When I rode Ducati’s interesting new Diavel cruiser a few years ago, I asked readers if it was “just another corporate oddity that would fade away in a few model years.” The answer is no — behold the revamped-for-2015 Diavel, proof that Ducati’s corporate leadership wants to keep offering a “cruiser” (in quotes, because this isn’t your Grandfather’s cruiser) model for the near future at least. Aside from the updated engine (see below), the Diavel gets mostly visual and comfort changes, but the price hasn’t changed much—the basic bike gets a mere $300 price bump from the 2013 Diavel Dark’s $17,695 MSRP. The Carbon versions, with carbon-fiber body panels, forged Marchesini wheels and other accents, are $20,995.
The motor is where the biggest change could be. Although claimed peak horsepower is still the same —162 horsepower at 9,250 rpm—torque is up a couple of foot/pounds to 96.2 at 8,000 rpm. It’s essentially the same motor as the new Monster 1200, but it makes a lot more oomph—Ducati tunes the same 11˚ DS (dual-spark) motor for different applications, from 135 hp to over 200. In this configuration, it’s set up to allow for carefree (but fast) cruiser use. I had fun rolling on and off the throttle and enjoying instant power and torque from just about any combination of speed and gear ratio on the 2011 version—this bike should be even more flexible. A slipper clutch, ride-by-wire throttle and traction control makes it even easier, and valve-check intervals are at an un-Ducati-like 18,000 miles.
The big aesthetic changes are with the exhaust and lighting. The staggered mufflers are shorter, with a slash-cut design intended to show off and accentuate the big back wheel. According to Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali, input from the Audi folks helped Ducati develop the new LED headlights, matching the bold LED taillights. Comfort is heightened by higher bars and a reshaped saddle. Some of the bodywork has been reshaped, and there’s a redesigned fuel gauge as well.
All the changes are aimed at making the Diavel “more comfortable, easier to use,” as Domenicali told Bloomberg TV. Whether you like the looks or not, the Diavel is fast, fun, comfy and easy to use—and it may have gotten even a little better. Here is a link to a special web site set up by Ducati for the new Diavel.
Gabe Ets-Hokin is the Editor of City Bike Magazine, and a frequent freelance contributor to MotorcycleDaily.com.