Mini Adventures
MCN Motorcycle News|February 15,2017

Can Ducati's new mid-capacity Multistrada 950 beat benchmark £10K go-anywhere bike – the Africa Twin?

Phil West

Ducati are usually quick to offer junior or more basic and affordable versions of new models. For example, the 1100 then 848 Streetfighter; the Monster 1200 and, now, 797, plus, of course, the Panigale 1299 and 959, to name just three.

This sort of extended family has pretty much always been the case in Ducati’s line-ups. Remember the 900SS and its little brothers, the 750 and 600SS? Or how about the 916 and 748? Little chips off the big block, all of ’em.

But that hasn’t been the case with the latest, big 1200 Multistrada – until now. Ever since the original, electronics-packed MTS1200 debuted in 2010, revolutionising the market thanks to class-leading performance and pioneering, switchable rider modes, the option of a smaller, more affordable Multi has been conspicuous by its absence.

The latest big Multistradas, now with even more potency and even more advanced electronics including cornering ABS and Skyhook semi-active suspension and producing over 160bhp are brilliant, but arguably too much for some. With the S versions starting at over £16,500 and rising to just shy of £20k for the Pikes Peak, they are top-end purchases, too.

Hence the new 950. Although based on the 1200 and sharing its frame, bodywork and basic proportions, in many ways the 950 is less intimidating than its big brother. By using the 937cc engine from the latest Hypermotard, conventional swingarm and rear end from last year’s Multistrada Enduro, plus more basic suspension and clocks from the standard 1200, the 950 comes over as something of a poor man’s Multi – but that’s only compared to the posh 1200.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine