DUCATI DIAVEL (2011 - 2019) Review
- Ducati's high performance cruiser
- Distinctive huge rear tyre
- Unique, aggressive styling
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£1,170|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
We’re absolutely blown away by the 2011-2019 Ducati Diavel. It’s so light, fast and sophisticated, so good handling and fun, it completely turns on its head everything we thought so-called cruisers were about until now.
Or, to put it another way: the Diavel does to the cruiser bike class pretty much – if not more – what Ducati’s Multistrada did to the adventure bike class. It adds a degree of performance and sports ability to a class of bike where it simply didn’t exist before.
What is the Ducati Diavel?
It’s a retuned Testastretta sportsbike engine, with a familiar level of rider-aiding electronics, in a familiar-looking steel trellis frame, with equally familar top-spec forks, brakes and single-sided swingarm. That’s where the familiarity ends – the brutal styling is unique, and divides opinion, but the real talking point is the 8in-wide rear rim, carrying an enormous 240-section rear tyre.
There's a thriving enthusiasts' scene for this bike. Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join an online community such as the Diavel-Forum.co.uk to meet likeminded owners.
The Ducati Diavel impressed MCN so much when it was released in 2011 that it won our Machine of the Year award that year. MCN Editor at the time, Marc Potter was blown away when he rode it.
He said: "There was no hesitation here because I've never known a bike exceed expectations by such a huge margin. It has massive presence as a cruiser and should clearly appeal in an entirely new market for Ducati, yet the performance is epic and the feel of the bike is fabulous."
The Diavel fought off tough competition from the BMW K1600GT, the six-cylinder tourer that had just been released at the time to take the UK's most coveted motorcycle award.
Ducati Diavel Carbon launched in 2016
Ducati released details of their 2016 Diavel Carbon in September 2015, with new graphics and several new technical and aesthetic updates.
The Asphalt Grey colour mixes with the visible carbon, red stripes, and Dark Chrome paintwork on the frame, while the exposed machined finish on the wheels adds a flash of bling.
Also new were exhaust manifolds with Zircotec ceramic coating, brushed-effect stainless steel silencer covers, and a redesigned seat with new trim.
In addition to the new Carbon version, the Diavel was also available in the total black Dark Stealth version, with matt black tank and black frame and wheels.
2016 Ducati Diavel Carbon highlights
- Ducati Testastretta 11° DS engine 162bhp
- Riding Modes (Sport, Touring, Urban)
- Ducati Safety Pack (ABS, DTC)
- New Marchesini, forged, turned and milled wheels
- Exhaust with Zircotec ceramic coating
- Brushed-effect stainless steel silencers
- Carbon fibre tank cover
- New seat
- Carbon fibre rear seet cover
- Carbon fibre front mud guard
- 50 mm front fork
- TFT instrumentation
- Full LED illumination
Head to our full Ducati Diavel timeline for more models over the years.
In 2019 this bike was replaced by the Ducati Diavel 1260S, which our testers rate even higher than the original.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
We can’t quite get our heads around how Ducati has managed it, considering the Diavel’s long, low cruiser gait and fat back tyre, but this bike steers and sweeps and scratches and stops almost – almost – as good as a super naked. It’s that good.
It steers perfectly neutrally and holds its line without complaint or (amazingly) decking out – and boy we tried. Its ride is smooth and controlled and the brakes are simply awesome. Sports bikes WILL be humbled by the Diavel.
Ducati Diavel suspension – used guide
Most owners reckon the suspension is good as standard, but some (especially those riding on rougher roads) say the front forks are stiff, so they kick off bumps and ripples, and the rear is too softly-sprung. Both ends are rebuildable so it’s no problem to get them set up to suit you by a specialist. Switching to an Öhlins rear shock is also a popular option.
