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Struggling to figure out how to make inroads into the U.S. cruiser market, with the new XDiavel, Ducati has finally decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s not entirely true of course, because the new XDiavel retains plenty of performance. But it’s also the first Ducati ever with belt final drive, and the first ever where any Ducati official (Domenicali) has made a big deal of embracing the appeal of Low Speed Riding.

The “X” in fact, represents the comingling of Low Speed, Lifestyle, Cruiser Culture and Feet Forward riding with Excitement, High Technology, Italian Beauty and Performance.

The “S” version of the new XDiavel in these pics gets special wheels and various billet pieces. All the XDiavels are completely new from engine to single-sided swingarm.

What’s going to make a lot of that low-speed enjoyment possible is incorporating Desmo Variable Timing into a new 1262cc Testastretta V-Twin, which seriously broadens the engine’s powerband (like it first did on the new Multistrada DVT last year), and has the new XDiavel making maximum torque – a claimed 95 lb-ft – at only 5000 rpm. The previous Diavel made about that much at 8000 rpm. On top, Ducati claims 156 horsepower.

Not only will that new engine make casual, low-speed riding doable and enjoyable, it’s also much more visually appealing than before, with highly stylized covers. Relocating the water pump inside the V better disguises the coolant hoses.

Footpegs are further forward than before also, are four-way adjustable, and together with five optional seats and three handlebars, provide 60 possible ergonomic combinations, which should make the new bike comfortable for anybody’s body.

What is black?, asked Domenicali at the EICMA presentation. For Ducati, he says, it is a paradigm shift, an acceptance of the need for comfort on the long road, embracing low-speed excitement. The XDiavel is said to provide maximum strength with minimal effort on the part of the rider, a bike that’s very easy to ride and manageable and lets the rider enjoy the ride without having to think about riding.

On the other hand, Domenicali was also proud to point out the bike is capable of 40-degree lean angles and gets Brembo monoblock brakes (M50 calipers for the S version), among other things. Wet weight, with the 4.75-gallon steel tank full, is a claimed 545 pounds. Valve clearance checks should be done every 18,000 miles.

Like all late-model Ducatis, the XDiavel features the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which dynamically measures pitch and roll angles plus the speed of relative variations in attitude, for increased performance and safety. There’s also Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Riding Modes, Bosch Cornering ABS, Cruise Control, etcetera…

The video teaser for the new Diavel teased, “This is Sophistication”, which seemed like a bummer because the last Diavel’s outlandish extroverted drag racer-for-the-streets personality was such a hoot. The new bike, as we suspected, is slightly more cruiseresque than the previous version, but looks to be every bit as powerful and fun-loving as well as more civilized. In fact, the new bike even gains a Ducati Power Launch button on the right handlebar for even more uncivilized entertainment. Stand by for more!

Follow the rest of our 2015 EICMA Show coverage for more information on new 2016 motorcycle announcements

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