2016 Ducati XDiavel (6)

While Ducati has always been synonymous with high performance racetrack weapons, the 2016 XDiavel is its foray into the lucrative cruiser market. The previous incarnation of the Diavel, launched in 2011, was something of a disappointment, failing to sell well in the its target American market.

The 2016 XDiavel is a different kettle of fish. Featuring a new liquid-cooled 1262 cc Testastretta V-twin, Ducati raised the stakes with the addition of its Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT) system.

First seen in the 2015 Multistrada, Ducati’s DVT pushes the torque curve lower down the rev range. Lower is relative in this case, since the 128 Nm of torque comes in at 5000 rpm, a point which most other cruiser engines don’t even reach.

Major changes for the XDiavel include belt drive, seen as necessary for the US market. The low maintenance and noise level of the belt drive makes up for the reduction in power. Since the XDiavel’s target market doesn’t place much emphasis on power numbers, this makes sound marketing sense.

Other changes include tucking away the water pump, and hiding the coolant hoses, giving that “air-cooled” look favoured by the cruiser demographic. The trellis frame is very much front and center, tying the bike back to the famous Ducati racing heritage.

Visually the XDiavel doesn’t break new ground, in the mold of the “streetfighter” style. The four-position adjustable forward-set pegs are different for Ducati though, which has always favoured a sportier riding position for their bikes, rider comfort be damned. Additionally, Ducati offers five different seat options, and three different handlebars for the XDiavel to help optimise rider position.

Perhaps the greatest surprise is the lean angle the XDiavel is capable of, some 40 degrees, which would not put it out of place with some commuter and sport-touring bikes. The bike also includes a host of Ducati bike tech, including selectable riding modes, ABS, traction control, cruise control and fly-by-wire throttle.

There are two options available, the base XDiavel and the XDiavel S, which features gloss paint. Ducati has not confirmed a price for the XDiavel as yet, and deliveries are expected to start in February 2016.