Motorcycles

Ducati Multistrada V4 debuts as a tech-forward, versatile bike

The Ducati Multistrada V4 has been born and is now available to configure online.

Photo courtesy of Ducati
Ducati has unveiled the fourth generation of its popular Multistrada motorcycle. The bike combines performance with tech-forward innovation that rivals some of the systems found in the most popular cars on the road today.

In the 18 years since the first-generation Multistrada was put on sale, Ducati has sold 110,000 of them, making the bike one of the most popular in the world. Originally a sports bike, in its third generation the motorcycle became more versatile offering four different ride modes.

Ducati Multistrada V4 The bike is made for touring and daily driver responsibilities.Photo courtesy of Ducati

For the new edition, Ducati has made the Multistrada easier to ride. This includes mechanical and technology innovations that also improve rider safety and allows users to remain more connected to their devices while at the helm.

The bike retains its light and compact body structure for V4. Designers worked to make the bike appear strong yet sexy, integrating the 22-liter tank with a slim rear and muscular front. Special attention has been paid to optimal riding position whether on- or off-road, and aerodynamics.

Its aluminum monocoque frame sits atop a 19-inch front wheel and double-sided swingarm. Its suspension allows for 170 mm of front wheel and 180 mm of rear wheel travel. The bike has 220 mm of ground clearance and a weight of 473 pounds.

The engine of the motorcycle has a displacement of 1,158 cc and delivers 170 horsepower at 10,500 rpm with 92 pound-feet of torque at 8,750 rpm. This engine has allowed Ducati to recommend longer intervals between service, with the oil change is scheduled every 9,230 miles, while valve clearance check and eventual adjustment is required every 37,282 miles. Those time periods are longer than any other bike on the market today.

Ducati Multistrada V4 Ducati has engineered the bike to have a comfortable seat position whether on- or off-road.Photo courtesy of Ducati

Ducati has made it so that the engine deactivates the rear bank when idling, a practice that improves the thermal comfort of the rider and reduces fuel consumption with the added benefit of lowering noise volumes while maintaining the signature Ducati exhaust note.

Safety and performance go hand-in-hand on the bike. The inertial platform manages the operation of ABS Cornering, Ducati Wheelie Control, Ducati Traction Control, semi-active, and available corning lights, vehicle hold control, Ducati Skyhook Suspension, and automatic leveling functionality.

The bike also gets a front and rear radar system which allows for adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection.

The Ducati Multistrada V4 base model comes with a red paint job. The next step up in the trim level lineup is the Multistrada V4 S, which is available in Aviator Grey and red, as well as options including alloy and spoked wheels. Buyers can upgrade their V4 S by checking the box for any number of package configurations direct from the factory (Essential, Travel, Radar, Performance, Full).

Ducati Multistrada V4

Photo courtesy of Ducati

The Multistrada V4 S Sport gets a bolder livery and standard Performance package with Akrapovič exhaust and carbon front fender.

The new Ducati Multistrada V4 will be available in Ducati dealerships from the end of November. The online configurator is now live.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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Highway safety

U.S. roadway fatalities up in 2021

Ford, Microsoft team to use quantum-inspired technology to understand traffic congestion
Photo coursesy of Ford Motor Company

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its estimates on traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2021 and the numbers aren't promising. In the first quarter of this year alone, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Last year's cumulative numbers weren't much better, coming in higher than any year since 2007.


U.S. Roadways Traffic may be going up, but fuel fill ups are down according to the latest research automotivemap.com


The grim statistics represent a 10.5 percent increase from the same time period last year, a time when we were already marveling at the numbers. Further data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.1 percent, which makes the increase in fatalities all the more striking a statistic. Initial projections pegged the number of fatalities per 100 million VMT at 1.12, but it instead climbed to 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT.

Regionally, most areas in the United Statessaw an increase, though two did not. The Midwest region, which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas did not change, while the mid-east coast states of North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia actually saw a six percent decline in fatality counts.


Highway 1 big sur Highway 1 near Big Sur includes the Bixby Creek Bridge, a famous landmark. Photo by\u00a0Getty Images


What's behind all of this? Last year, the NHTSA reported that, with fewer people on the roads, those that were driving were engaging in risky behavior. What's more, Automotive News reports, that the number of deaths involving people not wearing seatbelts increased 15 percent last year and speeding deaths climbed 10 percent.

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