DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950S (2019 - 2021) Review

Highlights

  • Semi-active suspension
  • Good touring option
  • Great engine with good noise

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £980
Power: 111 bhp
Seat height: Medium (33.1 in / 840 mm)
Weight: Medium (456 lbs / 207 kg)

Prices

New N/A
Used £9,700 - £11,800

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

With its heady mix of comfort, practicality and performance, the superbike-engined Ducati Multistrada adventure bike teases riders away from their sports and touring bikes on a daily basis.

But it’s not always the magic sports adventure bike you’d imagine – that title goes to its little sister: the Ducati Multistrada 950. It has all the big bike’s good bits, but it’s even smoother, more agile and best of all, cheaper. With its 19-inch front wheel it’ll even roll up its trouser legs and get its feet dirty, too.

The Multistrada 950 range was replaced in 2022 by the Ducati Multistrada V2S.

Watch our 2019 Ducati Multistrada 950 S video review

A smattering of small upgrades doesn’t add up to a huge difference to life on the 2019 version, although its new cornering ABS and traction control could be lifesavers. It didn’t need much in the way of improvement, anyway, but with its electronic ‘S’ trimmings the 950 offers you more luxury, refinement and enjoyment. For first time it’s a true alternative to its bigger, more expensive Ducati Multistrada 1260 and Enduro sisters.


Ducati reveal 'GP White' livery for the Multistrada 950S

Ducati Multistrada 950S with GP White livery

On Wednesday, July 8 2020, Ducati revealed a 'GP White' paint scheme for the Multistrada 950S, to be available in dealers before the month's end.

Inspired by their MotoGP racing successes, the new colours sit alongside the traditional red option and see the bike lathered in licks of white and grey, with a smattering of red details - including the frame and rim graphics.

Watch Ducati's promo video for the updates here:

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

First seen on the 2012 Multistrada 1200 S (and BMW HP4) the 950 S gets the latest evolution of Ducati’s ‘Skyhook’ suspension with semi-active damping and electronically adjustable rear preload.

Ducati have refined the system to the point where the damping constantly self-adjusts in the background without you noticing, but you do feel the way the suspension changes between firm and sporty, to soft and comfortable, within the riding modes. You can tune the standard settings further by diving into the menu.

It’s so much easier to throw the 950 S around than its big sisters. With smaller engine parts whizzing around beneath you it’s easier to turn and with less clattering, low down power to contend with the 950 doesn’t overwork the rear tyre, set-off the traction control, or tie the chassis up in knots.

Ducati Multistrada 950 S left side

The 950 S is balanced and neutral, the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II rubber oozes black, sticky grip and its 19-inch front wheel steamrollers nicely over nasty ruts and gnarly tarmac. Brembos haul you up with the sweet race bike-like ferocity.

The 2019 950 has 0.5kg lighter wheels and (Enduro styled) swingarm. Spacious ergonomics and a daylong comfy seat are unchanged, but wind noise is still excessive at speed.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Power comes courtesy of the same 113bhp 937cc V-twin motor that lives in the Hypermotard and Supersport. It’s unchanged for 2019 except for a new exhaust can and clutch, which is now hydraulically operated for a lighter lever and has one fewer plate (now 10).

Unless you’re touring with a very heavy load, or are hell bent on going everywhere at warp speed, there’s never a time on the 950 S where you long for more get up and go. Power delivery is a lesson in ride-by-wire seamlessness and its hollow, cackling airbox roar is somewhere between a factory 916 and Barry White.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Our online owners’ reviews report no major problems with the previous Ducati Multistrada 950, so expect more of the same with the new model. Service intervals are generous, with an oil change every 9000 miles and valve check at 18,000.

In November 2019, Ducati also introduced the '4Ever Multistrada' scheme; giving all machines in the 2020 Multistrada range a four-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Ducati Multistrada 950 is a rival to the BMW F800GS, Moto Guzzi V85 TT, and Yamaha Tenere 700. We think the standard 950 is the one to pick, instead of the higher-spec S model.

Ducati Multistrada 950 S vs Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro

Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro vs Ducati Multistrada 950 S

What you’re looking at here are two of the most desirable adventure-shaped sports tourers. One’s a V-twin, the other a triple and both are designed, in theory at least, to handle a spot of light off-roading.

On the face of it they’re very much alike. Triumph’s new Tiger 900 GT Pro and the Ducati Multistrada 950 S are both generously equipped, power and torque are similar (the Ducati edges it slightly), they have 20-litre tanks with 220-mile-plus fuel ranges and they’re both designed to waft their occupants big distances in comfort and skip serenely through backroads.

So, we decided to see how they fared head to head on the UK’s toughest test route, the MCN 250.

