Ducati fired the first salvo of novelties at a pre-EICMA show event held in a theater in downtown Milan, and the ammunition was abundant and mostly of heavy caliber. It was a one-man show, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali unveiling “his” new creations with the pride of a father. Those emotions were well justified: For the first time in its 89-year history, Ducati delivered in excess of 50,000 motorcycles, a record for the Bologna-based manufacturer. And this is just the beginning of a new phase of expansion. Not that Ducati is diverting from its tradition; it is just expanding into new categories.
That happened before with the Diavel, and it is happening again with the new XDiavel 1262. The X is a leaner, meaner evolution of Ducati's unique interpretation of the power-cruiser concept. It is powered by a new edition of the tried-and-true Testastretta 11° 1198cc V-twin, enlarged to 1262cc by stroking it from the standard 67.9 to 71.5mm while retaining the 106mm bore. With DVT variable valve timing it is the most flexible Ducati motor, delivering 156 peak horsepower at 9,500 rpm, but with peak torque up to 95 lb.-ft. at a mere 5,000 rpm for super-smooth driveability and instantaneous throttle response. The rich electronics suite also includes launch control to aid in super hard launches. For the first time on a Ducati, final drive is by toothed rubber belt.
To underline its cruiser inspiration, the X features forward foot controls, a front end raked-out to 30 degrees, and a fat 240/45-17 Pirelli Diablo II rear radial. As on the Monsters, the engine acts as a stressed member in the short front trellis frame while a new, compact exhaust system is tucked underneath the engine.