JUST REVEALED: 2015 Ducati Diavel

With the significantly modified 2015 Diavel, the devil really is in the details.

84th Geneva International Motor Show - Ducati Diavel Carbon

Moments ago, at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland, Ducati took the wraps off the new 2015 Diavel, a second-generation bike with a modified Testastretta engine and exhaust, plus other enhancements that include bar risers, a revised headlight and new radiator covers.

The heart of this new Diavel, the stout 1198cc Testastretta engine, still has 11 degrees of valve overlap, but revised intake and exhaust ports, together with what Ducati calls a "radical adjustment" of the cam timing, has enabled the Bologna company to improve the torque curve at low rpm while remaining strong through a wider range. Although the claimed peak horsepower remains at 162, it now peaks at 9,250 rpm versus last year's 9,500 rpm. More significant, Ducati says the new Diavel produces 96.2 pound-feet of peak torque, up 2.2 from last year but arriving at the same 8,000 rpm.

Nobody, including us, would ever complain that the Diavel lacked torque, but Ducati says the twin-spark engine, fed by elliptical ride-by-wire throttle bodies, was tweaked to make the muscular machine—the Cycle World Best Cruiser in 2011 and 2012—a little bit easier to ride, while still ensuring that there's plenty of go when you twist your wrist. Other changes to the four-cam, 90-degree L-twin include new pistons with 1198 Superbike-style crowns that bump the compression ratio from last year's 11.5:1 to 12.5:1. Moreover, Ducati says new injectors are positioned better, spraying fuel onto the rear of the hot intake valve, not the "relatively cold" surface of the intake port wall. This improves atomization, and thereby combustion. As for the exhaust, the Diavel still has a 2-1-2 arrangement with massive 2.28-in. tubing, but the stainless steel mufflers are new, slash cut and angled to match the radius of the rear wheel.

In addition to a longer twin-level seat with horizontal ribbing, the 2015 Diavel has an LED headlamp to match its twin vertical LED strips in back, which, by serving as taillight, brake light, and directional signals, help keep the look of the bike clean and uncluttered. The front signals, clear-lens LED units, are now a solid strip design, mounted vertically on the leading edge of the Diavel’s restyled radiator covers.

In addition to enlarged intake ducts, which are made of brushed aluminum and anodized black, the new Diavel has thoroughly revised split-level instrumentation. On top, mounted to the bar risers, is an LCD display that conveys speed, rpm and the like. Below that, on the tank itself, is a new TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display that now includes a fuel gauge and a sidestand warning light, as well as the usual gear selection and riding mode readouts. When the bike is stationary, this TFT panel allows the rider to choose among the Diavel’s three modes, which remain the same for 2015: Sport (162 hp, “full-on” throttle response, minimal traction-control intervention), Touring (162 hp, smoother power delivery, more TC intervention) and Urban (100 hp, easier power delivery, more active TC).

Ducati Diavel Carbon rear 3/4 view

Two models will be available when the new 2015 Diavels arrive in May. The standard Diavel—if there is such a thing as a standard Diavel—is the Dark Stealth model, which retails for $17,995 and features a black body, a black trellis frame, black wheels, and black mufflers. Then there’s the $20,995 Diavel Carbon, which is outfitted with unpainted stainless-steel silencers and black Marchesini wheels that are machined just enough to reveal that they are made from forged, lightweight aluminum. Buyers have a choice of two Diavel Carbon colors: Ducati Red with Matte Carbon and a red frame, or Star White with Matte Carbon and a white frame.

While we don’t know how the big Ducati will look in white, particularly with those black wheels, it’s easy for us to see the 2015 Diavel as a good mid-cycle update, thanks to its broadened power, better headlight, improved instruments and refreshed style. At the same time, it’s still very much a Diavel, a muscle cruiser of sorts that defies categorization but wins us over with its bold styling, killer motor, massive 240-section rear tire, slipper clutch, excellent Brembos and remarkably good handling manners.

Are these changes enough to propel the Diavel to another Ten Best win? Only time in the saddle will tell.