We had a few complaints of leaky fork seals, often at very low mileages and sorted under warranty – worth checking on a used bike. The forks should have oil changed every 15,000 miles – old oil breaks down quickly and can damage the black coating on some models’ fork legs. There’s a rose-joint bush in the rear suspension linkage that appears to be made of cheese – it’s not uncommon for it to completely wear through and fail in under 15,000 miles. A better-quality
replacement can be had for less than £10: you’re looking for a GE16-PW rod end (rose joint) bearing, but go for a decent brand like FAG or Durbal.
Which tyres for my Ducati Diavel?
EngineNext up: Reliability
Testastretta 11º engine is essentially identical to that of the Multistrada 1200. Different exhaust and airbox, however, liberates 12 extra bhp to produce a peak bhp of 162, enough for it to be quicker even than the 1198 from 0-60mph.
Fuelling and delivery is perfect, switchable riding modes (engine maps) allows a choice between Urban (100bhp), Touring (soft 162bhp) or Sports (sporty 162bhp) maps, making it not just fiendishly potent, but practical and versatile, too.
Ducati Diavel engine and gearbox – used guide
The engine is a well-proven unit. Regular oil changes are a must, with fully synthetic oil – Motul 300V is popular. In normal use a healthy engine should use little or no oil between changes. If oil is blowing out through the crank breather into the airbox, the crankcase breather valve could be at fault – simple and cheap to check. Internal corrosion of waterways can be an issue, and word is that the later AGIP pink coolant is better than the earlier blue version.
There’s a known issue with the gearbox jumping out of second and into neutral on some bikes, and/or showing a neutral light but still being in gear. Repair can involve replacing some seriously pricey gearbox internals, so make sure you throttle on and off hard in second a few times on your test ride to see if it’s a problem.
Experienced Ducati mechanics recommend fitting an upgraded shifting detent arm and spring (see www.motowheels.com) – not pricey and easy to fit once the clutch is out of the way. There were also a few complaints of the gear lever refusing to spring back into position, caused by worn or broken return springs - quite a bit of workshop time to replace.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Modern Ducati Diavel specs are generally much improved with extended 15,000-mile service intervals. Quality certainly impresses: all the wiring and hosing is neatly hidden away; the raised badging is mouthwateringly tactile; all the surfaces are either glossy paint, saucy carbon fibre or mouthwateringly milled aluminium; the fold-away pillion pegs and retractable grab handle are exquisite, we could go on…
We've got 20 Ducati Diavel owners' reviews on the site, with an overall score of 4.4 stars out of 5. The main issue affecting buyers is expensive servicing.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
This bike is good value, especially compared to Ducati Diavel alternatives such as the Yamaha VMax and the Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle. You get an awful lot of tech, quality and style from Ducati and, best of all, performance that simply blows away anything else in the class.
Ducati Diavel parts and servicing
Original Diavels have a 7500-mile basic service schedule – basically just an oil and filter change and general systems check. Early models were due a main service at 15,000 miles, including new cambelts, valve clearance check and new plugs, air filter, coolant and fork oil. Second generation bikes from 2015 onwards have extended intervals – 9000-mile interim and 18,000-mile main services. Since the cambelts and valvetrain are the same in both engines, it’s safe to assume an 18,000 main service is OK for earlier bikes. In either case it’s actually quite rare for valves to need adjustment first time round, though you must check just in case. If you’re using your bike hard (as in trackday hard) you might want to factor in an extra oil change between interim services for peace of mind.
New and used parts prices
The Diavel shares most of its basic service parts with other Ducatis, so it’s no trouble tracking down spares for a service. A pair of
cambelts will be around £80, an air filter around £50 and an oil filter about £10. If you want to make it faster or just dress it
up, the only limit is the depth of your wallet. A race exhaust could set you back nearly £3000, and a road-legal Termignoni silencer is £1499. A carbon front mudguard is around £210, and a roadster screen kit £190 (both Ducati parts). You won’t find many Diavels in breakers, but used parts turn up on Ebay – you may have to search worldwide for specific items though.
