The First Cruiser with the Spirit of a Superbike
Ducati is making no bones about the purpose of the their all-new, enormous, XDiavel. It’s a cruiser. The first Ducati literally built around rider comfort and, in their words, “low speed excitement.”
The “X” stands for the “merging” of Ducati’s signature-style high performance riding with the more relaxed approach taken on Harley-Davidson or a Goldwing. The idea of such a comparison might raise some purist hackles but here we are in 2015 with an Italian superbike brand building bikes for the dudes from Wild Hogs.
The look is interesting, the ride sounds pretty spectacular. As a fan of taking it slow and soaking up the scenery, I’m so ready for a new take on the cruiser and can’t wait to see if Ducati can re-benchmark the segment.
At the center of the XDiavel is the new Testastretta 1262 engine. Wrought from the 1200 powering the Multistrada, the 1262 uses Ducati’s Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT) to flatten power delivery and optimize for smooth acceleration. The powerplant was designed while it was engineered, meaning every pipe and pump was aesthetically optimized as this machine moved from blueprint to pavement.
156 horsepower comes out at 9,500 RPM, with a colossal 95 lb-ft of torque peaking at just 5,000 RPM. The engine runs two spark plugs in both cylinders and has a secondary air intake designed to oxidize pollutants and reduce harmful effects of emissions.
That power goes to the rear wheel on Ducati’s first belt drive system, which is the industry standard on cruiser bikes for its gentle operation and minimal noise.
The engine is actually worked into the XDiavel’s steel tubular Trellis frame for structural integrity, and also connects to the swingarm via forged plates.
When you’re finally done looking at it, riders will still have tech to appreciate before saddling up. The XDiavel uses a proximity key to run with the push of a button as long as the fob’s in your pocket.
We’ll have to wait to get our own shot in the seat to see how it really rides, but Ducati has promised to prove cruisers are capable of serious performance. Despite the bike’s substantial wheelbase of 63.58 inches, but Ducati promises us it can lean all the way to 40 degrees in a corner with an ambitious rider.
You’re probably going to be too relaxed to push the thing that hard though; the XDiavel has 60 ergonomic configurations to suit your leg, arm and ass preferences.
But XDiavel also carries advanced traction control, multiple riding modes to control and even Ducati’s branded Ducati Power Launch (DPL) drag-racing mode. All you need to do is push a button, pin the throttle, and DPL will blast you off the line with nothing more than a gradual release of the clutch.
XDiavel will be shipping in a standard and slightly more decorated S version, with plenty of customization options on each. Except for the color, which you’ll have pre-selected as “black.” Stay tuned for an official release date and pricing.