Motorcycles

Roland Sands gives the Ducati XDiavel a California-style makeover for Sturgis 2016

Roland Sands gives the Ducati ...
XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle California twist on an Italian-American design by Ducati
XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle California twist on an Italian-American design by Ducati
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: a collection of billet aluminum farkles
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: a collection of billet aluminum farkles
XDiavel by Roland Sands: single-piece bodywork is classy and swoopy
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: single-piece bodywork is classy and swoopy
Roland Sands pretends to polish his XDiavel build
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Roland Sands pretends to polish his XDiavel build
Roland Sands contemplates the sparkle paint job of his XDiavel custom in a serious manner
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Roland Sands contemplates the sparkle paint job of his XDiavel custom in a serious manner
Roland Sands stares at his carbon front guard with stirring intensity
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Roland Sands stares at his carbon front guard with stirring intensity
XDiavel by Roland Sands:  thin seat pad
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XDiavel by Roland Sands:  thin seat pad
XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle twist on an Italian-American design
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle twist on an Italian-American design
XDiavel by Roland Sands: mirror-free look keeps the handlebars clean
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: mirror-free look keeps the handlebars clean
XDiavel by Roland Sands: a So-Cal twist on the Ducati design
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: a So-Cal twist on the Ducati design
XDiavel by Roland Sands:  Ducati's American-style cruiser gets a style overhaul
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XDiavel by Roland Sands:  Ducati's American-style cruiser gets a style overhaul
XDiavel by Roland Sands: forward foot controls make for a chilled-out ride
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: forward foot controls make for a chilled-out ride
XDiavel by Roland Sands: let the farkles begin
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: let the farkles begin
XDiavel by Roland Sands: billet detailing elevates the look
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: billet detailing elevates the look
XDiavel by Roland Sands: bold pinstriping on the silver sparkle tank gives it a classic look
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: bold pinstriping on the silver sparkle tank gives it a classic look
XDiavel by Roland Sands: capable of doing burnouts in aqueducts 
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: capable of doing burnouts in aqueducts 
XDiavel by Roland Sands: twin custom upswept exhausts get rid of the original bike's unsightly catalytic converter
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: twin custom upswept exhausts get rid of the original bike's unsightly catalytic converter
Man sits on Roland Sands XDiavel at sunset in aqueduct
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Man sits on Roland Sands XDiavel at sunset in aqueduct
Man does burnout on Roland Sands XDiavel at sunset in aqueduct
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Man does burnout on Roland Sands XDiavel at sunset in aqueduct
XDiavel by Roland Sands: stock headlight remains, but it's framed by sexier polished triple clamps and a slightly larger 19" front wheel
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: stock headlight remains, but it's framed by sexier polished triple clamps and a slightly larger 19" front wheel
XDiavel by Roland Sands: polished triple clamps and bar risers add to the special look
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: polished triple clamps and bar risers add to the special look
XDiavel by Roland Sands: custom fork caps
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: custom fork caps
XDiavel by Roland Sands: natty, technical looking sprocket carrier
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: natty, technical looking sprocket carrier
XDiavel by Roland Sands: shiny engine covers
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: shiny engine covers
XDiavel by Roland Sands: not a huge design overhaul, but a nicely done subtle twist
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: not a huge design overhaul, but a nicely done subtle twist
XDiavel by Roland Sands: a California twist on an Italian-American design
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: a California twist on an Italian-American design
Roland Sands XDiavel with manhole cover in aqueduct
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Roland Sands XDiavel with manhole cover in aqueduct
XDiavel by Roland Sands: one-piece bodywork gives a stylish and swoopy twist to the design
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: one-piece bodywork gives a stylish and swoopy twist to the design
XDiavel by Roland Sands: switchgear remains standard, but fuel cap gets Roland Sands written on it
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: switchgear remains standard, but fuel cap gets Roland Sands written on it
XDiavel by Roland Sands: custom belt guard
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: custom belt guard
XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle California twist on an Italian-American design by Ducati
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XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle California twist on an Italian-American design by Ducati
Ducati's original XDiavel design
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Ducati's original XDiavel design
View gallery - 31 images

For this year's Sturgis rally, Ducati teamed up with West Coast custom builder Roland Sands to put a Californian twist on the Italian-American XDiavel cruiser. The result is this sexy, swoopy and beautifully finished design that gives the XDiavel a classic twist without straying too far from the original.

Ducati's XDiavel is a pretty gorgeous little machine in its own right – after all, the Bolognese know a thing or two about making sexy motorcycles. Here's the original design:

Ducati's original XDiavel design
Ducati's original XDiavel design

But it's an American-style cruiser, which means no self respecting cruiser fan is going to be caught dead on it without putting a few personal touches on it. For some, that's going to mean a lavish shower of farkles out of the accessory catalog, and for others that's going to mean a bigger style overhaul.

Roland Sands would tend to fall toward the latter end of the scale. Finding reality TV fame through Discovery Channel's Biker Build-Off in 2005, Sands has quickly become one of the most prolific custom builders and style merchants in the American motorcycle landscape. We've covered a number of his bikes in the past. He makes sweet bikes and rides them hard – occasionally too hard.

For this year's Sturgis rally, the must-go mecca of the cruiser fraternity, Sands has teamed up with Ducati to put his own spin on the XDiavel.

XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle twist on an Italian-American design
XDiavel by Roland Sands: a subtle twist on an Italian-American design

And as a custom bike overhaul, what's most interesting to me is how little Sands has done to the XDiavel to make it his own, certainly compared to some of his more adventurous efforts.

The big ticket items, such as they are, would include a new single-seat, one-piece bodywork kit that gives the top half of the bike a longer, more aerodynamic, classic and swoopier look, a pair of short custom pipes, and a 19-inch front wheel that's frankly just not that different to look at from the 17-in stocker.

XDiavel by Roland Sands: stock headlight remains, but it's framed by sexier polished triple clamps and a slightly larger 19" front wheel
XDiavel by Roland Sands: stock headlight remains, but it's framed by sexier polished triple clamps and a slightly larger 19" front wheel

Beyond that, it's mainly just small billet details like frame bolt covers, clutch covers, bar ends, sprocket carriers, fork caps and the like. Each with Roland Sands written on them. I'd love to see a final count of how many times he's felt the need to write his own name on this bike. If you're a fan of the look, it's not hard to see these little aluminium detail pieces showing up in a parts catalog somewhere down the track.

XDiavel by Roland Sands: shiny engine covers
XDiavel by Roland Sands: shiny engine covers

Either way, the final bike looks awesome, providing a subtle Californian twist on an original design that looked pretty damn cool to start with, and presumably something that'll get XDiavel buyers thinking about what they can do with their own machines. But if I was one of the original XDiavel design team, I'd feel pretty stoked about how much of my original work Sands chose to leave untouched.

Source: Ducati

View gallery - 31 images
2 comments
Martin Hone
I think he has done a good job in turning what I consider an ugly motorcycle into something I could live with.....well, maybe that's stretching it, but still, a worthy effort
Imran Sheikh
now thats a sleek looking retro-modern look..