Tons of high tech as standard, including ABS, DTC (traction control), TFT instruments, top spec brakes, not to mention keyless ignition, novel LED head, tail and ‘strip’ indicator lights, footpegs with detachable rubbers, billet mirrors and a large diameter exhaust which includes two lambda sensors, a catalytric converter and an power valve. High tech? The Diavel’s certainly got it…
|Engine type||8v liquid-cooled V-twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, compression and rebound|
|Rear suspension||Preload, compression and rebound|
|Front brake||2 x 320mm discs, Brembo 4-piston callipers, ABS|
|Rear brake||265mm disc, twin-piston calliper, ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 ZR 17|
|Rear tyre size||240/45 ZR 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||35 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£1,170|
|Used price||£7,300 - £13,000|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||162 bhp|
|Max torque||94 ft-lb|
|Top speed||169 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.5 secs|
|Tank range||132 miles|
Model history & versions
Ducati Diavel timeline
- 2011-current Diavel New 1198cc sports cruiser. Changes for 2015 include twin-spark heads, new seat, clocks, wheels, exhaust and headlight.
- 2014-current Diavel Carbon Carbon tank panels, single seat cover and front mudguard, 5kg lighter.
- 2011-current Diavel Dark Matt black finish and black frame, plus low-friction black plating on fork legs.
- 2014-current Diavel Titanium Limited edition (500 made) with titanium trim, Alcantara and leather seat.
- 2012-2013 Diavel Cromo Chrome tank panels, headlight surround, exhaust and wheel details.
- 2012-2015 Diavel Strada Taller bars, plusher seats, touring screen, pillion backrest, standard panniers.
- 2018 Ducati Diavel 1260 replaces Diavel model.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI DIAVEL (2011 - 2019)
21 owners have reviewed their DUCATI DIAVEL (2011 - 2019) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£1,170|
Fast and stops well but too long wheelbase that not only squares off front tyres in under 1500 miles if ridden 'quickly' but heart-stopping under-steer moments guaranteed. Not a bike for those who cannot muscle the thing thru bends!
Range limited but comfortable. Not as quick as owners claim, try a 1290 Super Duke.
Excellent engine if a bit 'clattery' even with Termis hiding the noises!
Handlebar mounted brake and clutch reservoirs leak for fun. Number plate bolts need to be thread-locked or replaced with steel & locknuts due to vibration. Minor electrical glitches regularly.
Hugely expensive servicing.
Tail tidy a must but requires 'illegal' sized number plate. Won't fall off with vibrations though.
Annual servicing cost: £634
strada. 2013. 9k miles when purchased from ducati dealer. 6 months after having bike rear linkage replaced under dealer warranty. now got 24k miles after owning for 3.5 years. last service cost £1580 plus £230 for tyres. also broken side stand which cost £154. now suspect bbs (black box) might need replacing (£220 + workshop labour) as i get gear position errors and tail light errors from time to time. i love this bike but looking around for alternative v-twin but nothing comes close within my budget. other bits fitted: sargent seat (brilliant), zard exhaust (beautiful), lower pegs and a few carbon bits
warp drive as standard
it isn't gonna be cheap. last service cost £1580 - due to cylinder head removal to extract exhaust studs. plus £230 for tyres. also broken side stand which cost £154. now suspect bbs (black box) might need replacing (£220 + workshop labour) as i get gear position errors and tail light errors from time to time. belts and valve check every 15k miles or 5 years.
get a sargent seat
Buying experience: 2nd hand from ducati dealer with 9k miles
Version: Carbon Black
Annual servicing cost: £3,000
If I was just reviewing the bike without considering the massive amount of money I have spent and my extended warranty, thank God I decided to buy it! It has paid over $4,000 of the $8,000+ my bike required at the 15,000 Desmo service, Had I not had the extended warranty I would have had to pay over $8,000 to service my $10,400 bike I bought 2 years ago with 13,000 miles on it. $8,000 divided by 2000 miles = $4 a mile. The Desmo tune was $2,200 plus $600 parts, I had 2 tires, 2 sprockets, a new chain and new battery and it was over $,4,000, during the 3 months they had the bike they found a previous repair on the wire harness around the steering neck as the wiring harness was too tight and was kicking, they wanted to install a new harness for $3,000, during this they found the clutch slave cylinder leaking and did this and also the gear position sensor and all together it was over $8,000 between me and my warranty company. I have had it for sale for a slow as $8,500 and had no buyers, I think Ducati made a error routing there harness.
