Ducati’s 2015 Diavel gets Audi-inspired LEDs, power down low where it counts

Ducati’s Diavel – the cruiser bike that really isn’t a cruiser, by cruiser metrics at least – has received a fairly extensive massage for 2015. It remains a unique niche bike in the cruiser market and the latest changes shift its power peaks and sharpen up its standout style.

The previous split-style headlight has been replaced by a more pleasing but complex omega-shaped array of LEDs surrounding a central high-beam nacelle, a move almost certainly influenced by new owner Audi’s expertise in LED car lighting systems. The layout looks more integrated than the previous half-moon design of the original headlight and more closely mirrors the LED taillight and turn signal strips out back.

The bar and triple-clamp area has been tweaked and cleaned up, and – if I’m not mistaken – the twin anodized aluminum air intakes straddling the gas tank look more pronounced. It’s been exaggerated so much that some might call out Ducati for cribbing from the Yamaha V-Max. Although no one is going to confuse the two bikes, even at a distance.

Beyond that, the instrument cluster has been split between a tank-mounted color LCD info panel and a primary mono LCD screen placed near the handlebar containing both tach and speedo (another V-Max convention).


The Diavel and the V-Max (especially the older, pre-2008 versions) do seem to be brothers from another mother in some ways, with their standardized riding position, cupped seating, and predilection for big horsepower and torque numbers.

And those numbers now pencil out to 162 horsepower for the Diavel’s 1,198cc Testastretta V-Twin, which mixes in 96 pound-feet of torque. Ducati says the V-Twin’s twist now hits lower in the rev range for more acceleration/tire-shredding burnouts. Peak torque arrives at 8,000rpm, a rev range most cruisers don’t even approach at all. Peak horsepower comes just about 1,000 rpms later but also at a lower point in the rev range than last year for more usability.

Restyled cans out back look nice enough, but will likely be quickly jettisoned for something from Arrow or Termi with a gutsier growl. Final drive from the six-speed box to the 240-section rear meat remains chain-driven and the rear of the bike is uglied up by a mandated splatter guard growing out of the single-sided swingarm. That ugliness, though, is nothing ten minutes and a socket set can’t solve.

While the original V-Max was never really designed to scare sport bikes in the twisties, more than a few capable Diavel pilots have likely embarrassed some wannabe corner jockeys with its huge-for-a-cruiser ground clearance, horsepower, three ride control modes and slipper clutch. These features, I should mention, are absent from most boulevard boomers.

Standard Bosch ABS working through Brembo monobloc calipers work alongside a traction control system and ride-by-wire throttle that assists riders who have decided their back-breaking sport bike days may be over … but their aggressive riding time is not. For the lightweight-bike-obsessed, a more-expensive Carbon (fiber) version of the Diavel that shaves 12.5 pounds off the base bike’s 463-pound dry weight is also available.

Many in the riding community were incredulous about a Ducati “cruiser” when the Diavel debuted in 2010. The bike’s very different look, performance capabilities, and comfort (not something Ducati was known for) have changed more than a few minds. Accordingly, the Diavel is a solid seller, especially with women riders and fellas closer to retirement than their college days. The changes for 2015 will likely contribute to its growing popularity.

(Images and video courtesy of Ducati USA)

Product Review

Asus Zephyrus S is a laptop for gamers. Everyone else need not apply

RTX graphics have finally made it to gaming laptops, and the first we've tested is the new Zephyrus S. Now with a 17-inch display and those new graphics inside, the Zephyrus' unique design boasts some additional power.

Uber’s bikesharing service is eating into its regular business

A bikesharing service acquired by Uber nearly a year ago is causing riders to take fewer car journeys with the company. It is, however, part of the plan as Uber looks to offer an integrated mobility platform for cities.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.