Electronics: a crucial role at Ducati
Electronics play a central role in this. Over the last 15 years in particular, Ducati has continuously invested in the development of cutting-edge technologies. By integrating electronic solutions, Ducati can adapt the behavior of each motorcycle to its intended use. Whether it is to achieve the best racetrack performance with the Panigale V4 or to provide the most comfortable and exciting tour with the Multistrada V4.
Over the years, Ducati has introduced many innovations that later became standard on motorcycles in various segments.
Ducati’s innovations at a glance
In 2008, Ducati surprised everyone with the introduction of Traction Control in the 1098R. This innovation shifted the performance and safety benchmarks of supersport motorcycles. The following year, Ducati introduced another world first with the LED headlight on the Streetfighter 1100.
In 2010, Ducati presented the Multistrada 1200 S, the first motorcycle that could change its “character” thanks to the introduction of Riding Modes. Other electronic innovations introduced by Ducati include TFT instrumentation on the Diavel in 2011, full LED light clusters and electronic engine brake control on the Panigale 1199, which won the prestigious Compasso d’Oro design award in 2012.
Because safety is of great importance to Ducati, in 2014 the company collaborated with Dainese to introduce the Multistrada 1200 Touring D|Air, the first motorcycle with an integrated system capable of communicating with the airbag in the jacket. In just 20 milliseconds, the state-of-the-art system was able to send an activation signal in the event of an accident or slip. In 2018, Ducati introduced the Slide By Brake system, which enabled controlled sliding under braking on the Panigale V4.
In 2020, Ducati launched the Multistrada V4, the first motorcycle with radar, which enabled the implementation of adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection. In 2023, Ducati introduced Advanced Cylinder Deactivation on the Multistrada V4 Rally, a sophisticated system that reduces fuel consumption and heat generation by deactivating the two rear cylinders. Many of the innovations introduced by Ducati are now standard on motorcycles “over 500 cc.”
Continuous development and improvements
In addition to introducing new technical solutions, Ducati works daily to develop and improve existing models. A good example of this is Multistrada V4 owners, who received the Minimum Preload and Easy Lift systems free of charge when they were introduced on later models, and who continue to benefit from upgrades to the navigation system.
Every Ducati motorcycle is synonymous with safety, high performance and accessibility, based on constant innovation and continuous development of existing solutions. Today Ducati offers a product range where each model is a technological benchmark in its segment, also in terms of safety, as all Ducati motorcycles are equipped with ABS Cornering and Traction Control as standard.
In-house development as the key to success
Ducati develops the technologies used on its motorcycles internally together with its suppliers. At the same time, internal know-how is built up in this way. A good example of this is the close collaboration with Pirelli, Brembo, Bosch and other suppliers with whom Ducati works to develop components that are first fitted to Ducati motorcycles.
Control over the technologies implemented allows Ducati to adapt them to the application without restriction, whether on the Panigale V4, the Scrambler, the Streetfighter, the Diavel, the DesertX or the Multistrada V4, which represents the pinnacle of Ducati electronics technology.
Growth in Electrical & Electronic Systems
The drive for innovation in electronics has been accompanied by the growth of the Electrical & Electronic Systems Department, which has quadrupled its resources in just over ten years. Through the work of this department, which is part of R&D, Ducati studies and develops new and often innovative systems for mass production.
Ducati’s innovations go beyond new technologies
In addition to developing new technologies internally, Ducati has had in-house laboratories for several years to conduct tests during the development phase without necessarily relying on external resources or suppliers.
Testing includes verifying the operation of components under extreme thermal and environmental conditions, as well as load tests with robots that repeat thousands of operations to check the reliability of wiring and other operations.
In the field of software debugging and mobile app activities, the internal Electrical & Electronic Testing laboratory is also active. In recent years, connectivity has become increasingly important in the motorcycle sector. Given the growing number of smartphone manufacturers and the constant updating of the various operating systems, having a group of people within the company dedicated to this aspect is an added value to keep up to date.
An example of this is the navigation system: from the Phone Mirroring solution introduced on the Multistrada V4, which allows the dashboard to be transformed into a color map navigation system, to the Turn-by-Turn system introduced on the DesertX and Diavel V4 in 2023. These two solutions allow Ducati not to be tied to a specific operating system, but ensure compatibility with iOS and Android systems and the constant evolution of the software, which is then updated free of charge to customers.
The “Ducati Method”
This working methodology has allowed Ducati to create ever more innovative products with improved quality year after year. It shows how the Bologna-based manufacturer’s strategic commitments, from racing competitions to R&D and investment in experimentation, aim year after year to provide Ducatisti with the motorcycles of their dreams.
In summary, the main innovations introduced by Ducati for the first time worldwide are:
- 2008, DTC traction control – 1098 R
- 2009, LED headlights – Streetfighter 1100
- 2010, Riding modes – Multistrada 1200 S
- 2011, TFT instrumentation – Diavel
- 2012, Electronic engine brake control (EBC) and full LED headlights – Panigale 1199
- 2021, Adaptive cruise control/blind spot detection – Multistrada V4
- 2023, Advanced deactivation – Multistrada V4 Rally
Constant and unceasing research and development is at the heart of Ducati’s work, and it is this passion and dedication that has enabled the company to produce some of the most impressive motorcycles on the road and on the track.
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