Buying experience: Bought from a Yamaha dealer on consignment for $10,400 with 13k miles
Annual servicing cost: £1,500
This bike is the cutting edge of motorcycle technology, with 8 levels of ABS and traction control, 8 being the "rain" setting where maximum interference is required regarding wheel spin or skidding.
The ride quality is outstanding as are the Brembo brakes.
The engines performance is tremendous, it has torque at all points and pulls like a locomotive fueled with nitro, in fact it took me months before I could go through the gears flat out, the engine "explodes" with power and simply gets stronger all the way up, by the time you are out of 2nd gear you are flying.
The quality is unsurpassed,Ducati uses the finest components available, the fit and finish of the components are exquisite, my bike is mechanical art, I can look at it for hours.
The valve adjustments take many hours which equates to approximately $1,500 and this is not including parts such as tires, brakes, chain, sprockets which wear faster than lesser performance machines. One thing I discovered is there are many barely used motors available online for the Diavel and they are selling for not much more than a tune up. I had a 1991 BMW 850 V 12 Coupe and it's engine was very similar in that if it required much repair the costs soon eclipse the cost to simply swap in a used motor with low mileage. The forums called it a "throw away motor" because if the water pump or cams failed it was cheaper to replace the motor rather than repair it.
The bike is the closest thing to a Ferrari I have ever owned, it is more of a machine than I can use, it's capability surpasses my skills , thankfully the electronic aids allow me to ride the bike much more safely than a bike with this much HP and no electronic aids.
There's no perfect bike, but this comes pretty close in many areas. It's darn good looks and the mighty engine retrieve most of its weaknesses. Diavel's raw twin engine is at it's best on curvy country roads and it's modern looks draw admiration on city boulevards.
An ultimate blast to ride between 60-160 km/h (massive grunt and insane top end too). Below that the ride is a tad jerky and above that the lack of wind protection is obvious. Chassis and brakes are good. Sitting position and the ergos are comfortable, but handlebar vibrations become quickly irritating on longer journeys.
Compared to inline-4s the engine feels rough and unrefined, but that's a vital part of Diavel's charisma. And so is the racy sound of it too. Raw power is available at any time and anywhere, which makes overtaking devilish fun. Quickshifter would double the fun though. It takes 240-280 kms for the Testastretta L2 to swallow a tankful of gas.
Let's get this straight: Italians know the design! This bike really turns heads - so much you may even be tired of it. Reliability is good and quality quite wood as well. 1st Gen bike had certainly more small annoying flaws to be fixed.
Service and insurance costs are generally higher than other bikes'. Rear tyres lasted about 9000 kms, but that's ok considering the huge torque of the L2 and the grip of a 240mm rubber.
Standard equipment is pretty good with the riding modes, keyless start and so on. The dash looks damn good and has lots of info, but is situated too low below the field of view. Diavel is certainly not a bike for a pillion and the lack of stylish hard cases hurts its touring abilities too. A cruise control would broaden the bikes' range of use.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Redefines the 'Cruiser'class of bike. The Diavel is much nearer a Sports Bike than a Cruiser
Excellent Brembo brakes as fitted to a Sports bike
Loads of 'Stmo' and very good all round performance.
The main service comes at 15000 miles, the Desmo Service, and it costs a very large £650
ABS and Riding Modes
Buying experience: Brought New from a Dealer
Version: Carbon Black
Quite simply the most outstanding road bike you can buy. I challenge anyone to ride one and not be blown away and completely converted. This bike is accomplished at everything, has a huge amount of character, massive grin factor and turns heads wherever you go. Kids give you thumbs up, old boy Jaguar drivers wind down their windows and gawp, dogs bark or run in terror. Nothing else has this much presence. Goes like a stabbed rat, sounds like armageddon.
