Ducati confirms the Multistrada V4 will have radar cruise control
It'll be the first bike in the world with radar-controlled rider aids
In what's possibly the worst kept secret of the motorbike world, Ducati has announced that its Multistrada adventure bike will be getting a V4 engine, along with world-first radar-controlled rider aids.
The bike's just gone into production, but we don't know the full story yet. We do know it's getting a new V4 engine (the Multistrada has only ever been offered with a classic Ducati L-twin in 950, 1,200 and 1,260cc forms), and that the new V4 isn't just ripped straight out of the fire-breathing Panigale V4.
Here's our best look yet at the Multistrada V4 – it harks back to the original 1200 bike's sharp snout
Ducati says the new engine is designed to meet the needs of long-distance riding without neglecting sportiness. It's touted as a "complete redesign" of the Panigale engine, with record-breaking maintenance intervals that outdo anything else on two wheels.
The radar units each measure 70x60x28mm and weigh 190 grams. How's that for facts?
The other big story is that it's getting front and rear-mounted radar, which will allow the Multi V4 to be the first bike with adaptive cruise control. This will mean that – just like a car – the bike can maintain a set distance from the car in front at speeds between 30km/h and 160km/h. You'll be able to choose from four distance levels to the car or bike in front.
It sounds as if the new Multistrada V4 will limit its deceleration and acceleration to maintain that distance, which sounds promising – the last thing you want is a bike that can jam the anchors on while you're fiddling with your moustache, or for the bike to unexpectedly hit wide-open-throttle in second gear. Ducati says the system is designed to aid comfort on long rides.
The rear radar unit tucks under the taillight
While the front radar deals with the cruise control, the rear unit is designed to alert the rider to vehicles in your blind spots – presumably this will also flash a light in your mirrors if a car's steaming up beside you on a motorway.