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Old 6th November 2017, 16:32   #1
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Default My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Prelude

It was the year 2015 , when out of blue I chatted up with a neighbor of mine in the elevator, and as the fate worked out I bought his 1.5 year Ninja 650.

First of all , a round of applause for the ever enthusiastic Team-bhp members , who put in their thoughts and views which made the decision of Ninja easier.

Ninja was my first big bike a superbike. It took me places which I had always put in my bucket list of visiting. It let me see speeds which should not be mentioned in this forum. But the best of all it introduced to some wonderful bikers and now good friends who were ready to ride at the drop of the hat.

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-img_20161017_201259.jpg

And so we rode. We went to MMRT track in Chennai , we went to Mahabaleshwar , We went to Rann of Kutch. The list is endless. I also put in a few essential accesories like a charger port , knuckle guards, HEL steel braided brake lines.

As they say , spending time with somebody brings out their best sides and shortcomings. So did it happen for me too. As I started gaining confidence in riding and doing longer rides I felt the ninja lacked in two aspects Power and Safety features. It is comfortable no doubt but at some point of time I felt the need to go faster. The biggest damper for me was Safety features. Since I was a newbie (which I still consider myself to be) when I bought the Ninja , I did not have things like ABS, Traction control higher in my list. But after putting some kilometers under my belt I felt things like ABS and riding modes do help a lot.The Bajaj-Kawasaki split put a lot of uncertainty in the situation. To add fire to the wounds Kawasaki launched the new Ninja with all the bells and whistles at the same price.

So after a brief stint of 2 years, with a very very heavy heart I let the Ninja go. And a search for its replacement began. I had a few things as a must-have in the bike.

1. Safety features (ABS, Traction control , riding modes would be a bonus)
2. Upright stance.
3. Decent service support (this was after the Bajaj-Kawasaki split up).
4. 100Bhp+.
5. Be as future proof as possible.
6. Budget 13L

There were basically 3 bikes which I had shortlisted.

1. Kawasaki Ninja 1000
2. Triumph Street Triple 2017
3. Ducati Multistrada 950.

So I landed up in Kawasaki showroom and asked

Me : I am looking for New Kawasaki Ninja 1000.
SA : How can I help you ?
Me : Do you have a test ride bike ?
SA : No sir.
Me : Do you have a display bike ?
SA : No Sir. But you can have a look at last year's N1000
Me : Ok can I have a test ride of that.
SA : No Sir. But there is a discount of 1lakh ruppes on it.
Me : No I am intrested in new N1000.
SA : We might get some bikes after September.
Me : Are you sure of this ?
SA : No Sir.

I did not speak one word after this conversation and was out of the door. You may be the latest and greatest bike in the world but please don't expect people to put in 1.2 million rupees without having seen and ridden the bike first.

Then in a few days it was Triumph Pune. The experience was much better. At least they have a display bike. I understand the bike is recently launched but you should have a test ride bike in a month from it's launch. But still from the look and feel and yes more importantly sound of it I loved the triple. It's ride posture was a compromise I had to make in my laundry list of essentials. But apart from that it ticked all the right boxes. I even put a deposit on it. I also was now surfing through the web for accessories like that Arrow. The wait period was about a month and the clock started ticking.

And then one day I got a call....

From Ducati Pune that they have a test ride vehicle for Multistrada 950. I ran to the Ducati showroom. There was a menacing looking bike with 19inch front wheel and a black&red body parked out in the parking lot. I completed the formalities of test ride. The SA accompanied me on a Scrambler. I thumbed the starter and the bike started of with that Desmo growl. The riding mode was set to "Urban" Power cut down to 75Bhp and the throttle response dialed down , perfect for a daily commute in traffic. Then we hit the a fairly open patch of the road. The riding mode now set to "Touring", power dialed up to 113Bhp. I opened the trottle and the torque was a maddening. The bike just sprinted forward. And before I could say Ducati Multistrada I was in triple digits. While coming back on the same open road the riding mode was set as "Sports", power 113Bhp but with a more responsive throttle. I was this close to peeing in my pants.

The bike wow-ed me . But . But . But over 16lakhs on-road , that's way way over my budget. But still hope takes man further away from safe shores to discover treasures.

