As we wave goodbye to the Multistrada 1260 Enduro, a new kid arrives on the block in the form of a 950 S.
In the last issue of Adventure Bike Rider, we bade farewell to our Multistrada 1260 Enduro. Parting with that beautiful beast was like waving goodbye to a holiday romance, our fling with the bike was emotionally charged, exciting, and it was a great ride to boot. Multistradas are like that, and I think I even spotted James weeping over an old photo of it that he keeps in his wallet.
For a month or so, there was a Multistrada-shaped hole in our garage (poor us), but two days before we went to print with this issue I popped down to Ducati to pick up our long termer for 2020. Now, I usually subscribe to the bigger is better mantra. For the type of riding I enjoy most, and for the type of size I am (6’2 and 18 stone), I get a kick out of riding big, mean-looking bikes. Knowing that the 1260 of last year was being replaced with a 950 S, I was unsure whether I’d get on with it.
That being said, I cast my mind back to Julian’s (ABR bike tester) review of the smaller Multi and remembered that he was enamoured with the machine. He was impressed with its all-round performance and, in particular, its agility and flickability, which he remarked was ‘intoxicating’. With such strong praise, I was excited to throw my leg over and head off on my first ride.
Obviously, having only ridden the bike for a day, I can’t give any in-depth feedback on my experiences, but in that inaugural voyage, I noticed a few things. As I pulled away from ABR towers, it was pitch black. The headlights on the 950 S are simply incredible. They’re possibly the brightest, most effective I’ve ever used, and on main beam it’s like riding in daylight. The downside to this is that oncoming traffic often gets blinded by the light and they return the favour by putting their main beams on. I was dazzled on multiple occasions on my way home from work.
The other thing I noticed was just how right Julian was. The 950 is so agile, so nimble, and oh-so flickable. I had completely forgotten the fun that comes with smaller, lighter bikes, and the Multi offers it by the bucket load. The amount of power on offer is scary but carving around bends on a daily commute has never been so enjoyable.
I’m really looking forward to spending more time on the 950 S over the coming months and really getting to grips with what it has to offer. I’m also interested to see how it performs on a long-distance tour. For me, the 1260 Enduro was an excellent mile muncher with its 30-litre tank and La-Z-Boy-comfortable saddle. The 950 is smaller, a little more cramped, there’s more of a sporty seating position, and the tank is ‘only’ 20 litres in capacity. Will these make it a chore to tour on though? I doubt it, but I’m going to find out.
I fear a bike as good-looking as the Multistrada 950 S may attract the attention of would-be thieves which is why I’ll be installing a tracking device. This is where the Monimoto tracker comes in. It’s a small, waterproof, motorcycle tracker that you can fit yourself. Simply sync the tracker with your phone, hide it on your bike and it’s protected. As soon as the device’s paired key is out of range, the tracker is armed. Should the bike be moved, it will call you within a minute of that movement being detected, all the while tracking your motorcycle’s location and sending coordinates to the app on your phone.