First Ride

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019) review

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019)

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 Multistrada 950S (2019)

Riding modes

For the tech-savvy among us, the variables you can change and level of detail you can drill down to on that stunning looking TFT dash is awesome. The riding modes come with pre-set values for the engine mapping, traction control, ABS and quickshifter. You can switch through the modes on the fly using the east to use switchgear on the handlebar - although altering the parameters within the settings needs to be done at a standstill.

When flicking between the modes you can feel the character of the bike change as the bike hunkers down lower or lifts up, the exhaust and induction noise noticeable changes too. Sometimes on a launch you switch modes and can feel no discernible difference but the 950 makes it clear what you’ve selected.

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019)

I spent most of the day in Sport, for no other reason than it’s the most fun. The back-end lifts easily under hard braking and allowed me to slide about into some of the hairpins along the route – not ideal if you have a pillion with you but great when on your own. For longer, less exciting routes, touring is the next best option - the smoother throttle map makes it much less taxing over long distances and the quickshifter matches the revs better and seemed to work better for me.

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019)

Sport

Sport mode gives you the full-fat 113 hp and some lovely induction howl as the revs rise. The throttle response is direct and unfiltered by the ECU – you ask for it pinned, and it’s pinned. A low traction control setting, and low ABS setting are also selected with no rear wheel lift-up prevention.

Touring

Touring mode delivers the same 113 hp but now with a progressive throttle map for smoothing operation. Traction control is set higher as is ABS, maximising both braking stability and wheel lift-up prevention.

Urban

Urban dishes out 75 hp with a soft throttle mapping. Traction control is set to an even higher intervention level than before as is the ABS, maximising braking stability and wheel lift-up prevention.

Enduro

You still have 75 hp in Enduro mode with that same progressive throttle map. Now wheel lift prevention and ABS are set to a much lower level, allowing you to slide the bike around on the dirt.

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019)

Suspension

The Sachs Skyhook suspension fitted to the 950S (the 950 gets manually adjusted front and rear units) features 48mm forks with 170mm of travel and a rear shock with 170mm of travel. The system continuously monitors the front and rear wheels, effectively reading the road like a record player, adjusting the rebound and compression damping to maintain a smooth ride.

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019)

I find the Skyhook system always leaves me feeling a bit underwhelmed, not in a bad way but in a ‘it’s that slick I can’t feel it working’ – and I kinda what to know it’s doing something! The only time you really notice it is when you switch the suspension settings and the bike changes height. It does eliminate all the bouncy rebound you can sometimes get when you go through a big compression for instance and over cracked road surfaces it keeps the bike supremely stable and comfortable. The whole system is very Germanic in its efficiency.

Ducati Multistrada 950S (2019)

With the Skyhook system, you get hundreds of things to tweak, from ride height, load settings – rider only/rider and pillion/rider and pillion and luggage – and they all make discernible differences to the way the bike rides. As with any HMI (that’s the dash and switchgear!) it is a little fiddly to get through the menus, and the suspension changes can only be changed at a standstill but once you get your head around where to look, changes can be made in seconds and you’re off on the road again.

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