Bruiser cruisers: the name pretty much says it all. These bikes combine the best performance that cruisers offer and wrap it in a package dripping with attitude to spare. For this comparison, we decided to stick with the V-Twin engine configuration. Why? Because the V-Twin is the just about the official engine configuration of cruiserdom – that and the fact that no Yamaha V-Max was available for testing. So, for this test we have the 2018 Ducati XDiavel facing off against the new for 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob. Both of these bikes have eye-catching good looks that exude function as well as style.

2016 Ducati XDiavel S First Ride Review

2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob 114 Review – First Ride

V-Twin Power – Two Different Ways

The essential difference between these two power-cruisers is defined by how their two engines produce power. The Ducati looks to the mid-range and top-end for its power, while the Harley puts out tons of torque in the bottom end of its comparatively low-revving engine. Both manufacturers remain true to their roots when it comes to power production.

This dyno graph tells you everything you need to know about how to ride the Harley quickly. You can also see that we weren’t lying when we said the Ducati doesn’t wake up until after 3,500 rpm.

The XDiavel uses the Testastretta DVT 1262cc engine based on the Multistrada 1200 engine and has been massaged for the characteristics that Ducati feels it needs for cruiser duty. The 1262cc displacement is the result of 106.0mm x 71.5mm bore and stroke dimensions (bumped from the Multistrada’s 106.0mm x 67.9mm). The DVT in the name stands for Desmodromic Variable Timing that varies the timing of both the intake and exhaust camshafts independently, allowing the engine to deliver the broadest possible power curve. The goal is to give as much bottom end as possible and then transition into the top-end horsepower that Ducati sporty bikes are known for. The result is a measured torque peak of 83.9 lb-ft at 8,000 rpm, while the horsies max out at 142.6 hp at 9,600 rpm. Cruiser fans will note that the torque peak is a bit high for how cruisers are typically ridden – in fact, this is borne out by the 5,500 rev ceiling of the Fat Bob’s Milwaukee-Eight engine.

So, despite the DVT, XDiavel riders who don’t come from the sporting side of motorcycling will need to learn to spin up the engine to get the most out of it. FNG Associate Editor Brent Jaswinski sums up our opinions by noting, “The engine feels like it’s lugging even at 3500 rpm, but this is a Ducati we’re talking about here – it loves the higher revs.” And he’s right. Although we can’t expect the XDiavel to compete with the Fat Bob’s 600cc displacement advantage and the oodles of torque that comes with it, the Duc more than makes up for it if you spin the engine out, and you quickly learn to appreciate the scooped-back of the saddle for its ability to hold you in place while you snick your way through the closely spaced gears that keep the engine on boil for as long as you’re willing to hold the throttle open.

The XDiavel’s horsepower curve tells the second part of the power delivery story. The Fat Bob dominates until it runs out of revs, then the XDiavel takes over and runs away – literally.

Power delivery isn’t the only way in which the XDiavel differs from the Fat Bob. The Duc’s ride-by-wire throttle means that it also has traction control and ride modes. However, even in the concrete jungle, we never selected the Urban mode, preferring to keep all of the Testastretta’s ponies at our command with the twist of the smoothly transitioning throttle. However, while the TC is a nice feature, it came on in a heavy-handed manner at lower speeds, like encountering sand when pulling away from a stop and briefly cycling into an on/off-throttle hobby-horse response on a couple of occasions.

The Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight 114 uses the fun and effective “bigger hammer” technique for propelling the Fat Bob through the torque curve provided by 1868cc of hydrocarbon-devouring displacement. We’ve loved the M-8 in all its variants since its introduction in the Motor Company’s touring line last year, and the updates for use in the Softail line have only made us more fond of the mill. The 102mm x 114.3mm bore and stroke breathe through four-valve heads while dual counterbalancers quell vibration of the solid-mounted engine. The exhaust note has a hearty depth to it that makes low-speed riding an aural pleasure.

Around town, the Fat Bob’s bottom-end-heavy torque made it the most fun to ride.

