pikes Peak bikes were always a better paint scheme in my opinion. And the 2013/14 Pikes Peak models in particular are unique when compared to the other two Pikes Peak versions.  The first Pikes Peak version had the red and white and black and the shiny carbon pieces, a nice looking beast.

2012 Multistrada Pikes Peak

2012 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak – official Ducati photo

But the 2013-2014 model is the only one that is only red and white.  It looks more aggressive, sharp, and the satin carbon fiber adds a nice touch to it. It is my favorite.

2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak - Official Ducati photo.

2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak – Official Ducati photo.

It is not that I don’t like the new Pikes Peak paint scheme, but on looks alone, I prefer the 2013.

2016 Multistrada Pikes Peak

2016 Multistrada Pikes Peak

Of course, this is very subjective. And it should not be a determinant factor on someone’s choice.  But it helps.  I doubt Multistrada motorcycles of this vintage (2010-2016) will become collectible items some day, but if it were the case, I would bet on the Pikes Peak models more than the others to have that space in history.  And perhaps the 2013-14 models are a special case on that scenario, or so I would hope. Aside from the Pikes Peak versions, a potentially collectible version of the Multistrada could be the black color on the 2010-2011 S models which are rare motorcycles.  And those black bikes look great as well.


In my mind, there is no question the DVT is a much improved motorcycle. If my Pikes Peak checked all boxes when I got it, the new one comes with “optional” boxes that did not exist at that time.

Which Pikes Peak? 2016 DVT or my 2013?

Which Pikes Peak? 2016 DVT or my 2013?

At this point, I want the DVT motorcycle. I have other priorities at the moment which do not allow me to indulge on the new level of performance and quality the DVT bikes deliver, and in specific the Pikes Peak, my unambiguous choice.  Also, I think I have a few more adventures to accomplish with my Pikes Peak. It is still my favorite and the best motorcycle I’ve ever had.

I still want to have more adventures with this bike

I’m not done with  my Pikes Peak, I want to have more adventures with it

But if someone is considering the upgrade, Ducati has a campaign with the Pikes Peak where you can get 1.99% financing or $1,200 cash for accessories.  That should make it easy, right?

I will dream about the DVT, but I can’t complain, my Pikes Peak is an awesome motorcycle.

Disclaimer:  I write this blog as a hobby and a reflection of my passion for motorcycles and motorcycle riding. I’m not affiliated with any business or organization, I’m not paid to write and publish my posts. The potential income generated by advertisements you may come across on my posts are going to WordPress, the organization hosting my content. I pay WordPress to manage and host my content, I would have to pay more to have advert-free posts.





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12 Responses to Should I upgrade my 2013 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak with the DVT model?

  1. Rick Pannemann says:

    Nice comparison. I am droooooooling over the Enduro. Just not sure I want to sell a bike I own outright — 2011 MTS — to get a bike on which I will have to make payments, even with the sweet financing offers out there now (are they still doing 0 down, 0 payments for x months?). I’ve put a bunch of money and farkles into my 2011. Still more adventures to be had with it. I think I’ll wait another year or two, then find an Enduro that’s been sitting for awhile…

  2. cesardagord says:

    Yes, the Enduro looks great! But I still want a road bike first. I already have enduro machines… 🙂 I don’t know if they still have other promotions right now. But I always say, everything is negotiable within reason, of course. Right now I was booking a flight and the agent told me what I wanted was not possible after consulting her manager. I asked her to try again, and she went to a different manager, and together they made it happen.

  3. Mauro Marins says:

    Mais uma vez parabéns por sua clareza e objetividade Cesar. Consegue ser melhor que muitos jornalistas especializados .
    Suas avaliações foram fundamentais na decisão de compra de uma MTS 2014, que realmente é o maximo . Esta semana fiz um pequeno test drive na 2016, e devido ao curto trajeto só notei que ela está mais mansa na baixa, mas como você observou, se perdeu aquela “emoção ” de estar sentado sobre uma fera nervosa kkkkk. Vamos aproveitar mais a 2014 e quem sabe em 2018 o upgrade fará mais sentido ! Forte abraço ,

    Mauro Marins

    From Cabreúva , SP, Brasil

  4. Thomas Wegmayr says:

    Hey Cesar, very nice blog again, i can understand most of your considerations, here are my thoughts:
    The motor of the DVT model is for sure sweet, but the lack of torque between 4 – 6 k is really annoying. Some mates already consider to sell their Multis because of that issue. For the 2017 model Ducati has announced an airbox update and a new motor management to solve the problem, so i think it would at least be a good idea to wait for this update.

    The Öhlins suspension is for sure very good and i would have no problem to go without skyhook. On the other hand it is also annoying that ducati didn’t spend a semi active öhlins suspension to the top model, especially for that price. Apropos price, i think the 2016 PP is to expensive, especially without marchesini wheels, which are a really expensive upgrade and on the wishlist of most riders.

    The longer service interval is fundamental nice, but some mates already had their first big desmo service an paid up to 50% more than for the older testastretta service.

    The technical packet is top, nothing more to say. Altough you could have mentioned the brembo monoblocks on the pro side for the DVT.

    The exhaust sound of the DVT is way better than on the previous models, with or without the termi slip on (in my opinion there is no difference). My solution for the 2013 Pikes Peak came with the street legal Quat D full system.

    So at the moment i wouldn’t like to change my 2013 PP for the new model, not even if i could easily afford it. The Monster R in black looks awesome and could be an alternative for me, also the new supersport seems to become a really nice package. We’ll see at least at Milanos Eicma show if there will be some irresistible ducatis in the new lineup for 2017.

    All best

    • cesardagord says:

      Hey Thomas thank you. And I agree with you on many counts of this story.

      I find it interesting that Ducati has finally admitted that there was an issue on the torque delivery at mid-range. I’ve also heard rumors that the air-box and the revised motor management software would be available for 2015-16 owners, but I’ve also heard that eventually Ducati did not confirm it (or decided not to do it). According to sources, the revised software provides an extra 3 hp, but the main issue is the elimination of the flat spot on the torque curve, which should make the DVT bikes so much nicer!

      Thanks for bringing up the Brembo monoblock brakes. By the way, fast acceleration out of minor twist on the throttle and one finger brake actuation makes this bike so special, DVT or not. And now, with the new map, and the better brakes, the DVT should be the best option for who likes such responsiveness.

      I agree, it is difficult to get rid of the 2013 PP. But the DVT is becoming more and more interesting. Ideally, I would like to have both: the 2013 for track days (which is something I don’t do, but would do if I didn’t need the PP to be ready and available for touring), and the DVT, in PP form, for touring.

  5. I just picked up a 2014 PP at one of the local dealerships for nearly half of its original MSRP ($12.5K). Only had 5,000 MI on the clock, and came kitted with the huge top case, panniers, termi exhaust, ALT Rider crash bars/sliders, radiator and header guards, and other bobs and bits. Never thought I’d be able to afford any MT, let alone a barely broken in Pike Peak addition! Too good of a deal to pass up, when I was already in the market for a KLR or something similar. I only have a couple hundred miles on TKC tires, but I love the engine and riding position so far. Nice change from my other bike, a Street Triple with rearsets and lowered handlebars for occasional track days. Once I change out the tires to something more pavement oriented I’ll really start putting her through her paces.

    Thanks for your posts about the bike; the 10K mile review helped clinch my decision to buy her.

    • cesardagord says:

      Congratulations on your 2014 Pikes Peak. I’ve always been reluctant to upgrade my 2013 to newer models, but now there are so many updates on the 1260 models, it is more tempting. Still, the 2013-14 are the better looking ones, in my opinion….

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