Ducati introduces new Multistrada with all the best features of the 1200s.
Just like the Monster range with the 797, Ducati has added a baby Multistrada to its line-up with the new 950 the Bologna-based bike manufacturer’s smallest multibike designed to provide all the excitement of the Multistrada in a way that makes it more accessible and versatile.
Designed to put great performance within everyone’s grasp, the Multistrada 950 is for those who want to get in some touring – perhaps even two-up – and those who want an agile fun bike that’s ideal for everyday use.
When the Ducati Design Center started working on the Multistrada 950 the goal was to develop a compact, eye-pleasing bike that had to be, above all else, a true Multistrada. That’s why it takes its cue from the two bigger-engined Multistrada family members.
The Multistrada 950 combines Multistrada 1200 and Multistrada 1200 Enduro design features to perfection, taking the “lightest” elements from both. The front-on view, with the distinctive headlight, ‘beak’, adjustable screen, two ‘wings’ and tank come from the Multistrada 1200.
The rider’s seat with narrow mid-section, the passenger seat, rear grab rail, the design of the exhaust and swingarm and the wheel sizes were, instead, taken from the Multistrada 1200 Enduro. This mix has produced a bike with classic Multistrada lines that’s also compact, and not just visually.
Moreover, the bodywork colour that extends to the seat and the numerous black-painted parts – such as the engine guard, silencer and swingarm – make the Multistrada 950 look even lighter. Carefully designed alloy wheels have succeeded in making the thin Y-spokes look as similar as possible to wire spokes.
High-tech front headlight and LED taillight and features such as the frame (designed to maximise efficiency in terms of both weight and performance), the rear sub-frame (aluminium with integrated pannier supports) and new switchgear are just some of the characteristics that underscore Ducati’s attention to detail.
Built with long-range touring in mind, the Multistrada 950 has been designed to ensure outstanding comfort, even when the bike is fully laden. This has resulted in an ergonomic triangle that guarantees, for rider and passenger alike, comfort and control whatever the situation.
The bike is ‘roomy’. It can easily seat two people, even with top case and side panniers on board. A 1594mm wheelbase distributes rider and luggage (where applicable) weight perfectly, benefiting the vehicle’s dynamic performance. Footpegs have been lined with rubber inserts to dampen vibration.
The Multistrada 950 seat is 840mm off the ground while a lower 820mm seat and a higher 860mm are available as accessories). The wide tapered handlebars have been designed to optimise comfort, provide a dominant riding position and make the most of the generous steering lock. Mounted on silent-blocks they filter out vibrations.
The Multistrada 950 is powered by the already renowned twin cylinder 937cc Testastretta 11°, now extensively overhauled. EURO 4-rated, it has four valves per cylinder, liquid cooling and bore and stroke measurements of 94 and 67.5mm respectively. Engine power amounts to a maximum of 84kW at 9000 rpm and a maximum torque of 96.2Nm at 7750 rpm. The compression ratio is 12.6:1.
The twin cylinder Testastretta 11° engine on the Multistrada 950 features two new cylinder heads with a redesigned oil circuit and secondary air intake ducts on the covers. The Multistrada 950 gulps in the fuel mix through new 53mm cylindrical-section throttle bodies controlled by an advanced Ride-by-Wire system.
Moreover, this engine also features a new control unit and electronic injection system. The exhaust system is of the 2-1-2 type with lateral silencer. The clutch, instead, is of the oil bath type with slipper function and low-effort lever control. The twin cylinder engine has a maintenance interval of 15,000km or 12 months, with valve clearance inspection every 30,000km.
On the Multistrada 950 the frame design features a front trellis made up of large-diameter yet thin tubing, plus two lateral aluminium sub-frames to ensure maximum torsional rigidity. The Multistrada 950 has a minimum ground clearance of 183.5mm. The shell-cast aluminium twin-sided swingarm is painted black.
The Multistrada 950 has a front upside down 48mm fork with 170mm of travel, a dedicated cast fork leg, plus adjustable spring pre-load and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. At the rear, a Sachs shock connects the swingarm to the left sub-frame: again, spring pre-load is adjustable (via a knob-operated hydraulic press), as is hydraulic compression and rebound damping.
The Multistrada 950 is equipped with alloy wheels that mount Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres: 120/70 R19 at the front and 170/60 R17 at the rear. Brembo M4.32 monobloc radial calipers with bite dual 320mm front discs. At the rear a 265mm disc is gripped by a floating caliper, again by Brembo.
The Multistrada 950 is equipped with a DSP (Ducati Safety Pack) that includes ABS and Ducati Traction Control, enhancing bike performance, optimising control and boosting safety levels. This package is managed via four different Riding Modes, each of which (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro) gives the Multistrada 950 a distinctive personality thanks to different ABS and DTC (Ducati Traction Control) settings.
Multistrada 950 standard equipment includes a Brembo braking system with ABS, controlled by the Bosch 9.1 MP control unit with integrated pressure sensor, which is part of the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP). The 3-level system ensures short stopping distances and stability whatever the riding conditions thanks to full integration with Riding Modes.
Level 1 adapts ABS intervention to off-road use: there is no intervention on the rear wheel and no rear wheel anti-lift. Level 2 sees the ABS act on both the front and rear wheels but rear wheel anti-lift remains deactivated. Lastly, the highest level 3 setting provides maximum braking stability and rear wheel lift-up prevention. The ABS system can be deactivated in any Riding Mode and will stay off until the next key-on.
The DTC (Ducati Traction Control) on the Multistrada 950 detects and subsequently controls any rear wheelspin, enhancing both bike performance and active safety. The Multistrada 950 features the latest DTC software version, optimised to ensure a soft response thanks to intervention on both spark advance and throttle body control.
Ducati Riding Modes, first introduced on the Multistrada in 2010, let riders select different pre-set modes that optimise bike behaviour according to their individual riding styles and road conditions. The Multistrada 950 has four Riding Modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro), each programmed to act on the electronic Ride-by-Wire (RbW) engine control system and the ABS and DTC levels.
The Multistrada 950 instrument panel consists of a large easy-to-see LCD that provides the rider with primary and secondary information. The unit gives info on speed, rpm, total distance ridden, selected gear, trip1 and trip2, engine coolant temperature, fuel level and, of course, a clock. And that’s not all: the display shows the selected Riding Mode, miles remaining, real-time fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed, air temperature, travel time and road ice warning.
Like other bikes in the Multistrada family, the 950 has an assertive-looking, high-tech headlight. At the rear there is a LED tail light. A hazard warning lights function is also available on the Multistrada 950; this is activated by pressing the dedicated key.
Set to arrive in Australia in the new year, prices, colours and final specification for the Multistrada 950 is yet to be confirmed. For more details on the Ducati range in Australia or location of your nearest dealer head to www.ducati.com.au.