Compared to the Triumph the Multistrada 950 S feels bulky and top heavy at first, especially at low speed, but it’s actually lighter and that sensation soon melts away to reveal a soft, but sporty long- distance performance bike. It’s stable, floats over bumps, always goes where you point it and most impressively its tyres claw into wet tarmac like it’s dry.

The motor takes time to seduce and feels quite mellow at first, but the V-twin is grunty and comes alive when you work it. It’s the more visceral, exciting and involving one, snarling through its airbox like a 916 at full throttle - front wheel skimming off B-road crests.

Despite their plaudits neither blow you away at first. They’re relatively heavy for their modest power and that leaves you thinking: ‘Is that it?’ But after spending time with the Ducati and Triumph on B-roads and busy motorways they soon get under your skin.

They’re supremely versatile, well-equipped and can be calm and relaxed one minute and dish out big thrills the next. They’re not cheap but if you’re after a really capable, comfortable and desirable sports tourer with some off-road potential, they’re worth the stretch.

The new Tiger 900 GT Pro is fast, refined, sporty and can ably handle anything your throw at it, but it’s easy to find the limit of its skinny off-road tyres on tarmac, especially in the wet and its motorway weather protection could be better.

The Multistrada 950 S might cost nearly a grand more, but it’s the more rounded machine. It cossets on the long haul, is more sure- footed in the corners and ultimately more exciting.

Equipment

5 out of 5 (5/5)

Just like the Multistrada 1260 S and Enduro, the new 950 S comes with an embarrassment of silicone riches included in the price. A new Inertial Measurement Unit (also now fitted to the 950 base model) facilitates lean-sensitive traction control and combined ABS, as well as cornering (LED) headlights, a hill hold system and self-cancelling indicators.

You also get an up/down quickshifter and cruise control. Granted, you could take all of the electronic trinkets away and it would still delight, but they add convenience, refinement and for the first time with the 950, that warm, fuzzy feeling only a special Ducati can give.

Effortless gear changes are guaranteed with the new quickshifter, but it always seems a bit brutal on the gearbox using an autoblipper on a big twin. It works well enough, but using the clutch won’t make you wince as much.

Ducati Multistrada 950 S dash

Traction control and ABS, on the other hand is a whole different bowl of pasta and a topic that always sparks debate. Few riders deliberately brake or accelerate up against rider aids and when we rode 950 S at its launch, the Ducati’s electronics remained untroubled, so is there any point? Well, it’s nice knowing they’re there and they only ever need to save you once…

At the heart of the Ducati’s new electronics system is its classy new 5” TFT colour dash. Not only does it harbour lots of useful information and controlled seamlessly by new back-lit switchgear buttons, it’s the main interface for all the electronic rider aid adjustments – from traction control to engine power, ABS, quickshifter settings, suspension and everything in between.

There are over 400 electronic settings, which may sound like a minefield, but on-screen graphic and pictorials make it a piece of cake to adjust…or you can use the Ducati Link app and do it via your phone.

You get a lot of classy Ducati for your money and as you’d expect there are also a huge range of official goodies to choose from, including four accessory packs:

Touring Pack: Panniers (31/26 litres), heated grips and centre stand.

Sport Pack: Termignoni exhaust can, billet aluminium water pump cover, LED indicators.

Urban Pack: top box, tank pocket, USB port

Enduro Pack: auxiliary lights, crash bars, radiator and sump guard, steel footpegs.

There’s also a Multistrada 950 S Spoked Wheels model, or the spoked wheels are available separately as an option. A GP White livery was also introduced as an option in July 2020.

Specs

Engine size 937cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 840mm
Bike weight 207kg
Front suspension 48mm Showa forks, semi-active damping. Mechanically adjustable preload
Rear suspension Showa shock, semi-active damping. Electronically adjustable preload
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial monobloc calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 265mm rear petal disc with twin-piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 19
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £980
New price -
Used price £9,700 - £11,800
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Four years

Top speed & performance

Max power 111 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

2017: Multistrada 950 released, featuring 111bhp, 937cc V-twin motor from Hypermotard and Supersport. Chassis is similar to big capacity Multi with slighter lower spec cycle parts.

2019: Lighter wheels, swingarm, Inertial Measurement Unit, cornering traction control and ABS, hill start, self-cancelling indicators and hydraulic clutch. S version introduced with electronics lifted off Multistrada 1260 S and Enduro.

Other versions

Multistrada 950: Base 950 has mechanically adjustable suspension and fewer toys. It comes with S model’s new wheel, swingarm and clutch, is 3kg lighter and still comes with riding modes, cornering ABS and traction control, hill start and self-cancelling indicators.

