Ducati Multistrada 950 Problems: 7 Known Issues (Explained)

Ducati Multistrada 950 is a great choice bike for adventurers. Its sleek and rugged design is a testament to why adventure bikers find it so appealing.

Despite this, Multistrada 950 bikes have a few problems that seem to be peculiar to them.

We have researched the Ducati Multistrada 950 and come up with some problems you are likely to face while using this bike model.

1) Gearbox Downshift Problem

When going long distances from about 155 miles (250 km) and above, there seems to be poor shifting from gear 6 to gear 5.

This complaint is common with riders taking their Multistrada 950 bike for the first 155 miles (250 km) and above cruise. There have also been similar complaints of hitting false neutral going from 3rd to 4th or 5th to 4th gear.

This happens when riding on 6th gear and you attempt to downshift to 5th gear. The gear goes to neutral immediately.

For new users, this could be quite risky, especially when approaching a curve. Once the gear goes neutral, you may not have the speed to come out of the curve safely.

That being said, experienced Multistrada 950 riders get past this problem by raising the shift lever higher when attempting to switch up the gearbox.

Making gear changes earlier (before approaching a curve) has also helped take care of downshifting neutral issues between 6 to 5 gear.

Another trick is not to change the gear if you find that you are too close to the curve.

2) Seating Problem

Multistrada 950 comes with one of three common seat types: Low seat, Standard seat, and Comfort seat.

If your Multistrada 950 comes with either the Low or Standard seat, there is a high chance that you’ll complain of numb butt after doing an approximately one and half hour drive.

Because there is less foam in Multistrada 950 standard seat, one may not be able to go two hours single stretch journey on the bike without stopping over.

Some drivers upgrade their seats to the Comfort Seat, which is quite pricey. For riders who do not wish to upgrade their seats, standing for a while during the journey may help.

Also, parking the bike after every one and half hour journey and taking a walk around can help reduce discomfort from numb butt and pressure on the coccyx.

3) Fuel Gauge Problem

There have also been various complaints on how quickly the fuel gauge on Multistrada 950 becomes faulty.

In some cases, the fuel gauge will read “full” when you fill the bike to the capacity. However, after going about 80 miles, the gauge may suddenly indicate empty.

At other times the gauge may take an accurate measure of fuel in the tank until the “half” mark, after which it stops without taking lower readings.

Some users claim to have the fuel gauge rectified by returning the bike to the dealer as it is also covered in the warranty.

4) Uncertain Fuel Consumption

According to spec sheets, the tank capacity for MTS 950 is 5.3 gallons (20 liters). On a full tank, the fuel meter may indicate a range of 320 miles.

A review from users’ experience revealed that when driving at 80-100 km/h, you may likely get 180 miles with a full tank. However, the range quickly drops if you go on about 74.6 – 80.8 mph (120-130 km/h).

One can expect about 47 mpg (19.9 km/l) urban commute and around 60 mpg (25.5 km/l) on tour mode. This means in any case, the best you can get is slightly above half the range indicated by your fuel meter at full tank.

Going 230 miles with a full tank MTS 950 is the best we have heard so far.

5) Side Stand Issues

Side stands on bikes are supposed to be strong yet easy to use.

Though MTS 950 side stand is strong, many users complain about the sheer amount of effort required to get the side stand in a position to prop the bike.

When the stand is pulled in, rather than stay put at once, the side stand may seem shaky for a while (waiting for the center stand to calm it). There are chances that the spring on the side stands is too stiff.

6) Faulty Clutch System

The motorcycle clutch is an important component of the bike that enables the engine to be isolated from the other parts responsible for driving it.

It transfers power from the engine to the transmission. When your motorcycle has a faulty clutch, numerous problems can occur, such as becoming difficult to start at a standstill position.

Gear changes can also become difficult; hence, it becomes a risk to ride your bike in this condition.

As with some other Ducati models, the MTS 950 clutch system can oftentimes go numb. Some users have also experienced terrible shaking of the bike when setting off the clutch.

Another problem you may experience is a late clutch engagement that ends with an abrupt takeoff. This can cause the bike to lurch forward abruptly. For a new or inexperienced rider, this can be shocking and leave the rider in awe.

Inexperienced bike riders need to be extra careful when this occurs, especially in heavy traffic.

One way users get over the Ducati clutch issue is to let the bike warm up to 113 – 122 degrees Fahrenheit before attempting to zoom off.

After this, users may experience 15 minutes of occasional lurches. About 15 minutes of rough operation may follow, and everything returns to normal.

On cold days, issues with the clutch system are more worrisome.

Another effective solution to the clutch issue is to switch to from “Touring” mode “Urban” mode. The urban mode is less sensitive to throttle movement and gives finer control.

7) Engine Overheating

As with many other Ducati motorcycles, the engine produces a lot of heat. On very sunny or hot days, drivers may not feel comfortable riding long distances on a single stretch.

Apart from general discomfort, riders also risk scalding from the hot engine. Many users tend to park their bikes and allow the engine to cool before furthering their journey.

