Ducati Multistrada 950 S vs BMW F 900 XR vs Triumph Tiger 900 GT – Spec Comparison
We pitch the smallest Multistrada against the leading middleweight touring bikes in a spec comparison.
The middle-weight touring motorcycle segment sees a fresh red hot offering, and it’s straight out of Bologna. Yes, we’re talking about a Ducati and it’s the new 2020 Multistrada 950 S. It’s safe to say that this segment is popping with options as the 950 has the BMW F 900 XR and the Triumph Tiger 900 for company. While we have already compared the F 900 and the Tiger GT and you check that here, we’re curious how the new ‘baby’ Multistrada fits in. And we try to find out exactly that as we pitch the Ducati Multistrada 950 S vs the BMW F 900 XR & the Triumph Tiger 900 GT in a spec comparison.
All motorcycles look exactly how a middle-weight touring motorcycle should look, i.e. tall, long, chunky and comfortable. However, nothing else is really identical here. First, there’s the German BMW F 900 XR. The F 900 XR is a good-looking bike, and it gets the signature ‘XR’ styling carried on from the S 1000 XR. The little but sharp stout, fairings, headlamp assembly, and the stature are all proof of that. One might even mistake it for an S 1000 XR in a quick glance. Second, there’s the British Tiger 900 GT which replaces the very popular Tiger 800 XRX. The 900 GT gets a typical Tiger headlamp design along with a long stout too, which makes the bike look more off-road friendly and sharper. It is also the only motorcycle here with a single-headlamp as compared to the headlamps on the other two.
Lastly, there’s the Italian Multistrada 950 S. The 950 S looks like any other Multistrada and Multistrada fans will definitely right swipe it on Tinder. Would we? Maybe. Considering the other two are fresh designs for 2020, we think Ducati could’ve made a few aesthetic changes. However, the 950 S looks great, anyway. The air-intakes-cum-beak upfront, chunky forks, and the tall visor make it look handsome yet purposeful. We can’t really pick one as all bikes look great, but do let us know in the comments if you can!
All three bikes are ripe with technology and there’s a lot in common here. All three get LED headlamps with DRLs, a digital speedometer, riding modes, ABS, handguards, and traction control (TC). But again, all bikes have their own key bits mentioned below. The XR gets a steering damper, self-cancelling turn indicators, an adjustable windscreen and even an electronic immobiliser as an anti-theft measure. The Triumph gets an IMU-based cornering ABS and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, and heated grips.
Coming to the Ducati, the 950 S features cornering lights, cornering ABS, cruise control, backlit buttons, hands-free system, self-cancelling turn indicators and Ducati’s semi-active suspension. The Ducati lacks a little, though, as it offers the smallest TFT display at 5-inches as compared to the BMW’s 6.5-inch screen and the Tiger’s 7-inch one. In summary, it’s safe to say that the baby Multistrada is right up with the competition, even if it’s not the best in the segment.
Ergonomically, as expected, all bikes focus on long touring stints and feature a comfortable upright seating posture. All bikes are tall, thanks to their nature, but the Multistrada has the tallest seat height at 840 mm, which makes it unsuitable for short riders. It is also the heaviest in the lot at 229 kg. The Tiger GT slightly edges the other two as it is the lightest and offers the lowest seat height.
The Ducati has the tallest visor, though, offering the best wind protection here. The fuel tank capacity of the Ducati is at par with the Tiger GT at 20-litres, while the BMW lacks as it offers 15.5 -litres. Some additional touches like heated grips are missing in the Bologna offering, which gives the Tiger a slight edge over it. However, there’s nothing wrong with the Multistrada and it’s right up with the competition here as well.
Getting straight to point, the BMW F 900 XR gets an 895cc parallel-twin motor which produces 103.25 BHP and 92 Nm of torque. The Triumph Tiger 900 GT has an 888cc inline-3 motor, which makes 94 BHP of power and 87 Nm of torque. Lastly, the Ducati has the 937cc Testastretta 11 engine and makes 113 BHP and 96 Nm of torque. The extra cubic capacity definitely plays in favour of the Multistrada here, and it will do, most probably, while riding as well. Liquid-cooling and a 6-speed gearbox are common in all three. The Ducati gets a bi-directional quickshifter, though, which is a huge plus over the two. In short, there’s no beating the Ducati here, thanks to the highest power output and the quickshifter.
The BMW and the Triumph aren’t hardcore enduro bikes, and neither is the Multistrada 950 S. The Multistrada has the longest wheelbase at almost 1600 mm, which will give it better straight-line stability but could harm the flickability a bit. It also gets a 19-inch rim upfront like the Triumph, which will help if you decide to take it off the road. Suspension-wise, the Ducati has KYB 48 mm USD forks and semi-active rear suspension, which can be set to 400 different configurations, giving it an edge over the other two offerings.
Coming to tyres, the F 900 XR gets the sticky Michelin Road 5 tyres, the Tiger 900 GT gets the Metzeler Tourance Next tyres and the 950 S gets the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres. All tyres offer good grip levels and can easily take on light off-road situations. A twin 320 mm disc brake setup performs braking duties on all bikes while the Ducati gets the biggest rear disc in the lot at 265 mm. The Tiger GT will have an edge over the two, though, thanks to the Brembo Stylema callipers.
The BMW F 900 XR retails for Rs. 13.36 lakhs and the Triumph Tiger retails at Rs. 16.29 lakhs. The Tiger seems overpriced, right? Not when you bring the 950 S in the equation, which costs Rs. 17.95 lakhs (all prices, on-road Mumbai)! At this price, the 950 S costs around Rs. 2 lakhs more than the Tiger GT, which in turn costs around Rs. 3 lakhs more than the Beemer. This makes the BMW F 900 XR pretty decent value. The F 900 XR might not do everything right, but with the money, you’ll save, you can definitely get it to do so. However, the Triumph Tiger GT and the new Ducati Multistrada 950 S are great bikes and offer loads to make you love them every time you swing a leg over.