According to patents unearthed by Ben Purvis of BikeSocial, KTM is working on a new radar-governed adaptive cruise control system. That itself is nothing new, as KTM’s already said it’s working on such a system. What’s surprising is, the patent drawings show the system fitted to a KTM 390 Duke with spoked supermoto wheels.
Surprisingly, adaptive cruise control has become the latest “killer app” for motorcycles. Adaptive cruise control uses radar and other sensors to detect vehicles around the motorcycle, adjusting the bike’s speed to remain a safe distance from cars in front, or alerting of approaching danger from the rear. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen Japanese and Euro manufacturers patent technology that allows for such systems. Ducati and BMW both included Bosch-designed adaptive cruise control on some new-for-2021 models.
However, all we’ve seen so far is big-bore street bikes fitted with the system (BMW R1250 RT, for instance). That makes sense, as this is the sort of tech the OEMs like to charge big prices for, and nobody wants to add expensive tech to a low-priced bike. But, KTM’s patent drawing shows a radar sensor on a 390-series machine, which is one of KTM’s most budget-oriented models. It also shows the radar fitted to a Husqvarna-style headlight, as opposed to nesting it between the dual front LEDs of the KTM.
Remember that a patent drawing is no guarantee of anything, though. KTM might have just drawn this system on the 390 because it was easy.
The patent seems to only deal with questions about the radar’s placement; the actual system seems to be from Bosch, which makes sense. Bosch’s ABS and other electronic safety systems are becoming the standard in the motorcycle world these days; as such tech becomes standard, it seems more and more manufacturers are willing to outsource that work.