Ducati Multistrada 950 first ride

Published: 09 December 2016

We’ve just finished a long day’s riding in perfect conditions in Fuerteventura, covering 120miles around the volcanic island. Ducati’s new 950 Multistrada has taken on countless mountain hairpins, stretches of dual carriageway and popped in and out of the many picturesque villages; it’s been an excellent all-round test for the new bike.

Engine aside, the new 950 will feel very familiar to anyone who’s ridden the 1200. They share many components, and from the rider’s seat you’d be hard-pushed to spot the difference, until you push the starter button and pull away.

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The 939 Hyperstrada derived engine is smooth and linier in its delivery, and the softly sprung suspension delivers a super-smooth ride and excellent comfort. Sharing the same seat, pegs and bar position at the 1200, this doesn’t come as a surprise, while the whole package feels calmer without the thumping great 1200 motor catapulting you at the horizon.

The fully adjustable suspension is set on the soft side as standard, and delivers a superb mix of comfort and control on the road. The clocks are neat and informative and it’s easy to scroll through the different modes. So you have to start questioning why, with the 950 being so impressive, would anyone opt for the pricier, more intimidating, 1200?

In isolation the power from the 937cc Testastretta is impressive, with delivery that’s perfectly fuelled at slow speeds – but it does lack a little excitement. It’s a similar story for the softly sprung set up. In isolation it’s comfortable and predictable and Ducati have done an excellent job of keeping the steering precise and easy despite the increase in size of the front wheel to a 19inch rim – but it’s not comparable to the sportiness of the more expensive 1200.

If you’ve never ridden the excellent 1200, then you’re not going to feel short changed by the 950, and considering the price the spec is hugely impressive. For anyone stepping sideways from something like Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000 in the search of a little more exotica and spec, or coming up from a smaller capacity adventure bike like Kawasaki’s Versys 650, the Multistrada 950 has a lot to offer.

Ducati Multistrada 950 Specs

Price: 10,995 in red, £11,195 in white.

Engine: 937cc (94x67.5mm) liquid-cooled desmodromic 8 valve L-Twin

Frame: Tubular steel trellis

Seat Height: 840mm

Suspension: Front: 48mm USD fully adjustable. Rear: single Sachs fully adjustable, with remote pre-load.

Brakes: 2x 320mm semi-floating discs, radial Brembo four piston caliper. Rear single 265mm disc with two piston caliper.

Colours:  White / Red.

 

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