Ducati usually saves it’s big new-model surprises for the EICMA show in Milan, and this year is no exception. Among the slew of new designs (which include new Monsters, Scramblers and a limited-edition 1299 Superleggera) there is a middleweight version of its flagship Multistrada adventure-tourer – the all-new Multistrada 950.
The Multistrada 950 shares a version of the 937cc Testastretta 11° Twin that first debuted on the Hypermotard 939 models and was showcased most recently on the 2017 SuperSport, which Ducati revealed during last month’s Intermot show. The 950’s L-Twin is a liquid-cooled, eight-valve design with a 94mm bore and 67.5 mm stroke. Like all Ducati engines, the Testastretta 11 incorporates Desmodromic valve actuation, with the 11 nomenclature indicating it’s 11 degrees of crank rotation during valve overlap. Ducati notes the Multistrada 950 sports new cylinder heads, with a redesigned oil circuit and secondary intake ducts on the covers. The 53mm throttle bodies and Ride-by-Wire system are also new, as are the engine control unit and Bosch electronic fuel injection system.
The 950 engine meets Euro 4 requirements, with all the requisite emissions controls, like the catalytic converter and two lambda probes, tucked away into the 2-1-2 exhaust system with single silencer. Thankfully, all the new regulations don’t snuff out the power claims, with Ducati touting 113 peak horsepower at 9000 rpm and maximum torque of 71 lb-ft of torque at 7750 rpm. All that power is transferred to the rear wheel via chain final drive and six-speed transmission. The 950’s cable-actuated clutch is a wet, oil-bathed design with slipper function.
The new Multi 950 chassis retains Ducati’s signature steel trellis frame, with a pair of lateral aluminum sub-frames incorporated for optimal torsional rigidity. Suspension duties are handled by an inverted KYB fork and Sachs shock. Both units offer three-way adjustment (compression, rebound and preload), with the shock preload adjusted via remote knob. The suspension components each provide a generous 6.7 inches of travel, with Ducati claiming 7.2 inches of ground clearance. The Multistrada 950 rolls on aluminum alloy wheels, with a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear shod in Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tires.
Braking components for the new Ducati are top-shelf Brembo designs, with dual 320mm discs up front pinched by radial-mount Brembo M4-32 four-piston calipers. Rear brakes are a 265mm disc with dual-piston floating Brembo caliper. The Multistrada 950 also incorporates standard ABS (another Euro 4 mandate), but the ABS is adjustable and can be deactivated by the rider.
The Multistrada 950’s ABS is one element, along with the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and adjustable Riding Modes, of an electronics suite which the Bologna marque dubs the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP). This sophisticated electronics package allows riders to select from four different Riding Modes – Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro – with correspondingly different power delivery and throttle response settings, as well as varying levels of ABS/DTC intervention. Sport uncorks the 950’s full 113 hp with a direct throttle input and minimal ABS, with Touring allowing the same peak 113 hp but with progressive throttle response and DTC/ABS set to maximize stability and minimize wheel lift. Urban mimics the Touring throttle and DTC/ABS settings, but also mutes power to 75 hp. Meanwhile, Enduro restricts power to 75 hp with DTC/ABS inputs lowered for off-road use and letting riders actively maneuver the rear by deactivating the rear-wheel lift prevention. Riders can further personalize their riding experience by customizing the DTC settings, ranging from 1 (minimal) to 8 (maximum), independent of Riding Mode.
The Ducati Multistrada 950 sports a 5.3-gallon (20-liter) fuel load, a respectable amount for a bike with touring aspirations. All told the Multistrada 950 claims a 500-pound curb weight, with a dry weight of 453.5 lbs – a 7.5-pound decrease from the Multistrada 1200. Styling looks very much like its bigger 1200 siblings, with a few notable exceptions, the most prominent being its less flashy double-sided aluminum swingarm.
The Multistrada 950 will be available in Star White Silk ($14,195) and classic Ducati Red ($13,995). Expect more details to come. Also expect this new Ducati middleweight to match up against popular and similarly-sized competitors, namely the BMW F800GS and Triumph Tiger 800.