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MD First Look: 2015 Ducati Diavel (with video)

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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.

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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.

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76 Comments

  1. wayne says:

    there is one of these things that parks near work, most bikes look okay from some angles , this thing always looks really weird and out of proportion

  2. Shaunock says:

    Um… Regarding this vv

    “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.”

    What bike runs an 200hp 11 degree engine? Keeping in mind that the superquadro engine in the Panigale is a completely new design when comared to the old Testastretta architecture, and therefore not in the same family…

    The 11 degree designation refers to valve overlap. The 1198 from which this engine was sourced had something like 41 degrees of valve overlap (The period which the intake and exhaust valves are open simultaneously). More overlap with proper tuning generally means more peak power at the expense of driveability.

    I think you’ll find that this engine, at 162hp, from the Diavel/Multistrada/Streetfighter is as much power as you will get from a standard Ducati 11degree engine. They hamstrung it to 125/145hp for the Monster 1200/1200S which completely baffles me.

    For the record I think it’s a fantastic mill, I would love to drop one into my 749 one day since the engine mounts are the same. Just need a new intake and exhaust (And $$$).

  3. Gary says:

    Why anyone would buy this thing instead of a Multistrada is an utter mystery. No beak = no sale.

  4. Frank says:

    Ugly…where would most adventure bikes be if it wasn’t for, let me say, ‘not beautiful’. But they sell very well, and there are numerous reason for that.

    Even though the Diavel looks like something out of “Mad Max”…futuristic, industrial hardware, it will never reach ‘adventure bike’ popularity or acceptably for sure. Why? My take is one: because primarily it’s ‘non-beautiful’, (but cool), design is not accepted as a functional out growth of it’s build purpose as it is with adventure bikes. And two: and even more important, it does not incorporate any of the traditional cruiser design cues. My old 750 v-four Magna was no cruiser either, but at least it had the good sense and decency of trying to disguise that fact by incorporating some conventional cruiser styling elements.

    I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating given the majority response here: good luck to any manufacturer trying to design and sell anything that does not incorporate long time established design cues. As motorcyclists, we are predominantly a very conservative, or at least very traditional group by and large…small, superficial design changes may be tolerated, but the final product better ‘look like’ the kind of bike it wants to call itself, and is ‘supposed’ to be.

    It’s true that repetition of design remains the pathway to acceptance and sales success, but it’s good to see that every now and again someone is willing to walk through the certain fire of criticism that’s sure to follow, and bring us all something different.

  5. MJD says:

    A better-looking V-Max…

  6. Sean says:

    Here we go, another bike that got the old farts depends in a bunch again.

    • Bud says:

      You could compose a persuasive argument outlining the strong points of the design and why it appeals to you.

      Or you could crap out an insult and be on your way.

      The first approach might earn some respect from those who read what you have to say. You might even change a few minds. The second, probably not.

      • goose says:

        Or, he could make a comment that covers the situation in a few words. If the narrow idiots who post on this site really represent the mainstream of motorcycling I fear motorcycling is doomed.

        (old but not limited to a 10 degree POV in a 360 degree world)

        Goose

      • Sean says:

        I just get tired of everyone here crapping on anything other than a cb1100. I can make a persuasive argument for almost anything except the cb1100. When that first came out all I could think was who the hell would pay that much for so little. But I’ve found my answer the senior citizens of the world. Now it’s cool we all get there some day if we’re lucky and if that’s the type of bike you like great that’s awesome but the constant trashing of every cool new bike that comes out. The Diavel is light, fast, comfortable loaded with tech, and and has cool factor. That’s what differentiates it from a multistrada. Younger people still care how they and their bikes “look”. 18-35 year olds won’t be caught dead on a adventure tourer for example it’s embarrassing. Having to explain these things is a waste of time. You either get it or u don’t. U take a bike like this to bike night on a Friday night sorry the cb1100 or the versys or bmw GS etc etc doesn’t fit in. I

        If u want the most boring, comfy, commuter with plain 70′s styling that’s cool but just know the rest of us have moved on.

        • MGNorge says:

          I know a friend’s son who bought a CB1100 and he’s 30. Also owned a couple of Kawasakis beforehand. He seems to love it.

