Whether you think it’s needed or not, it seems adaptive cruise control is the next killer app for flagship adventure motorcycles. KTM has adaptive cruise control available for the 1290 Adventure S, and it’s also available for the new Ducati Multistrada V4. Now, Honda is working on including the technology on the CRF1100L Africa Twin.
Adaptive cruise control has been available for years on cars and trucks. Instead of simply keeping a vehicle to a certain set speed – say, 50 mph – it also monitors active traffic situations, to maintain a safe following distance from vehicles ahead. It’s often tied to a lane control system, which helps the vehicle maintain lane integrity. It’s also often paired with a rear collision warning system.
Over the past couple of years, motorcycle manufacturers have been filing patents for various adaptive cruise control designs, often in conjunction with Bosch. In fall of 2020, BMW announced adaptive cruise control would be available as an option on the R1250 RT sport tourer, and Ducati announced it as an option on the Multistrada V4 Tourer. Since then, KTM announced it as available for the 1290 Adventure S.
We’ve seen patents showing Honda also fitting the tech to its Gold Wing tourer, although that version hasn’t hit the market yet. Now, Ben Purvis from Bennett’s BikeSocial news blog has found patents showing adaptive cruise control on the Africa Twin CRF1100L.
Like the other OEMs, Honda’s adaptive cruise control system is radar-powered, with sensors that detect traffic in front. There’s also a rear-facing radar array, powering a rear collision detection system, and a set of cameras that augment the radar. Honda’s also looking at integrating vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity with its adaptive cruise control system, which would probably also work with a lane control system to reduce danger of collision.
Brave New World
Most likely, we’ll see the 2022-model Africa Twin with the adaptive cruise control option. Expect an outcry from the peanut gallery then (or maybe it’ll start in the comments section below?): “We don’t need this tech, it drives up the price, blah blah blah.”
As a moto-Luddite myself, I mostly feel the same. Increasingly, drivers and now riders are becoming stupider, and instead of emphasizing training and enforcing liability for actions, the transportation industry’s reaction is to use technology to make things safer and easier.
But, if people want the tech, and they’re willing to pay for it, why not? At this point, adaptive cruise control is a discretionary add-on. If the OEMs can make some profit here and re-invest it elsewhere in their companies, more power to them.