Ducati Diavel Carbon studio right-side view (Ducati Red)

Ducati Diavel Carbon (Ducati Red)

Ducati Diavel Carbon - studio left-side view (Star White)

Ducati Diavel Carbon (Star White)

Ducati Diavel - studio right-side view (Dark Stealth)

Ducati Diavel (Dark Stealth)

SPECIFICATIONS
|2015 Ducati Diavel
ENGINE
TYPE|Testastretta 11°, L-twin, 4 valves per cylinder, Dual Spark, Desmodromic, liquid-cooled
DISPLACEMENT|1198.4cc
BORE x STROKE|106 x 67.9mm
COMPRESSION RATIO|12.5:1
POWER|162 hp at 9250 rpm
TORQUE|96.2 lb-ft @ 8000 rpm
FUEL INJECTION|Mitsubishi electronic fuel injection system. Mikuni elliptical throttle bodies with RbW.
EXHAUST|Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and two lambda probes. Twin aluminum mufflers
TRANSMISSION
GEARBOX|six-speed
RATIO|1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25
PRIMARY DRIVE|Straight-cut gears, ratio 1.84:1
FINAL DRIVE|Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 43
CLUTCH|Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control.Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run.
CHASSIS
FRAME|Tubular steel Trellis frame
WHEELBASE|62.6 in.
RAKE|28°
STEERING ANGLE (TOTAL)|70°
FRONT SUSPENSION|Marzocchi DLC coated 50mm fully adjustable fork
FRONT WHEEL TRAVEL|4.7 in.
FRONT WHEEL|14-spoke in light alloy 3.50 x 17
FRONT TIRE|120/70 ZR 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
REAR SUSPENSION|Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminum single-sided swingarm
REAR WHEEL TRAVEL|120mm (4.7in)
REAR WHEEL|14-spoke in light alloy 8.00 x 17
REAR TIRE|240/45 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
FRONT BRAKE|2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Monobloc Brembo calipers, 4-piston with ABS
REAR BRAKE|265mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper with ABS
FUEL TANK CAPACITY|4.5 gal.
DRY WEIGHT|463 lb.
*WET WEIGHT (WITH ALL FLUIDS, 90 PERCENT FUEL)|527 lb.
SEAT HEIGHT|30.3 in.
HEIGHT|50.4 in.
LENGTH|88.9 in.

84th Geneva International Motor Show photo #1

Marc Urbano

84th Geneva International Motor Show photo #2

Marc Urbano

84th Geneva International Motor Show photo #3

Marc Urbano

84th Geneva International Motor Show photo #4

Marc Urbano

84th Geneva International Motor Show photo #5

Marc Urbano

84th Geneva International Motor Show photo #6

Marc Urbano

Studio front 3/4 view.

John Zamora

Studio left-side view.

John Zamora

Studio right-side view.

John Zamora

Studio front view.

John Zamora

Studio rear 3/4 left-side view.

John Zamora

Studio rear 3/4 right-side view.

John Zamora

Studio rear view.

John Zamora

Front wheel (left-side view).

John Zamora

Front wheel (right-side view).

John Zamora

Front fender close-up #1

John Zamora

Front fender close-up #2

John Zamora

Brembo brakes

John Zamora

Headlight

John Zamora

Instrument panel

John Zamora

Fuel tank

John Zamora

Ducati name badge.

John Zamora

Diavel Carbon name badge.

John Zamora

Tubular steel Trellis frame

John Zamora

Exhaust pipes

John Zamora

Engine badge

John Zamora

Seat

John Zamora

Taillights

John Zamora

Tail section

John Zamora

Rear close-up view.

John Zamora

Rear wheel

John Zamora

Ducati Diavel Carbon - studio right-side view (Star White)

Provided by Ducati

Ducati Diavel Carbon - studio left-side view (Star White)

Provided by Ducati

Ducati Diavel - studio rear 3/4 view (Dark Stealth)

Provided by Ducati

Ducati Diavel Carbon - studio rear 3/4 view (Star White)

Provided by Ducati

Ducati Diavel - studio front 3/4 view (Dark Stealth)

Provided by Ducati

Ducati Diavel - studio right-side view (Dark Stealth)

Provided by Ducati

Ducati Diavel - studio left-side view (Dark Stealth)

Provided by Ducati

Ducati Diavel - front view

Provided by Ducati