Ducati Diavel V4: Muscle Bike Attitude, Superbike Engine

Ducati has put a superbike-derived V4 engine into its Diavel, bringing the muscle bike full-circle.

When the Diavel first came out for 2011, it had a liquid-cooled, high-horsepower L-twin engine, just like Ducati’s superbike in that era (basically, it was a retuned version of the 1198 engine). That L-twin has gotten more and more powerful over the years, now including variable valve timing in its current Testastretta DVT 1262 configuration.

Or rather—that was the current configuration until last week, when Ducati launched the Diavel V4, with a retuned version of the Panigale V4 engine. Same idea as the 2011 Diavel, and same result: A massively powerful muscle bike. It just happens to be more muscular now.

In fact, that really seems to be the direction Ducati is taking the Diavel line. At its debut a decade-plus back, everyone said this was a cruiser, and given its resemblance to the Harley-Davidson V-Rod at that time, that’s easy to see. But now? The Diavel looks a lot more like the hulking, over-engined muscle bikes of the ’80s, except now that muscle is a lot more manageable.

Speaking of which: The V4 has been retuned to 168 hp for the Diavel, which is a roughly 9 hp increase over the previous V2 model. Torque is a claimed 93 lb-ft, about the same as the outgoing model, depending whose numbers you believe.

Believe it or not, those numbers are still behind the last-gen Yamaha V-Max, which had a claimed 197 hp at the crank, along with 123 lb-ft of torque. The difference is, unlike the V-Max, the Diavel has a modern chassis and the latest-generation electronic safety systems. There are three engine power delivery modes, four separate riding modes, and leaning-sensitive traction control/ABS systems (with separate settings for each individual riding mode). All that, along with other electro-trickery that Ducati included, will certainly keep the bike under control.

Credit: Ducati

As for the chassis, Ducati built an aluminum monocoque frame around the engine, and a single-sided swingarm in back. Ducati also put fully-adjustable fork and shock on the Diavel, but it’s not the semi-autonomous system we see on Bologna’s pricier lux machines (that’ll come later, on an EVO model or something like that). The Diavel also gets Brembo Stylema brake calipers up front, with 330 mm discs.

Dry weight is a claimed 223 kg. We’ve seen no official word on wet weight yet.

Other noteworthy updates: Of course, you get a TFT screen with full LED lighting. Ducati continues its commendable obsession with aesthetic by making all pillion amenities easily hidden, easily switching from two-up to solo mode and back. And like Ducati’s other V4 engines, this bike has extended service periods: 15,000 km between oil changes, 60,000 km between valve clearance inspections.

Pricing? You’re looking at $30,795 MSRP in Canada, with availability in spring of 2023. Find more information at Ducati’s website.

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