Ask the average person on the street to start naming motorcycle brands, and odds are good they'll still be on the fingers of their first hand when they tick off the name Ducati. The Italian company has been cranking out some of the coolest two-wheeled motor vehicles on the planet for decades, earning laurels from riders just as quickly as it's racked up racing glory.
Now, Ducati is making waves again — but not, perhaps, for the reason you might think. This time, the brand is making history by bringing the first front / rear radar array to a production motorcycle with the new Multistrada.
Radar has been a staple of active safety technology in the automobile world for some time now, enabling features like cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking and distance-maintaining cruise control. The system Ducati developed in conjunction with Bosch and the Polytechnic University of Milan performs similar functions: the front unit is the heart of the new active cruise control that can maintain distance from a lead vehicle at speeds between 19 and 99 mph, while the rear unit monitors the rider's blind spot and notifies them about any vehicles that could be lurking to the stern.
Each radar assembly is roughly the size of a GoPro and weighs 6.7 ounces, so don't expect to negatively impact a bike's performance or looks.
The new system is set to debut on the new, yet-to-be-fully-revealed Multistrada V4 — the fourth-generation of Ducati's adventure bike, packing a new V4 engine that the brand claims is "designed to meet the needs required for 'adventouring' use." (Apparently, Ducati is trying to make the word "adventouring" the new "fetch.") Details about the new engine will be revealed on October 15th, while the bike will make its formal debut on November 4th.