First Ride

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019) review

The baby Multistrada gets a nose in front of the pack thanks to electro-goodies and some classy styling tweaks

Details
Manufacturer:
Ducati
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 13355
Overall
4.5
Handling, Comfort, Style, Build quality
Slightly fiddly to change modes,

DUCATI’S 950 Multistrada always had a bit of a reputation as the baby-sibling of the family – like how the Porsche Boxter was tag-lined as the ‘poor bloke’s 911’. I think it was after the first 8 miles of the launch for the new bike, when we hit the twisties, that it started to dawn on me how bloody good this poor man’s Multistrada actually was!

Ducati 950S Multistrada video review

Ringing the changes – electro-style

So, before we get into the review, what’s new and what sets the new 950S apart from the 950?

The biggest news is the inclusion of Sachs Skyhook Suspension EVO, which is like the one we’ve seen on the 1260S Multistrada for a couple of years.

Paired to the suspension is an IMU controlled electronics package that includes Bosch cornering ABS, traction control, Vehicle hold control, riding modes, quickshifter, cruise control, a tyre pressure monitoring system and 5” TFT dash.

The exterior of the machine has had a muscular makeover, more akin to its larger cc’d stablemate. The old 950 was noticeably slimmer and lankier looking but now you’d be hard pushed to tell them apart without squinting at the badges.

If the thought of all this electronic intrusion is a bit much for you, the standard 950 gets the same styling tweaks, ABS and riding modes but not the Skyhook system.

Ducati Multistrada 950 and 950S prices and colours

MTS 950

MTS950S Red

MTS 950S Grey

MTS 950S TP Red

MTS 950S TP Grey

MTS 950S SW Red

MTS 950S SW Grey

£11,755

£13,355

£13,555

£14,383

£14,583

£13,905

£14,105

TP=Touring pack | SW=Spoked wheels

Ducati 950S Multistrada roundup

Colours available:

  • Ducati Red
  • Glossy Grey (as pictured)

Engine gearbox and exhaust

Powering the 950 range is the 937cc, four-valve per cylinder unit from the last generation of Hypermotards. It’s Euro-4 compliant and produces 113hp (claimed) at 9000rpm and 96 Nm (71 lb-ft) of torque at 7,750rpm.

All the bikes are six-speeds and feature a hydraulically operated slipper clutch with servo assistance, with the switchable quickshifter appearing on the ‘S’ models only – you could spec the 950 with that as an option if you wanted.

New for this year’s 950 range is a sweet looking, and sounding, twin-port end-can. From a distance, it looks like one of those funky aftermarket Termingoni jobbies you get on the MTS1260 Enduro and it gives the bike a neat, modern look to it. Not only does it look great, but it sounds cool and makes all the right pops and burbles on the overrun.

The engine is as rev-happy as I’ve felt, in this variant of L-twin, and thrives up above 6,000rpm. The spread of torque is quite broad, with Ducati’s Marco Sairu claiming that 85% of it was available from 3,000rpm. I was impressed with the delivery on the launch, there is enough there to get you into and out of trouble if needed but not so much as you find slow-speed control or trickling over wet cobbles worrying.

Me and the Ducati quickshifter go way back – I had an MTS 1260 S last year for about 8,000 miles – and I never truly mastered the art of getting the most from the electronic assistance. I’m either too gentle and it doesn’t engage the gear, or does briefly and then drops out, or too brutal and end up feeling bad for the poor bike. Whatever the case, it definitely responds well to a positive input from your boot and seems to work better when you wear harder race or touring footwear rather than softer more pliable ones.

Handling, Comfort, Style, Build quality
Slightly fiddly to change modes,

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