DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950 (2017 - on) Review
- One of the very best all-rounders out there
- Huge service intervals
- Impressive levels of equipment
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
At a competitive £10995 when launched and £11995 in 2021, the entry level Ducati Multistrada 950 is essentially very similar to the highly acclaimed 1200, but with a slightly lower spec and smaller engine.
Take all the comfort and qualities of the 1200, reduce the level of gadgetry a little and add the 939 Hypermotard derived engine, and you’re on to a winner; a less intimating, easier to manage alternative to the pricey 1200 Mulstistrada.
Those looking for a bit more luxury may want to consider the 2019 Ducati Multistrada 950S, but our favourite of the family remains the standard 950. Read on to find out why...
Watch: 2017 Ducati Multistrada 950 video review
During 2017 MCN ran a Ducati Multistrada 950 on the long-term test fleet to find out if it really want the ultimate jack of all trades.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The fully-adjustable suspension with a side-mounted rear shock is obviously unique to the 950, with the showroom settings being on the comfort/soft side. The fully-adjustable suspension has excellent ride qualities; it’s easy to adjust the remote preload if you choose to add luggage or a pillion. But when you want to have some fun it lacks the support of the 1200. The front end dives too quickly in the first quarter of the stroke. However overall impressive, just don’t expect the same level of performance as the 1200.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The 937 Hypermotard derived engine produces a quoted 113bhp @9000rpm and 71ftlb of torque at @7,750rpm. The Testastretta engine is essentially the same as the Hypermotard but with different intake, airbox, fuelling and exhaust. The new 950 motor is smooth, effortless, and perfectly fuelled at slow speed, but it’s not thrilling. Even in sports mode it lacks any real get up and go. It’s more than sufficient for fast overtakes and high speed touring, even two up fully loaded, but I just wanted a bit more excitement. Ducati are synonymous with power, racing and speed, and the 950 lacks a little for the prestigious badge it proudly wears.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The level of finish is high as are the quality of components, like Brembo controlling the braking in partnership with Bosch. Reliability shouldn’t be an issue and class-leading service intervals are huge; every 9000 miles.
Our Ducati Multistrada 950 owners' reviews show mainly positive comments, although there are a few concerns about a grabby clutch and corrosion.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
When new, the 950 came in at £2700 less than the base Multistrada and £5700 under the sporty 1200S, which was a huge saving considering they share so many similarities.
In 2019 it was announced that Ducati would offer a four-year warranty on all Multistrada models.
Group test: Ducati Multistrada 950 vs KTM 1090 Adventure vs Suzuki V-Strom 1000 vs Honda Africa Twin DCT
First published in MCN 21 June 2017 by Michael Neeves
Ducati’s new Multisrada 950 is smooth, surprisingly speedy, beautifully built and proof you don’t need a superbike-engined adventure bike to have fun. It’s more affordable than you’d think and costs less than a hundred quid a month on PCP. Hot on its heels is the KTM, which might look low-spec, but it’s big on grunt, agility, comfort and ability on and off-road. The Suzuki is still a superb all-rounder with its fantastic engine and easy manners. It might lack spark, but it’s a lot of bike for the money. Bringing up the rear is the Honda. It looks the sexiest, but it could do with more power and this DCT model isn’t as nice to ride as the manual version.
Watch 2017 Ducati Multistrada 950 vs 1200
Considering the relatively low asking price of just below £12,000 the spec sheet is impressive. The clocks are related to the 1200, just a slightly lower spec and the same switch-gear as the new Monster 1200.
There are four rider modes; Sports, Touring, Urban and Enduro which automatically change the power and engine characteristics along with the ABS and traction control. Ducati have kept their unique Ducati Safety Pack which includes three-way ABS and eight-way traction control. There’s fully adjustable suspension front and rear, a manually adjustable screen and impressive Brembo stoppers at both ends.
|Engine type||8v Desmodromic L-twin two-cylinder, 6 gears|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|Front suspension||KYB 48mm USD forks, fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Sachs single side mounted rear shock, fully adjustable with remote pre-load|
|Front brake||2x300mm semi-floating discs, radial Brembo four piston caliper|
|Rear brake||265mm disc, Brembo two-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70x19|
|Rear tyre size||170/60x17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||48 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£270|
|Used price||£7,400 - £10,600|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||113 bhp|
|Max torque||71 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||211 miles|
Model history & versions
2017: Model introduced
MCN Long term test reports
MCN Fleet: How versatile is Ducati's Multistrada 950?
