2023 Ducati Diavel V4 review | hits 60mph in less than 3 seconds, stops with the ferocity of a racer

Highlights

  • Granturismo V4 engine
  • Rear cylinder cut below 4000rpm
  • Lighter and more nimble
MCN AWARDS
Cruiser of the Year 2023
WINNER

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £800
Power: 166 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 790 mm)
Weight: High (520 lbs / 236 kg)

Prices

New £23,585
Used £19,500 - £21,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Ducati Diavel V4 may look like the familiar cruiser motorbike but it’s a completely different beast to before. Dumping the old V-twin in the previous Diavel 1260 for a V4 has given it a new lease of life, but that’s not the whole story.

It’s sportier than ever and to prove it Ducati chose to launch it on a 7.5-mile stretch of closed road on Jebel Hafeet, Abu Dhabi’s only mountain. It isn’t just any old road, but one littered with 60 ultra-grippy corners, from hairpins to fast sweepers and not a straight piece of tarmac in sight. Think of it as the Pikes Peak of the Middle East and not the kind of place you’d normally bring something cruiser shaped.

Unquestionably niche and unapologetically expensive, the new Diavel V4 won’t be for everyone, but it’s more than just a shiny red cruiser. It demolishes 60mph in less than three seconds, stops with the ferocity of a racer and flows through corners like a supersport bike.

Ducati Diavel V4 on the road

Its new engine is as happy plodding along on two cylinders as it is delivering brutal acceleration in full V4 mode. It’s beautifully equipped and well finished, but best of all, thanks to clever use of tech and substantial weight loss, it’s nimbler, sportier and a whole lot more fun than it has any right to be.

Despite being single-minded and expensive, Ducati have sold over 45,000 Diavels since 2011. The new V4 is more of the same with an even wider appeal thanks to its extra performance and usability.

Watch Neevesy's full Ducati Diavel V4 video review here:

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

You’d expect a bike so low, long and muscular to be a stodge-fest through these dreamy corners, especially one with a huge, 240 section rear tyre, but think again. Old Diavels handled superbly for what they were, but the new one now stops, turns and goes like a lithe-handling sports naked.

Much of its newfound agility comes from a 15kg weight reduction over the old Diavel. The V4 lump is smaller and 5kg lighter than the V-twin and with the old steel trellis frame replaced with a cast ali monocoque and (0.9kg) lighter wheels, the chassis weighs 8kg less.

It's still a hefty 236kg, fully fuelled but the Ducati manages to roll sweetly from side to side with minimal effort. The new engine also does its bit to lighten the steering and the V4’s counter rotating crank cancels out the gyroscopic force of the wheels.

Ducati Diavel V4 front

It’s now so easy to get the Diavel into a corner and back out again, it almost defies belief. The motor’s twin pulse firing order also helps the already sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3 rear tyre find traction, too.

Ground clearance is surprisingly generous, too, with pegs only grazing tarmac in full Bagnaia mode and the ride from its non-electronic, but fully adjustable suspension (with 15mm more travel at the rear), is comfortable and controlled.

Braking power is Ducati Panigale V4 levels of brutal, too, thanks to Brembo Stylema calipers, a low centre of gravity and a refined cornering ABS system that gives a natural feel at the lever and little intrusion from the electronics. Ducati does the best brakes. End of.

Ducati Diavel V4 rear cornering

Comfort is another Diavel V4 highlight with a more roadster than cruiser-like riding position. Its 20mm longer seat is plush, bars are 20mm closer to the rider and legroom is generous. The pillion gets a wide seat, a retractable grab rail and flip-out pegs, too. Fit the accessory panniers, screen, pillion backrest and heated grips and you’ve got yourself a bad-ass touring bike.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

It may not quite have the soulful boom of the old 1260cc Testastretta V-twin, but its 166bhp, 1158cc Granturismo V4 spring valve motor (taken from the Multistrada V4) is flexible, refined and with less Diavel to push along than before, is anything but slow.

The power is smooth, clatter-free and perfectly fuelled at low revs, punchy through the midrange and delivers the glorious, relentless violence of a superbike at the top.

Its character isn’t such a departure from the old bike’s, though. It still sounds like a V-twin, thanks to its fancy firing order and for gentle riding the V4 runs on just its front two cylinders to reduce heat and aid fuel economy (44mpg, claimed).

Ducati Diavel V4 engine

Ducati V4s have had this cylinder deactivation for a few years now, but only at tickover. The Diavel V4 has an ‘extended’ cylinder cut, like a MotoGP bike and is a twin below 4000rpm in every gear, apart from first.

It becomes a fully-firing V4 again after that, or when you ask for a swift hit of power from low revs. The transition from two to four is seamless and only a hardening of the engine note gives the game away.

It’s the first such system to appear on a road bike (the BMW S1000RR superbike has split throttle bodies but requires a race kit to activate) and will also be used on the forthcoming 2023 Multistrada V4 Rally.