With the little help from HDFC bank and bit of savings with me the loan was processed in couple of days. They had a bike ready with them. The date of delivary was now set to 24-August-2017 the second day of Ganpati festival.

The Delivary Day ...

23rd August night was spent waking up every 30 mins to look at the time and realizing it was still more time to go for 11am. My riding friends were going to be there with me for the delivary. So at 10.30am I was at the showroom in front of a veiled bike.The documentation work started and I signed to RTO forms. A small pooja was done and coconut broken and there was the PREDATOR in all its glory.

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-img_20170824_145045.jpg

And as the advertisment of Multistrada 950 says "My First My Last My Everything".

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-img_20170824_145036.jpg

About the bike

A few important specifications which I felt were instrumental in my decision.

- Power : 113Bhp @ 9000rpm
- Torque : 96Nm @ 7750rpm
- Gear box : 6 speed with self-servo and slipper clutch.
- KYB suspension in front and fully adjustable Sachs suspension on the rear.
- Pirelli Scorpion Trail-II tyre in 19inch front rim and 17-inch rear rims.
- Dual 320 mm , 4 piston Brembo in front and 265 mm 2 piston Brembo in rear.
- LCD instrumentation.
- Ride by Wire. This is managed by fully programmable 4 riding modes : Urban , Touring , Sport , Enduro.
- ABS is a Bosch unit with 3 level of control.
- DTC or Ducati Traction control has 8 levels of control which is combined with timing advance and throttle control in each mode.


This bike is based in Multistrada Enduro rather than Multistrada 1200 S so it shares a lot of traits with it. First of all it has a dual sided swingarm. It adds weight but offers definitely more stability when going through rough roads or broken patches. 19 inches wheel in front means it can take on a bit off-roading too.It misses out on few bells and whitsles from its elder siblings like colour-TFT instrumention, keyless start, Skyhook suspension and cornering ABS. But Ducati has made sure it does not skimp on the very essentials. In fact I like the fact it has lesser electronics so less things to worry about in a long ride.

But what Ducati has managed to put in is a gem of an engine. A liquid cooled 11 degrees Testastretta engine , with 937CC twin cylinders, Euro-4 specc-ed. The torque is available right from about 2200 rpm and maxes out at 7500rpm. Ample power is available throughout the rev band. The engine vibrations are very controlled and hardly noticable. The exhaust is a 2-1-2 with a cat con. It is mounted high and look pretty sleek.

Instrumentation

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-ducatimultistrada950indialaunchinstrumentation.jpg

The MS950 has a humble black and white LCD but provides sufficient information. It displays the following not necessarily in order

- Odometer
- Time
- Trip 1
- Trip 2
- RPM
- Trip time
- Outside temperature
- Engine temperature
- Distance to Empty
- Current Riding mode
- Oil check light
- Engine check light
- ABS malfunction light
- Average KMPL
- Current KMPL
- RPM red line light
- Speed
- Fuel indicator
- Current Gear

All the units above are programmable using the up-down key and the mode key on the left.

Switch gear :

The quality of switchgear is very good and there are no loose or wiggling switches. The left side houses the

- Turn indicators
- Mode selection button
- Up-down arrow button
- Pass button which doubles up as high beam.

The right side has
- Engine on-off button
- Hazard light
- Horn button

The buttons are pretty intuitive and seldom you have to go ahead look for a particular button to push.

Electrical :

The headlight is quite powerful and horn is sufficiently loud. So I found no need to updating them. I did add a pair of auxiliary lights with a relay so as to aid in riding in dark. Ducati has provided a cigarette lighter port near the display and two USB ports under the pillion seat.

Ergonomics ,Ride quality and suspension

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After putting over 2700kms in last 3 months out of which one was a 1000 kms ride , I would sum it up in one word "Plush". It is like sitting on a comfortable sofa with popcorn in your hand and watching the world fly past. The very fact that both forward (KYB) and the rear suspension (Sachs) is fully adjustable for pre-load and damping , you can set it as per your choice and you are good to go. The handlebar height , width and position makes for a very comfortable posture of shoulders on long rides. The seat height as per specifications is 840mm. I am 5ft9inches and I do not have any issue with seat height. I am able to place my feet comfortably on the ground. All the button are ergonomically intuitive and just fall in place.