          • Sean says:

            There’s an exception to every rule. Also I’m sure he likes it otherwise he wouldn’t have chosen it. I’m sure it does what you would expect. Why u would by that over any of the modern standard bikes is beyond me but that’s his decision.

        • Bud says:

          I get that the CB1100 doesn’t float your boat. Doesn’t do much for me either. Neither dies the Diavel for that matter. But each has and deserves its fans and I can accept that.
          At the risk of sounding like Miss Manners: Your justification is rude and egocentric. You say “Having to explain these things is a waste of time.”, meaning that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong and/or stupid. Perhaps one day you will see that there is another possibility.
          Being critical of a motorcycle doesn’t bother me nearly as much as insulting people does. Nothing good comes from the vitriol routinely seen in news and blogsite comments.

          • Sean says:

            That’s the whole point I think I said this more than once, if an adventure bike or retro cb1100 does it for u more power to u but I’m just tired of all the bashing of anything other than that. So this is more like a counter attack on behalf of those that ride anything modern that doesn’t look retro or pretend to be a safari tour bike. I don’t ride a diavel just saying the thing is a cool, fast, comfortable, relatively light machine that garners nothing but hate and that’s pretty much the status quo here.

          • Yoda from Idaho says:

            So Sean just what is the jet setting bike for you youngsters ? I know in my neck of the woods alot of riders in that 20-30 something age group are are tearing it up on GS bikes.

    • Provologna says:

      I won’t waste my time searching for a link. Readers can easily find it. Search for a graph displaying personal wealth by age demographic.

      Your despised “depends” bracket is the highest ratio voting group, and apparently the greediest. (One brief example of their greed is universal hatred for “means testing” benefits. My now deceased aunt and uncle had net worth over $1M. Just a few years ago my uncle needed one of those electric scooters, cost $7k, which tax payers purchased for them. When he died, my aunt sold it for profit. It’s quite obvious to me that scooter’s value was vastly inflated by the fact that law mandates taxpayers fund it. If this demographic could justify a new cruiser every year for health reasons this Diavel would cost $35k.)

      The “depends” group net worth is about 10-20x that of the 18-30 bracket. It would tell all if Ducati released the age demographic of Diavel buyers. All my chips on the 55 and over group.

      So far, BTW, no one has a solution to this financial imbalance, other than what some call a complete financial “reset.”

      • mickey says:

        Oh provalogna, if you only understood the other side of the story. Most of us old folk aren’t worth a million dollars, and we should have more net worth than someone 30, since we’ve been working at it for 45 or 50 years. I trust when you get my age after having worked your whole life, you will have acquired a little. And as far as benefits from the govt, if they hadn’t taken money out of my paycheck every week since i was 15 to pay for someone else, with the promise ( contract if you will) that they would give me some of that money they took back as long as I lived long enough wheras if they didnt take that money and was I able to invest it myself in a compound acct I wouldn’t need a check from the govt at all.

      • Sean says:

        It’s true the depends wearing crowd has more coin but most don’t ride. I think we can thank this crowd for the mass influx of fugly but comfy “adventure” bikes. And again that’s cool to each his own but indeed if this group had such influence u wouldn’t have just one cb1100 lol. The new bikes are getting faster, lighter, more tech laden, and wilder looking not to appeal to the 60plus crowd but the younger crowd. Not necessarily 18 year olds but under 45. My guess would be that the average age of a diavel owner is about 38-40 not over 55

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Dammit, I’ll bite. Of course it is “imbalanced”. The more “advanced” age group (to use a more tasteful label than “depends”) has been earning money for a lot longer at higher average incomes than those in the 18-30 bracket. Of course they have much higher net worth. They should! Maybe it is silly that your uncle got a tax-payer funded scooter. But then, they probably paid more in taxes over the course of their working lives than most people in the 18-30 bracket have earned in wages during theirs.

