Pirelli SA Bike of the Year 2017 bike by bike:
Finalist – Ducati Multistrada 950
There were 15 finalists in the 2017 SA Pirelli Bike of the Year and only one winner. You might agree with the judges and you might not, so The Bike Show decided to take a look at each one and see why what was where. Click Next or Previous on the icons at the bottom of the page to see more, or click here to go to the beginning. In didn’t make the top six, but it made the finals – the Ducati Multistrada 950:
Story: Harry Fisher
Since when has a 937cc-engined bike been a ‘baby’ model? In the case of the 950 Multistrada, its engine is bigger than the fabled 916 of 1994 and that was seen as a full-on superbike back then. So when did things get so big?
The 950 may lose 47bhp and a few of the more fancy electronics from the Multistrada 1200 but it’s actually none the worse for it; if anything, it might be even better. Are we getting bamboozled into thinking that a motorcycle cannot be any good unless it is laden with every conceivable electronic gizmo whereas, in fact, sometimes the opposite can be true?
Forget the fact that it is styled like an adventure bike; the Multi 950 falls into the category of sports adventure bikes, of which there are many on the market and for a very good reason; adventure bike styling is the hot ticket at the moment but not everyone wants off-road ability to go with the looks.
It looks tall but the seat height is actually quite low; you sit very much ‘in’ the bike and the tall front end gives great protection from the elements. The engine is smooth and, with 113bhp and 96Nm, gives punchy, usable performance without ever getting too hairy.
It looks good and has that air of exotic luxury that comes with all Ducatis. In short, could this be the best Multistrada Ducati make.
Ducati Multistrada 950 – for & against:
For: looks, handling, engine
Against: Not very much really but, if we have to be obvious, then it’s not a 1200 Multi.