Handling is one of high points of the Ducati bikes and this is no exception. Be it straight line or be it twisties you always feel connected to the road. It is a point and shoot affair on most kinds of roads. The Pirelli Scorpion Trail II are grippy and provide super comfortable ride. The 19 inch wheels in front gives a hint that you can take the bike on mild offroad without any issue.

A 20 liter tank ensures a 300km fuel stop interval is ridden sanely. I have hovered around a 18.5Kmpl to 21Kmpl mark in one of my long trips with average speed just in triple digit.

Engine and riding modes

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This is where Ducati shines. 3 levels of ABS which help to control braking to front or rear wheel individually in each level. Add to that a 8 level traction control. These settings are pre-programmed in each of the 4 riding modes. The rider also has the ability to tweak the default settings in each mode as per his or her comfort level. As of now I have let the modes in their default settings. The modes are summed up below

- Urban : Power is dialed down to 75BHP with the traction and ABS setting setting at 6 and 3 (on the higher side). The throttle response is dialed down
- Enduro : Power is dialed down to 75BHP and the traction and ABS settings are 2 ad 1 (on low side). The throttle response is muted. This is useful in off-road conditions.
- Touring : The power is at 113BHP with traction and ABS at 5 and 3 (on high side). The throttle response is significantly improved from above modes and the bike is eager to pick up speed progressively.
Sport : The power is at 113BHP with traction and ABS at 4 and 2 (on lower side). The throttle response is direct and a little twist of the wrist send the bike out like a rocket with that L-twin growl. This provides a very spirited ride and the bike redlines around 9000rpm. This is for those mad surges.

I like the fact that Ducati has made the Multistrada within reach of people like and have put a gem of an engine in the mix. Latest on the block , unstressed and very forgiving. It provides you with more that enough entertainment on whatever terrain you wish to ride on. The service intervals are kept at 12000kms and the Desmo service at 30000kms. Now the economics of each service is yet to be seen but the 1000kms service which included a oil and filter changes set me back by 10000Rs.

Gear shifts are becoming better as the kms pile up. Initially I had a real time trying to slot the bike to Neutral for 2nd or 1st. So in first hundred kms I actually have stood at traffic signal with the clutch pulled. But thing improved significantly past 1000kms mark. The shifts are still a little clunky.

Sales , Services :
So far the sales and service team at Bavaria motors in Pune have been pro-active. Regular follow-ups and meet-ups ensure a community is kept together. The part availability is up to the mark for regular service parts. As a part of welcome kit on the day of taking delivery the sales did arrange a pooja and presented keychain , Tshirt from Ducati merchandise.

Well so far so good.

After-market accessories

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-img_20171105_071113crop.jpg

I like to keep the bikes as stock as possible and tend to add things which are extremely necessary. So I added a engine and crash guard from Hepco and Becker , radiator and oil cooler guard from an Australian company called Radguard and a pair of auxillary headlights. The remaining now is engine skid plate which I will procure from Altriders.

Likes

- Riding comfort : The riding position and the handle height are spot-on. Only grouse is about the seat. It is not as hard as those on Multistrada 1200 but a little more softer material would help. The highlight of the bike is it's suspension and this is where the bike shines the brightest. Totally adjustable to your need which gives a very comfortable ride even on broken roads.

- Riding modes : This is a boon. In the city I put it in Urban mode and on the highway on the Sports modes. You can feel the difference in which the bike behaves.

- Quality of components : Extremely good. Nothing is rickety or feels like it will drop down during the ride.

- Power and Torque : It is more than sufficient for a daily ride as well for a long tour. I never felt the need of more power.

- Brakes - They are extremely potent and stop this 200kg behemoth on the dime.

Dislikes

- Cost : This is overpriced by about 1.5L. A 14.5L to 15L onroad price would have nailed the deal for some immediately.

- Cost of spares : That is something which we as a superbikes are probably used to but coming from a Kawasaki stable the costs of servicing and spare looks steep. Front tyres are 19inches so would be interesting to see what would the cost of replacements and their availibility.

- Some more electronics : This is probably a barebone bike as far as electronics goes but I felt a cruise control could have been a good add-on in the present kitty of electronics. Tiger XrX which is similarly priced has it.