To minimize overheating in engines, users can take the following precautions:

  • Use specified fuel grade: Manufacturers do specify the fuel grade required to make vehicle engines perform optimally. When users use different fuel grade other than the one specified, the engine may start having overheating issues.
  • Use recommended coolant: As coolant levels diminish, you must top up your coolant according to specification. Ensure that you do so through reputable mechanics.
  • Beware of upgrades: Various upgrade options available to motorbikes can be quite appealing, but some do take their toll on the engine. When upgrades go bad, overheating can be one of the very first symptoms.
  • Bike repair: DIY fans tend to probe into quite unfamiliar territories. When you notice engine problems, rather than resort to self-help, it is better to take your bike to the dealer or authorized auto repair shop. Tampering with bike engines indiscriminately can also rob users of warranty benefits.

General Pros and Con for the Ducati Multistrada 950

Typically, most motorcycles have their positive sides and their negatives, and the Ducati MTS 950 is not an exception.

We have, therefore, made a summary of its pros and cons:


Ducati MTS 950 comes in colorful designs, strong and rugged enough to live up to its “multi-road” capacities.

It performs excellently on tiny country lanes and navigates city traffic with ease. Riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, and Enduro) are easy to select and customize.

For new users, the bike manual is excellent and comprehensive. Also, in terms of price, Ducati motorcycles have a reputation for being pricey.

MTS 950 compares favorably in terms of price and performance when compared with other Ducati models.


  • As with quite a several other Ducati models, the hot engine is a major issue.
  • Although the bike screen is easy to read, on sunny days, the screen might reflect light onto the driver’s face and interfere with vision.
  • The placing of indicators on the handguards makes them susceptible to damage.
  • Users may find it difficult to mount mirrors.

What Do The Reviews Say?

Talking of the MTS 950 2019, TJ Hinton of topspeed.com comments on its design.

“As with everything else Ducati builds, the Multi-street 950 has a certain je ne sais quoi (translation: appealing quality) about it”

This bike has a feminine quality that is common to boats, as well as a seamless flow that is lacking in most adventure bikes.

The Multistrada owes its angry bird look to the front fairing that protrudes forward. Additionally, the squinted headlight frame has a hand in its look.

[Source: www.topspeed.com]

Davecon of Adventurebikeriders shares his experience with MTS 950.

You should also be reading our article which talks about 6 Typical Problems With Ducati Multistrada (1200 & 1260)

“The dashboard of the MTS 950 is easy to read and use, but if the sun hits it, the reflection can be blinding. It’s also easy to select and customize the riding modes as the bike comes with a very good and comprehensive manual.”

The mirrors are a bit difficult to set up, hence requiring help from a Ducati mechanic.

Adventurebikeriders says that Underseat storage exists! The storage is not necessarily large, but a little space also goes a long way.

The screen on this bike is adjustable and works better than it looks. Also, the MRA aero screen is an excellent add on especially for average height riders.

[Source: https://www.adventurebikerider.com/]

Chris Cope on Rideapart had this to say on certain improvements riders would like to see on MTS 950.

“Particularly, aggressive riders will probably long for a firmer suspension. Rear preload is easily adjustable, but the front remains a little dirt-bike for a motorcycle that is almost certainly going to be kept on the road despite its appearance and sharing DNA with the 1200 Enduro”.

You might need to adopt a RoSPA riding style in a bid to manage the front dives that occur when you brake aggressively.

The RoSPA style requires you to ride to corners while maintaining the same speed and avoiding the brakes.

[Source: https://www.rideapart.com/]

What is the Resale Value on The Ducati Multistrada 950?

The Ducati Multistrada is one of the reliable models available in the Ducati line of products. Hence, reselling it would not pose much of an issue.

So we have lined up an estimated resale value list for the Ducati Scrambler:

Year Mileage mph (km/h) Price ($)
2019 145 (233 km/h) 14, 395
2017 140 (225 km/h) 13,995

Ducati Multistrada 950 2017 can also come with a Low Retail Price of $7,815 and an Average Retail Price of $10,280:

  • Low Retail Value: For a low retail bike, there may be extensive wear and tear on the bike body. The body parts may also have dents and blemishes.

So, buyers are likely going to invest in the body and other mechanical parts of the bike. However, the bike should be in safe conditions enough to run on roads.

  • Note: Finding low retail bikes in dealer lots may be impossible or a bit challenging.
  • Average Retail Value: An average retail bike is expected to be clean and without any obvious defects. All cables, rubbers, and other functional parts are expected to be in good working condition. Also, bike mileage is expected to be within or slightly higher than the average range. Finally, the bike should pass any emission inspection.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Ducati Multistrada 950 is a competent long-distance bike that has stood the test of time.

It is rugged enough to be loaded up for long trips. This is because tank range, engine capacity, and drive modes all work out favorably to ensure you get to your destination with few issues.

It’s a worrisome clutch system when commuting is a major drawback. However, for Adventure Bikers, this may not be a significant challenge. Also, its price tag could be intimidating when compared with similar bikes from different brands.

We advise users to ensure that only trusted dealers and repairers should be consulted when having motorcycle issues.

Also, ensure you read and understand your warranty conditions so you can take advantage of them should the need arise.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.