It's a cruiser with superbike power: Ducati's new Diavel V4

It's a cruiser with superbike power: Ducati's new Diavel V4
Courtesy of Ducati

The new 168 horsepower engine, comfortable ergonomics, and lighter weight put this bike in a class by itself. 

Trying to keep Alessandro Valia, Ducati's legendary test and development rider, in sight while scrambling up the Jebel Hafeet Mountain between Abu Dhabi and Oman, I'm failing. He cuts a graceful figure, arcing wide, finishing tight, and firing out of corners like he would on any of Ducati's Streetfighter V4 models. But he's not riding a superbike-derived Streetfighter. As we ride the 2023 Ducati Diavel V4, the closest thing to a cruiser Ducati makes, we both ride it.

With an engine weighing 1,158 cc and featuring the Granturismo version of the 1,158 cc Desmosedici Stradale V4, which was first introduced on the 2018 Panigale V4 S, this 2023 edition of the Diavel is the first of its kind. Multistrada V4 S introduced the Granturismo iteration of the mill in 2021.

Courtesy of Ducati

This engine has 168 hp and 93 ft lbs of torque, with new intakes, airboxes, camshafts, cam timing, and a shorter first gear. It accelerates quickly and hard. 

Featuring a huge rear tire with 240 sections and a low seat height of 31.1 inches, the bike offers an unprecedented amount of drive grip. In fact, no other manufacturer makes a motorcycle with such a cruiser-like look and such a powerful motor.

Courtesy of Ducati
A 1,158 cc Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine in the Granturismo version has 168 horsepower and 93 foot-pounds of torque. Courtesy of Ducati

In addition to its multistage power modes, multistage traction and wheelie control, cornering ABS, power launch (for all of those drag starts), and cruise control, the Diavel features Ducati's suite of electronics.

If you want your hands warm, you'll have to pay $400 for heated grips, which should be included with a motorcycle worth nearly $27,000, says Rich Report. While big highway-mile days are easily within the Diavel's design brief, it does not come with radar-assisted Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection.

A massive 240-section rear tire and four-barrel exhaust are key elements of the model's aggressive aesthetic. Courtesy of Ducati

The main focus of the Diavel V4's development has been on reducing weight compared to the outgoing twin-cylinder Diavel 1260. 11 pounds have been removed from the motor. The monocoque frame has also lost 10.4 pounds, the subframe has lost 5.3 pounds, the wheels have lost two pounds, and the front brake discs have lost 1.3 pounds. 

Courtesy of Ducati
Courtesy of Ducati

According to Ducati, the bike weighs 520 pounds with a gas tank capacity of 5.3 gallons. The seat height has been increased by 0.7 inches, while the handlebar has been moved closer by .78 inches.

Both sides of the Marzocchi fork, which measures 50 mm in diameter, have prominent intakes. Courtesy of Ducati

Diavel climbed Jebel Hafeet Mountain along a glorious six-mile ribbon of road (with 60 corners and an elevation gain of 4,000 feet), demonstrating remarkable agility and lightness in steering, especially given the size of the rear tire, which looks like one on a car.

As you're so low and far back, you can't really see the front wheel, so you just have to trust that the Pirelli is doing its job, as I did while trying desperately to hold onto the exhaust fumes of the Valia. You'll hit the cornering limits of the pegs miles before you run out of rubber, and you can't really see the front wheel.

The Diavel V4 has a distinctive LED rear light signature, which makes it stand out from the crowd. Courtesy of Ducati

There is nothing that looks more stylish than the Diavel V4, which comes with a huge LED headlight and stunning webbed LED rear light signature, slash-cut wheels, and Gatling gun exhausts. In addition to the massive intakes on either side of the Marzocchi fork, which can both be adjusted to your preference, there are also monstrous exhausts on either side of the Marzocchi fork. 

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