- Availability of aftermarket stuff. This is a new bike and it is going to take sometime for aftermarket accessories to come to the market. Till this have to live with the ridiculous pricing of accessories from Ducati.

I will now let the pictures do the talking.

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-malshej2.jpg

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-malshej3.jpg

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-malshej4.jpg

My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-goa2.jpg
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My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950-goa1.jpg  


Last edited by vikrantj : 3rd January 2018 at 11:15.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 23:31   #2
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:11   #3
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Forgive me but that crash guard looks horrendous!!!
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:20   #4
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Great write up for an awesome bike! Just curious, why didnt the triumph tiger 800 feature in the contenders?
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killjoy View Post
Forgive me but that crash guard looks horrendous!!!
I agree with you on that completely . I had ordered in black , but Hepco stopped producing in black it seems.

But leaving aside the looks this crash guard has couple of advantages :

1. It is much easier to fix than Ducati OEM (which is from Touratech and also comes in silver colour).
2. Costed me 20,000Rs as opposed to 35,000Rs for OEM.
3. The auxillary light was a bolt-on. It did not need any special clamps.

Thanks
Vikrant

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin1224 View Post
Great write up for an awesome bike! Just curious, why didnt the triumph tiger 800 feature in the contenders?
Various reasons :

1. 3-levels of ABS and 7-level traction control as opposed to ABS-on/off and TC-on/off in Tiger. I miss-out on cruise control though.
2. More powerful than Tiger. 113BHP v/s 90Bhp and 93Nm v/s 79Nm at similar RPM.
3 . Priced very close to each other.
4. Brand

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 4th January 2018 at 11:07. Reason: back to back posts merged.
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Old 4th January 2018, 10:46   #6
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Great write up and pics, thanks. However, why did you not consider the tiger XCX? Would have cost nearly the same and has a few more features. Plus it has that off road angle to is as well.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:49   #7
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Quote:
Originally Posted by killjoy View Post
Forgive me but that crash guard looks horrendous!!!
Paint it black and it will look much better IMO. A black tape wrapped nicely can also do the magic

Lovely bike
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Old 4th January 2018, 13:42   #8
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Superb write up there, thanks for the detailed review.
I have had a couple of opportunities to check out this very special bike. The bike is tall to climb up on it, but once one gets rolling, it becomes a non issue. Given the nice torque low down, even touring mode is okay for traffic. Stop and Go will be a pain, but that's part of every superbike.

If you love the desmo growl (who doesn't), a set of termis could be a worthwhile investment. It totally boom rocks the nearby towns and villages.

Maybe someday we could catch up at Lonavala for a breakfast.
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Old 4th January 2018, 15:39   #9
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

On a recent ride to Khopoli. Added some Dakar stickers... Ambitious maybe ..

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Old 4th January 2018, 17:44   #10
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
Prelude
I did add a pair of auxiliary lights with a relay so as to aid in riding in dark.
Excellent review Vikrant, well done with the pictures as well. After seeing the "darker side" of the Multi from my review, folks will be heartened to see the brighter side of the bike!

Can you please provide the details of the lights? I need to add them too... thanks.
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:25   #11
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust View Post
Excellent review Vikrant, well done with the pictures as well. After seeing the "darker side" of the Multi from my review, folks will be heartened to see the brighter side of the bike!

Can you please provide the details of the lights? I need to add them too... thanks.
I procured it from Ahmadabad for 13,000Rs and got it fitted locally (not from Ducati Pune) . I will PM you the contact details of the supplier.

FYI these lights are a very useful add-on. Extremely helpful if you ride in dark (early morning , late nights) and pretty VFM too. Again long term reliability is something a little too early to comment on.

Thanks
Vikrant
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Old 6th January 2018, 07:58   #12
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Congrats Vikrant for a wonderful bike and a great upgrade to your Ninja 650. From non-ABS bike you straight forward upgraded to a bike with electronics loaded to the brim

I too agree that the crash guard is a sore sight to the eyes. Do paint it matt black and I am sure the overall looks will improve

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
The riding mode now set to "Touring", power dialed up to 113Bhp. I opened the trottle and the torque was a maddening. The bike just sprinted forward. And before I could say Ducati Multistrada I was in triple digits. While coming back on the same open road the riding mode was set as "Sports", power 113Bhp but with a more responsive throttle. I was this close to peeing in my pants.
I loved this paragraph and makes me want to buy this motorcycle ASAP

How about a brief paragraph that describes two important parameter (power & handling) between your Ninja 650? What and how much is the difference in both these aspects?

