SPIED: 2016 Ducati Diavel

The Devil Gains Belt-Drive and DVT

Ducati's last update to its Diavel power cruiser was recent, labeled as a 2015 and released in 2014. But there have been big shifts in Bologna since then, most notably the introduction of the firms Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT), which debuted in the Multistrada platform this year. These spy photos captured by our European shooter show Ducati testing what appears to be a new version of the Diavel. There's no hiding the shape, and a few obvious changes are easily visible.

A new swingarm uses a smaller main strut braced with tubular trellis pieces, not unlike previous-generation Monsters. Why the change in swingarm design? Presumably to make room for a different final drive system, which in the case of this test mule appears to be a belt drive. That marks a departure for Ducati, but not altogether surprising in the context of the Diavel considering its clear targeting of the American cruiser market.

Specifics on a new engine are difficult to say, but a reshaped exhaust underneath the Diavel suggests that Ducati is tuning for new power characteristics, and it is safe to say that changes to the Diavel's engine will center on the addition of DVT. The claimed 160 peak horsepower for the 1,198cc powerplant that debuted in the Multistrada earlier this year (see our review of the 2015 Multistrada 1200 S DVT here) is comparable to the 2015 Diavel's claim of 162 horsepower (from the same displacement), so performance is unlikely to be affected. Sport, Touring, and Urban ride modes are expected to remain.

Aesthetically, the Diavel looks much the same, with the biggest difference being a reshaped fuel tank. An edgier, more custom look is surely designed to capture the attention of the American V-twin buyer, as are the foot controls being moved forward. Without the large pieces of bodywork on either side of the tank it’s hard to see what shape the Diavel’s shoulders will take, but expect the same burly, wide air intakes from the model’s past.

The new Diavel could break cover as soon as this fall as a 2016 model.