Ducati Diavel V4 exhaust

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Diavel’s V4 engine has been tried and tested in the Multistrada V4. Although some very early Multistrada V4s had reliability problems, they were quickly resolved and our Owners’ Reviews are positive. Ducati’s latest generation electronics and chassis parts seem robust, too. Luxurious build quality and deep paint finishes are everything you’d expect from a premium machine like this.

Ducati Diavel V4 in red or black

Our Ducati Diavel V4 owners' review only scores the bike two stars, but that's not a reflection of its reliability. The only negative in that respect is a comment about the upper tank being made of plastic.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

With the Yamaha V-Max now discontinued and no direct rival from Harley Davidson, the Ducati Diavel V4 sits in a class of one. But a plaything for the well-healed, it’s far from cheap.

However, we reckon a few buyers might end up choosing between the Diavel V4 and something like the Triumph Rocket 3.

Ducati Diavel V4 right side

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

You’d expect higher spec suspension for the price but won’t feel short-changed elsewhere. Muscular new bodywork is flawlessly finished in gloss red or black (the meanest looking) and it’s lavished with detail from its machined cast ali wheels to the quad-pipe rocket launcher exhaust can, handlebar mounted indicators, the 112 LED bulbs that make up the rear tail/stop light cluster, a useful multi-function Bluetooth 5in colour dash and a plethora of highly effective, fully adjustable rider modes and electronic aids.

A range of touring, cosmetic and performance accessories available, including a titanium race exhaust with four Spitfire-inspired underslung pipes that will set you back a cool £5037.12.

Ducati Diavel V4 under street lights

Specs

Engine size 1158cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled 16v V4
Frame type Cast aluminium monocoque
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 236kg
Front suspension 50mm Marzocchi forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Single shock, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 330mm discs with four-piston radial monobloc Brembo Stylema calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 265mm disc with twin-piston Brembo caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 240/45 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £800
New price £23,585
Used price £19,500 - £21,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 166 bhp
Max torque 93 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 194 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Other versions

None.

Owners' reviews for the DUCATI DIAVEL V4 (2023 - on)

1 owner has reviewed their DUCATI DIAVEL V4 (2023 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DUCATI DIAVEL V4 (2023 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 2 out of 5 (2/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Equipment: 2 out of 5 (2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £800
2 out of 5 Amazing Motorcycle but absolutely not for pillions (or luggage)
02 January 2024 by Tim Smith

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £800

Amazing bike but hopeless for pillions or touring.The Diavel V4 is a technical masterpiece. A cruiser that handles like a sportsbike or super-naked but looks like a cruiser. Ducati have pulled off what seems impossible. If it didn't have one massive flaw this bike would be an utter marvel. The flaw is the rear shock can only be adjusted by the dealer. That probably sounds impossible to believe but you can easily verify this by reading the owners' manual online. This means that carrying a pillion or luggage will require at least one visit to an authorised service centre to have a few clicks added to the preload. Not that this will be a simple process, it will require removal of bodywork before the adjustments can be made. If you only ever ride alone without luggage, then you may only need to visit the dealer once to setup the suspension for your needs. If you want to sometimes take a pillion and/or take luggage then you will need to get used to lots of trips to the dealer to adjust the suspension to your needs. Many of the marketing shots show the bike ridden two-up with the natty backrest on the pillion seat, or with the excellent looking luggage. So, you would be forgiven for believing that the bike has been built with this in mind but with unadjustable rear suspension, that cannot be the case. Previous Diavel's had an external preload knob which was very easy to adjust. My only explanation is that the V4 was designed for electronic suspension but the plan changed and at least the initial version does not have this. This means that the owner cannot adjust the rear preload or rebound themselves which is just ridiculous and totally impractical. As an owner, I am obviously very disappointed by this and I don't think the motorcycle is fit for purpose.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Amazing handling for a cruiser type bike. Falls into corners nicely, carries its weight low down. The brakes bring it to a halt nicely and have plenty of feel. Once you get the hang of the high and wide bars, you can really hustle and not much could ever get away from you on the road. The sheer torque out of corners and the stability the massive rear tyre seems to give means that not much will get away from you on track either, until you hit the straights.

Engine 5 out of 5

Takes a while run in but once done, the engine is amazing and definitely a, if not the, highlight of the bike. The Ducati V4 is well renowned and respected for good reason.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Well built. A bit odd that the upper engine cover is plastic but feels very well put together.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Service intervals longer than previous models but servicing a Ducati is never going to be cheap.

Equipment 2 out of 5

Lots of electronics, including angle sensitive traction control and abs, rear-lit controls, cruise control, etc. Massive gotcha though which is the fundamental flaw of the bike and as far as I'm concerned makes it unfit for purpose: The rear shock is fully adjustable BUT ONLY BY THE DEALERSHIP.

Buying experience: Bought from a dealer. Paid list price. Very hard to get hold of.

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