Motorcycles

Ducati's 2016 XDiavel: Lean, mean, stroked-out cruiser targets the American market

The Ducati XDiavel S is hotter than the Diavel by far
The Ducati XDiavel S is hotter than the Diavel by far
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Ducati XDiavel S: daytime driving light
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Ducati XDiavel S: daytime driving light
Ducati XDiavel S: machined highlights on the engine and rear wheel set the look off nicely
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Ducati XDiavel S: machined highlights on the engine and rear wheel set the look off nicely
Ducati XDiavel S: distinguished by glossy black paint
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Ducati XDiavel S: distinguished by glossy black paint
Ducati XDiavel: standard model with matt black paint
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Ducati XDiavel: standard model with matt black paint
Ducati XDiavel: Monster DNA is seen in the front end
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Ducati XDiavel: Monster DNA is seen in the front end
Ducati XDiavel: a much cleaner look than the Diavel
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Ducati XDiavel: a much cleaner look than the Diavel
Ducati XDiavel S: top view
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Ducati XDiavel S: top view
Ducati XDiavel S: smooth tank and headlight silhouette
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Ducati XDiavel S: smooth tank and headlight silhouette
Ducati XDiavel S: clean tail section with axle-mounted license plate holder
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Ducati XDiavel S: clean tail section with axle-mounted license plate holder
Ducati XDiavel S: twin split dash
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Ducati XDiavel S: twin split dash
Ducati XDiavel S: twin split dash
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Ducati XDiavel S: twin split dash
Ducati XDiavel S: the XDiavel's rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound, the Diavel gets compression adjustment too.
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Ducati XDiavel S: the XDiavel's rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound, the Diavel gets compression adjustment too.
Ducati XDiavel S: belt drive is new for Ducati
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Ducati XDiavel S: belt drive is new for Ducati
Ducati XDiavel S: brushed aluminium swingarm won't get chain grit all over it
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Ducati XDiavel S: brushed aluminium swingarm won't get chain grit all over it
Ducati XDiavel S: sissy bar is available with a tiny backrest
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Ducati XDiavel S: sissy bar is available with a tiny backrest
Ducati XDiavel S: daytime running light on
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Ducati XDiavel S: daytime running light on
Ducati XDiavel S: daytime running light off
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Ducati XDiavel S: daytime running light off
Ducati XDiavel S: underslung stubby exhaust helps to feature the rear wheel
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Ducati XDiavel S: underslung stubby exhaust helps to feature the rear wheel
Ducati XDiavel S: tank detail
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Ducati XDiavel S: tank detail
Ducati XDiavel S: radiator guard detail
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Ducati XDiavel S: radiator guard detail
Ducati XDiavel S: radiator guard detail
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Ducati XDiavel S: radiator guard detail
Ducati XDiavel S: gets a seat unit of its own
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Ducati XDiavel S: gets a seat unit of its own
Ducati XDiavel S: rear frame component echoes angles from elsewhere on the bike
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Ducati XDiavel S: rear frame component echoes angles from elsewhere on the bike
Ducati XDiavel S: aiming for a more relaxed cruiser feel
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Ducati XDiavel S: aiming for a more relaxed cruiser feel
Ducati XDiavel S: two options of passenger seat
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Ducati XDiavel S: two options of passenger seat
Ducati XDiavel S: retuned and stroked out for a more relaxed and powerful midrange
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Ducati XDiavel S: retuned and stroked out for a more relaxed and powerful midrange
The Ducati XDiavel S is hotter than the Diavel by far
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The Ducati XDiavel S is hotter than the Diavel by far
Ducati XDiavel S: a clear assault on the American cruiser market
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Ducati XDiavel S: a clear assault on the American cruiser market
Ducati XDiavel S: 240-section rear wheel looks fantastic with its machined rim highlights
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Ducati XDiavel S: 240-section rear wheel looks fantastic with its machined rim highlights
Ducati XDiavel S: cruise control rounds out its touring capabilities
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Ducati XDiavel S: cruise control rounds out its touring capabilities
Ducati XDiavel S: a tiny sissy bar might help passengers feel a bit more secure on this 150-horsepower monster
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Ducati XDiavel S: a tiny sissy bar might help passengers feel a bit more secure on this 150-horsepower monster
Ducati XDiavel S: it's a cruiser, but it's still built to handle
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Ducati XDiavel S: it's a cruiser, but it's still built to handle

Ducati's original Diavel was a successful oddity – a future-cruiser body with the heart of a superbike. It handled well and went fast, even if it made my butt go to sleep. But it didn't quite nail that relaxed cruiser feel, because it always, always wanted to go faster. This year, Ducati is kicking back a gear with the XDiavel, unveiled today at EICMA Milan, which uses a stroked-out engine to put the torque lower in the rev range, and gives a true feet-forward cruiser riding position, while pulling all the silly plastic off the sides for a much cleaner, sweeter look.

To everyone else, the Diavel was Ducati's cruiser. Not to Ducati, evidently. The Italian company unveiled the XDiavel today at EICMA, calling it the brand's first cruiser and shifting the Diavel to "sport cruiser" status. Righty-o then.