Although the clutch pull is fairly stout despite the torque-assist clutch, getting the Fat Bob’s 676 claimed pounds moving is super easy, thanks to the early torque availability. Said Jaswinski, “You can lug the bike at 1500 rpm, and it doesn’t feel like it’s lugging whatsoever, making slow-speed maneuvers easy.” In fact, that heaping helping of torque makes the Harley much more fun to ride around town. At every urban speed we encountered, the Harley chuffed along while at certain speeds the Ducati required the rider to balance the throttle and clutch on occasion. Still, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note the Milwaukee-Eight’s 60-hp deficit, which became obvious once the roads got twisty and the speeds got higher. ”With such a big motor and a 600cc advantage over the Duc,” said Brent with the understatement of the year, “the horsepower numbers leave a lot to be desired.”

Both bikes exhibited exemplary throttle response in a wide variety of riding situations – well, once the Ducati’s tach climbed above 3,500 rpm. Whether roaring down the freeway or negotiating a series of corners or just moving along in traffic, both bikes took throttle input with the aplomb of well-set-up CV carburetors. No hint of EFI abruptness ruffed their demeanors.

The Testastretta DVT 1262 engine looks massive in the XDiavel’s chassis. Its top-end power matches the looks.

Tilting At Apexes

At the Fat Bob’s introduction a few weeks ago and at the XDiavel’s first ride in 2016, a lot was made of their ability to go around corners. No, these muscle-cruisers aren’t sportbikes, but they can go around corners quickly – and as we noted above, the engines aren’t afraid of acceleration, making point-and-shoot riding of the twisties a hoot. Still, we’re here to compare these two bikes, and when you look at the spec sheets, the Ducati has a clear advantage with its claimed 40° of lean on both sides while the Harley checks in with a claim of 31° to the right and 32° to the left. How much does that really affect real-world performance? Well, the difference is noticeable, but we dragged pegs on both of these bikes. The good news is that they both drag cleanly with the pegs giving plenty of warning before hard parts touch down. However, the lean angle differences don’t feel as great as the spec sheets imply, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to see more clearance from both of them.

In fact, the most noticeable feature differentiating the two bikes when cornering was the way they steered. The XDiavel’s 240mm rear tire required more effort to crank the bike over in a turn, and in some instances it also required a slight countersteering pressure mid-corner to maintain its line. While this isn’t a big deal, it was apparent and required a change in riding style as we switched from bike to bike. “The wide rear tire made the bike feel like it wanted to stand up in slow speed turns and corners around town, however, this feeling disappeared at speed through the canyon twisties,” noted Jaswinski.

The Ducati’s 240mm rear tire stands out visually and, at low speeds, in handling. Once the speeds ramp up and the road gets twisty, the XDiavel handles quite nicely. We’re suckers for single-sided swingarms.

The Harley, despite its narrower handlebar and fat 150mm front tire, steers much lighter than the Ducati. The Fat Bob is easier to turn at all speeds, but it is particularly apparent when changing lines in a high-speed sweeper. The Fat Bob just went where it was told, while the XDiavel required a little more direction.

This likely has something to do with the riding positions of the two bikes. The Ducati’s pegs are higher and further forward than those of the Harley – as are its grips – leading to a slightly clamshell riding position. The Fat Bob with its more relaxed rider triangle puts the pilot in a better position for negotiating big maneuvers like corners and little exercises like the minute adjustments involved in splitting lanes.

When it came to ergonomics, the Fat Bob got the nod from both our testers. “The Harley’s rider ergos are great,” enthused Jaswinski. “The footpegs are somewhere between mid and forward controls, and the handlebars are narrower than the Ducati’s and right where you want them without having to reach. Additionally, despite its name, the Fat Bob feels surprisingly skinny and nimble when dancing through tight traffic. The Ducati’s ergo’s felt a little too far stretched (even by cruiser standards) – both the handlebar and footpegs could have been slightly closer (and I’m 6’1).”

The XDiavel’s pegs and grips require a long reach – even for our six-foot, one-inch associate editor.

When it comes to suspension, the Fat Bob had the plusher of the two rides, though both Brent and I wished it had more suspension adjustability, particularly in the front. Said the FNG, “Suspension was firm, yet supple; however, some adjustability (especially in the front) would be nice as the bike nose-dived a little more than desired under heavy braking and during spirited riding.” Around town, the Harley’s more compliant ride was greatly appreciated when the road got bumpy since the firmer Ducati was downright harsh over square-edged bumps. However, get the XDiavel on a winding road, and the suspension’s sportbike roots move to the fore. In every sporting situation, except over the harshest of bumps, the Ducati maintained better chassis composure, and the fully adjustable suspension means that riders have the ability to tune the suspenders to their preferences.

