Travel Stories

Riding SubZero

Travel Stories

Riding SubZero

Conquering Iceland

In the new episode of Riding SubZero, Alessandro Broglia and Alessandro Mollo, or _canepazzo_ and alenotmollo to their friends on Instagram, take us on an extraordinary trip around the cliffs of desolate Iceland. A country that is more than four times the size of Emilia-Romagna but with a total population smaller than that of the city of Bologna alone. Almost two thirds of its inhabitants are concentrated in capital city Reykjavík and the built-up areas that immediately surround it.

For more than ten days, our riders face very strong winds, heavy snow mixed with mud and ice and other difficulties. Follow their adventure with this extraordinary account. 

Follow the itinerary
Bike prep at Ducati

Our ‘day zero’ comes three weeks before departure in Borgo Panigale. The guys at the Vehicle Reliability Service centre help us prepare the bikes for shipping and, for the first time, we are able to see the brand-new aluminium cases for ourselves, prototypes (the result of thorough research and reliability tests) that will shortly be put into production. So as to best prepare for our adventure, we spend the rest of the day practicing how to apply the Best Grip studs to the Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres and it’s not long before we have blistered hands. We’re ready to leave and will be reunited with our Multistrada V4 bikes when we arrive in Iceland! 

Landing in Iceland

Having landed at the international airport of Keflavík, we head to the Ducati store in the capital and are immediately warned as to the rather unfavourable weather conditions expected over the next few weeks. The winds are violent, and we have the vague but persistent feeling that we’ve perhaps taken on too much this time. But we’re here now, and as the famous Icelandic saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”. And so it is with spirit that we prepare for our adventure. 

From Reykjavik to Vik

The following day, and meticulously kitted out, we are finally ready to travel. The sun is shining, and the wind seems like a distant memory. The Multistradas can unleash their 170 hp, or less if we want to use enduro mode. In this way, they can safely tackle terrain that is a lot more treacherous than asphalt, like snow for example.

By evening we reach Vík í Mýrdal, a narrow village nestled between the sea and the glaciers that, with its 320 residents, stands out as one of the most densely populated centres of the island’s entire south coast. 

We base ourselves in Vík í Mýrdal for two nights, enjoying ourselves as we exploit the Multistrada V4 bikes and delve into Icelandic nature, which never ceases to amaze with its magical landscapes… Sea stacks and cliffs that the waves seem to want to devour, sandy beaches as black as coal, waterfalls that look like something out of a fantasy novel. 

Taking a break at Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon

We set off eastwards. In this area, the temperatures are not too bad, between -8 and +2 °C, but we have to deal with a general feeling of instability and precariousness caused by deep snow and battle a wind so strong that we struggle to ride in a straight line. We break up the 260 km stretch separating us from the port town of Höfn by stopping at Jökulsárlón, a lagoon that contains hundreds of floating icebergs, a breath-taking blue in colour, which break away from one of the branches of the Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier. Not far away is the so-called «diamond beach», on which the same ice masses are deposited after having reached the open sea and been reduced to tiny fragments, similar to precious stones, by the currents. 

North of Hofn, towards the Hvalnes lighthouse

From Hofn, we head north, following the irregular coastline indented with fjords. We chance upon a snow-covered beach on which there are obvious tyre tracks and so we decide to have some fun with our Multistrada V4s. Atop this white blanket, we soon appreciate the importance of a chassis that always responds so calmly and courteously, thanks also to the great work Ducati has done on the suspension. The fresh snow is very similar to sand and, if you trust in the bike, you find yourself floating at incredible speeds and fully enjoying the riding that only this type of maxi enduro can offer. 

Unfavourable weather conditions, on course for Reykjavík

On day five, we are rudely awakened from our innocent sleep… A bad storm is expected in the next few hours. We ready our weapons and baggage and, as we head in the direction of Reykjavík, we stop off in Grindavík, just south of the capital, exhausted after covering almost 600 km in just one day. 

Outside Reykjavík

Our plan was to set off to towards Vesturland, a region located in the central-western part of the country, but the weather plays another cruel trick, bringing a red alert and a forecast of gusts exceeding 150 km/h. In a short space of time, the storm swallows the entire island.

Having been held hostage by the bad weather for two days, we are finally able to head back out but decide to remain in the area around Reykjavík, exploring some wonderful off-road routes and adventuring via the thermal springs and lava fields. One thing is now clear: the Multistradas can take you anywhere, but if Iceland and its unpredictable guardians decide to get in the way, then there is no traction control that can save you. 

Some final postcards from our trip

Rule all Roads

Get ready to discover the fourth generation Multistrada. More sporty and more touristic, more capable in off-road use and easier in urban use. Light and compact, with 170 hp from the new V4 Granturismo, it will give you a sporty and exciting ride.

Discover more
Discover more
Conquering the Arctic Circle

Enchanting landscapes, snow-capped mountains and the Northern Lights provide the backdrop for the incredible story recounted by two riders, who decided to kit themselves out with Dainese’s technical gear and take the new Multistrada V4 for a spin on an expedition to the Arctic Circle.

Alessandro Broglia and Alessandro Mollo, @ _canepazzo_ and @alenotmollo on Instagram take us on this extraordinary adventure. Watch their vlog here below and follow their journey. 

the itinerary
Final pre-departure checks with the Ducati team

We plunge into the heart of the Borgo Panigale company, and together with the Ducati team we work on the set-up of our bikes, no details is to be neglected.