      • free doggy tacos says:

        “financial imbalance”? You almost sound like the socialist occupy ws, idiots (or the impostor we have as a “leader”), the reason some people have more is because they’ve worked harder, longer and/or smarter than others, even if this bs “reset solution” were to be applied (where the guvmnt steals from the producers and gives it to the non- producers) the producers would end up “better off” again, why? Because they are the ones that work harder, longer and/or smarter. The real solution would be a smaller, more limited gvmnt for less taxes and regulations which causes more opportunity for businesses and people to work and keep more of their hard earned money, and if people want to get ahead, they should learn useful skills and apply them, in their field, through hard work.

        • Provologna says:

          Here’s the math, sorry no link, google it yourself, it’s not a secret:

          Current senior citizen lifetime contribution toward Medicare, average: $37k
          Current senior citizen benefit expenditure for Medicare benefits, average: over $500k

          Sorry, if you think the above system can and will go on forever, you are dead wrong. When persons now in the 18 to 35 bracket reach whatever is considered senior ears at that time, the same contribution to benefit ratio by then would require tax burden on working persons leaving absolutely nothing for any other purpose.

          No one who computes this stuff including the GSA disputes what I wrote. Similarly, no one proposes any solution because the current seniors receiving 10-to-1 benefit would vote them out of office.

          The Ponzi game continues till it blows up. There’s no other known outcome.

          Senior medical cost is just one component of the Ponzi, but it’s the most costly I know of, even more costly than military waste, which is a close second (but more dangerous because it risks ending mankind).

          FYI: I proudly don’t vote, and won’t till they ban the two party system.

  7. Vrooom says:

    I’ll never buy a cruiser again as long as I live. However if I did, this would be it.

  8. Neil says:

    I have one answer; CB1100 Black. I test rode a Diavel and it was a fun ride, an easy bike to ride in fact. With the new seat, even comfy. But for that money, nah. I rode the CB1100 as well and even took it for an extra zip down a side road instead of pulling back into the dealer. Yeah the Duc has the look, the power and acceleration, but you gotta pay for it. Hopefully the new generation of wage earners with get off Facebook and ride. But it ain’t lookin good.

  9. dino says:

    527 lbs wet, big motor trying to pull your arms off… What’s not to like. 527 pounds is lighter than a lot of other bikes with way less power.

    Styling is different, which is good, otherwise everyone would be complaining how it is not unique. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it seems to me that the styling seems to be mostly function, not just covers pretending to do something. You see a lot of little bolts, hoses, and other bits that they could have covered up, but didn’t. I kinda like it. They even gave some attention to practicality by improving the Ergo’s, and giving the motor 18,000 mile valve adjustments (I can’t imaging how long it would take to get to that back cylinder head! Maybe it is just under the seat, and is easier than the front?)

    Lottery bike, you bet! I’ll take the Carbon model and paint it like the Red/Black model. Daily rider, maybe not for me, but I love the attempt!

    • todd says:

      I suppose the oversized rear tire, abriviated suspension travel, and single-side swing arm are all in the name of function, are they?

      • dino says:

        Good point, I overlooked those… At least those look better than a Beak that serves no function!

        Single sided swingarm actually might be more functional on this bike, as the rear tire could need frequent replacing! (though there is something about that much power and forces on a single arm that makes me nervous… normally a single sided arm would be a deal breaker for me, but for my “lottery bike” i will have to live with it!)

  10. mickey says:

    I would never buy something like this (or any Ducati for that matter, my son has one and he has had too many problems for me to consider owning one, but I did sit on one at a dealer in Cols, Ohio and I was quite surprised at how comfortable it was to sit on. The dealer fired it up and it sounded great.

  11. red says:

    If you had black leathers, cape and a darth vader helmet – you would look the business on this thing

    • dino says:

      And if you ever get pulled over, you could wave your hand at the cop and say “This is NOT the bike you are looking for…”

  12. allworld says:

    I had a chance to test ride this bike when Ducati was doing an intro and promotion for the it. At first I was not a fan, but after they explained the design, and we went on a 1 hour ride, I was sold.
    It is exactly what they say, fast, comfortable and easy to ride. I keep looking for a used one to come up in my price range, and someday I am going to own one.

  13. Blackcayman says:

    I have no horse in this race. If twisting the throttle makes you happy… Ride On

  14. turnergande says:

    At least Ducati got rid of the headlamp beak. A new styling trend?

