800 XCA



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)

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