Just thought I'd post my impressions after trading in my first generation 650 V Strom for a 950 Multistrada in case anyone is thinking of doing something similar. I have about 900Km on the Multi now.
The first thing I noticed is that the riding position is slightly sportier, there is a little more forward cant on the multi and the bars are wider. the riding position reminded me of an FJ 09 that I had test ridden a while back but the bars are wider on the multi. Also it feels like your positioned further forward on the bike - more on top of the front wheel. I liked the riding position on the V Strom, I like the riding position on the Multi even more.
The exhaust note of the Multistrada is louder. Very satisfying to fire up. I always liked the sound of the V Strom too though and prefer bikes that are on the quieter side.
The buffeting and wind noise on the Multi is uncomfortable for me - at least for Highway driving. The buffeting and wind noise on the V strom was sorted thanks to the after market Madstad bracket and Givi screen. The buffeting and wind noise on the FJ 09 that I had tested earlier was excessively turbulent, really uncomfortable. I have a replacement MRA Vario screen on order for the multi - I am just over 6 feet tall and need the wind blast directed a little higher for highway use.
The overall quality of finish and parts is higher on the Ducati - as you would expect given the price difference. It still needs to be said though. The quality of the seat, mirrors, handlebars - it definitely feels like a much more premium motorcycle.
The nimbleness, steering, balance and agility of the Multistrada is on another level compared to the V strom 650. The multi feels lighter ( even though I don't believe it is) the second it starts rolling. It also maintains it's stability and direction in the presence of side winds much better than the V Strom 650.
The Multi of course has a more powerful engine and can accelerate much more rapidly. I'm not really a horsepower junkie and never found the V Strom lacking in power. I know I'm likely in a minority on that, but the truth is that the V Strom engine was engaging enough for fun riding. The V Strom engine is generally smoother except during engine braking which is more abrupt than on the Ducati.
I was still quite fond of the V Strom when I traded it and I had owned it for 9 years. It was fun, comfortable and trouble free. I really wanted something with improved braking and suspension but with Suzuki you have to step up to the V Strom 1000 to get it. I was unable to make my scheduled test ride for Suzuki but I did make it to the Ducati test ride. The Ducati was a few more dollars than the V Strom 1000 but it appealed to me more and even though I was a little reluctant to buy Ducati because the reputation and my experience with Japanese bikes has been so good. In the end I just could not argue with the overall design and visible quality of this bike so I took the leap.
I've really been enjoying my riding time on the multi.