The XDiavel borrows a lot from the base Diavel, but it's by no means the same bike. The engine has been stroked out to 1262cc from the Diavel's 1198cc, in search of a broader torque spread. So while the regular Diavel hits peak torque at 8,000 rpm, the XDiavel hits its stride at 5,000 rpm, putting out 95 ft-lb (129 Nm). Peak horsepower is down from 162 (121 kW) to 156 (116 kW).

Ducati XDiavel S: 240-section rear wheel looks fantastic with its machined rim highlights
Ducati XDiavel S: 240-section rear wheel looks fantastic with its machined rim highlights

That should tell us all we need to know about the engine. Where the previous Diavel's superbike heritage gave it a rev-hungry feel that didn't quite jive with the riding position, the XDiavel aims for a more relaxed ride that'll still open up for a ton of top-end horsepower when you want it to.

The styling looks fantastic, pulling all those naff chunky futuristic elements from the front and sides of the Diavel to reveal its Monster-iffic trellis frame and super-flat headlight. The neat tail and twin split dash are similar to the Diavel, but the twin fat shorty pipes do a much better job of getting out of the way of that awesome 240-section rear wheel on its single-sided swingarm – even if you lose the traditional pretty bent pipes of the Diavel's exhaust.

Ducati XDiavel S: clean tail section with axle-mounted license plate holder
Ducati XDiavel S: clean tail section with axle-mounted license plate holder

Ducati felt it wouldn't be a cruiser without a belt drive, so it fitted one of those instead of the chain. Fair enough. It's also got a much more cruisy ride position – well, 60 ride positions to be precise, because there's four different footrest positions, five different seats and three different handlebars to choose from to suit the looks and ergonomics of each rider. Either way, it's a much more foot-forward, danglies-to-the-wind position than the Diavel, which does start looking much more like a musclebike dragster in comparison.

Ducati XDiavel S: retuned and stroked out for a more relaxed and powerful midrange
Ducati XDiavel S: retuned and stroked out for a more relaxed and powerful midrange

Cruisy though it may be, Ducati is keen to point out it'll still hit a 40-degree lean before its footpegs start decking out. And passengers get looked after as well, with a choice of two passenger seats and the option to fit a sissy bar with a backrest on it.

The XDiavel gets a full electronics suite to manage its considerable performance capabilities, with an Inertial Measurement Unit feeding information to the traction control and Cornering ABS systems. There's riding modes and cruise control, and even a launch control system if you need your pants scared off anytime.

Ducati XDiavel S: machined highlights on the engine and rear wheel set the look off nicely
Ducati XDiavel S: machined highlights on the engine and rear wheel set the look off nicely

An S version is also on the way, distinguished by glossy black paint instead of matte, as well as a daytime running light, DLC-coated forks, bigger Brembo M50 brake calipers and machine-finished highlighting on some of the metal bits. No Ohlins, then? Fair enough, it's a cruiser I suppose.

It may not have the baked-in appeal of a Harley or Victory cruiser, but the XDiavel sure is one fine-lookin' bike, and it's got the performance credentials to wipe the floor with even the most Screamin' Eagled-up Fat Boy. Of course, the key performance indicator is going to be how it sells in the American market, and that'll be very interesting to see!

As always, loads of photos in the gallery – enjoy!

Source: Ducati

8 comments
chinna
i prefer the previous machoistic Diavel to this...but i would love the Cornering ABS
ddavel544
Nice to see a return to the normal sitting up position. Much more safer than the prone over the tank position.
Peter Andrews
G'day Loz, what a great looking bike! But the darling wife would not be able to get on the bike, (I almost said mount, but that may send you into heavy breathing) unless it was next to a gutter or a step. And the addition of a backrest is one of the best addons according to my wife, even though it makes getting on a bike even harder. Sure, youth with their flexibility will not present too much of a challenge, us older, mature riders can only look on with envy as they jump on. With the pillion peg so high I foresee some using the peg to assist getting on with disastrous results.
moriarty
247kg compared to 166kg Panigale - says it all really
wanderkip
@ddavel544- Actually, the legs-forward, back straight position might look like a Lazy-Boy recliner, but causes more hip and back strain over distance than legs beneath or behind. Especially without a fairing. Slightly forward-leaning is preferred without a fairing, (or with a small one) as the wind against your chest balances the weight on your wrists. I'm in my 50's and traded my Harley for a Guzzi V7. Immediate relief of back pain on longer rides! Nice to have a bike that actually handles too...
f8lee
@wanderkip - I beg to differ - I'm in my 50's as well and find the "barcolounger" position is infinitely more comfortable - having done an Ironbutt 1000 that way with zero issues on back and wrists (and anything else) I could not see riding for any length of time in the traditional "racing" position. Just sayin'
Nelson
Looks like something a man that needs to overcompensate would buy.
wendorms
It sounds like "Nelson" is envious of those who enjoy high performance, Italian superbikes.
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