Ducati Multistrada 950S reviews

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by WagonWillie, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    I've been seriously considering buying a 950S, but can't find any actual owner's reviews. Yeah, I've read the pro journo reviews that came out at the launch in Spain, and watched the videos, but those are almost always rosy glowing reports regardless of the actual machine. What else are they going to say after the factory flies you to Europe, puts you up in a nice hotel, wines and dines you and then turns you loose on their latest and greatest? "Oh, it's really a terrible machine."? Nope, you'll never get invited to another launch of anything ever again. Of course you're gonna say wonderful things in dulcet tones.

    Anybody out there with actual real world experience with the 950S? I'm not too interested in the non-S model; I want the gizmos that come on the S. What's the bike like to live with on a daily basis? Any quirks or odd things that crop up that you didn't notice at first? What would you change? What mods have you made and why? Does the bike seem cumbersome at low speeds or being pushed around the garage? Any long distance touring? Anybody buy the Touring Package and if so is it worth the money?

    Thanks: enquiring minds want to know.
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  2. MCGMB

    MCGMB Been here awhile

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  3. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Thanks; I'll give that a try. Thanks for the link.
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  4. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    MCGMB, I signed up at the forum you suggested a couple of days ago. They still won't let me post...
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  5. MCGMB

    MCGMB Been here awhile

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    That's weird. I don't know what the initial posting requirements are for new members. Might have to do an introductory post in a particular section first.

    Or email an admin to find out for sure.
    #5
  6. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Thanks. It took a week or so but they finally let me start to post. I have not received any replies.
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  7. mcinlb

    mcinlb Adventurer

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    I traded my R1200GS in for a 950S, wanted something lighter, not much less power and I still like big twins.
    So, first thing was the seat, reasonable shape (compared to the Sargent on my GS) but too high for me, the lower version has sorted that to an acceptable degree.
    Screen is too narrow and hence a lot of body turbulence, tried stand off spacers ot lift the screen and create some linear flow under the screen. Jury's still out on that. Next step is an MRA screen with an adjustable blade at the top...
    Fitted some engine crash bars, precautionary, and a rad guard. Turned the bars up, seemed to be too low as standard, perfect now without any riser, turned the mirrors back to suit. Engine likes revs even though it's a large twin , not too happy any lower than 3k revs.. Don't like the quick shifter, never have, even on the GS, but maybe that's just me.
    Real street presence, great LED lights, and pretty intuative dash with easy to operate LHS control , also cruise control now also better and easy to operate(than on previous models).
    Handles great. brakes well and powerfully when needed, standard tyres are good, grip well in the wet(Scotland :D:D)
    Quality feel all round, and a rear hugger thing as standard which actually works. Front mudguard needed extending, throwing dirt straight onto the engine / cylinderhead.
    Got the touring model, with centre stand, heated grips and panniers. Panniers very well made and fit close to the body, easier to get on the centre stand than my Tiger 800, really required for a chain drive bike.
    Just need to get some real miles on it now to adjust from the GS, glad I bought it , YES , but which buyer would say different :-):-)
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  8. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Thank you so much! That's exactly the kind of input I was looking for.

    I've been wondering about the seat; I'm 180 cm, but my legs are only 73 to 74 cm, so they don't seem to make bikes for my stubby legs anymore. I figured I'd to either get the low seat or carve on the foam of the stock seat. How tall are you and what's your inseam?

    I've read quite a few comments on the Ducati forum about the turbulence on the 1200/1260 MTS so I figured the 950S would be the same, unfortunately, but then I almost away have to muck with the windscreen on most every bike to a greater or lesser degree.

    How is the bike to maneuver about in the shed or very low riding speeds. I'm 71 and don't have the strength I once had so I too want a lighter bike, but still would like to have the power that the 950S has.

    I'm a bit surprised to hear that it doesn't like the lowest RPM range, but then I'm coming from America where the big V twins have lots of low end grunt. Not a problem; just not something I gave much thought to, obviously.

    Does yours have the spoked wheels? Just curious as they are the only wheels offered over here.
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  9. mcinlb

    mcinlb Adventurer

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    WagonWillie, inseam about 76cm, with low seat I get right foot flat and on the ball of my left foot ....

