Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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31 Pictures

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950: 320 double disc, one-piece Brembo brake calipers (M4-32), axial brake pump – the brake works perfectly

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Ducati Multistrada 950: New switch units from now on all Ducatis – look a little less valuable, but are easier to use

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Ducati Multistrada 950: Two-sided swing arm of the Multistrada Enduro, in which a moderate 170 mm tire rotates. At Ducati, of course: chain

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Ducati Multistrada 1200: Hydraulically operated, the clutch of the 1200s is noticeably smoother, the lever is also adjustable

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Ducati Multistrada 1200: Below the same hardware as the smaller Multi, above a radial pump – not too much free

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Ducati Multistrada 1200: Chic, but a bit fiddly: The old switch units – especially with cruise control – are on the small side

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Ducati Multistrada 1200: mighty single-sided swingarm, mighty 190 slippers – the 1200 Multistrada also carries the good Pirelli Scorpion Trail II

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test

Small against big

“May it be a little less?”, We asked in the top test of the new Ducati Multistrada 950, then rubbed our eyes in astonishment at its enormously polished appearance. The comparison test with the big sister Ducati Multistrada 1200 now clarifies whether less is really more.

Not just since the introduction of the M.ultistrada 950 it is becoming apparent that a different wind is blowing recently in Bologna. We can at best speculate well informed about whether and how strong this wind whistles from Ingolstadt. But what we have known since the top test of the 950 series: The youngest member of Ducati’s multi-function tool family is an extremely successful one. Extremely successful because, unlike any Duc before, it combines utility, suitability for everyday use and the simplest drivability with a well-dosed pinch of Bolognese desmo whistle to form a highly accessible, rather scoring overall package – far this side of the 15-mille barrier. If you, as a long-established Ducatisto, are now coldly running down your neck in the face of such teutonic, honest virtues, then the following, greatly abbreviated equation from the consumer capitalism seminar may help: Companies want to make profit. For this they need quantities. And if you want to make quantities, you have to build motorcycles that not only reach racing freaks and art lovers, but the general public (no pun!). This applies to everyone, group subsidiary or not.

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Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Multistrada 1200 in comparison test
Small against big

Multistrada 1200 as a basic variant? First of all, the "small" 950 series takes over many of the modular components from its larger sisters. Chassis and fairing are largely the same, apart of course from the 19-inch front wheel of the 950, its twin-arm swing arm borrowed from the Enduro, and the wonderfully compact exhaust. The upright ergonomics, well integrated into the rather narrow motorcycle as a driver, very suitable for long distances on the medium-high handlebar and comfortably stored behind a small but effective panel – that is practically identical. Both machines have a fully adjustable Kayaba fork at the front (48 millimeters in diameter, compression and rebound stage of the 950s separated by fork legs) and an equally fully adjustable Sachs shock absorber at the rear (each with a handwheel); And these chassis components work equally well with both: smooth, soft damping, rather comfort-oriented soft suspension. The brake hardware below is also identical: 320 double disc and one-piece Brembo calipers on the front wheel, which are pressurized by a radial pump on the 1200 and by a conventional counterpart on the 950 – even that doesn’t give a lot. Incidentally, we note the same thing about the electronics packages – here and there, four programmable driving modes, three mappings, three ABS levels and an eight-level traction control. Here as there without tilt sensors, but accurately applied on both sides and contemporary.

