Ducati Diavel: first official image

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This is the first official image of the Ducati Diavel, published moments ago on Ducati’s Facebook page. What’s it show us? Not much more than we’ve already seen; that’s a 240-section rear tire, a red steel trellis frame, vertical LED taillights, cast handlebars and a digital dash. There’s also specs: 207kg/456lbs to start with.

Feeling bad to the bone yet?

Update: now with high-res image.

Ducati says the Diavel name, Bolognese for “devil” and pronounced “Dee-ah-vel,” came from something an engineer exclaimed when he saw that handling-destroying rear tire. “Ignurànt comm’ al diavel!” goes the legend.

Ducati isn’t quoting an official power figure yet, but the Testastretta 11° engine produces 150bhp and 87.5lb/ft in the Multistrada. ABS, Ducati Traction Control and Ducati Riding Modes are listed as technical features.

These specs make the Diavel look pretty impressive, for a cruiser. Sure, it’s 50bhp down on the Yamaha VMAX, but it also weighs 108kg/238lbs less. That actually gives it a significantly better power-to-weight ratio: .72:1 (bhp:kg) for the Ducati, .63:1 for the VMAX.

Every photo of the Diavel that exists is included in the gallery below, including a larger version of the top image. Want more info? Hit our Ducati Diavel tag page.

  • markbvt

    I have to admit, I’ve actually lost a little respect for Ducati for playing this power cruiser game.

    • cowpieapex

      Is that perhaps respect you held for the Ducati Indiana?
      I must admit to loosing respect when they switched from drive shafts to rubberbands on the overhead cams, but when I see the Marque all I can remember is the 50,000 mile soundtrack that poured from the Contis of my Gt750.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    There are some really cool elements (I need those taillights)to the Diavel, but as a whole, it is just a cruiser.

  • Johndo

    I’d probably buy that before buying a V-Rod. That said, there’s probably a 100 bikes I’d buy before buying a V-Rod.

    • The Lawyer


      • luxlamf

        I am thinking of Replacing my VROD with it. Very Exciting.

  • nicktp

    Yeah I’ll never buy one, but it looks like Ducati is about to show H-D how it’s done.

  • Turf

    I’m not sure how to feel about this -_-

  • 2ndderivative

    Ducati Cayenne.

    • robotribe

      ZING! The thing is, if Ducati sell as many of these things in proportion to Cayenne sales for Porsche, Ducati will be laughing all the way to the bank, no matter how much many of us (including me) laugh at this bike.

    • eyedontseeyou


  • ForgottenOne

    OK let me get this straight, they make bikes that look like they were designed over 30 years ago, a supermoto that looks like a futuristic dirt bike and a touring bike that looks like a futuristic dirtbike that was designed by someone blind and crossbred with an anteater that replaced something even uglier but building a power cruiser that will have the lightest weight, best power to weight ratio and probably the best handling of any cruiser ever will be the one bike that will taint their superbike image?

  • Glenngineer

    Wow, under 500 pounds. This is the first ‘sport’ cruiser that actually might be sporty.

  • betarace

    Ducati has officially jumped the shark. Lame!

  • jayspeed

    Why don’t you fellows take it easy? If Ducati wants to build a cruiser, why not?

    I’ve heard this business about some “breach of the brand promise.” You are misunderstanding the brand promise. The promise is not that every bike they will make will be capable of racing in a pinch. That is not the promise.

    The brand stands for many other things–yes, racing heritage is one of them–but it doesn’t mean that they can’t expand their product line while at the same time keeping the superbikes.

    Many of the successful high-performance marques do this: Ferrari, Porsche, etc. How come you aren’t crying about the Ferrari “California” or the former Maranello? These are not pure sports cars.

    Some have called this the Ducati “Cayenne.” Ducati can only hope as much. That model has been immensely successful for Porsche. And last I heard, they are still making great sports cars–actually, better than ever.

    Now, if Ducati turned around and abandoned sport bikes for cruisers, that might be a breach of the brand promise.

    • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

      I think a lot of the flak comes from that 240 rear tire (“Dat ass”) and all it represents; namely, sacrificing ride-ability for a rubber penis enhancer. Put a normal sized tire on there and its pretty much a high-powered street fighter with some more “classical” lines.

      To keep with the Porsche Cayenne analogy, its like if Porsche designed it as a body-on-frame SUV with huge knobby tires. Nothing about that makes it Porsche SUV, just another truck-based monstrosity.

      • richard gozinya

        I doubt anybody who’s considering one of these wants it for track days, so the 240 rear really isn’t that big of a deal. They’re being pretty damn smart, from a purely commercial perspective. Expand their market, grow as a company. Remember that it’s the Monster that’s kept Ducati in business, not their superbikes.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Have you ever ridden a 240? It’s a pretty damn big deal. It completely upsets the way the bike steers because of the difference in tire angle front to rear and it also makes the bike extremely slow to turn.

          I’m not talking like “oh, it’s a cruiser, it’s a straight line bike,” I’m talking this creates huge problems.