What is the duration of each service? 10K for the first service is eye-watering stuff. I can imagine this number going up as you crunch more miles
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Old 6th January 2018, 11:29   #13
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

10k for 1st service, wonder what the desmo service will cost him. Killer review, killer bike, killer service costs. The issue with these electronic laden bikes is that DIY might be a bit more tricky than bikes with just the odd abs and fuel injection.
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Old 6th January 2018, 21:04   #14
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

Great Bike and great review!
I too have upgraded from a Ninja 650. The whole purpose of changing the 650 was to upgrade to a adventure bike. But fate would have otherwise!
Test drove the Multistrada 950 and the Tiger xr. The Ducati is a fabulous bike but I found the dimensions a bit too big- the height, the weight- for me (I'm 5" 10). Almost had a heart attack when a standing U-turn was thrust upon me. Compared to the Multi the Tiger is compact and docile. Confirmed the Tiger after the test drive but the laid back attitude of the dealer spoilt it for me. Now suddenly I was left with no other choice of adv bikes (except the Africa Twin, which I did not like).
I am a member of KNOG (Kawasaki Ninja Owners Group) on facebook courtesy my Ninja 650. On a query as to what to buy bought about a suggestion of the 2017 Ninja 1000. After seeing upteen reviews on Youtube (nope- no test ride!) took the plunge and booked myself one in Midnight black. The Ninja 1000 being 2lakhs cheaper than the Multistrada 950 also sweetened the deal! The bike was delivered in 3 weeks.
Buying a 10lakh plus ride without a test ride is plain foolishness I agree, but I am happy to report that the gamble has paid off and I have myself a superb machine which can be considered VFM if one looks at the features available for the price!
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Old 8th January 2018, 08:59   #15
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Default Re: My First, My Last, My Everything - My Ducati Multistrada 950

A comparison between my Ninja 650 and Multistrada is like comparing chalk and cheese. A sports tourer v/s a ADV is a odd comparison. But still let me take a shot at it. Let me break this comparison into few parts.

1. Brakes : This is where MS950 takes the cake hands down with it's adjustable ABS and traction control. Ninja 650 brakes were a little spongy and I had to upgrade the brakelines to HEL steel braided brakelines to to add that bite. Lack of ABS made more pronounced in wet conditions.

2. Tyres : Again MS950 comes off the superior with the Pirelli Scorpion trail II tyres. Much better grip than the stock tyres offered on Ninja 650. I had upgraded to Metzelers on Ninja 650 and things improved dramatically.

3. Long distance rides : This is the reason why we have bought bikes like N650 or MS950. I have done a 2200km ride on Ninja 650 (Pune-Rann of Kutch) and a 1000km ride on MS950 (Pune-Goa). I would say long distance touring comfort is comparable in both with MS950 having advantage lower wind buffeting due to large windscreen and an upright stance. N650 had lesser wind resistance due to slightly forward biased stance. But both the bikes are capable of achieving 3 digit speeds easily. I felt more vibrations on my handle grip on N650 not sure if that was the issue with my bike in particular or in general. MS950 has an advantage of greater ground clearance than the N650 so I have to worry a tad lesser of potholes.

4. Suspension setup : Here M950 is better since both the front and back suspensions can be tunes to your comfort. N650 has the rear suspension tunable. Off the showroom the M950 was little soft on front suspension and the nose dived easily on hard braking but a little twist of screws did the trick and front is now stiffer than it used to be, N650 had no such issues off the bat.

5. Ride quality : MS950 is better than N650 but not by a hugh margin. I felt the MS950 was more flickable than the N650. Going around the corners is much controlled and predictable on the MS950 not that N650 is bad. But the weight of both the bikes and their stances are not meant for corner carvings. MS950 chassis is more tractable for spirited riding than the N650.

These are my views after riding on the two bikes extensively.
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