    Bike is still no lightweight and is still an effort to manoeuvre in the garage, but you can ride it to a stop very easily feet up..

    Wheels are cast, I don't like spokes, especially if they are not laced to the edge(tubeless)..
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  10. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Thanks. Yep, about like I thought, so no surprises there.

    The spoked wheels are tubeless on this model, but I would still prefer the cast, which is unobtainium over here for unknown reasons.
    #10
  11. Mika.ha

    Mika.ha Adventurer

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    Hi, I tested the 950s this saturday and wrote about it in the bmw f850gs section. (topic: BMW F850gsa wordt the money)
    I'm looking for a mid-size adventure bike myself and tested the F850gsa prior to the ducati.
    I can say that the ducati impressed me. You get a real quality feel with this bike.
    The S model also has all the bells and whistles like his big brother the 1260, for a price tag that is actually not that bad compared to BMW.
    It is a bike with a sporty soul and you can feel it from the moment you open the throttle, that thing just flies away like a plane with an amazing sound.
    It turns so sharp giving you the impression that you are riding a sport bike!
    I loved the skyhook suspension that can be modified on the fly, giving you all the comfort or sportiness you need in just a few pushes on the buttons.
    The F850gsa also has the electronic suspension (ESA), but it only modifies the rear suspension, leaving the front end too soft.

    In my opinion this bike is made to be ridden fast. The 950s is all about emotions! You feel special on it.
    And I find it the best looking adventure bike on the market today.

    Unfortunately for me it has some donwsides:

    - As mcinlb wrote, the windprotection is not that good (I'm 1m79), you get a lot of turbulence.
    - I could feel vibrations in the seat and foot peggs at certain RPM (takes away the quality feel)
    - The bike doesn't like to be ridden below 3000rpm and get's jerky if you do so. For some speed (50km/h city speed limit in Belgium) 3rd gear is too high (rpm too low) and 2nd gear too low (rpm too high).
    - Foot peggs are a bit higher, more sporty position. Felt comfortable on it but could be an issue on longer trips I think.
    - Felt a bit heavy compared to the BMW F850gsa, though the Ducati is lighter.

    For me the bike is a bike with a sporty character and is not made to be ridden lazy. You need to keep the rev's a bit higher and this is something that will bother me during commuting. Beside this, this bike is a dream to look at and to ride with. Ducati really did a good job with this update.
    Even though the bike is not perfect I can not get it out of my mind :-)

    Good luck with your choice!
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  12. mcinlb

    mcinlb Adventurer

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    Re thoughts on the 950S,
    I have since put on an MRA screen with adjustable blade , an improvement but not as good as my Tiger Madstad unit. - https://www.bikehps.com/acatalog/in...ards_MRA_Vario_Touring_Screen_Windshield.html

    The footpeg rubbers can be exchanged for the passenger peg rubbers, takes about 20mm of the height..

    I, too, found that it likes revs and doesn't like sub 3k rpm, I'll get used to that, coming off a GS.
    And, yes it can be a bit vibby and I have a "spare" standard seat that I was thinking of reshaping and adding a gel base to see if I could improve on that.
    Still love the bike , found that it likes "Sport" better and ebgine seems smoother, don't know yet how that will effect fuel consumption..
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  13. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Thanks Mika.ha and mcinlb! I didn't hear about the low rpm problem before, so that's very useful information. I talked to my buddy this morning who used to ride a Monster (it got burned up in the Camp Fire) and he mentioned that it had the same engine character, but he didn't find it to be much of a problem. Then again I don't think he ever rode the bike in a lazy manner.

    It's a bit disappointing that Ducati didn't design better wind protection, but I've had to modify most bike screens one way or the other anyway. My Wee Strom was pretty terrible stock and is now merely acceptable after wider mirrors, a Givi Airflow, and winglets.

    Good tip on the foot peg inserts; thanks.

    The major drawback for me regarding the Ducati is that the closest dealer is 100 miles away and I don't know anything about them while there is an excellent BMW dealer 15 miles away. I do most of my own wrenching, but now with all the electronics I think I see more dealer visits in my future than in days of old.

