Ducati Beefs Up The New Multistrada 950 With Hardware And Tech Borrowed From The 1260

Ducati spruced up its base mid-size 950 Multistrada ahead of MY2019 with a host of electronic rider aids, and in a first for the 950 range, the builder in Bologna put together an “S” variant with even more top-shelf fandanglery for your riding pleasure. The 950 range offers an alternative to riders for whom the 1260 model is just a little too much, and that makes it more suitable for the folks who are looking for a commuter-friendly, everyday ride. Street-oriented adventure bikes are rapidly replacing standards and sport-tourers as the favored choice du jour for urban travelers and weekend warriors, so this is an increasingly important bracket in which to perform.

  • 2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
  • Year:
    2019- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    L-Twin
  • Displacement:
    937 cc
  • Top Speed:
    145 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    14395
  • Price:

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S Design

2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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As with everything else Ducati builds, the Multistrada 950 has a certain 'je ne sais quoi' about it: a feminine quality without actually making them “girl's bikes.”

As with everything else Ducati builds, the Multi-street 950 has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. It has a feminine quality similar to that which boats enjoy without actually making them “girl’s bikes” per se, and an organic flow that most of the adventure-bike field lacks. The protruding front fairing and squinted headight layout gives the 950’s mug the typical angry-bird look that dominates the range.

A proper front fender joins the bird’s beak to provide the actual fling control with tall uprights that double as deflectors to protect the swept area of the inverted front forks. Up top, a clear windscreen parts the weather for the pilot’s torso, and the 950 range borrows from its big brothers in the 1260 bracket with a “wing” structure the expands the front fairing on each side to widen the pocket for your legs.

In profile, we see the graceful lines that make the Multistrada stand out in a field dominated by purely function-driven form. No matter which model you choose, the front blinkers come integrated with the handguards as part of the standard equipment package in a bid to keep the front end as clean as possible, though the “S” variant also rocks a set of cornering lights to increase safety and confidence once the sun goes down.

Behind the glass, a color LCD screen delivers all the pertinent metrics on the base model, and the “S” adds some value with a color TFT screen. Both models rock the Ducati Link tech that communicates with an app to turn your smartphone into a ride computer.

A camel-like fuel-tank hump totes 5.3 gallons of fuel to give the 950 a respectable range and an adventure-typical flyline with a deep swale that cradles the pilot and pulls him/her into the machine. The P-pad is borrowed from the 1260 as well, and it joins the flip-up passenger footpegs and grab rails to complete the passenger’s gear.

A molded-in and stylized taillight rides nestled in the tip of the tail with a short mudguard/plateholder and turn-signal assembly to wrap it all up. Oh, and if you want to gear up for some serious tour work, the factory offers hard-side panniers and a top case to provide you with dry and secure storage.

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S Chassis

2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
- image 830090
Yeah, they're kinda tall overall, but chassis metrics make this family fairly eager in the corners in spite of their relative height.

A tubular-steel Trellis frame on the Multistrada 950 provides the bulk of the structure with the engine serving as a stressed member to complete the skeleton. Rake and trail measure out at 25 degrees and 4.2 inches, respectively, over a 62.8-inch wheelbase to make this family fairly eager in the corners in spite of their relative height. Yeah, they’re kinda tall overall with a standard seat height of 33.1 inches off the ground, but that’s more-or-less necessary to accommodate the 6.7-inch suspension travel that gives the range a bit of dirt-road capability. If that doesn’t work for you, the factory offers a 33.9-inch “high” seat and a 32.3-inch “low” saddle.

Both models rock a fully adjustable monoshock out back, but the S model sports the electronic, automatic Ducati Skyhook Suspension Evo feature that delivers dynamic damping adjustments via input from the inertial measurement unit (IMU). Both the base model and the S variant roll on 17-inch, cast-aluminum wheels, but the S alone offers the option of laced wheels. Naturally, the spoked wheels are preferable if you’re into riding on unimproved roads and/or soft terrain.

