Ducati Multistrada 950 S in the driving report

lead by technology

Ducati has significantly upgraded its all-round enduro sports tourer Multistrada 950. And for the first time he has a luxuriously equipped S version by his side – with full boom of pampering and electronics packages. We could already drive it.

S.The multifunctional tool has always been a real feel-good motorcycle. But the new S-Class tops that. It’s a bit like Ducati’s parent company Audi. Customers don’t expect a spartan small car. But sporty, elegant cars with all the bells and whistles. But before driving comes the press conference in order to be able to understand and classify all the innovations.

Extensively expanded equipment

So, the 2019 Multistrada 950 (it is always flame red and costs 13,590 euros plus additional costs) has the following new features in the basic version:

  • a 6-axis Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), with three-stage adjustable curve ABS
  • the Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) hill start aid for easier hill start (especially with a passenger and luggage)
  • a hydraulically operated clutch with a modified interior
  • a swing arm from the 1260 Enduro lightened by 500 grams
  • also 500 grams (in total) lighter alloy cast wheels
  • Indicator with automatic switch-off function (depending on the lean angle and distance)
  • a revised LCD cockpit
  • Radial brake pump and combination brake function (hand lever also activates the rear brake)

S version offers even more

In addition, the S version of the Multistrada 950 (from 15,490 euros plus additional costs) carries the complete electronics package for even more (operating) convenience. These include:

  • The electronic, semi-active chassis "Ducati Skyhook Suspension" (DSS)
  • Shift assistant Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) for clutch-free upshifts and downshifts
  • Full-LED headlights with cornering light function (Ducati Cornering Lights DCL)
  • a high-resolution, colorful 5-inch TFT display
  • Cruise control and backlit handlebar controls
  • Connectivity with smartphone including speakerphone
  • optional wire wheels ex works (600 euros surcharge)

Superior electronic chassis


The Ducati Multistrada 950 S is possibly the most balanced of all Ducatis. This is how the parent company Audi is sure to like it: Vorsprung durch Technik.

This equipment package is more reminiscent of luxury sedans than of the upper middle class of travel enduros. Enduros? Yes, why not, because at least the Multistrada 950 (S) has a 19-inch model rotating at the front. Pirellis with strong grip "Made in Germany". 170 millimeters of travel at the front and rear speak against hard off-road use. But that’s definitely enough for comfortable gliding. Tea little multi makes that clear from the first meter. Because the way she pounds over high ramps in front of and behind the zebra crossing here in Spain has something to offer. No doubt, the "situation-dependent damping" works: the electronically actuated damper valves in the 48 mm upside-down fork from ZF and the directly hinged ZF shock absorber instantly adapt to changes in the road surface and regulate really sensitively.

The digital rattle is never noticeable – the superior suspension comfort keeps almost all disturbing impulses away from your behind. So the Duc irons even the rough patched-up streets as smooth as a gray fitted sheet. Ducati hung the Multi on the sky hook. That’s how it is. If that’s not enough: Even the rear spring base can be adjusted at the push of a button: for pillion or passenger use, with or without luggage. The rear lifts more “payload”, Electronically controlled. That puts more pressure on the front wheel and tops the handling. Tea forehead dips far when you feel the radially operated Brembo four-piston stoppers.

New with combination brake function

No problem, in each of the four driving modes the damping front and rear can be made softer or harder in 24 steps. According to your taste: Comfortable or sporty and tight. That in turn can be clearly felt. Keyword braking: New is the automatic adjustment of the brake pressure to the inclined position ("curve function"). In two of the three ABS control levels, the electronics keep the rear wheel on the ground even in the event of forceful braking ("lift detection"). Noticeable braking stability is that.

A novelty for the 950 Multistrada, which was released in 2017, is the combination brake function from front to back. It minimizes the braking distances. At the same time, the rear wheel brake can also be controlled selectively, for example in hairpin bends or during turning maneuvers. Gladly taken, well done. And the Multistrada 950 S can turn in one go, even on narrow country roads.

Playful driving behavior


The Duc gratefully accepts course corrections in case you have miscalculated. It is very agile for a touring bike.

This is how this Duc drives overall: very user-friendly. This typical Mulitstrada feeling contributes its good part: The pronounced seat recess is deeply integrated into the motorcycle design. The broad handlebar looms high in front of you. Your feet rest at a very comfortable knee angle on jagged enduro footrests with thick rubber pads. You’re in the middle of it, very much in the motorcycle. This results in that very special, characteristic Multistrada sitting feeling. You would recognize it blindfolded, this feeling of absolute security and security. Upright, sublime, sovereign. In order to bring the soles of your feet to the ground at a seat height of 840 millimeters, you should already be 1.75 meters tall. For smaller pilots and tall guys, Duacti’s large range of accessories also includes seating furniture that is two centimeters lower or higher.

The Multistrada 950 S circles curves of all radii with great precision, wonderfully predictable. Rides great, the gray bike with the red heart. Sleepwalking finds the right line and holds damn tight lines if necessary. This results in a playful driving behavior. The Duc gratefully accepts course corrections in case you have miscalculated. It is very agile for a touring bike. At most, the Baby-Multi needs more courageous steering impulses in quickly following, brisk alternating curves. So what? The handlebars are so wide for that.

Always feels enough power

And the centerpiece, the characteristic 90-degree V2? As excited as ever. Tea ultra short stroke fires wonderfully out of the corners. This is a real driving strength here in the Spanish curve carousel. 937 cubic meters are only considered to be the "upper middle class" today. But that’s nonsense. 113 hp is more than an air-cooled BMW R 1200 GS or a Honda Africa Twin ever had. Any questions? We the shorts intermediate straights, the bike from Bologna shines with real spurt qualities. Medium speed, medium gear and the day is your friend. That sucks. The Testastretta-V2 drives three Ducatis: In addition to the Multistrada 950, there is also the Hypermotard and the Supersport.

Between 3,500 and 9,500 tours it always has over 60 Newton meters ready. That’s 80 percent or more of the maximum torque. Lived twin elasticity: In the first three gears the V2 runs smoothly from 2,000 rpm, in the fourth from 2,500 and in the fifth and sixth from around 3,000 rpm. Yes, the V-Twin vibrates in the second half of the speed. Why not? Afraid of high speeds? Doesn’t know the Desmo-V2. Is that turning or joie de vivre? Both. And the intake snorkeling as you open the throttle is addicting. No mistake: the exhaust sound, that typical V2 staccato, is not loud. But pleasantly subdued.

Multistrada with high utility value

The now hydraulically operated clutch can be pulled really easily. A real two-finger clutch. Tea idle can now also be better than before. Four driving modes (Sport, Touring, Enduro and Urban) influence the throttle response and power output. But everything can also be set individually with this multifunctional device. A motorcycle for everything. A lot of driving fun meets real utility here. Garnished with good manners and manageable service costs: an oil change is only due every 15,000 kilometers, valve clearance control of the complex desmodromic system is only due every 30,000 kilometers. Confidence-building measure in Ducati’s exclusive forced control of the valves. Time for a conclusion: this is possibly the most balanced of all Ducatis. This is how the parent company Audi is sure to like it: Vorsprung durch Technik.

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