The spinning steel drum does not lie: Ducati claims 156 horsepower at 9500 rpm for the XDiavel’s new 1262cc DVT (Desmo Variable Timing) L-Twin, and the MotoGP Werks Dynojet bears that out. The old rule of thumb is that rear-wheel hp (what the dyno measures) is generally about 10% less than crankshaft hp (what the manufacturers claim) on a chain-driven bike, and if that still applies then the Ducati is actually a few horses ahead of the game. Compared to the old Diavel, which never felt anything like slow, you’re looking at 10% more horsepower and 9% more torque.

In attempting to out-Harley Harley, though (the XDiavel is the first Duc with forward-foot controls and belt drive), the low-rpm torque’s the thing. The previous Diavel was no slouch, but outfitting the new engine with 63cc more displacement (via 3.6mm longer stroke) and DVT has the intended effect of shifting a big wallop of torque down into the 5000 rpm range.

A healthy increase in power across the board. Extra displacement surely plays a role, especially in torque, but the variable valve timing must get kudos for delivering more power everywhere, even at the top end.

A healthy increase in power across the board. Extra displacement surely plays a role, especially in torque, but the variable valve timing must get kudos for delivering more power everywhere, even at the top end.

Our bike’s torque peak occurred at 7800 rpm, but it’s already humping over 80 lb-ft at just 4000 rpm, with an initial torque peak of 83.7 at 4500 rpm. Though the gray torque plot looks a tad concave on screen, from the saddle there is no let-up in acceleration from 4000 onward, and if you’ve got the stones to keep the throttle pinned in the lower gears, you’ll be glad there’s wheelie control and Ducati Power Launch and whatever else you can get.

Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson’s latest Twin Cam 110, as delivered in bikes like the new Low Rider S we’re scheduled to ride next week, is supposed to produce 115 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm – though it can’t come close to matching the XDiavel’s peak hp number.

022316-2016-harley-davidson-low-rider-s

Does anybody care? More importantly, does anyone with $20k disposable motorcycle income care? Stay tuned as we stand back and enjoy watching whether the X can get a bite of H-D’s huge slice of the American power-cruiser pie. The fun’s just getting started.

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Ducati Communities

  • Ed Dyer

    Obviously you didn’t buy into anything that Ducati’s Domenicali said about low-speed riding. Your test results would have been a lot more useful to a lot more people (like Harley enthusiasts) if you had reported results down to idle speed. Even Ducati published their crank data down to 2000 rpm for the XDiavel.

    • john burns

      the Diavel runs about as well at 2000 rpm as the Harley does at 9000.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Good answer. That’s the difference between a sport bike and a cruiser.

        • john burns

          Wrong. It’s the difference between two different styles of cruiser.

        • Derek Jones

          It’s the difference between modern an actual nostalgia.

  • Douglas

    The only H-D that could even begin to compete in any kind of performance matchup with this Duc is the VRod, and that if it were straightline only. That Porsche motor has potential, mayhaps Milwaukee should have the Germans massage it a little for them (and while they’re at it, try to cajole BMW to give a few pointers in chassis design so the V would handle like a European….). Don’t get me wrong, I like Harleys…I have a couple of them….but I didn’t buy them to be fast, just pleasurable to ride….which they are.

    • Ducati Kid

      Doug,

      We make them handle just fine here Stateside, ask C&J.

      Consider novel Electronic Terrain Following Suspension (E.T.F.S.) governing Front and Rear.

      ‘Cruise today, Tour Tomorrow!’

    • Derek Jones

      The V-Rod is a dinosaur it can’t compete with the XDiavel at all.

  • Douglas

    The only H-D that could even begin to compete in any kind of performance matchup with this Duc is the VRod, and that if it were straightline only. That Porsche motor has potential, mayhaps Milwaukee should have the Germans massage it a little for them (and while they’re at it, try to cajole BMW to give a few pointers in chassis design so the V would handle like a European….). Don’t get me wrong, I like Harleys…I have a couple of them….but I didn’t buy them to be fast, just pleasurable to ride….which they are.

  • halfkidding

    The thing about 100+ foot pounds of torque at low RPM is that it serves no function for a motorcycle. One can perhaps ‘feel’ it but it does not translate into forward motion. It would if it was towing a ton or 3 but motorcycles don’t. Big long stroke V twins make a lot of torque by default and makers can talk it up all they want but it don’t do thing. Many people like a slow turning engine and non scary acceleration and that’s fine.

    • Old MOron

      Just the same, and at the risk of inviting Sayyed Bashir to get on his high horse, I love this video. “Because I’m an optimist.” Ah, Dutch humor: https://youtu.be/vjFeC7g6_40

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Old MOron, thank you for the video. It made my day! Torque trumps horsepower every time.

        • DangRight

          That must be why Harley owns all the drag race records…… Oh wait, no they don’t. How does that work?
          I don’t care what anyone rides, but this is quite obviously an anomaly, at best. Perhaps talented vs. unskilled rider.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Nov 15, 2015: Harley V-Rod Rockets Andrew Hines to NHRA World Championship. With Andrew Hines and Ed Krawiec at the controls of the team’s Harley V-Rod bikes, the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines riders finished 1-2 in the standings for the second consecutive year, and have collected eight of the past 12 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world championships.