Outstanding chassis, handles way better than it should. You can absolutely stuff this bike into corners with complete confidence, trail braking deep and late. It does a pretty decent impression of a much nimbler machine at a trackday, and will embarrass all but the very latest sports bikes. Massive rear end grip, steer with and feel with your bum (although you can make it slide for fun), M50 Brembo callipers are the best brakes you will ever feel on a road bike with no perceivable fade under really hard use and outrageous stopping power, ABS gives huge confidence in the wet. Easily adjustable rear preload.
Bonkers ! Feels like you have pulled the pin on an Inter Contintental Ballistic Missile. Ridiculous giggles, and hours of fun monstering sports cars. I'm surprised it's legal.
Cleans up really easily, no corrosion, pitting or signs of weather after 4 years. Fantastic build quality. I've been touring in Europe through Spain with no issues. Starts on the button, nothing has ever gone wrong apart from a loose ABS sensor cable - which attaches to the battery, and was fixed by tightening the bolt.
Good service intervals.
3 rider modes, TC (useful). Standard seat is a pain after 100 miles. Ducati GT replacement seat is lovely. We have fitted the Pannier set, for (very fast) touring, 2 x 35 litres, and well designed and made. The overall fit an finish on the bike is superb, and shows a real step up from Ducats of old.
Buying experience: Bought privately, and immaculately presented and well cherished bike.
Nice bike, on smoth roads. Very expence for the quality presented, lot of vibrations at low revs.
Best thing about this bike is it puts a smile on your face.I have been riding very sensible bikes for a few years now, BMWs RTs but at 63 I needed a bit of fun. Smiling all the time so much fun.
Not made for long travel for a passenger
Lots of power liks to be reved
Liked to have an USB outlet for my Sat nav
Buying experience: Great price from SMC Sheffield Tony
Annual servicing cost: £400
Having had enough of killing my arms on my 748 i decided it was time to get something a bit more comfy and also something the wife could get on the back of, I test rode one the Thursday before last and returned to the dealer and ordered one, the bike handles very well for its size it pulls like a train and the wife had enough room to be comfy, i also ordered a tail tidy and venture shield, in the end we plumped for the carbon white,, its not a pretty thing in my opinion but it looks great from the side and the rear, i must admit i did think twice as the price is quite scarry but after picking it up friday i am well chuffed it rides so well for a big lump,
Obviously I took too long writing the review underneath! P.S: The mph figure mentioned should have read 100.
Took one on loan for the day while my 1100 Monster was being serviced, covering about 50 miles. First thing to strike me was how surprisingly smooth & easy to ride it was. It turned in to corners eagerly & exceeded expectations all round in terms of handling. Engine wise, I have to say I was a teensy bit disappointed: Sure, it's plenty fast, but not breathtakingly so & you have to rev to get at the power, which tends to mean changing down. I can honestly say that my Monster feels like it has more grunt, plus the power is much more readily accessible & delivered in a more pleasing way. Obviously the Diavel would streak away at much over mph but who wants to do that regularly on a naked? Maybe the Strada version with the screen would be the one to go for. I found the riding modes utterly pointless: The bike is smooth & well mannered enough not to need any cap on peak power, & switching between modes is far too complicated to be realistic on the move without being dangerously distracting. I loved a lot about the Diavel but the best thing was that it convinced me that I don't need to change my own bike any time soon. If I was rich I'd have one in my garage in the lovely new blue with white wheels & stripes) but to anyone who isn't, I would say get a Monster Evo instead & with the change buy a used Fireblade! :-)
Had the Diavel for two months and done 1000 miles and every one of them has been fun!!!!! Riding position is spot on for me (5'8) no aches or pains from the standard seat, only thing i changed is the exhaust to the Termagini full system fitted for £2500 and they sound amazing even though they are expensive. The power and speed of this bike is amazing and breathtaking it goes around corners as well. in my eyes 10 out of 10!!!!
had a test ride today of the Diavel. if you're in the market for a big bike that isn't a 'superbike' or a tourer, get yourself down to your Ducati dealer and try one of these - it's an absolute hoot to ride. i think chriswren has rather missed the point of this bike, it's all about good fun, not the nth degree in absolute engineering for the last millisecond around a track. having said that, the attention to detail on the Diavel is superb, with build quality to match. you can guess that i liked it! lol
Great bike Great mag. Seems your Mag is not posting my postings. Looks like were in censorship mode because i was criticle of your Biased testing.
