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Friday, April 19, 2019

Love Has A New Name - Ducati MultiStrada 950 Ride Review

Love has different meaning for each one of us. For some, it might be the sheer passion that they have for their partners, for others, it might be something different entirely. For me though, love takes a totally different shape.

The love for motorcycles is what makes me feel alive! It has been this way for a better part of my life now and I am NOT complaining. You see, motorcycles make you feel totally different to what you'd otherwise feel, say, in a car or travelling by any other means of transport. Now, don't get me wrong - taking any means of transport has its fair share of fun, but if you have never travelled long-distance on a motorcyle, do it once and you'd realize what you've been missing all these years!

I was itching to ride, and ride long. After a couple of phone-calls and quick email exchanges, things were sorted. I would be taking the big red beast out for a few days, and what better place to ride her to than to the Himalayas! Also, the fact that Holi was coming up, it was all the more a reason to ride, get some photographs done and have a lot of fun while I was at it. The motorcycle of choice here was the Ducati Multistrada 950. Why the Multi you might ask when there are other 'faster' and more sleek looking motorcycles?

I wondered the same as I picked up the motorcycle from Ducati India's office. You see, quite frankly, I was never a fan of the adventure motorcycle genre. I've always felt a tad uncomfortable just looking at these big, bulky machines let along ride them. So, yes, I was a tad skeptical while I stared at the Multi and she looked back at me almost inviting to ride her. But once I set her on motion, I almost instantly realized what an amazing machine it was and what a beautiful ride it was going to be.

That comfortable, or rather super comfortable seats is where the real fun is. Boy, is the seat comfortable or what! This thing can even beat a sofa in comparion, it was so comfortable. Neither too soft nor too tough, it was just perfect for a long haul. I was so comfortable just sitting on top of it that I didn't even want to stop to get down or take a break! Coupled with the fact that the long travel suspensions work brilliantly soaking in any undulation of the tarmac, meant I just kept ridng non-stop.

If my memory serves me right, I must have taken one single break in the entire journey of about 370kms, and that too for nature's call. Else, all I could see ahead of me were empty stretch of tarmac and me on the lovely Multistrada 950. While I am at it, let me talk a little about the engine itself. You see, this same 950cc motor is being shared by the Supersport S as well, albeit at a slightly different tune, but this engine is a gem! Developing over 110PS of peak power and almosst 100NM of torque, there is no dearth of power. It doesn't matter what cog you are at, all you need to do is just twist the throttle gently and the machine just pulls effortlessly, inspite of it being a tad too heavy at 245kilos odd, which, going by today's standards, is a lot! But, then again, all that weight just vanishes while you're on the move. Yes, while standing still or at parking speeds, that weight becomes a little bit of an issue, especially for a short rider like me (I am 5 feet 7 inches height, just for reference), but overall, I think it is an extremely comfortable and easy to use motorcycle.

Now, since I was taking her to the Himalayas for the first time, I wasn't sure how she'd handle given the fact that adventure touring motorcycles have long wheelbase and long suspension travel. But, the Multistrada 950 did surprise me. BIG TIME! The way she leaned over in the corners was surprising for me, to put it mildly. I definitely did not expect that! Ofcourse, you cannot expect Superbike level handling from a machine which isn't primarily designed for corner-carving, but what it delivers in spades is confidence. I faced zero issues leaning it onto corners. Yes, you do need a certain level of experience before you can just get onto one of these and ride away to glory, but if you're an experienced rider and know your motorcycles well, this will definitely bring a huge smile on that face of yours!

Now, the Mulstistrada 950 has 4 riding modes, namely; Sport, Touring, Urban & Enduro. I was mostly on either the Sport mode or the Touring mode, both of which provide full power but that power is put down on the tarmac in different ways. In the Touring mode, power is available but the motorcycle is not as 'violent' as in the Sport mode. In the Sport mode though, the Multi 950 is a mad machine! Ofcourse, you've got your ABS to help you out in any bad situation that you might get yourself into and it works beautifully well; you don't even realize it's working until an emergency braking situation comes in from nowhere, but the riding modes does help a lot when it comes to different riding situations. In the Urban mode though, the power is cut down to about 75PS just to maintain some sense of balance in life!

Another important aspect of an adventure tourer has to be the fuel capacity and how much fuel efficiency can it provide you with on the long run. Well, in that respect, the Ducati Multistrada comes out on top! It has a massive 20-litre fuel tank, and it provided me almost 20km/ litre which meant I had only to refill every 350-400kms. which is absolutely stunning!

After riding the Multistrada for over 1000kms in a span of 4 days or so, I am a changed man. I was never sure about adventure tourers and always looked at them as bulky machines that would be impossible to ride. But, the Multistrada 950 changed me completely. It not only made me feel comfortable and very confident, but now I have a new grown respect for this genre overall, and every time I see on the streets, I cannot help but smile and bow down in respect. These machines are absolutely incredible indeed!

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Item Reviewed: Love Has A New Name - Ducati MultiStrada 950 Ride Review Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Bobby Roy
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