Ducati XDiavel – V Twin Sport-Cruiser

The Ducati XDiavel (and its predecessor the Diavel) was a bit of a social pariah in the world, much like the Triumph Rocket 3 or the earlier Yamaha V-Max 1200

Nobody really knew where these bikes belonged but that didn’t stop the awe that followed them around or the levels of appreciation.

The Ducati XDiavel has taken its stance as a big boned muscle bike and is well deserving of its place among iconic motorcycles. 

Let’s take a look into the Ducati XDiavel and why it has become a modern motorcycle icon.

Table of Contents

A New Ducati Legend is Born

Back in 2010 Ducati had released their new bike called the Diavel at the EICMA show in Milan. It was hailed as a performance beauty and went on to win Machine of The Year.

2013 diavel muslce bike
The Ducati Dial was released in 2010

Ducati had been targeting predominantly the American audience with the Diavel, providing a powerful alternative to the big V-twins that dominated the market.

However, the American market they were targeting, kind of rejected the Diavel, particularly as a cruiser, it was simply too Italian and too much like a sports bike over and above a cruiser. 

So, the Ducati design team headed up by Andrea Ferraresi based in Borgo, Panigale were issued with new orders to create a cruiser but keep it fundamentally Ducati through and through. 

It sounded quite simple at face value but proved to be complex and required the original Diavel to have a complete overhaul in fact the two bikes share only two of the same components and the name; the XDiavel was put together piece by piece. 

The engine was placed “As the absolute protagonist, no detail was left to chance. The objective was to let the V of the two cylinders be the showcase, letting everything else take the backstage.” Ducati

As with any American V-twin the engine is the focal point and Ducati were keen to follow some tradition on this front. 

Other than that however, the frame was a Ducati famed short and modern Trellis frame with a drop shaped tank simultaneously cruiser and reminiscent of the Monster and Diavel. 

The last nod to traditional cruiser heritage was the color scheme picked. Black. Everything was set to be black, various types, opaque, matte, gloss but regardless still black. 

“Andrea explains – the bike was set to be long, low, muscular, with modern shapes and advanced technological components, but above all, it had to be sexy. A real Ducati Technocruiser.” 

Ducati XDiavel unveiled in 2015
The 2016 Ducati XDiavel at the 2015 Long Beach motorcycle show

By 2016 when it was ready for release. Ducati were confident they had fulfilled the request and hoped to capture cruiser lover hearts. It was Ducati’s second only cruiser and the only Ducati to use a belt final drive. 

Fast forward to date and the Ducati XDiavel has had a refresh for 2021 predominantly to meet Euro 5 regs where they apply but the DNA remains the same. 

The all new Ducati XDiavel Dark enhances the muscular broody nature with a matte black paint scheme and livery. The S version strays only slightly with gloss black paint work followed by a grey frame. 

In Europe there is now a Ducati XDiavel Black Star which has taken inspiration from the world of sports cars and leans into the sporty nature of the bike. 

Most notable is the stray into matte grey paint work to accompany the black with highlights of bright red. The Black Star screams sports luxury, something Ducati knows a thing or two about.

Ducati XDiavel Review

So, what does all this mean when it comes to actually riding the thing? Is it a true cruiser or a posers accessory? Well, let’s take a look and you can decide for yourself.

Engine and Power

As Cycle World puts it the Ducati XDiavel “is powered by the Desmodromic Variable Timing-equipped, 152-hp 1,262cc V-twin from the latest Multistrada adventure bike, making it even more user-friendly at nearly any speed.” 

The throttle is responsive and there is 127 Nm of torque to pull on for every situation you could find yourself in on the road.

Some manufacturers have actually failed to produce bikes in their line-ups to meet Euro-5 regulations and are still struggling to adapt models to meet these standards. Where they have managed to produce such bikes they have generally lost power as a result.

Ducati on the other hand have actually increased the XDiavels horsepower and torque over the previous models.

Bennetts states on the matter “Tellingly, Ducati’s dyno charts comparing the new and older bikes’ outputs reveal much smoother power and torque curves, with fewer peaks and troughs, especially in the mid-range.” 

Essentially by using the Multistrada engine, Ducati have put an ADV bike motor that is built to get riders over rough terrain, up hills, through mud etc into a bonafide cruiser package. 

So, you have a ridiculously smooth motor packed with power that is overly equipped for purpose and will happily run along all day long, likely out running the rider’s stamina.

An interesting note is that the XDiavel is actually packed with more torque than the iconic superbike, the Ducati 916. Ducati’s cruiser has more power on tap than their legendary sports bike!

