2016 Ducati XDiavel S – First Look

I stopped by the European Motorcycles of Western Oregon for a quick chat with the guys at the shop and was caught by surprise by the 2016 XDiavel S at display on the show room.

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I did not have my cameras with me, so my smart phone camera took care of documenting this bike.  Do you remember, not too long ago, when we had those first cameras on mobile telephones, from the time when they were called cell phones? Today’s telephones have great cameras, and we refer to them as smart phones. What’s next?

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Anyway, there it was, the XDiavel, the machine that evolved from the Diavel, bringing this family of bikes closer to the cruiser style.  Well, you could say it is a cruiser, if for anything, this bike has the forward foot controls, wide handlebars, and a low seat height.

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And it has a V-twin motor… which is the most typical configuration for American cruisers.  Yes, let’s call it a cruiser.

However, when you look at the scale of the bike and the spec sheet, the story starts diverting. This bike is compact, for starters.  Which is a good thing in my book.  Second, the motor, a 1262 cc, is different enough from the 1200 DVT you find on the Multistrada. It is tuned for torque at a lower RPM range but still has the Ducati DNA (according to reviews of the people who have ridden this machine). The motor is rated at 95 ft-lb of torque at 5,000RPM with a substantial portion of it reached as low as 2,500RPM, but it still has 156 HP to be reached at 9,500 RPM.  Do you see what I mean? Not sure there is a cruiser out there with these specs.

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I can’t wait for an opportunity to ride an X Diavel to not only experience this variation of the DVT motor, but to learn how it matches with the ergonomics of a cruiser.  Can you imagine a canyon ride with this bike, going fast, with feet forward?  It allows for a 40 degree lean, I hear, which also reinforces the notion that calling it a “cruiser” is not enough to describe this bike. That’s what the X on the name is all about. It is a cruiser and something else.

For now I was happy to have had the opportunity to look at the details of what this bike offers.  For example, the foot controls have adjustments for three forward positions.  If you don’t want the controls set forward, you can get a kit and install them at the regular Diavel position.  If you consider you can also change the seat and adjust handlebars, the combinations of all changeable options allow for 60 different riding positions according to Ducati.

Left foot controls positioned at the most forward setting

Left foot controls positioned at the most forward setting

The motor has all oil and coolant passages routed internally.  You are not going to see hoses hanging out. And the motor looks looks good with styled belt covers.

No oil or coolant hoses hanging out. Nice looking motor!

No oil or coolant hoses hanging out. Nice looking motor!

I like the glossy pain finish of the S model, including the detail of a center matte black stripe, edged on one side by a fine red stripe.  The XDiavel base model has a black matte color.

Matte black center stripe with fine red stripe. A detail that makes a difference.

Matte black center stripe with fine red stripe. A detail that makes a difference.

The exhaust comes out from the side just ahead of the rear wheel.  It looks great, although we will probably see some interesting variations on the theme by the after market industry.

Short exhaust exiting on the side with a dual pipe configuration , if we can call that a pipe...

Short exhaust exiting on the side with a dual pipe configuration , if we can call that a pipe…

Interesting cartoon look to the exhaust pipes, that happen to be really short, coming out of a muffler and catalytic converter.

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The wheels are very nice as well. These rims are exclusive for the S version.

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The seat, not sure how it goes when riding, but it feels good, looks good too. Want to bring a passenger? There is an adapter that extends the rear seat and offers a short back support. Not sure how that will really go, but passengers probably need to have a good sense of adventure to get on the back of this bike – irrespective of the rider’s abilities. The  dual material of the seat, it has what seems to be an imitation suede, is also exclusive for the S version.

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Same goes for the billet rearview mirrors, only available on the S model.

Billet rearview mirrors - exclusive for the S model

Billet rearview mirrors – exclusive for the S model

The S model also has LED Daytime Running Lights and larger Brembo M50 monoblock calipers for the front brake.

M50 Brembo Calipers

Brembo M50 monoblock calipers for the SA model

And this billet support arm.

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Then there is this interesting swing arm, and a first for Ducati, it is belt drive!

Single swing arm, belt driven.

Single swing arm, belt driven.

One interesting quirk on this bike is the launch control, called DPL (Ducati Power Launch). Anyone interested in a drag race? Is this something important? Of course not, but I would put that thing to use if given the opportunity…

Ducati Power Launch - DPL

Ducati Power Launch – DPL

The bike offers three default riding modes:  sport, touring and urban.

Bluetooth module for the infotainment system which, by connecting a smartphone to the dashboard, can show incoming calls and text messages and show what music you are listening to.

Bluetooth module connects a smartphone to the dashboard, displays incoming calls, text messages and shows what music you are listening to.

And each one can be customized in terms of engine power delivery.

Engine can be set for high, medium or low power delivery.

Engine can be set for high, medium or low power delivery.

The eight levels of traction control.

Eight levels of traction control.

Eight levels of traction control.

And there are four settings for ABS.  There is ABS “off” and then three levels of intervention:  Expert, Sport and Safe & Stable.  By the way, this bike has the last generation of the Bosch “cornering” ABS, which is likely to be the “safe and stable” mode, the ABS 3 which is the default mode for Urban and Touring modes.

Bosch's "Cornering" ABS

This bike has Bosch’s “Cornering” ABS

Overall, this is a good looking motorcycle. Yes, it is a cruiser of sorts.

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You can clearly see the similarities between the XDiavel and the regular Diavel. However, the XDiavel seems to be a completely different motorcycle.  I like the XDiavel’s delicate features compared to the Diavel chunky panels.  I understand Ducati’s branding of this model via its headlight shape, but I wished it had a round headlight.  I think a round headlight would contribute to this bike’s cruiser vocation.

The XDiavel and the Diavel

The XDiavel and the Diavel

I can’t wait for an opportunity to take this interesting bike for a ride. The local shop does not have a demo, so I will have to wait.

Who are the potential customers for this bike? Maybe Diavel riders?  Would a Harley Davidson rider switch to a Ducati?  Hardly (pun intended). Maybe other Ducati riders who are looking into cruiser style riding and who were not convinced by the Diavel?  Anyone interested in something different? Certainly this bike does offer something new with a cruiser feel without neglecting performance?  Time will tell who will be riding these machines, I’m certainly interested on this bike and how well it will do.

This post was supposed to be the beginning of the next series of posts covering my new-to-me bike, a 2015 CB500X I purchased with slightly more than 300 miles on the clock.  But I came across the X Diavel yesterday and I decided to report it before starting the series of posts about the building of the CB500X.  The following posts will describe what you need to transform the CB500X into an adventure bike using the Rally Raid Products Level 3 kit and its maiden dirt voyage in the Death Valley in California earlier in March.

Thank you for reading and Stay tuned!

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4 Responses to 2016 Ducati XDiavel S – First Look

  1. Mark says:

    Thanks Cesar for your reviews. I enjoy the width of motorcycling that you cover, and your thoughtful articles. Keep up the good work.

  2. I’ve seen it referred to in the m/c press as a “muscle cruiser.” I know Ducati tried to abstain from calling the original Diavel a cruiser.

    • cesardagord says:

      I’ve heard of that description before, but just don’t see it quite that way. Maybe I need to ride it to better understand what they mean. It is an interesting motorcycle, that it is.

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