I’m really looking forward to my time with the Ducati Multistrada 950. Some people baulk at the idea of the model with the smaller engine, saying it won’t live up to its big brother’s level of competency. But I have found over the years that smaller capacity engines can be much sweeter, often thanks…
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950 (2017 - on)
4 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950 (2017 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Annual servicing cost: £300
Lovely finish and quality feel. Plenty of power, great handling and all day comfort. Rode London to Londonderry recently. 46mpg and no discomfort after 7 hours in the saddle. Far more comfortable than my old S1000XR and anything else I’ve owned. Had a 2016 Pikes Peak that was fully loaded (stolen) so the 950 had a lot to live up to. I can honestly say the ride was just as enjoyable. I couldn’t justify spending another £10K in a PP. I was worried when I first bought it but I have no regrets. The bike attracts no more or less attention than my 1200 models and the only time you miss the bigger engine is when you are trying to lose your licence. The 950 never feels like a budget version. The headlights are nowhere near as good as the LED units but adequate. I don’t like keyless start and never use cruise so I don’t miss them.
Marvellous touring, fun and commuter bike. Great weather protection and a 7 hour ride was no problem even in lousy weather. Brakes are excellent but not quite as good as on the big bike which has slightly better feel and initial bite. Within the segment they are superb.
It hasn’t got the low down grunt of the 1200 that allowed hopping over speed bumps with a flick of the wrist and isn’t as smooth under 2000 rpm as the DVT unit but it has so much character, a great soundtrack and plenty of power. Gearchanges are smooth but more frequent than on the bigger bike. I’ve had Quickshifters but don’t miss it on this bike.
Zero corrosion. A pain keeping the exhaust box clean in the winter but Harpic Max 10 and fine wire wool do a great job.
Had to add a centre stand and heated grips. The level of equipment is great. It should have LED headlights and that is the only thing I’d fault the bike for. They are good lights but the LED system was amazing and provided the best illumination on any vehicle I’ve owned. Impossible to discover if you can swap to the Ducati LED assembly but there are aftermarket kits available. They aren’t that bad that I’d bother though. Osram Nightbreakers are a good solution.
Buying experience: Blade Ducati. Good outfit.
Annual servicing cost: £249
I got on a bike and passed my full access course around 3 months ago. Bought my first Multistrada 950 a month later. I did soo much research on multi's before hand. I may be 29, but i have the body of an 80 year old, so needed something comfortable for long distance. I picked it up from North Wales and rode it back through Wales and back to the Cotswolds. I immediately know I had just bought the perfect bike. It's so comfortable! Power delivery is smooth and predictable. A gripe I do have, is the clutch. Somedays I hop on, and the clutch can be incredibly grabby, making pulling away sometimes an awkward occasion. Most of the time it's fine and progressive, but it does sometimes flare up at the beginning of a ride. Heated grips are lovely. Beautifully integrated and easy to manage. Conquered nearly 3K on it with a grin on my face all the time. That L-Twin sound track never gets boring. I like how it's subtle(ish) when you ride it easy, then when you open the throttle beyond 1/4 twist, then it's like a valve opens in the exhaust and there is then a bark. Encouraging you to let her sing. ABS has kicked in a few times when on a few mossy single track roads. Nice to know it works effectively. The multi is big. I mean next to my colleagues CB650R, it dwarfs it. But it doesn't feel massive. You can still flick it around bends confidently. The larger size has a couple of big benefits. One being the comfort, as it keeps the majority of the wind off you. The second is the presence on the road. With it's eagles like beak breaking cutting the wind up front, Bright DRL (dipped beam lights on constantly) and bright glossy red look, you can't miss it.
