Amidst the several unveilings in Milan yesterday was a vehicle which we’ve reported upon in the past, a smaller variant of Ducati’s much lauded Multistrada. The new Multistrada 950 broadens the lineups reach, appealing to riders whom seek the general appeal of the Multistrada, but prefer a lighter and less powerful motorcycle. The 1200 Multistrada stands atop the Multistrada range, but can be intimidating to some due to its height, weight and power. The 950, due to its lower weight, is almost certain to be more enjoyable for light off-road use, as well as for low-speed maneuvering.
Aesthetically, the relation to its larger sibling is immediately evident, as it adorns very similar cladding to its larger sibling. Whether its griffin-like appearance is to be considered a positive or a negative is entirely subjective. Regardless of which of the two available colors are opted for by the customer, the frame and wheels will be matte grey. The first color is, of course, Ducati Red and the second is Star White Silk. Still, several parts are shared with the 1200, including the headlight and tank. Whereas other parts are from the Enduro variant of the 1200, like the passenger seat, exhaust design and swingarm design.
The 950 is, as expected, powered by the existing 937 Testastretta motor. However, it’s been re-worked to ensure Euro4 compliance. It produces 113 horsepower, not too bad. Most excitingly, perhaps, is that service intervals have been spaced further apart. Whereas Ducatis of old are renowned for frequent and expensive engine services, the 950 requires servicing every 15,000 miles and a valve check every 18,000 miles. Power is accessed via a ride-by-wire throttle system and is put to the road with a wet, slipper clutch.
Upfront, an upside-down fork is utilized with 170mm in travel. For the rear, a Sachs shock is used, and offers 170mm of travel. Both the front and rear are adjustable. As for rubber, the 950 is equipped with Pirelli SCORPION Trail II tires, intended to offer confidence in both on and off-road use, as well as in inclement weather. The Pirellis are, of course, mounted upon alloy wheels.
One very important element of riding is control, and the very best name in braking is used for both the front and rear braking units, Brembo. Too, a Bosch derived ABS system ensures that those Brembos can be used as effectively and as safely as is possible. Of course, Ducati’s Traction Control system is also utilized, in conjunction with four different riding modes. All four modes offer varying levels of active safety, or interference, from the system. Modes include Sport, Urban, Touring and Enduro.
In all, the mini-Multistrada seems to be a pretty well equipped adversary for the ever growing and increasingly competitive adventure-touring segment. It may not be the most beautiful Ducati available, but it brings Italian premium pizazz and drama to an otherwise primarily utilitarian portion of the market. Bellissimo.
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