Cruising for a bruising: Ducati shed weight and swap V-twin for V4 power in their 2023 Diavel

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The Ducati Diavel muscle cruiser has become the latest in a line of models from Bologna to ditch a traditional V-twin motor in favour of a liquid-cooled V4.

The aptly named Diavel V4 will arrive in January in a choice of £23,595 red, or £23,895 black and boasts a claimed 166.3bhp and 93lbft of torque from its 1158cc V4 Granturismo motor, first seen in the large-capacity Multistrada adventure bike range.

Taking over from the Diavel 1260, which first arrived in 2019, the new V4 was previously spotted in a series of spy shots back in September. Ducati are claiming it to be 13kg lighter than the outgoing 1260 S, shaving five kilos in the engine itself and a further eight around the rest of the bike. It’s hardly a dainty ballerina though, tipping the scales at a portly 223kg without its 20-litres of fuel.

This new motor gets a twin-pulse firing order and comes wrapped within an aluminium monocoque chassis, replacing the steel trellis found on the 159bhp 1260. Expect major services to occur every 60,000kms. Very impressive.

What’s more, like the recently revealed Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally, the Diavel also gets rear cylinder deactivation to improve efficiency – effectively becoming a parallel twin at a standstill and when riding at low speed.

You’ll know just how many cylinders are firing thanks to a change in engine tone, with a deeper sound escaping from the new marmite four-exit exhaust when running on two and a higher pitch emitted when all four are on song.

If you’re not a fan of the new end can, Ducati will also sell you a track only full exhaust system with steel headers, titanium silencer and carbon cover. This cuts around 11kg off the bike and boost power to 177.5bhp – just what you need on a cruiser.

Away from the engine, helping riders of most leg lengths manoeuvre the hefty brute is a low seat height of 790mm – itself 10mm taller than before. Unlike some other cruisers, there’s central foot pegs like a conventional roadster too, with the bars also brought 20mm closer for ease of use.

You also get 15mm more of rear suspension travel for extra comfort courtesy of a reworked, fully adjustable mono shock. This is joined by a chunky set of 50mm upside down forks, again adjustable for compression, preload and rebound.

Being a standard model, this is done with manual clickers rather than electronics, with adaptive radar cruise control also conspicuous by its absence – already appearing on the Multistrada V4. Perhaps we’ll see this when Ducati inevitably add a V4 S into the line-up.

That said, you do get three power modes and four riding modes, plus lean sensitive traction control, ABS and wheelie control. This, along with the cruise and launch control, can be operated via the new five-inch TFT display which can be connected to your phone and features turn by turn navigation.

Power in all modes is then fed to the ground via a fat 240/45 rear tyre, with stopping power provided by front Brembo Stylema calipers with twin 330mm discs.

Nestled within that rear tyre is a new five-spoke rim design, which can also be found up front. What’s more, the front LED headlight design has been altered and features a new gloss plastic cover over the top of the unit.

At the rear, the LED lights sit beneath the tail in a unique dotted pattern. Although striking to look at, we hope their visibility won’t be compromised by road fling from the Pirelli-shod rear wheel.

  • Power 166.3bhp @ 10,750rpm
  • Torque 93lbft @ 7500rpm
  • Engine 1158cc V4 Granturismo
  • Kerb weight 223kg (without fuel)
  • Seat height 790mm
  • £23,595 (Red) £23,895 (Black)

Spyshots: Ducati Diavel gains V4 engine for 2023

First published October 16 2022 by Dan Sutherland

Ducati look set to unleash a new V4 version of their Diavel power-cruiser, which has been a staple of the Bologna firm’s V-twin line up since 2011. 

Currently powered by a 1262cc liquid-cooled two-pot spewing out an impressive 159bhp and 95lb.ft of torque, the £21,795 bruiser will now join the large-capacity Multistrada and Panigale ranges as a four-cylinder machine.  

Although the bike spotted has been covered in black tape to hide much of the detail, the clearly evident Granturismo V4 engine, sculpted four-exit exhaust, complete switchgear and ‘Diavel V4’ logo stitched into the seat unit, suggest that the finished machine will be revealed very soon.  

Ducati Diavel V4 being ridden up close

Away from the V4 engine, which will be derived from the 1158cc Multistrada unit, the new Diavel retains its traditional raked-out silhouette. The bike we see here is fitted with black fork tubes, rather than gold Öhlins, which suggests this is the base-spec model.  

There’s also a new, more discreet steel trellis frame, and a more upright, repositioned rear shock bolted between the single-sided swingarm and the subframe beneath the seat.  

The swingarm has had a tweak, boasting an obviously different design in front of the rear sprocket, which disguises the rear Brembo brake caliper.  

Ducati Diavel being ridden up close

Other changes include the front discs, which appear to have been lifted from the Multistrada V4, and a host of styling changes – the most obvious being the rims, which are now a five-spoked design. There’s also an ungainly four-exit exhaust that’s sure to divide opinion.  

Although similar to before, the LED headlight and twin flanking air scoops have had a rework, with a new plastic covering obscuring the very top of the front light unit and bridging the gap to the rear of the TFT dash.  

The indicators have gone from being integrated into the shoulder fairings, to sitting in front of the handlebars like tentacles, while the tape can’t disguise the fact that it’ll be available in red. 

Ducati Diavel V4 parked up

Ducati Diavel V4 in detail 

Parallel lives: We expect the Diavel to use the 1158cc V4 found in the Multistrada. The current Diavel 1260 range uses the V-twin first found in the now extinct Multistrada 1260

Sassy chassis: The new four-exit exhaust pays tribute to the four-cylinder engine inside the updated trellis chassis, but is sure to divide opinion. Tyres are Pirelli Diablos Rosso IIIs.  

Getting flasher: The sleek LED strip indicators mounted in the shoulder fairings are now gone, to be replaced by bar-mounted LED units. 

Off the radar? Ducati were one of the first firms to make use of radar-enabled adaptive cruise control but there’s no obvious sign of it, or blind-spot warning indicators, here. The radar-shaped unit at the base of the headlamp may just be a heat sink for the LED.