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Ducati XDiavel, Diavel 1260 & Diavel 1260 p

Ducati Power Cruiser in comparison test

For the 2019 season, all Ducati Diavel and XDiavel are wearing the V2 with 1,262 cubic meters and variable valve control. It’s time for a bit of distinction between the individual models of these muscle bikes. The clan prompt you to a driving test.

You can’t go wrong with the right motorcycle, and nothing right with the wrong one. A dilemma? Not when the differences are clear. Things only get tricky when interesting machines are very similar. The heavily revised Diavel approached the 2019 season XDiavel on. Especially since almost identical model names involve a risk of confusion. We remember: In 2011 Ducati presented the first Diavel – a martial motorcycle, sinewy and stretched like a decathlete on the starting block. Named in the Bolognese dialect after the word for devil.

Ducati XDiavel, Diavel 1260 & Diavel 1260 S test

Ducati Power Cruiser in comparison test

Both Ducatis heavily revised

Her powerful, easily tamed 1200 cc engine from the Superbike 1198 let her tear down limits. Only, not good. The charismatic Diavel polarized, broke with conventions, broke the usual pigeonhole thinking. Because it crosses elements from muscle and macho bikes, from power nakeds, cruisers and dragsters. Impossible? Not for Ducati. In 2016, the futuristic XDiavel was added as an active cruiser. Their insignia: forward footrests, lower seat and wider handlebars. But above all, more displacement, full 1262 cubic meters in the desmodromic controlled Testastretta-V2 with variable timing (DVT = Desmodromic Valve Timing).

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Even the basic model Ducati Diavel 1260 knows how to inspire when it comes to driving activity.

The Diavel Sisters of the second generation have had this same engine since 2019: the standard version and the black Diavel 1260 S with a red frame as an elegant variant. Ducati has heavily redesigned both: frame, wheels, tank, seat, "bodywork" with air scoops and lots of brushed aluminum – everything new. Now, like the XDiavel, the water and oil coolers sit one above the other in front of the engine – until 2018 the Diavel had two water coolers on the left and right. Even the LED headlights with horseshoe-shaped daytime running lights on the Diavel S are borrowed from the XDiavel. It’s like being in a real family: there are unmistakably siblings at the start. But not necessarily twins. What are their differences in character??

Keyless Go is a matter of honor

Well, on the XDiavel you loll your butt even deeper into the pronounced seat hollow. You park your feet in a relaxed way on the lengthways adjustable footrests. And grab the 84 centimeter wide, distant sail, pardon me, handlebars. Your arms are fully stretched, to turn you have to stretch your upper body forward. Own. On the two Diavels with their distinctive front, on the other hand, the narrower handlebars are more comfortable, the feet park compactly amidships, and the seat does not lock you in a certain position so immovably. There is agreement on the control elements: diabolically red backlit dashboards on the left and right, a somewhat small (and highly reflective) TFT display under the handlebars and the indicator lights above it. Keyless Go is a matter of honor, the key stays in your jacket pocket. The on-board computer knows almost everything (except the time), the cruise control still has a break. Ignition! Spluttering sinfully, the three fat L-Twins trumpet their joie de vivre outside. This V2 staccato is characteristic and typical. But fortunately not riotous and intrusive. Later, under load, there is hard hammering from the airbox.

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The Ducati Diavel 1260 S costs 2,900 euros more than the basic version.

We (g) start rolling. The hydraulically operated clutches work smoothly and easily thanks to the servo function. Anti-hopping support when downshifting quickly? Logical. But do. First out of the city. Because the rear cylinder cooks your eggs pretty much in the middle of summer. In the traffic light sprint, all three celebrate casual sprinting ability, pure propulsion without any stress. Wow. The gears rest safely and precisely at all times. These transmissions are flawless. The Diavel 1260 S is one of the first highlights: it is sensational how it can upshift without clutch even in the partial load range at low engine speeds, only with its standard Blipper. So soft, so precise. Downshifts anyway.

XDiavel a tad more elastic

The XDiavel shines with another virtue: It is a bit more elastic. Thanks to a different mapping, your V2 accelerates noticeably softer. The minimum speed for smooth running is around 2,500 laps. The Diavels easily need 500 revolutions more. The XDiavel emphasizes fat torque even at lower speeds. In addition, the elasticity of the clean, low-maintenance toothed belt has a positive effect. He would have looked good on the new Diavels too. For city traffic, they use fourth, or even better, third gear. The sixth is only used voluntarily from a speed of 80 and 3,000 turns. Nevertheless, the torque values ​​are great – even a tad better with the more powerful XDiavel below.

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Tea Ducati XDiavel loves curves.

The variable valve control acts on all four camshafts, inlet and outlet, across the entire engine speed range. Only apparently paradoxical: compulsorily controlled and yet variable. The DVT, which is hydraulically controlled by oil pressure – it records parameters such as load, speed and throttle valve position – fulfills an important function for running smoothness: Good gas changes at low speeds are a real challenge in view of the huge 106 pistons and suction throats with a diameter of 56 millimeters. The V2 reveals its true purpose on the country road. The way it starts from medium speeds, and thanks to its low centrifugal mass, turns freely and freely up to almost 10,000 turns, is simply infernal.