From Bologna to Ingolstadt. Initial riding impressions

Let's get to know our Multistrada V4. The riding position is perfect, the seat comfortable and heated, just like the handles. Hours and hours on the motorway could well be arduous, but the plexiglass shields us and the ventilated helmet peak limits “sail effect”, which prevents the muscles in our necks from becoming tense as we travel. With the radar-operated adaptive cruise control, you feel completely at ease, which in the long run means you feel less tired. After 630 kilometres of snowy passes through Italy, Austria and Germany, we arrive in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt.

From Ingolstadt to Rostock. The Northern chill begins to set in

We encounter snow and ice, however our 170 horsepowers are seamless, regular and unwaveringly powerful, and our technical gear keeps us protected and, thankfully, warm.

We travel several kilometres with snowflakes falling onto our helmets, in the late afternoon, we arrive at the shores of the North Sea, and from Rostock port, we set sail in the direction of Sweden. We put our special tyres on only once we have arrived in the Swedish capital.

From Trelleborg to Kumla. Ice and studded tyres

Today’s aim is ambitious: leave Trelleborg, a town located on the southern most point of the Scandinavian Peninsula, and cover the 645 kilometres that separate us from Stockholm. However, the weather conditions prove to be dangerously unstable, quickly changing from snow to ice to sun. The DTC system, which gives you 8 different levels of traction control, is perfect: it means you always have optimal control in all types of conditions, from dry and cold, to wet and even snowy, whether you’re using standard tyres or even snow or studded tyres. Fortunately, a friend, who lives in Kumla, offered to host us if we ever needed help. We recharge our batteries before continuing our journey to the North the following day.

From Stockholm to Skelleftea with a stop at the Desmo Center

As soon as we’re up, we get back on the road and shortly reach the Stockholm Desmo Center, where special tyres that had been sent across from Italy a few days before are waiting for us, alongside a warm welcome party (that we particularly appreciate, given the –15°C temperatures).

With our studded tyres now on, the bike feels notably different, and, even with the anti-puncture fluid, it remains extremely agile and precise. Our target for today is to ride around 750 kilometres north along the Gulf of Bothnia, which separates Sweden from Finland, and reach the city of Skellefteå,

From Skelleftea to Ajerplog. Not far from half way

Like every other day, our alarm goes off at dawn. However it’s another chance to admire the work of those who designed and developed the Multistrada V4, because the front headlight literally makes it seem like daylight, and with the help of the additional headlights and the cornering function, there’s never anything unexpected, not even when travelling in night-time hours.

We enter the remote wilderness of Lapland, heading towards Villa Björklund. The remaining 250 kilometres that separate us from our destination take us through an enchanting snowy scene. We slowly take in the unique landscapes that surround us, and in the evening we are rewarded with a jaw-dropping display of Northern Lights. Like every night, our bikes sleep outside: tonight the mercury drops to -31°C.

The Arctic Circle. We’ve done it!

At the first push of the ignition button, our V4 engines immediately come to life, despite the freezing temperatures during the night. Before the end of the morning we reach the Arctic Circle. We weave our way through all the roads we can, relying on the bike’s adaptive Skyhook suspension, an innovative approach to the bike’s dynamics that results in a setup that’s always controlled, so with reduced pitching when travelling with a full tank, and with suspension that reacts to the uneven ground, making it feel as if you’re sitting on a cushion of air, enabling you to travel endless kilometres even on bumpy terrain without getting tired.

At the end of the day, thanks to the equipment provided to us by Ferrino, we are able to fully appreciate the nature that surrounds us as we set up camp in a truly magical setting.

Deserved rest

We pack up our tent and decide to go back towards Arjeplog, where we get a room in the same place we stayed two nights ago.

We head straight to the Colmis Proving Ground

We head straight to the Colmis Proving Ground, a set of tracks located on a frozen lake that we have all to ourselves for the day. We spend the day “playing” with our Multistrada V4 bikes on the icy surface, having the time of our lives whilst gaining first-hand experience of just how effective these controls are, giving us perfect command of the vehicle even in completely unique conditions like these.

From Arjeplog we return to Stockholm

We head back towards the South, it’s time to begin the long descent home. The confidence that we now have in our Multistrada V4 bikes is incredible: therefore decide to ride for 910 kilometres without stopping and try to get back to Stockholm by the evening.

Kumla - Trelleborg - Rostock - Ingolstad. The return home

We hastily cover the last 2,200 km along Germany’s high-speed motorways. Our heads are filled with memories, and our excitement helps to make the last two days of riding less arduous.

It's time to take stock. Our bikes, tyres and clothing were not just the perfect travel companions, but they radically changed what we believed to be true, namely the hell we thought we’d have to endure to survive the cold. But actually, thanks to each and every individual who played their own part in designing the electronics, the materials and the technology, our minds were much clearer of any fear and worry than we expected, enabling us to enjoy the roads and landscapes to a far greater extent. 

Travel postcards

Rule all Roads

Get ready to discover the fourth generation Multistrada. More sporty and more touristic, more capable in off-road use and easier in urban use. Light and compact, with 170 hp from the new V4 Granturismo, it will give you a sporty and exciting ride.

Discover more
Discover more
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