Owners' reviews for the DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950S (2019 - 2021)

6 owners have reviewed their DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950S (2019 - 2021) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950S (2019 - 2021)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Equipment: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £980
4 out of 5 Excellent do-it-all bike sadly let down by the ownership experience.
22 January 2024 by Zak

Version: S Spoked Wheels

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £1,300

Very good at almost everything. Exceptional bike but comes at a price. Ducati build great bikes, but as a seasoned rider I feel let down by the ownership experience. If you like to do your own maintenance and do not enjoy spending your riding season at Dealers this is not the bike for you (manuals not available, and only dealers can reset service lights).

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Electronic suspension is excellent, the chassis will play but you have to stay focused to hold the line. Brakes are very good but not excellent. I believe sintered EBCs would fix that. Rear brake will make a rubbing sound from time to time during normal riding. I can ride a tank out of it before sore bum and my passenger loves riding on the back. Gets 5 stars for the do-it-all suspension.

Engine 4 out of 5

Surprisingly strong engine with character and a surprisingly high rev limit. Vtwin so it likes to be revved and low speed isn't its favorite. Above 3,500 it comes alive and the quick shifter makes 0-100 mph a blast. Roll on is good but not great - there were times when passing I wished for more power - even solo riding.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

My first Ducati and I'm genuinely impressed by the build quality, components, and tech. Bought the bike with 145 miles on it but it came with a rev dip followed by stalling issue at slow speeds that I missed on the test ride. Spent most of last spring taking it to dealers who recognized the problem, however the repair was rejected by Ducati. Took it to a local shop and they were able to fix it and tune it correctly, however it cost me $500 plus two trips 45 mins each way to get it fixed. I'm new to Ducati, but an experienced rider/owner and the lack of support still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Spent most of last year taking it to Dealers but still managed 4k miles in the rain and cold.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

First service was $300 USD. Had to pay for the repairs rejected by Ducati @ $500, plus had to pay for aftermarket heated grips $500 (local shop installed Oxfords. OEM option >$600) because they didn't come with the bike.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Should really be 5 stars but lack of heated grips and a center stand with the S SW option is seriously cheap. If you want factory heated grips you're looking at over $600 USD which is obscene. The other features are great and you're grateful to have them even if you think you'll never use them. Cruise is very nice but not a game changer for me personally. The self canceling signals, cornering lights, TFT dash, multiple power outlets and USBs, and keyless ignition are all new features for me and I'm happy to have them. Reminds you you're on something premium.

Buying experience: Purchased as a buy-back with 145 miles from a dealer and it was overall a positive experience. Got it for $13k USD with no additional dealer fees. Not sure it's worth the current $19k+ (especially missing grips and a center stand), but most people buying Ducs probably don't care.

5 out of 5 Ducati Multistrada 950S - total peach!
04 July 2023 by Welsh Wizzard

Version: Spoke wheels

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £650

Easy to ride quickly, comfortable and has few vices (apart from costs!). Easier and better on the road than the equivalent 1260. Great Sunday pleasure ride, terrific tourer and shockingly quick when pressing on!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very comfy except for screen buffeting with standard or GT screen (I’m 6-2) so much so I’ve switched to carbon Pikes Peak screen now it’s blissfull!

Engine 5 out of 5

Very smooth and powerful though 1st and second gear are quite tall so a bit snatchy below 2500rpm but excellent Quickshifter up and down makes changes easy!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Really well built and good solid feel to everything. Superb quality and finish.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Servicing is not cheap! Doesn’t use oil and is frugal on tyres. Chain does not require too frequent adjustment.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Adjustable modes excellent! Original Pirelli’s excellent loads of grip and very reassuringly stable and tracks fast bends beautifully. Brakes are stunning -great feel and ABS discrete even in emergency situations. Homologated Termigoni end can is legal and sounds only marginally fruitier than standard but loads lighter and soooo much prettier!

Buying experience: Bought from Ducati Worcester last year ( great service and very helpful sales staff)

3 out of 5 A useful go-anywhere bike
16 May 2023 by Rab69

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £750

It's a heavy bike and top-heavy too! Not much of a problem when riding, more so if you need to wheel it about or pick it up. You may struggle to lift it onto the centre stand unless you weigh 100kg+ too. The Brembo front brakes are good, but the weight combined with the high stance does affect braking distance. It's a fairly comfortable bike to ride and the tall seat position gives good visibility. Although, you need at least a 33-inch inside leg measurement to feel confident to reach the ground when you stop. The Skyhook semi-active suspension is fantastic! Buy a fender-extender and radiator guard to save some of the crud causing a mess (the front cylinder head takes a lot of cleaning).