One area where we expected the Ducati to dominate was the brakes. Instead, we got a surprising parity – even with the Harley’s additional 130 lbs. of curb weight. Although the XDiavel’s Brembos offered better initial bite and the Fat Bob needed a firmer squeeze at the lever, these big boys could be hauled down from speed with surprisingly similar braking intensity. While both have ABS, the XDiavel ups the ante with Cornering ABS provided by a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which adjusts the ABS unit’s response to chassis orientation and state of change. It’s nice to see cutting-edge safety technology working its way into cruisers.

Even at a standstill, the Fat Bob looks ready to rumble, and it does, finishing much closer to the XDiavel on the scorecard than we initially expected.

Wrapping It Up

When we went into this comparison, we thought that the Ducati, with the higher performance roots of the XDiavel, would handily clean up on the MO Scorecard. This was not the case. The results ended up being more closely matched than we anticipated. While we expected the Testastretta engine to dominate the scorecard the way it did the dyno sheet, an interesting thing happened. In the subjective categories surrounding the engine, the pleasing character of the Milwaukee-Eight garnered it comparable scores.

The two also tied in the Handling category – though this was caused by a difference of opinion between the riders over the Ducati. If you don’t mind giving constant steering input in some situations, you won’t mind the feel of the 240mm tire on the Ducati. What sealed the Harley’s fate was the Suspension and Technology categories where the lack of features cost the Fat Bob points. With those numbers, combined with the objective scoring, the Ducati built an insurmountable lead that couldn’t be topped – even when the Fat Bob cleaned up in the Quality, Cool Factor, and Grin Factor categories.

In the end, the Harley started out at such a deficit in the objective scores that its amiable nature couldn’t drag it out of the scoring hole, and the Ducati XDiavel won by a total score of 88.2% to the Fat Bob’s 86.7%.

Really, though, the true winner is the one that speaks to the rider and how they plan on riding the bike. If you prefer a more compact riding position and like surfing a torque curve, the Fat Bob will probably appeal to you. On the other hand, riders looking for maximum performance in a feet-forward riding position will likely gravitate towards the XDiavel with its top-end rush and flashier technology. With these two choices, now is the time to be in the market for a V-Twin Bruiser Cruiser.

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  • JMDGT

    I made a trip to the local dealer this week and saw the Diavel up close. It makes the Fat Bob look like a POS. I’d need to ride one to see how it handles.

    • Born to Ride

      The 240mm rear tire was the worst form over function design choice Ducati ever made. It kills the handling feel on what is otherwise a very well balanced machine on both the Diavel and XDiavel. I love my dads custom Diavel, but it’s a pain in the ass in so many ways.

      • Jerry Oslo

        It does not kill the handling. I have owned a Diavel and now own a XDiavel. It just takes some getting use to. It will never handle as quick a sport bike, but because its a sport bike tire just wider. Once you get use to it as a rider you realize you just keep leaning. You get surprised how easy turning gets once you get use to it. And then when riding in a long straight line it makes the bike so stable.

        • Born to Ride

          Well I have never gotten used to that weird feeling from the rear end. Like it’s not tracking the same arc as the front wheel. It feels like chassis flex, but without the wobble or weird steering feel. I know the rear end isn’t actually going to break traction, but it kills my confidence to push it harder than a mild pace in the twisties. YMMV

          • Jason

            What you are feeling is exactly what is happening. When a rear tire is wider than the front tire the rear tracks a larger radius arc.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            It also depends on how the chassis is designed. If a bike is well designed, it will handle well even with a big rear tire.

          • Born to Ride

            Idk man, name one other bike that has wider than a 200mm rear tire and leans over 40 degrees. It’s a pretty specific complaint and the Diavel handles just fine around town and on the highway, the problem I’m describing occurs during the last 20% of the bikes lean angle. Also, I think Ducati knows a thing or two about chassis design…

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Harley makes good handling bikes with 200-240mm rear tires but they don’t have 40 degree lean angles.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Ride them both before you form an opinion. Looks aren’t everything.

