While new motorcycles offer some safety tech, the list of modern car safety features is a bit more extensive. Especially when it comes to ADAS features, such as blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control. However, that’s slowly beginning to change. The upcoming Tarform Luna, for example, comes with a backup camera and a kind of blind-spot monitoring. But the upcoming 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 will offer even more—including a motorcycle safety first.
The 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4: a motorcycle with some car-like safety features
The Ducati Multistrada is the Italian brand’s adventure-touring motorcycle and has even raced at Pikes Peak several times. The current model offers a few safety features, such as stability control, traction control, and of course ABS.
However, for 2021, Ducati is giving the Multistrada some extra safety features, RideApart reports. It’s the first production bike to get front and rear radar, courtesy of Bosch. For one, that means it will beat the Luna in offering blind-spot monitoring. But more importantly, it’s the first production motorcycle to offer adaptive cruise control, Jalopnik reports.
Interestingly, RideApart reported in 2019 that Kawasaki would be the first motorcycle company to offer adaptive cruise control. And in June 2020, BMW announced it was working on the technology too, RideApart reports.
That doesn’t mean these or other companies won’t offer it in the future, though. But the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 will beat them to it.
What else does the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 offer?
While the new motorcycle safety features may arguably be the biggest news, that’s not all the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 will offer.
Firstly, as the name implies, for 2021 the Ducati Multistrada gets a V4 engine. However, it’s not the Panigale’s and the Streetfighter’s V4, Revzilla reports. Instead, it’s a brand-new V4 designed specifically for the Multistrada.
Based on Ducati’s social media teasers, it appears to make 170 hp. That’s 12 more hp than the current range-topper, the L-twin-powered Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour, makes, MCN reports. And decoding the VIN suggests it has a capacity of at least 1158cc, VisorDown reports, and possibly as much as 1706cc. In comparison, the Ducati Multistrada 1260 models have a 1262cc engine. However, as of this writing, nothing official has been released about the Multistrada V4’s specs.
The 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 is also rumored to be lighter than the outgoing 1260 S. Plus, it appears to ditch the 1260 S’ single-sided swingarm for the Multistrada 950’s double-sided swingarm.
What we still don’t know
Presumably, Ducati will offer the 2021 Multistrada in 4- and 2-cylinder form, much like the Panigale. But it’s unclear if the lower-spec models, or the rest of the brand’s motorcycles, will also get these new safety features.
Also, although Bosch has been developing the motorcycle adaptive cruise control for some time, that’s not the only safety feature it’s been working on. Back in 2018, the supplier also announced radar-based forward-collision warning, as well as cellular-based vehicle-to-vehicle communication, Car and Driver and Roadshow report. Theoretically, the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 could use the same radar system for the cruise control and forward-collision warning. But as of this writing, such a feature has been neither confirmed nor even teased.
Ducati plans to unveil the production 2021 Multistrada V4 on October 15th, 2020. At which point, we’ll likely learn more about the bike’s pricing, features, and dealership availability. But in the meantime, it’s worth pointing out that, as with cars, ADAS features don’t replace good training and habits. And you should always ride with the proper motorcycle safety gear, including a good helmet and armored, abrasion-resistant jacket.
However, any effort made to make riding motorcycles safer is an effort worth recognizing.
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