Its been eight years since Ducati launched the Diavel at EICMA 2010. It was a cruiser unlike any other. It had the stylistic elements of not just a cruiser but also that or a dragster and a sports bike. The advertising line for the Diavel was,”Don’t Call Me a Cruiser”. How naughty was that…….
Ducati got it right with the Diavel, but then it was time to step-up the game. The X in the name XDiavel S signifies that this 1,262cc V-twin, low and long, with front forks at 30 degrees, almost chopper-like. The bike is painted glossy black with machined finish on engine covers and wheels, and has a fat obligatory rear tyre to add to its muscular appearance.
The liquid-cooled, desmodromic V-twin is an enlarged version of the Diavel unit. The engine is tuned for low-rev performance, helped by Ducati’s DVT variable-valve technology, which allows efficient combustion over a broad rev range. The maximum output of 152bhp is lower than that of the Diavel’s, but torque is substantially increased between 3,500rpm and 5,000rpm ie 126Nm. Ducati has reworked XDiavel’s water pump and placed it between the cylinders rather than on the outside, and with hoses carefully concealed. Final drive is via Ducati’s first toothed belt.
When ridden gently the XDiavel’s engine is impressively refined, with a precise throttle response below 4,000rpm. Any notion that the XDiavel is a typical cruiser disappears, though, when you twist its throttle, in the more aggressive Sport mode. It accelerates at a rate that few superbikes could match.
In a straight line the bike gives a reasonably comfortable ride. But on a twisty road it is a revelation, cornering with remarkable control with a respectable 40 degree lean angle. Twin front discs with Brembo monobloc calipers give serious braking power.
The fuel tank is superbly large, and its instrument panel informative. Ducati has given some neat touches, including keyless ignition and a separate dual-seat that incorporates a pillion backrest.
The bike brought out the devil in me. I had got accustomed to scaring the bystanders and fellow bikers at traffic signals (LOL). The bike is extremely quiet when cruising but yank the throttle and there is a loud roar. The bike attracts a lot of attention otherwise because of its stunning looks.
There were a few issues though. Since the front mud guard is relatively short, the front wheel does kick up a lot of dust which ends up on our face. And the ride gets a bit uncomfortable over bumpy roads.
Otherwise it’s super smooth and comfortable when you want to have a lazy ride. And extremely fast and agile when adrenalin rush is required.
Epic performance & a master piece of craftsmanship. Its either the crown of our bike collection, or a centrepiece in our leaving room.