No matter which you choose, tubeless Pirelli Scorpion Trail II hoops round out the rolling chassis with a 120/70 up front and a 170/60 out back. Brembo supplies the anchors with four-bore monobloc calipers that bite dual, 320 mm front discs and a twin-piston caliper out back to grab the 265 mm rear disc. Both ends benefit from the IMU with corner-sensitive ABS across the board and the Vehicle Hold Control that holds the brake for you so you can safely get the most out of the system, even on a grade.

As usual with this genre, the 950 range bears a rider’s triangle that allows for a comfortable, upright posture, and also lets you operate from a standing position for technical work.

Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Wheel: Light alloy casted 3.0" x 19"
Front Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 120/70 ZR 19
Rear Suspension:
└ Multistrada 950: Fully adjustable monoshock, Remote spring preload adjustment, Aluminum double-sided swingarm
└ Multistrada 950 S: Fully adjustable monoshock, Electronic compression, renbound damping and spring pre-load adjustment with Ducati Skyhook Suspension Evo (DSS), Aluminum double-sided swingarm
Rear Wheel: Light alloy casted 4.5" x 17"
Rear Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 170/60 ZR 17
Wheel Travel (Front/Rear): 6.7 in / 6.7 in (170 mm / 170 mm)
Front Brake: Dual Ø 320 mm semi-floating discs, Radially mounted Brembo monobloc 4-piston 2-pad calipers, Radial Master Cylinder, Bosch Cornering ABS
Rear Brake: Ø 265 mm disc, 2-piston Brembo floating caliper, Bosch Cornering ABS

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S Drivetrain

2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
- image 830080
2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
- image 830103
2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
- image 830095
The redline is rather high for a 90-degree V-twin at 9 grand, and since valve float is impossible, it's the bottom end that serves as the limiting factor.

Ducati powers the range with its Testastretta L-Twin that runs the signature Desmodromic valvetrain to time the four-valve head. It uses a pull-closed cam in lieu of the old-fashioned spring closure that is so prone to harmonic valve float at the top end. As a result, the redline is rather high for a 90-degree v-twin at 9 grand, and since valve float is impossible, it’s the bottom end that serves as the limiting factor; those bearing will only take so much.

It’s massively oversquare with a 94 mm bore and 67.5 mm stroke that gives it a total displacement of 937 cc, and a smokin’ hot compression ratio of 12.6-to-1. A ride-by-wire throttle conveys rider demand to the ECU, but that’s just the beginning. The signal washes through a number of systems before it gets to the 53 mm throttle bodies that rock Bosch electronic fuel injection to meter the juice. Traction Control and Power Modes protect the contact-patch integrity and allow you to dial in for the prevailing conditions across the board. The S adds to that with cruise control and Ducati’s Quick-Shift feature that lets you work up and down the range sans clutch action.

The exhaust circuit contains a catalyzer to burn off any free hydrocarbons that escape the combustion chamber with a pair of Lamba probes in the headers to help the system tune itself dynamically and meet Euro 4 emission standards. As for power, the mill delivers the goods with 113 horsepower at the shaft and 71 pound-feet that top out at 7,750 rpm. That power flows through a slipper clutch and six-speed transmission to deliver a top speed in the neighborhood of 145 mph, which is way faster than you need to ride, on- or off-road. Of course, you can dial the power down to 75 ponies with the Urban and Enduro riding modes if you can’t trust yourself with the full output.