A crazy experience

Like the devil, the trio storms forward. As if the incarnate was after him. A crazy experience. Real 157 or 158 hp of the ultra-short-stroke hammer motors tear brutally. The two Diavels run out of the top even faster. Unbelievable, this ambush-like, highly distilled acceleration. Like the proverbial ride on the cannonball. The arms get long and longer. It’s good that the high tail rumps (much more lush on the 1260s!) Support you to the rear. Don’t these rockets on wheels catapult you into orbit just because of their long wheelbase – 1.60 meters for the Diavels and 1.5 centimeters more for the XDiavel? Well, that is also prevented by the excellent assistance systems. This includes three clearly distinguishable driving modes: Urban, Touring and Sport. The city mode looks a bit castrated with a somewhat sluggish throttle response and reduced power output.


Tea Ducati XDiavel S looks even more muscular and martial.

Touring with full power and soft am-gas hanging is ideal. Under sport, all three take the knife between their teeth with ultra-direct responsiveness and higher joy wheelies. All modes also couple the intervention thresholds of cornering ABS (three-stage) and the eight-stage traction control. With the Diavel Sisters with their modern six-axis sensor box as a bulging electronics package (Evo version), the traction control works depending on the lean angle. They are also equipped with an eight-stage, well-regulated wheelie control. In addition, all assistance systems can be individually adjusted and combined. You can blindly rely on them, wonderfully protected by Ducati’s electronics. A deal with the Devil? If the traction control intervenes, indicated by the red flashing light, there is also a need for action. If you turn off the wheelie control completely on the 1260s, a front wheel striving towards the sky is the logical consequence when accelerating wildly.

Lightweights in the cruiser segment

Fascination meets driving pleasure, awe meets emotion, speed meets respect. For diabolical sprints, all three have a special Launch Control (DPL). If it is activated, you have to fully open the gas in first gear – the electronics ensure the best possible propulsion without the acute risk of rollover when the clutch is engaged. Well worth the effort: 3.1 seconds for the sprint from zero to 100. And quite easy to achieve. Quickly relaxed or relaxed quickly? Both! Don’t know where your solar plexus is? No problem, you can feel it. Dear Supersport riders, you have to be very brave now. Especially since the three Ducs drive really smoothly to the point in view of the mega-fat 240 tail flaps, surprisingly light-footed and well balanced. You take country roads with pleasure, throw yourself around curves of all imaginable radii with a lot of verve. As if drawn with a compass, they follow the targeted line. 248 or 251 kilograms (Diavel 1260) are real lightweights for this motorcycle category.

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All three Diaviels have their own charm.

The Diavel Sisters stab a tad sharper, more precise in the corner. And are more precise when firing out. The handiness is striking in view of the muscular stature of all three. Despite a longer caster and a very flat steering head (60 degrees), the XDiavel also folds down at least as easily from the vertical in an inclined position. Your secret? The larger lever arm of the handlebar. Only at around 40 degrees do the footpegs take rasping samples of asphalt. Even then the Ducs remain nice and neutral. Set-up moment for longitudinal gutters or "running wide" at the exit of a curve? Oh no. You only remember the wide rear flaps on the worst bumps in the sloping position. Nevertheless, the loads remain well on course. Pirelli Diablo Rosso II and III with their wonderfully round contour are real wonder tires. Rolls wonderfully predictable up to the edge of the tire, offer plenty of grip and feedback.

48 fork is a poem

When driving fast, the XDiavel feels a little less confident – its passively parked feet then look strange. You can’t really support yourself on the footrests of the 1260s either. Tip: Just put on your toes so that you never pull your feet off the rests when cornering. The Ohlins spring elements of the Diavel 1260 S work wonderfully smoothly. They follow the asphalt relief very sensitively, fish out a lot, offer perfect feedback. Great. The 48 fork in particular is a poem. Tea spring elements of the standard Diavel respond to little drier. Even the XDiavel, the only existing cornering cruiser, makes the most of just under 110 millimeters of spring travel thanks to the Sachs shock absorber (with reservoir). As long as you don’t thunder full lot over the worst rumbling stretches, everything is fine.


Which Diavel model variant do you like best?

Voted 520 times

Ducati Diavel 1260.

Ducati Diavel 1260 S..

Ducati XDiavel.

Ducati XDiavel S.

Absolutely none …

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The trio runs wildly unleashed on the Autobahn, over 250 things! And runs straight ahead like clockwork. But especially on the XDiavel you hang like a square sail in the wind. Arms neck muscles. When ducked, the small disc of the S provides surprisingly effective protection from the oncoming double hurricane. If a dozing motorist pulls out: As hard as all Diavel derivatives accelerate, they also brake brutally. The long wheelbase and the position of the center of gravity enable a deceleration of 9.5 m / s2 straight away. It feels like a square block is stuck between the spokes. Cornering ABS is a matter of honor. Bosch’s ABS cornering Evo of the more modern Diavel Sisters controls more sensitively. Modern software couples the S with the best hardware – the famous Brembo Monoblock M 50 pliers. The result is maximum braking transparency. You will attract attention everywhere with this cool stool. They pretty much screw their crew when it rains. Service is only available every 15,000 kilometers, valve clearance checks only every 30,000 kilometers. The only question left is the price: the Diavel 1260 costs 19,990 euros, the XDiavel 500 euros more. The Diavel 1260 S costs 22,890 euros. Not few. But maybe not too much for these driving experiences of the third kind.


Stimulatingly different: All three Ducatis are real two-wheeled personalities – extravagant, active driving, emotional. The new Diavel 1260 combines the handling of a naked bike with the top performance of an athlete. The XDiavel also adds cruiser ergonomics. There is relaxed pace here and there.

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