Sneak preview: New Ducati Diavel is cornering king

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The 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 S is set to be the most advanced super-cruiser the world has ever seen and will see of most sportsbikes. With over 150bhp and gut-wrenching torque, combined with cutting-edge electronics and top-class running gear, Ducati’s new super-cruiser now handles as well as it looks. You can find out more about how it rides in our Ducati Diavel 1260S review.

MCN was given a sneak preview of the ball-busting bike at World Ducati Week in Misano in July 2018 and spoke in depth to Ducati’s engineers about the machine. We weren’t allowed to take photographs, so the images you see above and below are based on those conversations, plus sketches taken during the secret preview.


Dubbed Project 1309, the bike uses a retuned version of the XDiavel’s Testastretta DVT V-Twin motor. This is used as a stressed member in the frame and is combined with fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension for the first time. The 1260 S also boasts Panigale-spec Brembo Monoblock brakes and a gigantic eight-inch rear rim that looks very much sportsbike-like and packs a 240-section rear tyre.

A new focus

“The whole idea is to move the bike away from the values of the XDiavel and to make the machine sportier,” says Ducati’s Project Manager Eugenio Gherardi. “So the suspension is much better quality and the rake is steeper, going from 28 to 27 degrees. The frame is all-new and though the wheelbase is 15mm longer (1600mm), the bike is a lot more nimble.”

The 1262cc V-Twin engine uses variable valve timing to allow both strong top and bottom-end power. With new Euro5 rules for noise and emissions coming in the year after, the 1260 S is introduced, it makes sense for the bike to be designed for this. “The bike is still going through homologation,” says Gherardi, “but it will make over 150bhp.”


The new 1260 S will be more nimble than the XDiavel


The new 1260 S will be more nimble than the XDiavel

Electric trickery

The 1260 S also boasts an electronics package that is as advanced as you’ll ever see on a Boulevard basher, with a huge list of rider aids. “The bike has a six-axis IMU,” reveals Gherardi. “So it has traction control, launch control, anti-wheel and cornering ABS. It also has an up and down quickshifter. The dash also has a Bluetooth facility to sync with your phone and devices to manage calls and music.”

The bike also has a nod to practicality. The seat is taller to allow leg-room for the more rear-set foot controls and the seat looks thicker and more comfortable than before. A neat touch is a pillion grab-handle that slides out when you undo the lock and lift the seat.

There will be two levels of equipment and this S model will be joined by a standard machine with Marzocchi suspension.

The base model costs £16,795.

What do you think? Would you buy it? We’ve already ridden it, so check out our 2019 Ducati Diavel review.

Matt Wildee

By Matt Wildee

Former MCN Senior Editor