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MOTORRAD editor-in-chief Michael Pfeiffer accompanied Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali on a first trip with the new Multistrada 950.

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Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali explains where he sees the strengths of the brand new Multistrada 950 travel enduro.

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Warm weather, two Ducatis, dry mountain roads, that puts you in a good mood.

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With original parts from Ducati accessories, the Multistrada 950 becomes a real off-roader.

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Claudio Domenicali: "Our customers want to be surprised"

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Ducati Multistrada 950.

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Ducati Multistrada 950.

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Ducati Multistrada 950.

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in the driving report

First ride with the new Enduro

With the smaller Testastretta-V2, reasonable 113 PS and simpler equipment, the new Ducati Multistrada 950 is offered at an attractive price for 12,990 euros. MOTORRAD editor-in-chief Michael Pfeiffer accompanied Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali on a first trip.

It’s warm in Bologna. 15 degrees, while here in Germany Father Frost is coming. The thermal suit I’m wearing makes Ducati boss Domenicali smile. He prefers casual jeans for our little tour in the mountains. Two machines are ready: a Monster 1200 R, the thunder bolt that challenges the whole man with its wide sail pole, excellent chassis and powerful engine. And the brand new one D.ucati Multistrada 950, which with the smaller 937 cubic engine promises a lot of smooth running and revving, but still emulates the luxurious big 1200 sister in terms of looks, seating position, spring travel and safety features. With the 19-inch front wheel, the two-sided swing arm and the extremely narrow exhaust muffler, the smaller of the two multis also carries a lot of the mighty Multistrada Enduro.

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Ducati Multistrada 950 in the driving report
First ride with the new Enduro

Ducati Multistrada 950 hardly back. The 950 Desmo Twin speaks clearly from the Euro 4-compatible exhaust system and turns up at lightning speed on gas commands. A real sports engine that easily puts a Honda Africa Twin or a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 in the shade with its 113 hp. Of course, an extensive MOTORRAD test has yet to prove whether the little Desmo is really good for a travel enduro. Claudio now wants to prove something to me. Namely, that I even have to stretch myself with the powerful monster to follow him. He interprets Bolognese city traffic in a virtuoso manner as a handling course, plowing through the boring arterial road and then diving into the preferred area of ​​multistradas: winding mountain roads, embellished by all sorts of inadequacies in the surface and dirt of every degree.

Ducati calls for almost 13,000 euros

So not exactly what a 150 hp monster prefers. The short straights are barely enough to keep up with the Ducati Multistrada 950, which pulls like clockwork through the curves. And some bumps make me fall back in irritation, while the boss mercilessly ironed over it: “It’s so easy to ride!” Claudio praises his bike and explains to me the advantages of the 19-inch front wheel in general and the Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 in particular. I inevitably have a harder time with my Supersport tires.

While I do an extensive seat test and notice only a small difference to the large Multistrada, Domenicali talks about the new switches. They are now from Nippon Denso and are finally delivering the quality that Ducati wants. “We charge almost 13,000 euros for the Ducati Multistrada 950, but the buyer can expect a lot in terms of quality.” The new switches actually click, a step ahead. Only the display seems a bit small here and there, especially on the rev counter.

Fear no road!

We keep plowing. On a short stretch of the motorway, the Multi runs fast, faster than the Italian authorities would tolerate if they found out about it. But it doesn’t and the artistically painted facade of the Ducati plant in Borgo Panigale comes into view. Claudio takes the last two roundabouts in full incline, just his home advantage. And grins, because once again I can’t see how one moves with impunity in a six-lane roundabout full of crazy Italian sports drivers. “Fear no road!” Is his motto for the Ducati Multistrada 950. I noticed.

Interview with Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali


Ducati

Claudio Domenicali: "Our customers want to be surprised"

Claudio Domenicali. In an interview with MOTORRAD, the Ducati CEO explains Ducati’s model strategy, the positioning of the new Ducati Multistrada 950 in the international market and the new technical possibilities in the development of motorcycles.

MOTORCYCLE: Ducati presented six new motorcycles in Milan. From the new basic Monster to the ultra-expensive Superleggera with carbon chassis. Why is Ducati doing this?

Claudio Domenicali: Well, if you sit there and wonder what makes Ducati so special in the motorcycle world, what is special about this brand, it is our strong motivation. This irrepressible motivation lets us do things that surprise. Technical solutions that are believed never to be achieved. We want to inspire our fans with it. With solutions that only we can deliver. The first load-bearing carbon frame in series production is the best example of this.

MOTORCYCLE: Ducati brings more new models at once than almost never before. What has changed, there are new possibilities in construction for example?