Engine: Ducati Testastretta, L-Twin cylinder, Desmodromic timing, 4 valves per cylinder, Liquid cooled
Displacement: 937 cc (57.2 cu in)
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 67.5 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.6 : 1
Power: 113 hp (83 kW) @ 9,000 rpm
Torque: 71 lb-ft (96 Nm) @ 7,750 rpm
Fuel Injection: Bosch electronic fuel injection system, Ø 53 mm throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire system
Exhaust System: Stainless steel single muffler, Catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox:
└ Multistrada 950: 6 speed
└ Multistrada 950 S: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS)
Primary Drive: Straight cut gears, ratio 1.84 : 1
Ratios: 1=37/15, 2=30/17, 3=28/20, 4=26/22, 5=24/23, 6=23/24
Final Drive: Chain, Front sprocket Z15, Rear sprocket Z43
Clutch: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S Pricing

2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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MSRP is $14.5k for the base model and $17.3k for the 950 S.

MSRP is up just a bit for 2020. Last year’s version of the base Multistrada 950 rolled for a reasonable $14,395 so it’s only a small bump to $14,495 for 2020. The 950 S starts at $17,395 for Ducati Red and goes up to $17,595 for gray.

Model: Multistrada 950 Multistrada 950 S
Instrumentation: LCD Display 5” TFT color display
Safety Equipment: Ducati Safety Pack: Bosch Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC). Riding Modes, Power Modes, Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) Ducati Safety Pack: Bosch Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC). Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Cornering Lights (DCL), Vehicle Hold Control (VHC)
Standard Equipment: Self canceling turn indicators Riding Mode, ABS Cornering Bosch, DTC, DCL, VHC, DSS Evo, DQS, Cruise control, Hands-Free, Backlit handlebar switches, 5" TFT color display, Full LED headlight, Self canceling turn indicators
Warranty: 24 months, Unlimited mileage 24 months, Unlimited mileage
Color: Ducati Red Glossy Grey, Ducati Red
Price:
└ 2019: $14,395 Red: $16,995, Grey: $17,195
└ 2020: $14,495 Red: $17,395, Grey: $17,595

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S Competitors

2017 - 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & 1000XT
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2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
- image 830076
Price is too close to call, but folks looking for the extra power and better electronics will be willing to pay for the Multistrada.

.

When it comes to well-equipped adventure bikes, I usually like to draw from Triumph’s Tiger line, but this time I wanted to go East instead and I wound up with Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000XT for my head to head.

Suzuki leads off in similar fashion with a bird’s beak front fairing and a full-length front fender, but instead of a side-by-side headlight arrangement, Suzuki opted for an over-under setup that allows for a narrower front end. Credit where it’s due; Suzuki managed to get a nice flow to the body shape. No, it isn’t quite sex on wheels like the Duc, but few things are and I think the V-Strom is a sharp-looking ride overall.

Looks will only take you so far in a specifically focused sub-genre such as this, and the V-Strom falls a tad short in the stems right off the bat. Sure, it offers the full trinity up front and adjustable preload and rebound damping out back, but its a manual adjustment that can’t compete with Duc’s automatic suspension system. Suzuki does manage to get a corner-sensitive ABS system that also boasts a Combination Brake System to increases stability further yet. A traction control feature does its bit as well with three separate profiles so you can dial in the desired amount of wheel spin and intervention.

Suzuki gains an edge in displacement with its 1,037 cc V-twin, but fails to convert that into a power advantage with only 90 ponies and 67 pounds o’ grunt against 113/71 from the Duc. To compound Suzuki’s woes, the V-Strom rolls for $13,299, and folks looking for the extra power and fandanglery will be willing to pay the difference.

He Said

“Sexy and slick, the Ducati Multistrada 950 delivers the goods with the usual aplomb. It’s remarkable how far the Pure-D Adventure-bike genre has come in such a relatively short period of time, but I guess it’s a sign of the times and technology we live with daily. Heck, I mean, even Harley-Davidson is playing with traction control...”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Very smooth gear changes and lively response from the throttle. It really is a nice bike and it just doesn’t fit the ’little Multistrada’ label. It is a substantial bike in its own right and more and more we’re seeing that bigger doesn’t always translate into better. Ducati really ’fleshed out’ this lower displacement Multistrada. The main differences between last year’s model and the previous gen are improvements in rider safety and overall riding pleasure, especially for the 950 S which borrows hardware and tech from the 1260.”