          The 240 also massively restrict maximum lean angle. I really can’t emphasize enough how bad they are.

          That Ducati chose to fit this for questionable looks and as a marketing benefit when a 190 or 200 would have delivered a nice handling, good riding bike, is why people are calling this a red herring.

          • ForgottenOne

            It all depends on the chassis set up and there are some bikes out ther with 240′s that don’t handle bad. If anyone can get the most out of that tire it is Ducati.

            The lean angle restriction is a question of the tire profile and we don’t know if this is an existing tire or one made for this specific application. There are a ton of 180 section tires made and I have ran ones that dive into corners and ones that resist it. I will wait till I ride any bike before I will say that it can’t handle good because I’ve had a few suprise me that I figured wouldn’t handle worth a damn.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

              I’m not saying it won’t handle well. What I’m saying is that, objectively and factually, it would have handled better with a smaller tire. That’s can’t be argued.

              • ForgottenOne

                Actually you did say it won’t handle well, just not in those exact words. People are calling this a “red herring” because they are talking out of their ass because none of us have ridden it to have any idea how it handles. I think it will handle well but I don’t know that any more than all the “experts” that say it will be horrible, I am just giving them them the benefit of the doubt till I ride it. So far for all of us it is only opinion and not fact till we ride it so we can argue it all we want.

                BTW, “That’s can’t be argued” is that English?

          • shawn.bassplayer

            Depends on the 240. The one in the picture looks like the Perelli Diablo 240. It’s a z-rated 240 sportbike tire. I believe it has the same lean angle as a 180.

            SuperStreetBike had a whole article on comparing the different size tires. While the 300 was definitely on the crazy side… The 240, when properly set up, wasn’t that big of a deal.
            They actually had a pro racer (can’t remember who) take a 240 sportbike on a track. He was only a few seconds off of his time with a standard tire bike.

            And everyone keeps talking about performance. Since no one is gonna take one of these to the track. I would love to see a real road that someone is gonna take this bike on and say… “hey, my bike isn’t performing as well as it should. I was planning on taking this 45mph corner at 160, but I only did 120. Damn bike.” LOL

          • 2ndclasscitizen

            Tyre width is only part of what determines lean angle. You also need to take into account tyre profile, wheel size, wheel width, suspension geometry and the location of hard parts on the frame. Hell, supersport racers put wider tyres (200s) on 600s so they have *more* lean angle. Yeah, if you chuck a 240 on the back of a Japanese 4cyl it’s going to handle like shite (particularly since most of those swaps involve stepping up to an 18″ wheel), but I wouldn’t be so sure about a 240 17″ Diablo (possibly Supercorsa) rear.

    • ForgottenOne

      Well said but I think Ducati does have a “brand promise” though, and just like Porsche and Ferrari it is performance. Why should that performance be limited to one category?

      • http://michael.uhlarik@amarokconsultants.com michael uhlarik

        The brand promise that is broken is that Ducati were once, very briefly, purveyors of lightweight, compact performance v-twin motorcycles. They are now chasing after any market segment that promises short-term gains to inflate the brand presence to the non-savant, general public, in an effort to become a mass-media brand and sell lots of t-shirts and belt buckles. How many movie placements have they plugged in recent years? How many celebrity media campaigns?

        Don’t believe me? Read this :

        I weep for the perversion of Ducati, Ferrari and other Legacy brands in the name of quick cash. I knew the world was ending when I saw Ferrari selling branded TicTacs and Barbie dolls at the Geneva Motor Show some years back.

        • jayspeed

          Making lightweight motorcycles is not a “Brand Promise.” That is what they do. The “promise” refers to something that a brand gives you when you buy into it–something that sets it apart from competitors and something that you know your are going to get when you put your money down on the brand.

          I still think this bike is true to the Ducati brand. Just because one may not like cruisers does not mean that the whole marque has gone out the window.

          Bottom line is Ducati, like all other manufacturers, is not a charity. They need to make money.

          Also, think about this, won’t this likely be the best-handling cruiser on the market comes out? If it is, would that change your view of Ducati’s decision to sell the bike?

          I don’t know what the official Ducati line is on what makes their brand, but from someone who has owned 7 Ducati bikes in his lifetime, here’s the first thing a Ducati motorcycle means to me: Confidence.

          Each bike has let me push further and ride to the limit than the competitor’s bikes. There’s just something about their bikes that give you that confidence to push harder–when comparing bikes of a similar market.

          Until you have ridden and lived with several of their bikes over the years, you really cannot know what the brand really means.

        • lashedup

          I think you’re being a bit dramatic. While I agree that the branding nazi’s typically go a bit over board in their quest to “own” the brand (I got news for them – customers own the brand), the reality is that they can steer and try and control the direction of the brand. Like was already pointed out, the company needs to be profitable to survive and Ducati has certainly had its share of ups, downs and brushes with death over the years.