      • SerSamsquamsh

        In this category I’d say they are extremely important. That HD looks like a motorcycle at least:

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I think there was some favoritism involved (or a slight sport bike bias). The HP deficit killed it for the Harley even though it is all about the torque. But in the torque category they gave 100% to the XDiavel even though the torque doesn’t come on until 4400 rpm, which is not the way you ride around town. I think the Fat Bob should have won this shootout because a lot more of them will be sold than XDiavels. I have yet to see one. The Harley is much better for daily riding and touring.

          • Born to Ride

            Have you ever ridden a Diavel or any Ducati for that matter? You absolutely ride them around town in the 4-6k rpm range. That’s where the fueling and the gearing naturally falls. Below 3k you are literally chugging, and over 6k you are breaking the law.

          • mikeinkamloops

            I’ve ridden the Diavel, and it’s cool, but I see it more of a highway blaster than something I’d want to ride around town. Drag strip – yep, Diavel.

          • Born to Ride

            I mentioned somewhere in this tangled mess of a comment section the Diavel is tiring to ride. Not because it lacks “around town power” whatever the hell that means, but because it’s not designed to go slow. It’s a quarter horse, bred to be a natural sprinter. Light throttle spring, light flywheel, instantaneous power everywhere in the rev band. It lurches at even the smallest throttle openings. The Harley was literally designed to go slow and cruise, that’s why it is so good at loafing along and plodding from stoplight to stoplight. Apples to hand grenades really.

          • mikstr

            ” I think the Fat Bob should have won this shootout because a lot more of them will be sold than XDiavels.”

            so you want to turn this into a popularity contest then? (likely the only way a Hog will ever win a straight-up comparison, all thanks to millions of midlife-crisis-afflicted buyers)

            what a farce; using that criteria, good thing they didn’t included a Bajaj 200, it would have smoked them both…..

          • Sayyed Bashir

            You read about all these bikes that are “better than Harleys” but you never see one on the road. I went to Street Vibrations a couple of weeks ago and 97% of the bikes there were Harleys. So who cares what the XDiavel does or doesn’t do. I will never see one. And there are over a quarter million “midlife-crisis-afflicted” Harley buyers every year all over the world who share this opinion.

          • mikstr

            billions smoke cigarettes… what’s your point?

          • sgray44444

            You might want to replace OHV with pushrod. Everything made for a LONG time has been overhead valve. Unless we’re talking about Ford Flatheads.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            All that bile must make you sick. You should see a doctor.

          • Eric

            …and wearing multicolored power ranger suits like most sportbike riders favor ISN’T a dress up game? Hypocrite much? The funny thing is that i like both Harleys and sportbikes. I guess this makes me a dual poser…

          • sgray44444

            Look at the width of the torque bands. Harley makes a ton of torque right off idle, but it falls off quickly. It’s made to lug around and quick-shift. Anything like the Diavel with a wide and flat torque band that makes that kind of horsepower is going to feel much more responsive.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I agree the torque band is wide but it doesn’t start until 4400 rpm. Harley starts from 2500 rpm.

          • sgray44444

            It’s all about the gearing. Like it was said earlier, you aren’t riding this motorcycle around at no RPM- more like cruising in that 4400rpm range.

          • mikeinkamloops

            Agreed. Plus from lots of experience, I know that Duc will be in the shop a lot more.

          • Jerry Oslo

            Sayyed Bashir That is the way you ride around town. A Ducati is not geared like a Harley. So riding around at 20 MPH in 1st gear your doing 4400 RPM. Its a big piston with a very short stroke, Its the opposite of a Harley when it comes to a V-Twin. Riding 2000 RPM just cruising on a Harley would be about 4000 RPM on a Ducati when just cruising around.

        • Born to Ride

          In this instance I think the Harley is absolutely the aesthetic winner, but I can’t overlook the fact that Harley is willing to leave carb-legal performance on the table just so they can make thousands more off their customer with their “Stage” kits that only give you what you should have got in the first place. Also I think it’s about 100lbs too heavy to be the bike they wanted it to be.

          • sgray44444

            sounds like a fair evaluation to me.

          • SerSamsquamsh

            The base price is already very high for something so perfectly useless.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            It is not so useless to the quarter million people who can afford to buy new Harleys instead of last year’s leftover Japanese bikes.

          • mikstr

            pretty sad to the see the quantity of people and dollars spent to be a poser….. a sad reflection on our society….. can’t understand how you can see that as a positive…..

