2015 Ducati Diavel | FIRST LOOK

Ducati brings its first early-release to Motorcyclist--their baddest-ever sport cruiser

By Marc Cook, Photography by John Zamora

Performance has never been the weak suit of Ducati's innovative and charismatic Diavel sport cruiser. But that didn't stop Bologna from giving the Diavel a revised version of the torquey Testastretta 11-degree engine featuring dual spark plugs in each four-valve cylinder head. Along with a new exhaust system and other refinements, the Testastretta DS keeps its 162-hp peak but gains a couple of pound-feet of torque, to a new peak of 96.2 at 8,000 rpm. Ducati says the "L-twin" engine is smoother than ever. One other update owners will appreciate is an extension to the valve-clearance check, which is now at 18,000 miles, up 3,000 from before.

Ducati continues to use a raft of leading-edge electronic technologies—including traction control, ABS, and ride modes made possible by ride-by-wire fueling—to manage this power all the way from the crank, through the six-speed transmission, to the 240-section rear tire. Three ride modes are available: Sport, Touring, and Urban, with different levels of throttle response and reduced output in Urban. Eight levels of user-selectable traction-control intervention are also available.

Engine changes are just the beginning. Ducati's taken the opportunity of the powerplant upgrade to refresh the Diavel's styling. A new instrument surround and headlight—now will all-LED lighting—work with other updates including fresh radiator surrounds, a revised seat, and updated handlebar risers. Ducati didn't mess with the Diavel's low/long styling themes, nor did its designers sacrifice a low seat height: the saddle is just 30.3 inches off the tarmac.

As before, two versions of the Diavel will be available. The standard version weighs 463 pounds while a carbon-fiber draped iteration called the Diavel Carbon will be available that's 11 pounds lighter.

The updated Diavel goes on sale in late April.

MSRP for the Diavel Dark is $17,995 with the Diavel Carbon (red or white) at $20,995.


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