    I'm in a bit of a holding pattern; BMW is showing a concept F850GT that looks very promising and Ducati has a MTS test mule that's a V4. That bike is probably meant to replace the 1260, so I doubt it will have much of an impact on the pricing of used MTS 950S unless they make a smaller displacement version, which I doubt. I'm hoping that there will be end of the year deals this winter when dealers are running a bit lean. Demo bikes should also become readily available. In the meantime I'm doing my research and enjoying my current stable of bikes.
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  14. Mika.ha

    Mika.ha Adventurer

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    Well, in the end I think you get used to the higher rpm character of the bike.
    Most mid size bike with twin cylinders are not smooth at low rpm as far as I know. (The f850gsa also suffers when driving low speeds 15km/h in first gear, without using the clutch)
    I reported this to the Ducati dealer, he responded that I needed to put the bike in Urban mode when driving in the city at low speeds.
    This would make the bike easier at low rpm. He even stated that in urban mode, the bike is assisting you by automatically pulling the clutch when the bike would have the intention to stall. (slipper clutch action, don't know if I'm clear here??)
    The V4 multistrada will for sure have a different character!

    Regarding the wind protection, several topics can be found about how to improve windprotection on the multistrada 1200/1260.
    Most of the time, spacers are used and an extra lip on top of the existing windscreen. A taller windscreen is not always better unfortunately.

    I'm also stuck in between the BMW F850gsa and the ducati multistrada 950s! Problem is I don't want to wait any longer on new coming models.
    The Ducati feels more special in so many ways: the looks, the motor character, the electronics, the riding position.
    At the other hand the BMW feels more like a do it all motorcycle and is in my opinion more relaxed to drive with.
    It doesn't get any easier, does it ?? Good luck with your choice!
    #14
  15. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Thanks for taking the time to follow up on this Mika.ha!

    When you look at the Ducati site their published chart of the torque curve doesn't even start until 3,000 rpm! After that it's nice and flat and shows that the bike will be easy to ride once over that 3,000 rpm mark. OK, I can live with that. My V-Strom is pretty much the same way; it's happiest between about 4,000 and 6,500 rpm and while it's fine in other rpm ranges it's smoothest in that range. I think that I get how a slipper clutch works, although I've never ridden a bike with one.

    I don't mind playing with the aero; it's pretty cheap to do so and it keeps me entertained somewhat. I'm actually fine riding a naked bike like my Zero, but not for 1,000 km at a time.

    While I haven't had a chance to ride the F850GSA I did sit on one at the dealer. It didn't really fit me; I was leaned forward a bit, the seat was too tall (pretty easily fixed as I understand it, altho not as low as the low Ducati seat), but the leg position was more open and comfortable. It's a bit cheaper than the 950S, but not enough so to sway my decision. The BMW does seem to be a slightly more versatile bike, but I'm more focused on the tarmac, so the Ducati has a bit of an edge there for me. I'll have to ride both before writing the check.
    #15
  16. Southtrails19

    Southtrails19 Adventurer

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    Love this thread, I am trying to decide between getting a 19 F850GSA and the 19 MTS 950S. The electronic options, safety, suspension are my main reason for picking the Ducati but I have yet to ride it, The F850GSA was a surprising test ride with the more peppier engine over the 750. Thanks for the info on things to pay attention to when I test the MTS.
    #16
  17. Mika.ha

    Mika.ha Adventurer

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    I'm in the same boat as you, testdrove both of them now, but still cannot decide!
    What do you think of the F850gsa after riding it ?
    #17
  18. jimmy2020

    jimmy2020 limpiador de ventanas

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    I've been riding my 2007 BMW GSA for the past 12 years and looking for a change. The MTS 950 has always caught my eye with 19 inch front wheel. I know there was a big upgrade on the MTS 950 in 2019, but there is a left over new 2018 MTS 950 at the local deadlership for $10.5. Seems like a really good price and I will test ride tomorrow.
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  19. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

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    Jim,

    Let us know what you thought of the '18 MTS 950. I looked at 'em but decided the tech is worth the extra dough in my book.... at least I hope so because it's still top of the wish list for me.
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  20. Southtrails19

    Southtrails19 Adventurer

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    I thought the 850 was very nimble flicking back and forth, the fuel tank was almost empty when I rode it but I like the capacity it has over the 950s. The bike was smooth, accelerated when you needed it however, I don't like the lack of front suspension adjustment whereas the on the fly the multi can change for a pillion and luggage easily.
    #20