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I think I am more sad for you, spending all this time and effort putting down Harleys when you could be riding one like everyone else and be happy. Are you planning on buying the XDiavel or are here just for the fun?

          • mikeinkamloops

            mikstr, in our riding group, we have a couple of Gold Wings, three Harleys, two yamaha FJRs, a KLR650 and my Vstrom. Anyone is welcome to join us, regardless of brand; the only requirement is that you are mature adult, and not a dick. Bashing another’s bike choice the way you do is a sign of insecurity, and would disqualify you under those rules. Mostly I feel sorry for you; you’re missing out on friendship and great adventures by being so narrow minded. Good luck to you.

          • SerSamsquamsh

            Come off it. A small percentage of Harley riders will choose this bike. It’s way more expensive than bikes with the same engine and badge prestige.

            In the 1970s Cadillac had an overwhelming share of its market segment. However they had very low customer equity and a bad case of hubris.

            Harley is an innovative company in some ways but if they want them to continue to succeed they, and their acolytes need to listen to some feedback and drop the smarmy attitude.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Where do you get your facts from? You think the Fat Bob will not sell when every Fat Bob made before has sold very well? Harley riders can see the value of the bike and decide for themselves whether they want to buy it or not. The Fat Bob is not the stripped down model the Street Bob is so it will be more expensive. Harley riders are not looking for just a badge, they are looking for value. They are figuring what it would cost to add the amenities if they bought the stripped down model. Here is the paint job on the tank of my favorite bike: the 2010 CVO Fat Bob. Don’t ask how much the bike cost.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/81b5b69d9896f2164cae4b96f38a0a31bcb984b53f408a08d8c0969256f7eccb.jpg

          • SerSamsquamsh

            Why is it so offensive to you that people, including me, would like to buy a shiny cool Harley with braking and handling performance that at least matches a 10 year old Bandit?

          • mikeinkamloops

            Take a new Fat Bob for a ride and see what you think.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            A Bandit is not a Harley, and vice versa. If you want a Bandit, buy a Bandit. Better yet, buy both of them like I did. Then you will have the best of both worlds.

          • SerSamsquamsh

            Not good enough.

            Harley has a great mission statement: “Fulfilling dreams of personal freedom”

            Nothing that specifies what the product is or isn’t.

            Their goal is to make money. Listening to customers is good business. Premium is still a core product value. Price isn’t the issue.
            There are lots of people that would by Harley if they addressed the often cited concerns of basic performance.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I think they will, going forward. The new 2018 Softails are a big step in the right direction.

          • SerSamsquamsh

            I hope so 🙂 I like the new soft tails quite a bit.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Everyone doesn’t want a “Stage” kit.

  • spiff

    I didn’t read the article yet, but I did look at the dyno sheets. The Harley wants to be shifted at what 5200? I cruise between 4 and 6. Yes, different motor blah blah blah, but face it, modern sports cars are more revvy (that might not be a word). Nothing wrong with a cruiser engine until one claims it has performance creds.

    • Born to Ride

      No it wants to be shifted at 4400, it’s lights out a thousand ripums later.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Numbers on paper don’t mean anything. A Harley will outrun you every time from a stoplight. Who cares what rpm the gears are shifted at? Sport bikes and cruisers are ridden differently. Get over it.

        • Born to Ride

          Honestly, if you think any Harley but a NHRA dragster will outrun a Diavel with equal riders in any scenario, there is simply nothing I can do to help you. Harley doesn’t produce box-stock and street-legal 10 second bikes, Ducati does.

          • TheMarvelous1310

            What’s the point of a box-stock and street-legal 10 second bike? You can buy a regular-strength Harley and turbo it into competitive speed with scrap parts and beer money if you know a decent exhaust shop and EFI tuner.

          • Born to Ride

            Either you drink a LOT of beer or you are talking out of your ass friend. Lemme know where I can get a functioning turbocharger for 10-20$, let alone convince a muffler shop and dyno tuner to offer me their services for free…

          • TheMarvelous1310

            Nothing’s gonna be free but if you start off by doing as much of the work and research as you’re capable of doing, make and keep talented friends and don’t mind coming behind other people’s schedules or using salvage parts(diesel turbos work well and last long, but they tend to be quite ugly and usually need new blowoff valves), you can get something serviceable (if ratty) for a few grand.

