Ducati Diavel and XDiavel: Italian cruisers with superbike sophistication

A black, white and gold 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S being ridden on a country road

The Ducati Diavel is the Italian superbike specialist's distinct interpretation of the cruiser motorcycle. Although still a ‘laid-back’ V-twin with a fat rear tyre, it redefined cruiser performance with 160bhp, class-defying handling, sports bike electronic rider aids and a shrieking, high-revving exhaust sound unlike any other cruiser.

The original 1198cc V-twin version spawned a number of variants, was updated in 2015 and then fully revised into 1260 form in 2019. In 2023 it was then completed updated again with an all-new V4 version.

And in 2016 an additional version, the XDiavel, was launched as an even more laid-back, ‘feet forward’ version designed to appeal to more traditional cruiser buyers.

History of Ducati Diavel

YearModelEnginePowerTorqueTop speed
2011-2014Diavel1198cc V-twin162bhp127.5Nm156.8mph
2015-2018Diavel1198cc V-twin162bhp130.5Nm158mph
2019-2022Diavel 12601262cc V-twin159bhp128.9Nm160mph
2023-dateDiavel V41158cc V4166bhp126Nm155mph
2016-2022XDiavel1262cc V-twin159bhp128.9Nm150mph

Ducati Diavel 2011-2014

The Ducati Diavel cause a sensation when it launched in 2011. With traditional cruiser styling traits, such as an upright riding position and fat back tyre, it also delivered superbike-level performance, handling and sophistication.

The 1198cc liquid-cooled V-twin was derived from the Testastretta unit found in Ducati’s Multistrada and then its superbikes. It also boasted superbike-standard brakes and suspension while electronics including riding modes added sophistication light years beyond any previous cruiser.

An upspecced, limited-edition ‘AMG’ Ducati Diavel, along with a chrome finished ‘Cromo’, was offered the following year, and two years later came the 2014 Ducati Diavel and a Ducati Diavel Carbon edition was also introduced, featuring carbon fibre bodywork that made it 5kg lighter. A more budget ‘Dark’ version was also offered from that year – before a significantly updated Diavel was launched for 2015.

Ducati Diavel Strada 2013-2014

The short-lived Ducati Diavel Strada was the first significantly different spin-off model. With taller handlebars, plusher seats, touring screen, pillion backrest and standard panniers it was intended as a more comfortable, practical, touring version.

However, although effective, it wasn’t a sales success and was dropped after just two years.

Ducati Diavel 2015-2018

2015 saw the first significant makeover for the 1198cc Ducati Diavel, when its engine was revised with new twin spark heads (which improved torque rather than peak power) gaining a new exhaust, wheels, seat, dash and headlight at the same time. 

As before, a Carbon version was also offered, while later that year an upspecced limited-edition version, the Diavel Titanium, was also produced. Only 500 were built, all featuring titanium detailing and a premium Alcantara and leather seat.

Finally, in 2017, a third limited-edition version was briefly offered, the Ducati Diavel Diesel.

Ducati Diavel 1260 & S 2019-2022

The next major revision for range was the 2019 Ducati Diavel S, which launched with the new, enlarged Testastretta DVT engine with variable valve timing, which first featured in the Ducati Multistrada 1260. 

Along with the new, motor, which again emphasised midrange over peak power, there was a new chassis, new TFT dash and uprated electronics. A higher spec Diavel 1260S version also debuted featuring Ohlins suspension.

As before, a series of limited-edition spin-off variants followed. In 2020 Ducati launched the Diavel 1260S Lamborghini, while the following year Ducati also launched the Diavel 1260S Black and Steel, again distinguished by new colours and finishes, and this time inspired by a concept bike shown at Milan Design Week in 2019.

Ducati Diavel V4 & S 2023-date

In 2022, a prototype of an all-new Ducati Diavel V4 was spotted, with the production version scheduled to replace the V-twin version in 2023.

When it was officially announced later that year, it proved almost as big a revelation as the original Diavel in 2011 by using a derivative of the V4 engine used in the latest Ducati Panigale superbike and boasting more power, features and sophistication than ever and, with its distinctive exhaust, sounding like no cruiser – or Diavel – had ever before either!

Ducati XDiavel & S 2016-2022

Following on from the launch of the original Diavel in 2011, Ducati unveiled a significantly different spin-off model, the XDiavel, in 2015 to go on sale the following year.

Conceived as an even more laid-back, cruiser-styled machine, primarily aimed at the US market, the XDiavel was substantially different, debuting the gruntier 1262cc engine with variable valve timing, having a feet-forward riding position, a revised frame and an even fatter back tyre. As with the standard Diavel, an XDiavel S version was also offered. 

Also, as with the standard Diavel, the XDiavel has also had a number of special editions launched, most notably, in 2020, the XDiavel Dark and Black Star.

A V4 version of the XDiavel is also likely in the future, while limited-edition variants of the Diavel are also expected of the new V4 – in a similar way to those of the old V-twin version.