If you fancy getting a drag race on, the bike is equipped with Ducati Power Launch. Worth pointing out that you can still lift the front tire if you aren’t careful, which is quite a feat from a heavy, low-slung cruiser. 

“Approximately 80% of the maximum torque of the XDiavel is almost immediately available: at 2,100 rpm. This means you can pick up speed without having to shift down a gear, by slightly opening the throttle.” Ducati

Equipped with Ride by Wire, the system allows the ideal power level to be configured depending on which riding mode you select. There are 3 different mappings which regulate the power supply: Sports Mode, Touring Mode and Urban Mode.

Chassis and Handling

The XDiavel wears a huge rear tire, has a long wheelbase, and a pretty chilled rake, on paper the only thing it should be good for is to go in a straight line, albeit quite fast. 

The low slung seat and forward pegs and slightly pulled back bars all feed into that cruiser feel that again theoretically would make the handling a little stiff, maybe heavy.

At 221 kg dry that will certainly be true at low speeds and when it comes to pushing the bike round the garage. 

However, the XDiavel handles surprisingly well and even somewhat energetically. It can take a little extra push to get the bike moving round a bend at slower speeds around town, you will soon get used to it and remember all you need is to give the throttle a little tug to power through.

Backroads is where the XDiavel thrives, open throttle and sweeping bends. That is where you will notice how on a performance basis the Ducati is leaps and bounds ahead of the curve when it comes to cruiser handling. 

Undoubtedly you will want to ride the bike through busy sections of town for a little pose, but it is going to be much happier at some speed cruising along. 

The bikes upside-down forks and monoshock rear suspension are suitable for the weight of the bike. Suspension is overall considered firm, which aids with the handling, but it also won’t give you back ache if you hit a jolt in the road and absorbs the impacts pretty well.

Brakes

Brembo brakes provide the stopping power and do the job superbly, there are no complaints on the brakes front that I have come across. 

Cornering ABS is linked to the IMU, along with all the rider aids you can ask for. The ABS and powerful brakes inspire great confidence when it comes to stopping the weighty and mighty powerful Ducati XDiavel. 

“BS Cornering makes use of the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) platform by Bosch to optimize the braking power of the front and back wheels, even in critical situations and when cornering. The system, implemented within the Riding Mode, can provide performance to suit all conditions and riding styles.” Ducati

Rider Aids and Special Equipment

The XDiavel comes with the following as standard:

  • 3 Rider Modes
  • Cornering ABS
  • Ducati Power Launch
  • RBW (ride by wire)
  • Cruise Control
  • Traction Control
  • Ride by Wire system
  • Full LED lighting system and Daytime Running Light
  • Bluetooth Connectivity

Ducati also has a host of accessories available from racing silencers to XDiavel branded jackets etc.

Ergonomics

Ergonomically the XDiavel is very comfortable for the rider and most importantly adjustable. Pillion’s may find that any ride of length on the bike is uncomfortable and it is most suited to solo riders. 

Fuel Economy

Ducati claims 51mpg and having read several posts and searched owners groups 47mpg-50mpg seems to be about right. That should give some somewhere between 150 miles – 170 miles before needing to search for a fuel station. 

Any Downsides?

As with any motorcycle there are always a few factors that let the side down, although with the XDiavel these are few and far between:

  • Weight – It is a heavy bike with a fat rear tire. Low speed maneuvers and moving around on the drive or in the garage is going to be difficult, unless you’re The Hulk.
  • Price – The XDiavel is priced in a way that it will be out of reach for many.
  • Not a great bike for riding 2-up. Probably best to keep this one just for solo riding.
  • The instrument display panel is quite small and tucked in between the wide bars, so depending on the rider’s height and seating position it can be a bit difficult to see.

What type of bike is the Ducati XDiavel?

With its relaxed riding position the Ducati XDiavel is a cruiser, there is no debate about that from my perspective. 

It is a performance Italian cruiser and a far cry from the American V-twins but it is still a cruiser nonetheless.

It nods towards Ducati naked bikes and muscle machines but as Mr Ferraresi puts it, the XDiavel is a Technocruiser. 

Maybe it needs its own category?

