First look: 2015 Ducati Diavel

Bologna Gets Devilish Again

You announce a 160 hp bike that takes the motorcycle world by storm in 2010. The segment-busting machine wins numerous best-of awards, goes on to be a strong seller and develops on an aura of desirability yet - somehow - approachability.

So what do you do for version 2.0?

Ducati Diavel Right Side

If you're Ducati, you reemphasize your cutting edge tech DNA with new rider innovations, bring the sexy lines back with a new flair, and get even more punch out of the already class-leading performance package of the Diavel.

But you don't fix what ain't broken. Ducati's early release 2015 Diavel returns many of the features that first brought it so much acclaim 4 years ago: an out of the box design based on a steel trellis frame and aluminum rear subframe, the walloping Testastretta engine, a ride by wire system, 3 selectable riding modes, ABS braking, and traction control. Even with that monster rear 240 tire, the Diavel will likely still retain its agility thanks to a confidence-inspiring light 527lbs. of wet weight – lighter than many of its presumed rivals.

So what's changed for 2015? The highlights include an updated engine and exhaust system, and styling refinements that boost the model's in-your-face stance, yet temper it with some sophistication. The original Testastretta was already a 160hp mill, but the new Dual Spark version (also based on the renowned 1198 superbike motor) now has a higher compression ratio (12.5:1, up from 11.5:1) and according to Ducati, makes power delivery even smoother, and boosts torque as well.

All that doesn't result in eyebrow-raising output numbers, exactly, with the claimed horsepower of 162hp unchanged from the previous model, though the peak now comes at a lower 9,250rpm. Torque has increased slightly, to 96.2lb-ft @8,000rpm, thanks to revised intake and exhaust ports combined with adjustment of the cam timing. That also results in more accessible torque at low rpm, and Ducati says, a wider rev-range. The increase in bottom-end torque is managed by Ducati's Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system.

The new engine, which is cooled by twin lateral radiators (with new covers) tucked into either flank , also uses Ducati's secondary air system to optimize fuel mapping for smoother engine operation, thus making it more emissions-friendly for Euro 3 regulations. Feeding the large airbox are new, bigger, burly intake ducts on each side of the tank, formed in black anodized, brushed aluminum. The core of the Testastretta 11° engine remains however, though now the spent gases are pushed out through new upswept twin silencers.

Ducati Diavel Left

Also new for 2015 is the Diavel's wide twin-level seat which is now a little longer for the rider and reshaped, with horizontally-ribbed seat upholstery accented by red stitching on the Carbon models. A brand new bar-riser brings the handlebar closer to riders, and a new air-deflector design adds to the clean and minimalist look of the cockpit area. You also can't miss the new larger headlight and covers which brings full LED illumination. Aided by the new seat and bar risers, more laid-back ergos make the Diavel anything but a sportbike.

The 2015 Diavel comes in 3 versions: the base model Diavel Dark, which drapes itself in all sinister black livery, as well as two Carbon versions. The Diavel Carbon can be had in your choice of traditional Ducati Red with high-tech Matte Carbon, red frame and black wheels, or the eye-popping new Star White with Matte Carbon and white frame with contrasting black wheels. Models should be available this April.

Look for a First Ride in the next issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine.

On the web: DucatiUSA.com

2015 Ducati Diavel Diavel Carbon
Base Price: $17,995 / $20,995
Colors: Dark Stealth and black / Red and Matte Carbon; White with Matte Carbon
Warranty 2 years, unlimited mileage
Engine Liquid-cooled Testastretta 11° Dual Spark L-Twin
Displacement, bore x stroke: 1198cc; 106 x 67.9mm
Valve train: Desmodromic, 4 valves/cylinder
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Transmission: 6-speed, multiplate wet clutch
Final drive: chain
Chassis
Frame: tubular steel trellis; aluminum swingarm
Length: 88.9 in.
Wheelbase: 62.6 in.
Seat height: 30.3 in.
Rake/trail: 28° / NA
Front suspension: 50mm fully adjustable inverted fork; 4.7 in. travel
Rear suspension: fully adjustable Sachs monoshock; 4.7 in. travel
Wheels: 14-spoke alloy / Marchesini forged 9-spoke
Front tire: 120/70 ZR 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso
Rear tire: 240/45 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso
Front brake: dual 320mm discs, 4-piston Monobloc calipers, ABS
Rear brake: 265mm disc; 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Fuel capacity: 4.5 US gal.
Wet weight: 527 lbs. / 516 lbs.