  15. YellowDuck says:

    Ducati lost my attention when they took the decision to stop making any air cooled motors over 800 cc. If they make a modern 1100 or 1200-cc SS they know where to find me. They could almost do it with a parts bin approach based on the last Monster 1100 evo, but they refuse. In the meantime I will keep tracking my 2006 Sport 1000, in hopes they eventually see the light. I understand the need to produce bikes for the currently hot market segments, but are the purists among us to be abandoned so completely?

    • JasonB says:

      The loss of air cooled motors and the dry clutch weren’t a decision that Ducati made, Euro and EPA emission standards made the choice for them. Hard to hold ever tightening government restrictions against the manufacturers, they’re just following the rules made by the politicians that we vote in.

      As for the SS, totally agree, although I’d prefer to see it done with either they 821cc Hypermotard or new Monster 1200 lump. Or both!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I am going to go out on a limb and wager that the market for expensive, air-cooled sport bikes is just too small to justify.

    • Daytona James says:

      Water cooling is simply a requirement of an engine producing the kind of power the market demands. I believe Suzuki claimed years ago that 120 – 125 HP was the absolute practical limit for air cooled (or oil cooled) motors. I have a soft spot for air-cooled bikes too but then again, we all used to watch 13″ black and white TVs.

  16. Auphliam says:

    Where do you mount the highway pegs? :P

    Seriously though, I’ve ridden cruisers for the better part of 30 years. If I were to be given the opportunity to flog one of these around the roads of western Pennsylvania, you wouldn’t be able to chisel the smile off my face with a jackhammer.

    Some of you REALLY need to stop with the endless (mindless) parrotting of the “its not pretty enough for me” commentary on every review and actually try riding motorcycles.

  17. jim says:

    All the crenelated surfaces and farkles give me a seizure. Looks like a skinned animal.

  18. Craig Jackman says:

    Making an Italian motorcycle ugly is a sin.

  19. Tom Shields says:

    That thing is hideous.

  20. Bones says:

    Not for me, YMMV.

  21. ABQ says:

    I didn’t get to ride one but sitting on it felt like a standard, not a cruiser. It is just the right height for me. As for the looks, I enjoy the George Jetson on meth style.

  22. Agent55 says:

    Not my kind of bike at all, but I must say after flogging one around a tight race track for a few laps I was very impressed… right up until I snapped off the shift lever mid-corner. Good bike, if a little ridiculous looking.

  23. Trojanhorse says:

    Well I have to disagree with what seems to be the consensus here. I was never a fan of the original with its big rounded headlight cowl…but this one is much better, sharper and more aggressive. Exhaust is way better, too, and this one does have a fuel gauge.

    All those calling it fat and heavy, don’t understand what they are looking at. 530lbs wet? Show me another musclebike that gets anywhere close. V-Rod is 677, V-Max is 683, M109 is 764, Rocket III Roadster is 807 (!!!)

    • todd says:

      My ’93 Monster is at least 100 pounds lighter. Same type of bike, in my opinion, but miles apart in the looks department.

      • Schmutz says:

        Its also about 90 hp lighter. For the record, the current Monster and yours are also miles apart in the looks department.

      • Trojanhorse says:

        Haha, really, a ’93 Monster?
        Apples and watermelons, my friend. Test ride a Diavel, you’ll see.

        • todd says:

          BTDT. The old monster feels 200 pounds lighter and so much easier to turn. I don’t care much for riding a barge through the local twisties. Yes, it did have more power. Big deal.

  24. Lenz says:

    I guess there must be an expected market this offering will appeal to, however fat motorcycles bearing fat weekend road pirates / ducatista is entirely repellent to me.

  25. Pep says:

    I love the Diavel and wish I had the money to buy one now.

    One thing I have an issue with the original Diavel was the lack of a fuel gauge.
    I could not understand with all the fancy electronic technology and menus, it lacked
    a fuel gauge. My first bike which I still have, a vintage 26 year old Kawasaki, has a fuel gauge. I guess I am just spoiled. It is a basic requirement for me.

