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Ducati Multistrada 950 in the PS driving report

Tamed and toothless?

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The large Multistrada 1200 is a snappy, rough ripper. Now the smaller Ducati Multistrada 950 comes with the twin from the Hypermotard. Much less motorized, more simply equipped – but considerably cheaper at 13,000 euros.

E.t are recurring questions: Does more power really make you happier? And does a lot of power mean a lot of fun? Do you even need a massive 160 or even 200 hp on the country road? The answers vary from person to person. What is certain is that, from the point of view of common sense, far less power is sufficient. Apart from that, more power demands more from the driver. So today many drivers, including even hardcore stokers, practice voluntary self-restraint.

Ducati Multistrada 950 in the PS driving report

Tamed and toothless?

Ducati now at the Multistrada. But don’t worry, for the really wild guys they continue to build the strong 1200, also as an enduro version. Bikers with a more rational approach do not have to look around at BMW, Triumph or Japanese, for them there is now the Ducati Multistrada 950. In principle, a mixture of components from the Ducati construction kit.

On-board electronics dispense with lean angle sensors

We know the engine from the Hypermotard, where the water-cooled Desmo-Twin convinced us with its linear performance development and good manners. Plastic and chassis were largely taken over from the big multi. A number of parts come from the enduro version, such as the two-arm swing arm and the narrow rear silencer, which leaves a lot of space for suitcases (!). On closer inspection, you can also see the Enduro tires with 19-inch wheels at the front and 17-inch wheels at the rear, on which Pirelli Scorpion Trail II are also mounted. Other differences are more hidden, the on-board electronics of the Ducati Multistrada 950, for example, do without the complex Bosch lean angle sensors, thus the "cornering ABS" and a lean angle-dependent traction control.

However, there is still a lot of modern electronics on board. According to the Multistrada concept, the four driving modes Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro are still available, which change the engine performance, the response behavior, the traction control and the ABS. The Ducati Multistrada 950 with fully adjustable suspension and fat Brembo radial brakes is not a budget version anyway. First of all, the decisive factor in the war is the drive unit. Because compared to the 1200, the small L-Twin in the 950 lacks almost 50 hp. Can you still speak of a real sports machine??

Different riding modes? forget it!

Absolutely. Because in the Ducati Multistrada 950, a Desmo-L-Twin still shoots in typical Italian style, impresses with its voluminous sound, turns with a lot of fire towards the limiter at 10,000 rpm. A V2 engine that you can feel and feel at all times, not a softened, choked throttle part. In contrast to the 1200 with its heavy wave crests and valleys, the 950 delivers a very flat torque plateau in the middle. There is already a lot of pressure in the middle, but things only really take off at the top. The 950 also hangs wonderfully directly on the gas, very predictable and precisely metered. This cannot be compared with the synthetic feel of the DVT-1200’s throttle grip. Actually, such a fine drive would not need any driving programs, especially since the differences in response behavior between sport and touring are not particularly great. It remains to be seen whether you really have to cut the performance that far in off-road or urban mode – namely to around 75 hp. Because 115 HP is not exactly an uncontrollable amount of maximum output, especially when it can be controlled as cleanly as in this case.

Of course, the Ducati Multistrada 950 cannot offer the tremendous thrust of the 1200s, which lets the front wheel rise to the third. Especially since the vehicle weight could not be reduced parallel to the displacement. It should be around seven kilograms less, with around 230 kilograms the 950 is not exactly a lightweight.

Ducati Multistrada 950 is a real fun bike

Nevertheless, it feels completely different when it comes to handling, you would guess at least 20 kilos less. And that is largely due to the wheel-tire combination, which fits the small Ducati Multistrada 950 like a fist on the eye. In stark contrast to the large enduro, which lacks harmony with long suspension travel, high center of gravity and irregular suspension setup. The small multistrada scurries loosely around curves and bends. Everything fits perfectly, the neutral steering, the neatly rolling Pirellis with their clear feedback and the finely appealing, fairly soft suspension.

Sure, the rock-hard curve cutter would have a lot to complain about. About a lot of movement in the chassis because of the soft spring elements. They also ensure that the Ducati Multistrada 950 hangs deeper on the ropes at tight cornering speed and is therefore limited in terms of lean angle, especially due to the side stand that keys down. The somewhat simpler Brembo brake system with 320 discs and conventional hand pump bites quite well, but does not offer the transparency of the 1200 brake with radial pump. And the free travel on the lever is sometimes a bit annoying.

Whining at a high level. Because despite the soft chassis and limited engine power: The small Ducati Multistrada 950 has become a real fun bike. Because it is not extreme, not capricious, but completely easy to control. So a machine that more people can have more fun with. Is that taming the multistrada? In any case. And toothless? Certainly not.

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