‘Get­ting ready to get rough’

RE­PORT 1 1547 MILES Mul­tistrada 950 will soon be ready for any­thing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

Now if this bike hasn’t got the word ‘ver­sa­til­ity’ writ­ten all over it, I don’t know what does. Not only that, it looks fast when parked, its styling just eggs me on to get on it and go for a ride.

I rode its ugly older brother nearly 10 years ago – one of the early Mul­tistrada 1100s mod­els – and ab­so­lutely fell in love with the whole Mul­tistrada con­cept. I can’t get enough of the big wide bars, high-up rid­ing po­si­tion, its supreme com­fort and amaz­ing per­for­mance.

All this time later I am liv­ing the dream with the new Du­cati Mul­tistrada 950. Even though the en­gine size is down by 141cc it ac­tu­ally pro­duces 18 more horses than the 1100 and is only down by 4ftlb of torque.

They may both be com­pa­ra­ble on pa­per, but there is ab­so­lutely no re­sem­blance what­so­ever then it comes to the looks depart­ment. Du­cati drop the odd clanger in the styling depart­ment, but to be hon­est they are very few and far be­tween.

I have also had the plea­sure of rid­ing the Mutistrada 1200 En­duro dur­ing a trip to Italy where I took part in the Du­cati rider ex­pe­ri­ence En­duro (www. dre.du­cati.it/en­duro/en/). This was where I dis­cov­ered just how good th­ese bikes re­ally are and how com­pe­tent they are off-road.

With this knowl­edge, it’s spurred me on to kit the 950 Mul­tistrada out with some of the En­duro op­tional ex­tras avail­able from Du­cati. I have a pair of tube­less spoke rim wheels shod with a pair of Pirelli Scor­pion STR tyres ready to slot in (£1700 in to­tal), an en­gine cover plate and side tank pro­tec­tors in steel tub­ing in­cor­po­rat­ing a pair of ad­di­tional LED head­lamps.

The bike comes as stan­dard with four rid­ing modes, Sport, Tour­ing, Ur­ban and the key one for me is En­duro. This mode is very slow and torquey, de­liv­er­ing a max­i­mum of 75bhp, just the job for off road. Tour­ing is per­fect for tak­ing the other half out for a spin as the fly-by-wire throt­tle de­liv­ers the power in a much more pro­gres­sive man­ner, of­fer­ing up a smooth and com­fort­able ride. But my fa­vorite is sport mode – it re­ally brings the bike to life.

So far, I have only rid­den the bike on road as I am still get­ting some pro­tec­tion to­gether for the bike, (see sep­a­rate story). Once the bike is fully ar­mour-plated, I am look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a play-off road and see how the Pirelli Scor­pion STR tyres per­form when things get a lit­tle slippy.

I also plan to kit the Mul­tistrda up with some lug­gage and get away for the odd week­end. Then I will find out how it per­forms and how com­fort­able it is two-up with a bit of kit on board. So it looks like I will be in the garage a fair bit for now bolt­ing on the good­ies.

‘Once the bike is fully ar­mour­plated, I am look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a play off-road’

In Sport mode and look­ing for sweep­ers

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