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Ducati Testastretta, L-Twin cylinder, Desmodromic timing, 4 valves per cylinder, Liquid cooled
Displacement: 937 cc (57.2 cu in)
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 67.5 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.6 : 1
Power: 113 hp (83 kW) @ 9,000 rpm
Torque: 71 lb-ft (96 Nm) @ 7,750 rpm
Fuel Injection: Bosch electronic fuel injection system, Ø 53 mm throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire system
Exhaust System: Stainless steel single muffler, Catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox:
└ Multistrada 950: 6 speed
└ Multistrada 950 S: 6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS)
Primary Drive: Straight cut gears, ratio 1.84 : 1
Ratios: 1=37/15, 2=30/17, 3=28/20, 4=26/22, 5=24/23, 6=23/24
Final Drive: Chain, Front sprocket Z15, Rear sprocket Z43
Clutch: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Wheel: Light alloy casted 3.0" x 19"
Front Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 120/70 ZR 19
Rear Suspension:
└ Multistrada 950: Fully adjustable monoshock, Remote spring preload adjustment, Aluminum double-sided swingarm
└ Multistrada 950 S: Fully adjustable monoshock, Electronic compression, renbound damping and spring pre-load adjustment with Ducati Skyhook Suspension Evo (DSS), Aluminum double-sided swingarm
Rear Wheel: Light alloy casted 4.5" x 17"
Rear Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II 170/60 ZR 17
Wheel Travel (Front/Rear): 6.7 in / 6.7 in (170 mm / 170 mm)
Front Brake: Dual Ø 320 mm semi-floating discs, Radially mounted Brembo monobloc 4-piston 2-pad calipers, Radial Master Cylinder, Bosch Cornering ABS
Rear Brake: Ø 265 mm disc, 2-piston Brembo floating caliper, Bosch Cornering ABS
Dimensions & Capacities:
Seat Height: 33.1 in (840 mm), 33.9 in (860 mm) with high seat accessory, 32.3 in (820 mm) with low seat accessory
Wheelbase: 62.8 in (1,594 mm)
Rake: 25°
Trail: 4.2 in (106 mm)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.3 US Gal (20 l)
Number of Seats: 2
Fuel Economy: 42.8 mpg (5.5 l/100 km)
Details:
Instrumentation:
└ Multistrada 950: LCD Display
└ Multistrada 950 S: 5” TFT color display
Safety Equipment:
└ Multistrada 950: Ducati Safety Pack: Bosch Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC). Riding Modes, Power Modes, Vehicle Hold Control (VHC)
└ Multistrada 950 S: Ducati Safety Pack: Bosch Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC). Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Cornering Lights (DCL), Vehicle Hold Control (VHC)
Standard Equipment:
└ Multistrada 950: Self canceling turn indicators
└ Multistrada 950 S: Riding Mode, ABS Cornering Bosch, DTC, DCL, VHC, DSS Evo, DQS, Cruise control, Hands-Free, Backlit handlebar switches, 5" TFT color display, Full LED headlight, Self canceling turn indicators
Warranty: 24 months, Unlimited mileage
Color:
└ Multistrada 950: Ducati Red
└ Multistrada 950 S: Glossy Grey, Ducati Red
2019 Price:
└ Multistrada 950: $14,395
└ Multistrada 950 S: Red: $16,995, Grey: $17,195
2020 Price:
└ Multistrada 950: $14,495
└ Multistrada 950 S: Red: $17,395, Grey: $17,595

Further Reading

Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000XT

2017 - 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & 1000XT
- image 777383

See our review of the Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT.

Triumph Tiger 1200 XR

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR
- image 783006

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XR.

Ducati Multistrada 1260

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260
- image 777812

See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260.

Ducati

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 792903

Read more Ducati news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati.com, suzukicycles.com, triumphmotorcycles.com

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