that it outhandles everything around it and feels very easy to manage, in spite of being significantly heavier than both the Tiger and the Multi. The fact that you’re sitting closest to the ground and a slimmed out tank means, you can get both feet planted firmly on the ground, adding immensely to confidence levels. In fact, its very neutrality of behaviour may actually feel a little boring on road but take it off the tarmac and the bike comes alive. Electronic intervention, which is already at a minimum, can be switched off completely and that means you can have proper fun off-road. The only thing that’ll hold you back from doing absolutely extreme off-road stuff is that superb DCT, which won’t let you slip the clutch like you can on the other two to find traction on slippery surfaces, and the Dunlop dual purpose tyres that aren’t particularly good anywhere. For the rest of the stuff, it’ll light up your face like only a legend could.
So, the Honda is the best of the lot. But what of the other two? Like all Ducatis, this Bolognese piece of art too comes with the soul of a racer. So you get 111bhp and 96Nm from that liquid-cooled 937cc L-twin Testastretta engine channelled to the rear wheel via a 6-speed gearbox. Like in the larger Multistrada 1200 Enduro (which you’ll see in the pages to follow), there’s a mode that allows you to restrict peak output – to 74bhp in the case of this smaller Multi. The bike has a well sorted seat-handlebar-footpeg relation for relaxed riding, long travel suspension (unfortunately, there’s no Skyhook here), raked out front and 19-inch front wheel – both wheels being spoked. And given how the 950 borrows its geometry and cycle parts from the off-road biased 1200 Enduro, it should be a great trail bike. At least that’s the assumption. For the most part, it is a good bike but it’s that wonderful engine that stops it from being a great bike off-road for the power delivery is peaky. It’s all very sober for the first 3500 revs but from there all the way to 9500rpm, the motor goes mental. Exactly the opposite of what you want when traction is poor. Nonetheless, we still feel that for our Indian riding conditions this is the best Multi money can buy. Engine 800cc, in-line 3-cyl, liquid-cooled Transmission 6-speed Power 94bhp @ 9250rpm Torque 79Nm @ 7850rpm Weight 215kg
Price `14.37 lakh (ex-showroom)