Video of the Multistrada comparison test

And that’s where the similarities come. Because on the road, the two siblings reveal fundamentally different characters in their driving behavior and their demands. It starts with the engine, where the 1200 fires off a Desmo fireworks display that is extremely entertaining, but sometimes a bit hectic and difficult to control. Right at the bottom, the large Testastretta climbs in powerfully, then suffers from a significant drop in torque in the important range between 4000 and 6000 turns, so it lacks a little sovereignty for such a powerful unit. If this hangover is overcome, the L-Twin then pounds forward wildly and impetuously with brute force. This “first too little, then too much” rodeo is not softened by the variable valve control DVT, it actually reinforces it. Depending on the position of the throttle, the system varies the valve timing by adjusting the camshaft, ensuring that the engine runs remarkably smoothly at very low speeds, but also that it responds more slowly when the command is full load. This rubber band effect and the somewhat inhomogeneous performance curve are all the more evident in a direct comparison with the 937 cubic twin of the 950, as it is borrowed from the Hypermotard and is also used in a very similar form in the new SuperSport. The small Testastretta does not offer the overwhelming power of the 12er for a long time, but it suffers significantly less from a hole in the middle, and without DVT also hangs much nicer, more directly, albeit harder on the gas. It simply has the more homogeneous performance curve, also runs very smoothly on its own and practically makes up for its performance deficit with pleasant, sporty revving. Thanks to a much shorter overall gear ratio and a handful of kilograms less weight, the 950 series pulls off well in practice, and even better (!) Than the 1200 series in the MOTORCYCLE pull-through measurement in the last gear. The pulling force diagram on the following page illustrates this well.

Even more astonishing than the near-stalemate on the engine side (the Multistrada 1200 wins the drive chapter thanks to better acceleration and massively superior top speeds on balance), however, is how much more balanced, how much more relaxed the 950er can be driven . Although the weight savings of the really not so small Multistrada 950 with 241 ready-to-drive kilograms compared to its big sister is just six kilograms, with its 19-inch front wheel, slightly longer wheelbase and significantly flatter steering head angle, it is a much more rounded motorcycle to move. The 950er steers in calm, more neutral, more trustworthy, and circles behind the larger bike in a much more level-headed manner and therefore more nerve-friendly. No matter how tricky the radii, no matter how bumpy the asphalt, the 950 is simply fed up.

In direct comparison, the 1200 looks almost like a much too big supermoto, positive and negative. It steers in more light-footed, more jagged, is more manageable, more curvy. What it lacks, however, is a good measure of stability. A bit wobbly in the middle of the curve, it demands constant guidance, where the little sister leads in turn. Because of the different geometry (both machines roll on the excellent Pirelli Scorpion Trail II) there is simply more and more movement in the motorcycle; and the beastly pulling motor at the top does the rest. Moving the 1200 Multistrada quickly is a real challenge and definitely not for beginners. She then lets you work properly, whereas her little sister does everything to make it as easy as possible for the driver. Incidentally, the 950s stand up noticeably less on the brakes and their straight-line stability is better: bolt-stable up to the (admittedly significantly lower) top speed. The 1200 is rather nervous on the track beyond the 200.

You can love this impetuous macho character while strolling around and on a Sunday excursion. The more comfortable, more balanced touring motorcycle and the better 1000-point motorcycle is clearly the 950 multi. This realization shouldn’t come as a surprise, after all, Ducati never placed the 17-inch Multistrada as a travel enduro, never as a GS competitor, but always as a potent long-distance crossover. The 950 represents a different concept. In the section on costs, it then also makes clear the victory: Although the 950s with an average of 4.9 liters consumes almost the same amount as the 1200s, the inspection and maintenance costs are, however, much cheaper.

Two Ducatis like fire and flame. Once wild and unbridled, you can burn yourself on it. Once tamer, more moderate. Both warm the heart, but fried potatoes are easier to prepare on a low flame.

MOTORCYCLE test result

1. Ducati Multistrada 950

Big surprise! Not in individual disciplines, but through its unconditional balance, the not so small 950 secures itself the victory. Much more harmonious handling, in reality not much weaker, huge utility. Maybe not that big a surprise after all?

2nd Ducati Multistrada 1200

An unquestionably great motorcycle. But the torque hanger, double-edged DVT and fast-moving handling that takes getting used to, objectively throw them back behind their little sister. Subjectively, it is very big cinema.

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