Motorcycle Traction Control
Ducati was one of the first to introduce a true competition-level traction control system on a production motorcycle. For 2011 the highly successful system is now integrated into the Multistrada 1200 (all motorcycle models: Standard, Sport and Touring) Streetfighter S, 1198, 1198 SP (and 2010 1198 R) electronics as standard equipment.
The Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system further underlines Ducati’s technology flow from racing to production and demonstrates how solutions developed for the track can be applied to enhance motorcycle safety on the road.
DTC uses the same software logic developed and used by Ducati Corse for their World Championship winning Ducati MotoGP and World Superbike motorcycles and offers a choice of eight settings developed by their professional motorcycle riders and racers.
Accessible from the left-hand Ducati switchgear and displayed on the digital instrumentation, the system offers a choice of eight profiles, each one programmed with a wheel-spin tolerance matched to progressive riding levels of skill graded from one to eight.
While level eight administers a confidence-building, high level of interaction from the system by activating upon the slightest amount of wheel-spin, level one offers a much higher tolerance and, therefore, much less intervention for highly competent motorcycle riders.
When the level is selected and Ducati Traction Control activated, the level is displayed on the instrumentation.
When the profile that best suits the combination of road or track conditions and riding style has been selected and the DTC system activated, front and rear wheel sensors compare speed differential to sense when rear traction is being broken (wheel-spin).
DTC then decides the best combination of two different types of instant electronic adjustment, calculated with data supplied from multiple sources.
The first ‘soft’ stage of system interaction is executed by high speed software that makes instant electronic adjustment to the ignition timing, administering varying amounts of ignition retardation to reduce the engine’s torque.
During this initial stage of Ducati Traction Control interaction, up to three red lights (normally used to signify the over-rev limiter) illuminate to indicate the amount of DTC being applied.
If the DTC software detects that the first ‘soft’ stage of system interaction is inadequate to control the wheel-spin, it continues to administer ignition retardation and, in addition, instructs the engine ECU to initiate a pattern of constantly increasing injection cuts until, if necessary, full injection cut.
During this second stage of interaction, all four warning lights fully illuminate to signify that Ducati Traction Control has also initiated injection cuts. As soon as the system recognizes the gradual return of equal wheel speeds, it incrementally re-establishes normal power delivery.
The real innovative thinking behind the DTC system is how the various range of sensitivity levels decide precisely how to react to excessive wheel-spin by understanding the motorcycle’s exact dynamic situation.
From slow mid-corner acceleration with considerable motorcycle inclination to high speed corner exits while almost upright, this system intelligence is achieved by processing a mass of data in a matter of milliseconds.
This technology exists thanks to the thousands of laps and hours spent testing, programming and earning Ducati Corse motorcycle race victories on the track.
Also, Ducati’s latest road-bike technology provides a considerable increase in motorcycle safety during mid-corner acceleration.