2021 Ducati XDiavel Specs

Engine and Transmission –

  • Testastretta DVT 1262, V2 – 90°, 4 Valves per cylinder, Desmodromic Variable Timing, Dual Spark, Liquid-Cooled
  • 1,262 cc
  • Bore x Stroke – 106mm x 71.5mm
  • Compression Ratio – 13:1
  • Power – 160 HP @ 9,500 rpm (Euro 5 Only)

152 HP @ 9,500 rpm 

  • Torque – 127 Nm at 5,000rpm (Euro 5 Only)

126 Nm at 5,000rpm

  • Fuel Injection – Electronic Fuel Injection System, 56mm elliptical throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire system.
  • Exhaust – Stainless Steel Muffler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
  • Gearbox – 6 Speeds
  • Final Drive – Belt
  • Clutch – Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control

Chassis

  • Frame – Tubular Steel Trellis Frame
  • Front Suspension – Adjustable USD Fork
  • Rear Suspension – Preload and rebound adjustable monoshock, remote reservoir, single-sided cast trellis frame swingarm  
  • Front Brake – 2 x 320mm semi floating discs, radial mounted Brembo monobloc 4 piston calipers, PR18/19 radial master cylinder, Cornering ABS
  • Rear Brake – Single 265mm Disc, Brembo 2 piston floating caliper, Cornering ABS
  • Instrumentation – 3.5” TFT colour display and dedicated warning light display

Dimensions

  • Dry Weight – 221kg
  • Seat Height – 755mm
  • Wheelbase – 1,615mm
  • Rake – 30°
  • Trail – 130mm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity – 18 litres
  • Front Tire – Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
  • Rear Tire – Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 240/45 ZR17

Warranty and Servicing

  • Warranty – 24 months, unlimited mileage
  • Servicing – Every 9,000 miles/12 months
  • Valve Clearance Check – 18,000 miles

Is the Ducati XDiavel Comfortable?

The XDiavel is a natural born cruiser and the entire design was with that in mind. Swept Back handlebars, low seat, and forward footpegs put the rider in a natural laid back position. 

The Handlebars, Footpegs and Seat Height are all adjustable to 3 different positions to get the perfect riding position for individual riders. 

It is safe to say that you will be able to ride many miles on the XDiavel, it is likely the only factor that will stop you riding will be fatigue from riding all day.

Is the Ducati XDiavel Fast?

The Ducati XDiavel produces up to 160 horsepower and 127 Nm of torque. 

What this translates to is a motorcycle capable of just over 150mph at its top speed.

The XDiavel is capable of reaching 0-60 in 2.9 seconds.

To put this in perspective the Kawasaki H2 sports bike built for speed has a 0-60 recorded time of 3.1 seconds. 

So, to conclude it is safe to say the Ducati XDiavel is a fast bike with plenty of oomph, grunt and power of tap. 

What?s the difference between the Diavel and Ducati XDiavel?

The Diavel preceded the Ducati XDiavel by 5 years and remains in production to date. 

The primary difference between the two bikes are the laid back ergonomics of the XDiavel that are configurable to suit a range of riders. 

While similar the only identical parts between the two bikes are the brake calipers and radial tires along with the shared name.

The Ducati XDiavel was built as a power cruiser and everything about the bike screams cruiser, from the low slung seat to the pulled back bars. 

The XDiavel uses a newer bigger Ducati Testastretta DVT 1262 cc whereas the Diavel used an older 1198cc engine until the 2021 model year where it has been boosted to 1260cc. 

The Diavel is more of a muscle street bike built for performance whereas the XDiavel is meant to be more laid back with a smooth power delivery to take you on those long trips. 

Who is the Ducati XDiavel for?

Initially the XDiavel was targeted at the American audience as direct competition for the likes of Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles. Given the size of the machine it is best suited to American roads and highways, although the XDiavel has gained a huge following worldwide.

The XDiavel is for those who have the money and inclination to buy a big V-twin that stands out from the rest, that will draw an audience, perform like a sports bike but maintain a relaxed, laid-back cruiser stature.  

From an ergonomics stand point with the comfort and adjustability of the Ducati XDiavel it really is a bike for most riders.

How much is a XDiavel?

Ducati XDiavel Price

In the UK the current Ducati XDiavel versions are priced from the following:

XDiavel Dark – £17,205

XDiavel S – £20,905

XDiavel Black Star – £21,505

In the US the pricing is as follows:

XDiavel Dark – $20,695

XDiavel S – $25,395

There is no Black Star version of the Ducati XDiavel available in the US. 

Final Thoughts

Earlier on I posed the question, is it a true cruiser or a posers accessory? 

My answer and this will be divisive, I think the Ducati XDiavel is the ultimate cruiser and stands alone (or with a select few, Triumph Rocket 3) as a bike that pushes the boundaries. This puts people on edge, largely as they have an outdated view of what a cruiser should be. 

Oh and it is also a complete posers toy, but surely all bikes are? When I finally get my shiny new Indian Scout, you better know that I will be pulling up at all the busy spots. 

The Ducati XDiavel doesn’t take anything away from Harley Davidson, it is its own iteration of a powerful V-twin and lets face it, performance wise there aren’t many bikes that can hold a candle to it.

Ducati XDiavel - V Twin Sport-Cruiser

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