Motorbike

2021 Ducati XDiavel


2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Ups

  • Feet-forward, belt-drive, and fat-tired, the XDiavel is Ducati embracing cruiser fundamentals
  • 1,262cc Testastretta engine with variable valve timing has superbike credentials
  • Sportbike-spec components and rider aids

Downs

  • Does the feet-forward, belt-drive crowd really want superbike tech?

Verdict

Compared to the Diavel, the XDiavel is an even further stretch across the aisle into the cruiser realm, but Ducati doesn’t water down the performance and tech that make a Ducati a Ducati.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Overview

There’s nothing retro about the XDiavel, but classic cruiser characteristics like the feet-forward riding position mark it as Ducati’s attempt to go after a more committed segment of the cruiser market than the Diavel was capable of. Still, it’s not a motorcycle that will appeal to the vast majority of Harley-Davidson riders. Nor will it entice most Panigale riders to hang up their knee pucks. It’s a well-executed motorcycle for a small niche of riders who want an Italian take on the high-performance feet-forward cruiser. Introduced in 2016, the XDiavel was the first of the variable valve timing 1260s, which would later include the Diavel and Multistrada 1260.

Updates for 2021

New for 2021, the XDiavel Dark revives the matte black paint scheme that debuted on the 1998 Monster 600 Dark.

Pricing and Variants

The XDiavel Dark retails for $20,695. The XDiavel S ($25,395) is available in Thrilling Black, and features cosmetic upgrades like machine-finished alloy wheels, Diamond-Like Coating on the front fork, and swaps the base model’s Brembo M4.32 calipers for M50 calipers.

Competition

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S ($14,999) is considerably more affordable and the badge on the tank may recommend it to a different segment of rider, but like the XDiavel, it’s a thoroughly modern motorcycle. The 2,500cc Triumph Rocket 3 ($23,000) is also game for a run at the twisties and at the dragstrip.

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The XDiavel has a 1,262cc Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Valve Timing) V-twin engine that pumps out a claimed 152 hp at 9,500 rpm and 92.9 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Thank Ducati’s variable valve timing for prodigious peak torque at low revs. In his first ride review, Peter Jones says of the 2016 model: “It’s impressive to the point of outrageous that a cruiser can have so much grunt and go from 4,000 to 9,500 rpm, giving such a wide breadth of hard acceleration when rolling up and down through the rev range on a fun and curvy road.”

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Handling

Considering the 63.6-inch wheelbase, 240-section rear tire, and raked out (for a Ducati) front end, the XDiavel handles surprisingly lightly and assuredly. Jones says: “The XDiavel chassis is solid and the machine is predictable in all high-speed, low-speed, and transitional situations. It steers and brakes with precision and there’s never a feeling of flexing beneath you or that you’re doing something sinful. You cannot ride the XDiavel too hard.”

Brakes

The XDiavel Dark uses Brembo M4.32 calipers up front, while the S model gets an upgraded M50 package. Both setups are good performers, but the higher-spec package is an improvement across the board.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Ducati claims the XDiavel has a fuel economy of 42.7 mpg.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

The XDiavel has adjustable footpegs, seat, and handlebars, and for those who aren’t so sure forward controls are for them, Ducati’s accessory catalog offers a mid-control option. The 30-inch seat height is reasonably low, though not extraordinarily so by cruiser standards.

Electronics

The XDiavel has customizable riding modes, power modes, cornering ABS, traction control, launch control, cruise control, and full-LED lighting. Riding aids and multimedia can be adjusted through the 3.5-inch TFT dash.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The XDiavel has a 24-month, unlimited-mileage warranty.

Quality

The XDiavel exemplifies Ducati’s objective to deliver sophisticated motorcycles with premium finishes.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

2021 Ducati XDiavel Claimed Specifications

MSRP: $20,695/$25,395 (S)
Engine: 1,262cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled V-twin; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 106.0 x 71.5mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/belt
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 56mm elliptical throttle bodies
Clutch: Wet, multiplate slipper and self-servo; hydraulic operation
Engine Management/Ignition: Ride-by-wire/TCI
Frame: Steel trellis
Front Suspension: Fully adjustable 50mm; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Monoshock, preload and rebound adjustable; 4.3 in. travel
Front Brake: Brembo M4.32 4-piston caliper (base)/Brembo M50 4-piston caliper (S model), dual 320mm discs w/ cornering ABS
Rear Brake: Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, 265mm disc w/ cornering ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5 in. / 17 x 8.0 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70-17 / 240/45-17
Rake/Trail: 30.0°/5.1 in.
Wheelbase: 63.6 in.
Seat Height: 29.7 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gal.
Dry Weight: 487 lb./492 lb. (S)
Contact: ducati.com

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