Best Sport Touring Motorcycle of 2021

Best Sport Touring Motorcycle of 2021: Ducati Multistrada V4 S

Best Sport Touring Motorcycle of 2021: Ducati Multistrada V4 S

With the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour winning top honors from our Sports Tourism MOBO in 2020it is not surprising that the 2021 Multistrada V4 S further cements the category’s Italian dominance. The new Multi V4 is fundamentally better in every way, from its new V4 that can play the role of gentle hiker or wild canyon ripper, to its more versatile 19-inch front wheel and world-class electronics package that includes adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring as well as Ducati Skyhook electronic suspension. The new Multi continues to impress in a surprising way for a bike of its size.

As mentioned in our recent heavyweight naked bike shootout, Ducati has managed to tune its V4s – the Granturismo variant in this case – in a way that offers a dual-purpose characteristic making the 1158cc engine easy to use around town or for touring while simultaneously delivering stunning performance when you pull its tail. This, combined with variable drive modes, TC, ABS and electronic suspension, allows the user to fine-tune the ride as they see fit. Where the Granturismo also offers touring riders is its 36,000-mile service intervals thanks to Ducati ditching the Desmo valve train for a more conventional spring system.

2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 Review – First Ride

The addition of the 19-inch front wheel greatly helps the new Multi’s off-road chop, where the previous model’s 17-inch wheel never looked very inspiring in loose terrain. This comes at the expense of some on-road flickability, but not enough to cause much concern. If sport tourism is your cup of tea, the Pikes Peak model uses 17 inch wheels and will guarantee an exhilarating ride. The larger front wheel doesn’t hurt performance enough to push it out of this category, rather it adds to the Multi’s bag of tricks.

With a claimed 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque, premium brakes are required and the Brembo Stylemas combined with the stable chassis keep the ride well composed even when it shouldn’t be. The ergonomics also place the pilot in a perfectly neutral position and there are also plenty of passenger accommodations. In our opinion, the Multistrada V4 S is a stellar touring machine that can deliver performance that’s unlikely to leave any rider wanting, and it should cost $24,095.

Finalist for Best Sport Touring Motorcycle of 2021: Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

In a landscape where adventure motorbikes encroach on the space of sport-touring, the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT 2021 is a breath of fresh air. To be fair, many adventure touring bikes do the touring gig just fine, but for the sporty aspect of it all, the tall, narrow front wheels take away some of that magic.

The Tracer 9 GT does not claim to be an adventure bike. It clarifies that point with its 17-inch wheels at both ends, letting people know it’s made for cobbled asphalt ribbons. Mix that with the bigger 890cc Triple first seen on the update MT-09a five-gallon fuel tank, luggage, luxurious front and rear seats, adjustable bars and footrests, electronic suspension and the R1’s driver aids package – including a smaller IMU – and you have the recipe for a hellish sports touring package.

During our First lap with the Tracer 9 GT, in and around the Los Angeles foothills, the combination simply worked. The 890cc engine is a low lover, but can get you going with gusto once you open the taps. All the while, that sweet three-cylinder song comes out the exhaust. With its sophisticated electronics, even if you find yourself feeling a bit uneasy, the TC will gently sink in to remind you to keep your throttle under control.

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Review – First Ride

Whatever your body type, the adjustable seat and ergonomics ensure that you will feel comfortable for long rides in the saddle. Even the wind protection offered by the (manually) adjustable windscreen is nice. It’s as focused on a sport-tourer as the Tracer line ever was, and at $14,899, it gets the job done without breaking the bank.

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