Brakes are spot on. Plenty of bite and nice progressive feel. Ride can be a little bouncy, but it can be dialled out of the fully adjustable front and rear suspension.
The reason i had to buy a Ducati. That sound track is beautiful. Plenty of grunt when you want it. Happy in town as well. Feeling is smooth and manageable. Get to 130mph and you can feel that is it. Doesn't half get there fast either. Great Engine.
The exhaust headers are already showing corrosion. This is common with most of the Ducati's. It does taint the otherwise pristine look of the bike. There is a rattle from the exhaust when you've just started it up from warm and give it a little rev. Had Blade Ducati look into it, and they have said it's normal. It's otherwise perfect and hasn't consumed any oil yet.
Seems rather pricey for a bike service, which is essentially just changing the oil, adjusting chain tension (if required) and checking the bolts are done up. But being a Ducati, i suppose that's just the cost of it. I get around 180 miles to tank if riding sensibly. I managed to munch through 3/4 tank of fuel the other day on a spirited hours ride. But it's totally worth it.
Subjective, I'm sure, but having the touring pack just makes sense. The centre stand is a must for maintenance and storage. It's a lot of weight on the rear wheel if it's stored on it for a long time. Panniers are massively useful as i'm always stuffing it full of work gear, clothes for when i'm not riding and shopping. Heated grips.....i think it's just nice to have them. Maybe not necessary, but as i have only summer gloves at the moment, it's a welcome accessory. One thing i may look into is a spoiler for the screen, to aid cleaner air over my head. I have had to buy race earplugs to kill the wind noise.
580 miles in 3 days. All on "B" roads except for 20 miles on M6 Best "All rounder" I've had. Owned Tracer 900, Tiger XCA , Explorer XRT, MT10 Pros Comfort Weight Tank range Handling Luggage capacity V twin "Feel" Fuel consumption avg 56MPG spirited touring Build quality Cons Stupidly short front mudguard for a touring/adventure bike (there's a hugger on the rear). Front end dive if braking harshly I find it almost impossible to get my foot on rear brake pedal Dangerously slippery small footrests - smooth rubber surface Ducati dealer to adjust drive chain (as written in OM) - wtf? Got to wait two weeks to get first service done - so now can't use
So far excelent but still running in.
low down torque, good economy for touring. Ample "Real Road" usable power
Quality seems good, too soon for reliability
9000 miles between services and 18000 miles for valves and belts. Not mega powerfull so tyres should last OK.
Buying experience: Nice and easy. Had to pay full list price as new model but got fair trade in.
Version: Touring pack
I've had an MT-10 (too small a tank and too license threatening) MT-09 Tracer very good but gets a bit ragged when pushing on. Tiger 800 XCA too bland didn't like the handling Explorer XRt - way too heavy and too many gadgets. Been looking for an all rounder - Fingers crossed I think I've found it. Still running in but very impressed so far.
Brakes great. Front springs a little soft initialy when largeing it up but very comfortable. Good weather protection. 200 miles yesterday around the Lakes -Honister pass and Hartside included in Fog,rain, floods and sunshine. Good in side winds. Very secure feeling ride, TC not intrusive but works fine. I can only keep one bike on the road these days and I think this one is a keeper. Had my LeMans for 32 years and tried dozens of bikes as well. I think this one is a "Goldilocks" bike. - Just right
Not run in but can feel it's going to be fine. Not a "sports" engine but plenty of torque for everyday roads.
Only done 200 miles so can only rate on quality of build.
9000 miles between services. Belts and valve clerances at 18000. 47 MPGand only 113BHP so tyres should last OK Considering it's 25% cheaper than a basic 1200 pretty good value I would say.(For a Ducati)
Only missing cruise as far as I'm concerned. Extras are"Furking" expensive. I thought Triumph were bad. The "Urban" pack is basicly a givi 41 litre monokey top box and st602 tank bag with usb connectors nearly £800 quid - strewth!!! Not available yet but heated grips are around £250-00
Buying experience: J&L Motorcycles - Carlisle Got a reasonable trade in price. I probably could have haggled more on anything but a brand new model - I wanted it - it was shiny