We’re big fans of the Ducati Multistrada here at BSN. The original 1000, launched back in the mists of time was a cracking bike to ride (albeit a style not to everyone’s taste). But it’s the latest 1200 version, which first appeared in 2010, that was the real game-changer.
Where adventure bikes used to come with steady engines, touring chassis kit and plenty of mass, the MTS1200 bolted in a barely-retuned superbike engine, sportsbike brakes and suspension and a relatively skinny all-up weight. Add in Ducati’s top-level electronic gizmoids, and you had a totally new player in the game: a super-high-tech adventure tourer with a 150bhp V-twin and 200kg-ish dry mass. It’s the fastest way across country if you stick to ‘A’ roads, and with the 2014 update and last year’s Enduro option, the big Multi is a winning range all on its own.
And now there’s another Multistrada option – the 950. This uses a version of the 937cc Testastretta engine we first saw on last year’s Hypermotard 939 (and also powers this year’s Ducati Supersport). So the 937 is a 939 and a 950, kinda sorta…
Perplexing nomenclature aside, the new engine is a sound choice for the medium Multistrada. It’s an advanced, water-cooled lump, with all the emissions boxes ticked for the next few years. It’s a grunty little powerplant too, with over 70 ft-lbs of torque, and a healthy 113bhp peak power. It’s also pretty frugal with the gas if you’re careful with the right wrist – a real boon on longer trips away from regular petrol stations, especially with the huge 20-litre fuel tank.
The chassis is simpler than that on the 1200, although there’s still plenty of good stuff on offer. The swingarm is double-sided rather than a single-sider, but you get Brembo four-piston radial monobloc calipers up front, and the suspension is fully-adjustable kit from Kayaba and Sachs. The frame uses Ducati’s trademark steel tube trellis design, and the cast aluminium rims wear Pirelli’s excellent Scorpion Trail III offroad-styled touring tyres – with a 19-inch front for better offroad performance.
Ducati was one of the first firms to exploit cutting-edge electronic riding aids on its bikes, and the MTS950 keeps up that tradition. A large, clear LCD dash is the heart of the system, and changes are easily made via the switchgear. There are four riding modes – Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro, with appropriate power, Traction and ABS settings in each. You can even tune the ABS and Traction Control settings for the perfect setup for every ride.
There’s a massive selection of aftermarket accessories from Ducati too. The MTS has four bespoke accessory packs – Urban, Touring, Sport and Enduro, which are fitted at the dealers before delivery. Urban includes a 48l top case, small tankbag and USB charing port, while the Touring pack gives you side panniers and a centre stand.
The Sport pack includes a homologated lightweight Termignoni exhaust and alloy frame trims, while the Enduro pack adds extra LED lights, crash protection and offroad footpegs. You can add more than one pack, or mix and match the parts – and there’s loads more in the Ducati Performance catalogue…
The Multistrada 950 is in Ducati dealers now, with prices starting from £10,995.
For further information on the Ducati range of accessories,