A mere re-skinning of an existing streetbike model is usually met with both raised eyebrows and eye rolls. But Italian design is more than skin deep. And even when it isn’t, it’s still…well, Italian.
Limited to just 500 examples, Ducati’s XDiavel Nera is a made-in-Italy design collaboration between Poltrona Frau and the House of Ducati. Poltrona Frau’s Interiors in Motion division, which works with upholstery, seating, and other leather-wrapped details, has done design work on the insides of McLarens, Porsches, and Lamborghinis. Now it lends its sensibilities to the black-on-black livery and seat design of Ducati’s newest XDiavel limited offering.
The Nera’s reworked saddle is slightly wider and comes with an optional backrest. It’s also made of Pelle Frau, a proprietary handcrafted leather. Five different saddle colors are available: Siam Red, Steel Blue, Cemento, India, and Selva. Each color saddle is accented by “X” motifs engraved throughout via laser. Buyers also get an exclusive key ring and documentation, both made of Pelle Frau leather in the color of their choice. An exclusive helmet is also available.
As a machine, the XDiavel itself is much the same beastly Bolognan cruiser you’ve known since 2011. Mechanically it’s identical to the XDiavel S and XDiavel Dark. Pricing in the US will start at $29,795 and go up from there. But lest you think the XDiavel Nera is just a conspicuous design exercise intended to show off the buyer’s disposable income, consider this new seat.
Despite the same size, the passenger seat padding seems more generous. And that backrest? Ducati and Poltrona Frau were clearly thinking of that other very Italian exercise: Bringing your campagna, or compagno, along for the ride.