          Merchandising has huge margins. While I think much of the Italian marque’s merchandising is typical Italian cheese at times (I own several Ducati’s and don’t own any of their clothing – that’s just me) it is a necessity in their quest to stay alive and ensure a long future. You can’t just hang your hat on expensive super bikes, particularly when something like the BMW S1000RR comes along at such a bargain price. Ducati has to branch out to survive and the Diavel is just another extension of that. Albeit one that is frought with controversy, but let’s see how it turns out first.

          I never thought a Triumph cruiser made sense, but after riding the Thunderbird I came away with a different perspective on that class of bike (which I generally can’t warm up to). Let’s see what this Diavel is all about – best case a few of us are surprised. Worst case, it ends up a collectors item with a terminal life-cycle.

          The whole selling-out argument only goes so far if you can’t stay in business.

  • richard gozinya

    Say what you will about it, but Ducati sure knows how to build one sexy looking bike.

    • MTGR

      Yes, and that one sexy looking bike is currently the 1198.

  • Liquidogged

    Ducati already makes some bikes that have nothing to do with racing and aren’t very good looking, so this fits right in with that. On the other hand, those other bikes are fast for what they are and offer very good handling in their respective classes. Ducati is known for handling, they always have been. Racing, yes, speed, yes, but certainly and always handling. So I have to agree with Wes: the 240 rear is a big deal.

    It’s helpful to look at the big picture. The worldwide recession is still on, none of the OEMs is swimming in money, and Ducati just cut their WSBK factory team. Now they are coming out with a model that appears to sacrifice a major signifier of the brand in an apparent effort to cash in on the cruiser market before all the boomers get too old to ride. Gross? Yes. Good business practice from a cold hard cash perspective? Almost certainly yes. Inspiring? No.

    Ultimately I have to conclude this bike makes me sad. On a side note, it is absolutely the ugliest Ducati ever made and is a shame on that basis alone.

  • t1201971

    I understand the fact that the design, development, production and sale of cruisers is an affront to humanity, but perhaps everyone has forgotten about the Ducati Indiana 650..? http://motorbike-search-engine.co.uk/classic-bikes-2/ducati-indiana.JPG

  • MTGR

    Everyone keeps mentioning Ducati is famous for performance, but it is more than that – it is the emotion behind it as well.
    Historically, they have always stayed true to building the best regardless of sales or marketing potential. Sometimes even knowing in advance they might not profit as much from it financially as they might if they compromised the design slightly.

    Maybe not the smartest approach from an immediate accounting point of view, but one that developed a bullet-proof rep for them that has ultimately put them where they are now.

    Yes, some recent models do compromise this approach somewhat but none nearly to the degree the entire concept of this model does. A true desire to build the best conflicts radically with producing a paint by numbers assembly project just for a specific market.

    Personally, that is what offends me about this. Likely they will sell a million for huge profit, but at the expense of their own moral values.

    • MikeD

      Yeah, but stay Positive.

      Maybe they’ll pour some of the profit from this Barge into that Crazy Frameless Design or the replacemnt of the 1198 (i heard is going to be a V4)…any other rumors?lol.

  • cityag

    “Brand Promise..” That’s rich. How ’bout “Keeping the Fucking Lights On Promise”

    “… expense of their moral values….?” How are they harming society with a incongruously designed motorcycle? Is Ducati using slave labor and nobody has as yet found out? Animal testing?

    Sheesh, get over yourselves.

    • MTGR

      THEIR moral values implies the values THEY have for themselves, not broad social values.

  • -TB-

    Hey guys, its not all bad, if you squint you could almost mistake the rear for the Streetfighter!



  • moby grape

    Not really my cuppa tea…But I’d buy one before one of those electric bikes! There,I said it!!

  • KOTH

    I’m not a Ducati purist. I’ll take 2 GSX-Rs for the price of one Ducati any day and have 2 bikes that are better, IMO.

    I’ll have to see it in person but I think I like this bike. Agree that a 200mm tire would be much prefered over the 240 and the name is lame. But this bike is what the new VMax should have been.

    • MTGR

      I, and all my friends, once said exactly the same thing about GSX-Rs and Ducs. But after you ride them a while you realize you really can feel the difference their approach creates (or at least, used to create).

      Which is likely why there are pages of this arguing every time this new devil appears in a photo.

  • Peter88

    All I can say is thank God that Ducati and Harley Davidson are still out there. They are more than motorcyle companies (I’m talking spiritually not bandana-wise) and they both know it.

    • ForgottenOne

      Thank god for Harley? You mean that brand that wants us all to buy into their Americana pitch so we keep buying their over priced bikes and China made accessories that fill their dealers even though they could care less about American workers and their product. all they care about is American’s money. More than a motorcycle company? Ask a former Buell employee how much more. They are just a big marketing gimmick, probably one of the best in history.

  • MikeD

    C’mon Yamaha…put that VMAX thru a HEAVY Diet and mop the floor with this thing’s ass.

  • Cajun58

    I see where there’s a Bolognese dog and a Bolognese sauce even Bolognese law but no Bolognese dialect. Was it just made-up as a marketing ploy?

    • Trojanhorse

      I currently live in Bologna – there is absolutely a Bolognese dialect, just as there are dialects in most other cities in Italy.