- Published On: 12 July 2017
- 8 min read
Here's what the latest, most fiercest looking version of the Diavel power cruiser is like to ride.
While this bike shares most of its name with the old Diavel, that’s where the resemblance ends - nearly every component on the xDiavel is different. This bike won’t replace the Diavel, but will be sold alongside.
On the outside
The XDiavel features a slimmer, lighter look with glossy and machined-finish parts. The side-mounted radiators of the Diavel are now at the front here, which allows the bike to showcase its grey-finished trellis frame. There’s a 18-litre tank just like on the Diavel, but now tapers to an ultra-slim waist at the rider seat, and then gets wider towards the tail section. The bike continues to feature the twin-slash brake light treatment. The headlamp unit is far sleeker now with a menacing daytime running light covering the top half of it.
On the right side, the enormous, machined wheel sits proudly on display and the engine casings get a similar machined look with a gloss black finish. The bike comes with dual slash-cut exhaust pipes that are also visible, along with the large collector box. There’s an optional long rear seat and a backrest as well. The bike features a brand new 3.5-inch TFT colour screen between the tank and handlebar. The tell-tale lights get their own tiny display above the handlebar, and even though it’s legible, the greens tend to look grey from the rider’s point of view. The red backlighting for the switchgear forms an 'X' on the left bar at night.
This otherwise elegantly crafted bike has a few niggles - the haphazard snaking of hoses near the headstock and the uneven, lumpy welds on the swingarm. The exposed frame, intricate single-side swingarm and huge rear wheel blend with the slim tail and highly finished parts exquisitely.
Engine and gearbox
This bike uses Ducati’s clever DVT variable valve timing system, just like the Multistrada 1200. The motor has been bumped from 1,198cc to 1,262 cc and while power is similar to the old Diavel’s 152hp, torque has increased by 3Nm to 126Nm. Peak torque hits in at a significantly lower 5,000rpm instead of the earlier 8,000rpm.
Cruisers are known for their solid low-end torque, but the XDiavel doesn’t like the revs to drop too low either. The DVT system ensures 2,000-4,000rpm stays smooth but dropping the revs below that results in clunking and chugging from the motor. The six-speed gearbox runs the same tall ratios from the Diavel but the inclusion of belt drive has vastly improved low-speed refinement. The xDiavel operates in a smooth, quiet manner.
This much power requires a beefy 240 section tyre and a long, stable chassis - the Diavel, after all, was one of the hardest accelerating production bikes on sale. The new XDiavel now offers DPL, or Ducati Power Launch – a three-stage launch control system, which makes launching the bike much easier.
From the saddle
Performance is thrilling, bordering on frightening. In the wet, we managed to hit 100kph in 3.4sec time. Speeds of up to 200kph arrive so ferociously but thankfully, the XDiavel isn’t all aggression. There are three riding modes on offer, of which, Urban mode restricts power to 100hp and offers milder responses. Set it to Touring mode and the bike will continue to offer a mild throttle response, but gives the rider access to the full 152hp. Sport mode is what you set when you want your brain to explode with sheer glee - it sharpens engine response and offers reduces the amount that the electronics intervene. Each riding mode configures traction control and ABS accordingly.
Outright performance is at the same insane level, but the XDiavel does low-speed riding a good deal better than its sibling.
On paper, this bike shouldn’t handle like it does. The enormous 240 section rear Pirelli Diablo Rosso II sits at the far end of an enormous 1,615mm wheelbase – a big jump from the Diavel’s already expansive 1,580mm wheelbase. The new riding position is far more cruiser-like, with a lower 755mm seat and forward-set foot controls. You can even adjust the foot pegs to three levels and, along with optional seats and handlebars, Ducati claims that you can 60 riding position combinations. Kerb weight has risen by 13kg to 247kg. Ride quality is firm but reasonably usable, while the low ground clearance means you have to be careful on larger speed breakers. Both versions of the xDiavel get the added security of Bosch's cornering ABS.
Is it worth the money?
The XDiavel offers a more comfortable and refined experience as a cruiser, yet delivers the same mind-altering punch of performance that can plaster a grin on your face permanently. It’s also a prettier bike and marginally easier to live with. Also, much like its sibling, the XDiavel is not a motorcycle for beginners but it can be a proper thriller in the right hands.