We're just now getting to a point in the industry where cruise control on
is reasonably common. This is a byproduct of the move toward electronic or "ride-by-wire" throttles, and on a long road trip, it's a really nice way to avoid cramped wrists.
Of course, the next step would be to add adaptive cruise control and other advanced rider aids to bikes, but given motorcycles' relatively modest prices and the fact that they sell in far fewer numbers than cars, the expense was always too great to justify. Except now,
has just announced on Tuesday that it's gone ahead and done it.
That's right, folks, the new Multistrada V4 will be the first production motorcycle to be offered with both front- and rear-facing radar. Not only will this enable adaptive cruise control, which would be sweet enough on its own, but the rear radar will allow blind-spot warnings. This is a huge deal too, since motorcycle mirrors often can't offer truly excellent rear visibility thanks to their size and limited placement options.
Beyond just the need for radar, the addition of adaptive cruise control to motorcycles necessitates some changes to how an adaptive cruise system might behave in a four-wheeled vehicle. The motorcycle system's tuning needs to be much more progressive, both in throttle and brake applications, in order not to cause a rider to lose control. This is made even more challenging with the naturally more sensitive controls that a bike -- especially a powerful bike like the Multistrada V4 is likely to be -- has.
This is a massive leap forward in tech for motorcycles, and hopefully it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the kind of advanced safety systems and rider aids that can be brought to bear on these amazing machines. Making bikes safer means that they're more accessible, and as far as we're concerned, that's a very good thing.
2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S looks set to conquer all