Claudio Domenicali: Today we can simulate much, much more on the computer. If you need a complicated strength calculation today, it can be done in no time. Ten years ago, a mainframe would spend a week calculating a complicated model. Today we need ten minutes, maybe a quarter of an hour. That makes us much faster and safer. Still, we do a lot of indoor and outdoor testing. In the end, they are irreplaceable. Our test drivers have the last word. For example, with the carbon frame of the Superleggera, which weighs only 2.6 kilograms. Our drivers felt more comfortable with a less rigid construction.

MOTORCYCLE: With the Ducati Multistrada 950 we see many parts that are the same as the 1200s. Where does the big price difference of almost 4,000 euros come from?

Claudio Domenicali: The big difference comes from the engine. This is significantly less complex than the 1200 with the variable valve control DVD. And of course, the two-sided swing arm, which is better for off-road use, is cheaper to manufacture than a single-sided swing arm. So we come up with a large price difference that we are happy to pass on to the customers.

MOTORCYCLE: The medium travel enduro class is now very popular. There’s a lot of competition from the Honda Africa Twin to the Triumph Tiger 800. Ducati is even opening a whole new class with the Supersport 950. A Diavel with the 950 engine would also be conceivable for Ducati?

Claudio Domenicali: This small motor is very suitable as a platform. We can use our motors anywhere anyway because they are the same size and have the same mounting points. But a small Diavel is currently not in the production schedule.

MOTORCYCLE: How well do you expect the Supersport to sell? Is it a machine for Europe or for the global motorcycle market?

Claudio Domenicali: We need the Supersport that we think will sell well. It will be crucial that we get potential customers on the motorcycle. Because it drives wonderfully. We will see. We are not so set in production, we can react very quickly. If it sells well, we will produce more. And hopefully that will be the case.

MOTORCYCLE: Let’s talk about Euro 4 and Euro 5. For the large two-cylinder it will certainly be more and more difficult to adhere to the limits. What does Ducati expect there?

Claudio Domenicali: Euro 4 has been reached, our machines can do it. The next Euro 5 level has not yet been finalized. In terms of emissions, yes, but not in terms of noise emissions. What can happen? Larger exhaust systems could be needed, which would make the motorcycles less emotional. But there is no regulation without a technical solution.

MOTORCYCLE: Rumors say Ducati is working on an all-new V4 motorcycle. Is that correct?

Claudio Domenicali: The official answer to this is that we don’t comment on rumors.

Development of the Ducati Multistrada 950

The name Ducati stands for breathtaking high-tech bullets, for Italian passion, for extraordinary design. But recently the developers from Bologna have been relying on a little common sense with their motorcycles. Federico Valentini says it with a serious look: "It should be the first time that we have been guided by rationality during development." You almost feel sorry for the Italian developers, who this time obviously had to curb their passion. Immediately afterwards the product manager of the new Ducati Multistrada 950 grins mischievously: “At least in part. Sporty genes and an emotional approach go without saying for us. "

The bosses’ requirement of the new mid-range all-rounder: Build something less extreme than usual – in terms of performance, price and especially electronics, where in Bologna there is a tendency to always implant everything that is available. “But there are a lot of motorcyclists who don’t want that,” ponders Valentini. “You just have to look at the bestsellers.” This primarily refers to Honda’s Africa Twin, in whose territory the new Ducati is supposed to be poaching; like them, the Ducati Multistrada 950 is essentially limited to ABS and traction control. But the Ducati men can’t get out of their skin completely, which is why they have given her four riding modes.

Motor comes from the Hypermotard

The engine was also chosen rationally. The variable valve control DVT, which the large Multistradas bring with them, was dispensed with for reasons of cost. The water-cooled V2 of the Ducati Multistrada 950 comes from the Hypermotard, has 937 cm3 and was tuned more gently. It remains at 113 hp, but compression (12.6) and maximum torque (96.2 Nm) are slightly lower. Engine man Andrea Cucculelli explains why: “An all-rounder is not about maximum performance, but more about uniform torque at low speeds.” This is important both in city traffic and on alpine passes, both target areas of the small multi, and precisely that was taught to the engine. "But that doesn’t mean that it can’t really tear if you let it," adds Cucculelli – there must be a bit of "emotion".

There are only a few optical differences to the 1200; Vehicle developer Davide Previtara crossed their different versions. So come from the basic model the 20-liter tank and the front, from the mighty Enduro, among other things, the two-arm swing arm, the exhaust and the wheel sizes with 19-inch front. This has the advantage that the enduro spoked wheels fit on the small multi and it can be turned into an off-road racer if desired. The motorcycle was not particularly light, but at 227 kilos it is five kilos under the Africa Twin. Although they had to take a more rational approach to development, the makers of the Ducati Multistrada 950 obviously had fun doing it. They did not bring Ducati a sensational novelty – instead a “sensible” motorcycle that is definitely good for quantities. ebr

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