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

A nice bike to ride. Reasonable comfort, but seats are a bit hard on all day rides especially with the upright position which puts a lot of your weight on your butt. Pillion comfort and position is quite ok. It's a reasonable mid-distance tourer. Loves the faster A roads. Does surprisingly well off-road with a set of knobbly tyres such as Michelin Anakee Wild. Brakes are good but it's a tall and heavy bike to stop, so stopping distance is not fantastic.

Engine 4 out of 5

The engine has character and enough grunt. Nothing outstanding, but powerful enough to get you where you want to be.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Paint flaked off the swingarm and centre stand fairly rapidly. The quick shifter and fuel sender both failed at under 10,000 miles. The plastic hand guards are flimsy and break easily. The mirrors are good, but there's almost no adjustment, so you'll probably need to change them for aftermarket ones unless you're fairly small in the body and they happen to line up with your head height. Front cylinder head is very exposed to the weather and attracts road grime from the front wheel and the finish deteriorates rapidly!

Value vs rivals 2 out of 5

You'll pay a small fortune in dealer servicing. They wanted £450 for chain and sprockets. Front brakes service and pad change over £200. So much bodywork needs to be removed to access spark plugs that they are prohibitively expensive to replace! Expect £350 for minor service without the plugs. Expect at least three times that for a major service, which is 18k miles or 4 years.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Ducati heated grips accessory are good and it's nice to have the control built-in to the handlebars and settings in the dash. The dash is nicely laid out and clear with some ability for customisation and enough settings to keep you happy once you figure out how to change them. Although it is a bit too bright at night. The standard Pirelli Scorpion tyres are good on the road. Michelin Anakee Wild knobbly tyres do well off-road.

Buying experience: £11000 for a two-year old model with the touring kit seemed reasonable from a dealer.

4 out of 5
03 May 2023 by David Clarkson

Year: 2021

Handles like it’s much lighter than it actually is, both and low and high speeds. The first time I started the engine on mine and rode it, I’d packed it down with camping gear for 3000 mile trip, and added crash bars and barkbuster-style guards. Even with all that, I was surprised at how much it felt like a big mountain bike pulling out of the dealer’s lot.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Handles very well, as multiple reviewers have noted. The chassis is time-tested, and handles comfortably on pavement and dirt/gravel roads. I ride a lot of urban and tight, twisty roads, and some gravel/dirt roads on the weekend, and the 950 is superb on all of these. The electronics keep things manageable even for an off-road newbie like me when I hit gravel or dirt. It’s not a single track kind of bike, but I suspect 99.9% of owners will never see more than a dirt road, and for all of that it’s outstanding

Engine 4 out of 5

All the power you need, but if you want to uncork the song of the L-twin you’ll need to invest in aftermarket exhaust options.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues after 12,00 miles (6k from me, 6k from the original owner). I keep up on maintenance and haven’t had any surprises.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

It’s a Ducati. Change the oil and fluids every year, and be ready for the cost of the valve check/adjustment at the recommended interval. Other than that, new tires as needed based on your riding style.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Mine has the “touring pack” and so heated grips, luggage, and center stand were there already. The hard luggage isn’t good for riding off pavement, but it’s great for city riding or touring, and it’s mounted without needing a rack. The full-color dash is very nice. Heated grips are very nice when riding in cooler and/or wetter weather.

Buying experience: Bought used from Ducati of Omaha. Great experience with them. Dealer vary, but this was a good one.

5 out of 5 Mr
08 May 2021 by Alec Burns

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £1,200

It can do anything, as it's name would suggest.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It does everything. On road or off. You can sit bored on a motorway all day. I have done 350 miles off road in a day without a problem. Though my legs were tired at the end of the day.

Engine 5 out of 5

It can be thrashed or bumble.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

20,000 miles a year

Equipment 5 out of 5

Electronic suspension

Buying experience: Dealer. i got a good deal trading in my old one.

5 out of 5 My Multi 950s
17 December 2020 by Flowrider

Year: 2020

Happy with everything except the high beam light switch. It juts out and can be knocked on without knowing, that is until you get flashed from on coming cars. I'm 6'1 so the screen is a little short and the wind noise is a bit of an issue at speed.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The front shock factory pre-load could be a little better. Bike dives a lot on braking. Yes I have the S but still can't pre load front enough.

Engine 5 out of 5

The motor is like a big single, a little bit of shutter on lower revs however if it's an issue just put into Urban mode. It's not a dislike or like. A fun bike to ride

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Everything good so far.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I have a heavy right wrist and use the bikes performance capabilities regularly so running costs not so much of a concern.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The LED headlights with cornering are the best, makes riding at night safer. I also ride a busy motorway regularly and have also noticed that cars actually see me compared to my old bike.

Buying experience: From my local dealer It's a Ducati so look elsewhere if it's all about price.

Back to top