Ducati Multistrada V4 is world’s first motorcycle to use intelligent radar tech

The Ducati Multistrada V4 flexes its flagship status by being the first motorcycle in the world to feature safety-focused front and rear radar technology 

Ducati Multistrada V4 2021

While the launch of the new Ducati Multistrada V4 seems to have been going on for months now, the Italian firm has just confirmed one particularly important piece of information by revealing it will be the first motorcycle in the world to feature radar technology at the front and rear.

Though perhaps somewhat dry when you word it like that, it’s not hyperbole to suggest this technology could be one of the most important new advances in the pursuit of improving safety in the modern era of motorcycling.

After a slew of spy shots recently - including some we’re fairly convinced were ‘leaked’ by Ducati itself - snippets of specification info and even some quirky pre-launch previews, we’re fairly certain we know what the Ducati Multistrada V4 will look like before the covers are finally pulled clear.

Nevertheless, Ducati is ramping up the suspense with a cheeky look at the front-end of the adventure-tourer, which is the first model outside of the Panigale family to make use of its V4 engine, as well as confirming production is now underway for a model that has notched up 110,000 sales since it breezed onto the scene in 2003.

However, with a new flagship Multistrada must come similar game-advancing flagship technology. In this case it comes in the form of radar technology developed in conjunction with Bosch, the significance of which can be measured by the fact it has taken several years to develop and led to an unofficial jostle to get it to market first after KTM and Kawasaki began working on their own tech.

Though a fairly common feature of cars, radar technology is more difficult to implement for smaller and more agile motorcycles, but given this added exposure leads to all-too-common SMIDSY (“Sorry mate, I didn’t see you…”) incidents, the tech arguably serves a greater importance on a two-wheeler.

How does the Ducati Multistrada V4 radar technology work?

Radar works by being able to reconstruct an up-to-360-degree reality around a motorcycle at all times, giving it an extra layer of awareness for what is happening around you. 

In a world where drivers in cars have a wealth of tech at their disposal - which one can argue leads to greater complacency when you need to revert back to physical control to complete a manoeuvre, for instance - radar gives some control back to the rider by enabling the motorcycle to foresee and alert towards unexpected movements or hazards quicker than we can as humans.

Discreetly incorporated into the design, the front radar controls the Adaptive Cruise Control, which adjusts the speed of the Multistrada V4 with controlled braking and acceleration to ensure safe distances to other vehicles are maintained. 

The rear radar is tasked with detecting the vehicles moving around it and - in essence - is designed to get rid of blind spot hazards, whether it’s your own or a proactive measure to predict you’re in a car’s hidden view.

All very logical, but while it is perhaps a little surprising it’s taken until 2020 for it to be made available on a volume model, expect the tech to now start appearing on numerous models in the coming years. 

Naturally, anything that moves safety on even an inch is worth doing if it potentially saves just a single life, but this could well be a milestone in motorcycle safety tech that we’ll be looking back on for years to come.