          • DangRight

            Yes, totally different platform than the ones in the video. I’m not bad mouthing anything here.
            I can tell you I have beat friends on HDs with my 1983 Honda Nighthawk 650 and my 1984 Honda VFR1000R many times without fail. I am NO drag racer (I’m not even good at it), nor were they. I would not often win the first 50 feet but always the last 50.
            No problem here with what anyone rides. The video was fun, but I just don’t see that result with equal riders.
            BTW – The V-Rod is my favorite HD – unlike almost EVERY HD fan :0)

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I know its a different platform, but you were asking why Harley doesn’t own all the drag racing records and I was answering your question. The V-Rod is a Harley, even if it is a different platform. The 2016 Low Rider S puts out 115 ft-lbs at 3500 rpm and will beat most sport bikes at least initially. The video was probably made on a street that was not long enough to let the Yamasuki get ahead of the Harley.

          • DangRight

            No worries. I got beat off the line too. I just got to the finish line first :0)

          • Derek Jones

            “The 2016 Low Rider S puts out 115 ft-lbs at 3500 rpm and will beat most sport bikes ” The Low Rider S has a 1.8 liter engine and costs nearly $17k. It would not beat any sport bike that costs $2k less. It would not beat nearly any other genre of motorcycle that costs $17k.

      • HeDidn’tWeDid

        Love the “Slam it up against the fence burnout”

      • Derek Jones

        Stock sport bike against highly modified cruiser….how does that prove anything?

        • Old MOron

          LOL you’re a little late to the party, but I’ll try to explain.
          This is not supposed to prove anything. It’s just a funny example of age and experience beating youthful enthusiasm. That Harley is so long and low it’s basically wheelie-proof. And the race distance was less than half a block. Of course Hildo was going to win!

          • Derek Jones

            I agree the cruiser is very long and low so the front wheel would be more difficult to lift, but I don’t agree with the assumption that the motorcycle is a standard cruiser or even a Harley. I found a longer video with subtitles and in the video Hildo calls it homemade instead of Harley. Hildo’s motorcycle doesn’t have fenders or a front brake he also using a race shift; one up, the rest down. Claiming this is a Harley vs a sports bike where the “Harley” wins is simply misleading.

    • TheMarvelous1310 .

      Yeah, and Thor could do the same damage to a Hydra mook with a steel mallet, but why not summon Mjolnir? You got something against flight and thunder?

      I also have a decent metaphor about pistol calibers, but I didn’t know if you were into guns.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Ducati is not aiming for the Harley market. They are two completely different kind of bikes. Harleys are for Harley riders. The XDiavel is for sport bike riders to cruise around on. It is nothing like a Harley. Forward foot controls and a belt drive doesn’t make it a Harley. Harley riders wouldn’t be caught dead on it.

    • john burns

      For 98% of them, you are probably correct. The other 2% of nearly half of the world’s biggest big-bike motorcycle market, represents a big chunk of buyers.

    • Derek Jones

      “Harley riders wouldn’t be caught dead on it.” And why is that? Because it’s modern? You’d think an expensive motorcycle from a premium brand would be Harley fan’s wheelhouse.

    • Douglas

      Who told you that?

  • Buzz

    I really like this. I’ve ridden the old Diavel and was impressed with the feel but never cared for the looks.

    I’m not interested in selling anything in the garage right now though. I’ll wait a few years and find one with 1200 miles and all the goodies hanging all over it.

    Let the fleecing begin!

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I hope everyone doesn’t feel like you. If no new bikes are sold, there won’t be any used ones to buy.

    • Dimitry Kaplun

      I am in the same boat. Just got my Diavel farkled up with nice additions, not ready to sell yet but will be on the lookout for a used x at some point.

  • Craig Hoffman

    If doing a comparo of power cruisers, toss a VMAX in the ring too, just because they are awesome :)

  • Wilmer Russi

    this Xdiavel is for the middle age man in his midlife crisis that wants a panigale but his wife wont let him get a crotch rocket because she says those are too fast so he has to settle with this. that middle age man will go on to brag to all his harley friends and coworkers about how his new ducati is faster than their harleys. yet this middle age man will not take this Xdiavel to its limits ever because the group he rides with all ride cruises and they all go on straight lines and follow the speed limit. unfortunately that middle age man will only put about 1k miles on it before he sells it because he just doesnt have the time or energy to ride anymore..

    • Derek Jones

      Please stop using the phrase “crotch rocket” it’s a juvenile way to say “sport bike”. Only someone with enough money could buy the XDiavel, so it would have to be someone who has fallen into money or who’s been around for a year decades.

      • Douglas

        ….”A rose by any other name….”

        • Derek Jones

          When a person uses juvenile terms it just automatically makes me want to disagree with what the person is saying. In this case it was just an indication of the poster’s maturity level.

    • Douglas

      Are you speaking from personal experience?

    • Ellis Tomago

      .

  • DR N

    Only 144 HP to the rear wheel, Another ducati poser bike.