Ducati Philippines recently invited the motoring media to an all-black tie affair for the launch of the new XDiavel, a cruiser bike that frankly, looks dark and evil. And that’s a good thing. Swerving away from the usual red color, the XDiavel is awashed in black with silver highlights. Intended for the macho rider, this bike is oozing with some serious appeal. Seeing it for the first time will either scare you, or impress you.
Performance, style and sophistication…words not typically used together with the V-Twin cruiser segment, best describes the characteristics. Exploiting a maxxed out version of the Italian brand’s Superbike-spec Testastretta Twin, the 1.3-liter (77-cubic inch) XDiavel sports a smooth, muscular physique with true forward-friendly controls. It’s Ducati’s unique version of a cruiser.
Aesthetically, the engine block’s appearance was heightened by removing unattractive cooling system plumbing (typically hidden by bodywork on other Ducatis) which necessitated a re-engineering of the water pump. The abundance of plastic used on other new Ducati engines is abandoned and replaced with sturdy aluminum parts. Also, a thicker clutch cover (al ’a the Monster 1200R and 959 Panigale) reduces mechanical noise (which I think is a mistake). Thankfully, shaped slash-cut pipes produce a dynamic beat, but not so much that it’s intolerable.
The blacked-out Twin appears as if carved from a block of aluminum and looks especially clean and uncluttered on the right-hand side. But the opposite side, it has a couple disruptions – mainly the hydraulic clutch hardware and ignition wiring. Riders obsessed by arrays of chromed-out cooling fins might not like the industrial lines of the Ducati’s powerplant.
The XDiavel certainly isn’t as adept at knee down outings as its Panigale cousins, but it is impressively capable for a fat-tired bike designed specifically for what Ducati calls, “low speed excitement.” The single-sided swing-arm is fabricated from both forged and cast aluminum pieces joining the chassis at rear of the engine case, with wheelbase measuring 63.5 inches.
The X features a deep seat tray allowing you deeper into the cockpit (15mm lower than the standard Diavel). Reach to the handlebars is relaxed with a distinct rearward sweep. The rider’s footpegs are mounted in a forward position, which is an odd sensation for a Ducati, but a welcome feature for those looking for comfort, or with limited knee motion or just arthritic joints. Another plus is how light the X feels between the legs, with it weighing around 545 pounds ready to ride.
We will let you know how it handles the moment we “borrow” a unit from Ducati Philippines, but it may take some time because, frankly, the line is too damned long and this guarantees a limited ride time. For the meantime, feast and salivate on the images. It’ll do for now.
Other images from Ducati Philippines