It sums up the Diaval, a smile on my face everytime I ride ... unless it's raining (don't like rain!). I'm just approaching the first 600 mile service and am blown away by this bike, the 3 riding modes are brilliant, the ride is very comfortable, have done 3 hours in the saddle without stopping. The noise .. oh the noise .. like a grizzly bear with toothache!! £13k is a lot but the kit on the bike is justified, the brakes are amazing. Can't wait now to take the rev's to the max .. in sport mode !!
I'm at that age where riding with my arse in the air for too long requires the use of more drugs than should be legal to ride with. On the other hand at 50 I am still way too young for a Harley, and anyway there are too many tractors round here already. The Diavel is the perfect bike for me, most of the time. It’s comfortable enough to tour on, even with the poor tank range, but I haven’t worked out a luggage solution yet – but no doubt someone will soon. I have no idea how to program all the features, but the three default modes seem good enough to me. It handles way better than it has any right to with its length and rear tyre, and attracts comments wherever you park it. My head tells me I should have bought something more practical; my heart tells me it’s perfect. I guess that is the point, if you try and rationalise a Diavel it makes no sense, but it’s Italian, and you don’t buy Italian machinery with your head. It does mean I need to save up for something sensible for commuting and longer distance touring but I’ll buy that with my head, in the meantime the Diavel is the perfect Italian mistress.
The suspension needs work, the front is wooden and the bike likes to bounce over bumps instead of absorbing them. A lot of guys are swapping out the suspension for Ohlins that is sorting it properly or getting professional consultantion for decent settings (which helps but is not a real fix). The seat is too soft for long rides, I know this sounds mad but you end up with your trousers splitting your nads (might be OK if you are a 10 stone Italian but not if your 15 stone of Enlgish beef). The brakes are good, the stearing is pretty good (will be better once the front suspension is sorted) for this type of bike and it spools up pretty quickly but this is not a sports bike regardless of what the reviews say and although you might take a sports bike at the lights, your not going to leave them around the twisties or high speed filtering on the M25. It is good for taking your partner out for a spin, she is going to love sitting on the back of this instead of being perched 4ft off the ground on 2x2 inch square as you try to tuck behind the screen on your sports bike. This bike just doesn't make sense if you can only afford one bike, it is to much of a compromise just to look cool. You could tour on it but there is no decent luggage or places to strap stuff to, this is not a tourer and the range is just over a 100 miles. Oh by the way, the split screen idea is rubbish, when your riding you can't see the bottom screen which is where the gear selection is and why if it has all these features can't it tell you how many miles left you have in the tank??!? Saying all of the above, I still gave it 4/5 as it looks sex which is what this bike is about and the build quality is awesome. It gets noticed by boys and girls and it throbs between the legs. I don't regret buying it but I now need to save up for the Ohlins and also to swap most of the standards parts for everything from the Diavel section of http://www.rizoma.com
At last a Ducati you can ride some distance on and you can see pass your Elbows. Just had 1st 600ml service done and have enjoyed every mile. Just demo one, its Brill. Have had the new V. Max when it was 15000 Quid. A damned heavy bike. Plus 100klg. Thats why the Diavel will see one off plus out corner it. And you get lots of electrical goodies to play with. Will it Tour?? Am about to find out, Am off to Germany Swiss then Stelvio Pass Italy this Friday. Had a few probs finding suitable luggage. Tank bags a problem as it covers up the dam Instruments. Still will give it a try. So might change my opinion on return. Chow..