    I watched a video of Jaime Robinson take the Touring Diavel in some rough places.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9ko9e9w_e4
    That impressed me and has made the Diavel on the top of my list of possible next bikes. I wonder if having a Fuel Gauge would have helped him manage his fuel better?

    A Diavel or a BMW R1200gs for me in the future.

  26. todd says:

    And then get humiliated by someone on an old DRZ400SM. Wearing a muscle shirt doesn’t make you an athlete.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      At a go-kart track maybe. But then why would anyone have a Diavel at a go-kart track?

      • todd says:

        Or any twisty mountain road where you run into a bunch of other motorcyclists. Those DRZs are typically spanking EVERYONE’S behind on Redwood Rd and Skyline. To me, the Diavel is like bringing a cannon to a musket fight. Some people just think the size of their balls will make up for their bad aim.

        • Beaufort says:

          DRZ’s rock the world!

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          A scalpel cuts better than a hammer. A hammer works better for other things. Completely different tools. The comparison seems completely irrelevant. As irrelevant as if I were to say that a Diavel would humiliate a DRZ in a drag race.

          • todd says:

            Sure it does. We care about a bike’s ability to perform on our favorite backroad, not how well it drives nails.

            My old moped would get me to work faster than a Saturn V.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            YOU care. But the people actually interested in buying this bike don’t care how much faster a dinky DRZ may be on Skyline. And if they do, they can afford to buy one and park it next to their Diavel. This bike doesn’t compete with SM’s at all. It’s a hammer for people who want a hammer. You won’t find it in the scalpel section.

  27. Provologna says:

    If the goal was to design the ugliest bike in the world, this is a success. I can hardly believe how much uglier is this Ducati than even the much-maligned Suzuki Madura. By direct comparison, the Madura is gorgeous.

    If you ever doubted lack of taste in persons occupying the 1% category, stop doubting.

  28. Larry kahn says:

    Hard to say if it’s more or less goofy looking than the old “Indiana”. (look it up kids) But it does kinda hurt my eyes.

    • SausageCreature says:

      It’s goofier by far. The Indiana looks little different than the Japanese cruisers of that era. Or even later…compare it to a Vulcan 750, for example.

      I, for one, kind of like 70′s and 80′s Japanese cruisers…although I concede I’m probably in the minority here. The Diavel however, isn’t my cup of tea.

  29. John says:

    It’s like a Brutale that stopped exercising. I’m sure it appeals to someone, but I’d rather have a Moto Guzzi or BMW if I were going for that kind of effect. Those bikes are absolutely gorgeous. The Diavel? Just kinda cool, but the more you look at it, it’s not that attractive. And it’s trying too hard. It has no class.

  30. Montana says:

    Architectural rather than artistic.

  31. Tony H. says:

    Looks like something from a science fiction movie. Really? How many of these sell every year. I’m looking fwd to the new Ducati scrambler.

  32. Bob L. says:

    Not a big fan but when I rode one, I was very impressed. It’s pretty light and woah, what a motor!

  33. ben says:

    How can the same company responsible for the MH 900ie push this turd out the door?

  34. Tom says:

    I don’t really understand why this bike is continually referred to as either a cruiser or “uncategorizable”.
    To my mind it is in exactly the same category as bikes like the B-King, the V-Max, K1300R, MT-01 (at a pinch), and the Street Rod – i.e. musclebikes. Basically just the modern day, non-retro equivalents of the XJR1300, cb1300, Jota 1000 etc etc.

    Cruisers needn’t necessarily all look like they were designed in the late 50s, but they do, IMO need to have forward footpegs, shitty suspension and a distinct lack of horsepower per cc to be classified as such

    • hipsabad says:

      love that last sentence

    • Schmutz says:

      RE “Cruisers needn’t necessarily all look like they were designed in the late 50s, but they do, IMO need to have forward footpegs, shitty suspension and a distinct lack of horsepower per cc to be classified as such”

      Thus endeth the debate. No more comments necessary. Let’s all move on. Brilliant!

  35. xlayn says:

    Faaaaaaaat

  36. t says:

    Ducati needs to fire the cartoonists that designed this bike and the current Monsters.