          • Born to Ride

            That figure is pretty fair I reckon, maybe if I stop drinking beer for a couple years. Haha.

          • TheMarvelous1310

            Oh, you’ll still be BUYING beer… Just for your buddy while he works, none for yourself!

        • John A. Smith

          Why not just accept that they are beautiful artwork on wheels instead of saying stupid, false nonsense like that? An HD will not outrun squat “every time” at a stoplight. Under even the standard kindest to your proposition (equating a 60 foot time to a stoplight “race”), the best I’ve ever seen from any street legal HD is 1.7+, and I practically live at the drag strip. Harleys are not race bikes. They’re not drag bikes. They’re cruisers. They’re beautiful. But they are fast only in the imagination of a diseased mind.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            So anybody who thinks Harleys are fast is stupid and has a diseased mind? Who has been winning flat track races until the FTR750 came out? Who is still winning drag races? Anyway, I have no wish to argue with you.

          • John A. Smith

            Yes, diseased or delusional. The fastest street HD was the vrod. High 11s out of the box, if you’re lucky. That’s not just slow, it’s laughably slow.

            Are you riding a flat track bike on the street? No. And we both know that HD whined to the AMA in 1984 to get a rule change so it could stay competitive with Honda, who had just eaten their lunch.

            Are you riding a drag bike on the street? No. And we both know that NHRA PSM rules are drafted so that HD’s entries are competitive. Mainly: an 870cc displacement advantage over any I4, AND they are allowed to run the same displacement as other v-twin engines, even though the vrod is 4-valve instead of 2-valve. But despite all of those advantages HD is handed, Savoie still won the series on his Suzuki last year.

            We’re not arguing. One of us actually races NHRA and has hard facts and numbers. The other thinks his Softail is fast because he gets speeding tickets.

          • mikstr

            Who was the only show in town until the Indian came out?

        • spiff

          No Harley is out running me anywhere… Except some dragbikes. Would this bike out run a Scout?

          • Peter c

            No chance.

        • HazardtoMyself

          Only 1 time I can remember a harley keeping up was once when I was on a ninja 650. A whole 70hp and 48 lbs torque I think were the paper specs for that bike.

          Don’t remember exactly what model the guy had, but I think it was a dyna of some kind with what looked like a lot of “harley” performance mods.

          Light to light wtfo, and he edged me by 1/2 a tire maybe? I’m not a harley hater, but bone stock 650 vs a clearly modded much larger CC bike, does not sound like something that will be winning all too often.

          Recently had an ultra classic with screaming eagle whatevers wanted to run with the gsx s1000. 1/4-1/2 throttle never left first. Ultra classic guy just kept smiling, shaking his head. He laughed, said I can’t keep up, and it doesn’t look like you ever shifted.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I can understand since I have both a Harley and a GSF-1250S Bandit. Both are different bikes. Harleys don’t have to keep up with sportbikes because they always catch up at the next gas station where the sportbike guys are resting their sore behinds and arms.

          • HazardtoMyself

            Thing is you make it sound like a harley will outrun anything from a stop light. If a performance harley can barely outrun a bike not made for performance with 1/3 the displacement, it’s not out running much.

            Why do what seems like the vast majority of harley riders feel the need to defend them so much? If they were that great, would they need so much defense? I have ridden a few, and just not my thing. If anything I prefer the metric cruisers for that style. Could even be I just have no interest in fake individualist, but actually conformist harley culture they are trying to sell.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Harley riders have to defend themselves from metric riders who don’t understand a thing about Harleys but insist on criticizing them. Why don’t they ride their own bikes and leave Harleys alone? Is it some kind of inferiority complex where they have to put Harleys down in order to feel good? All I have heard so far is that all Harley riders are posers and the bikes are too expensive and heavy and don’t perform as well as metric bikes. Okay so what? You made your choice so now you have to live with it. Why do you have to justify it to everybody? When you tell someone you bought a new bike, and they ask you if it is a Harley, and you have to say no it is a Stratoliner or Flying Fortress or a Star Eluder, that is your problem. It has nothing to do with Harley.

          • HazardtoMyself

            I probably should have said harley fanatics instead of the majority of harley riders. Your answer though does clear it up a bit.

            Harley fanatics buy Harleys for brand recognition by the non riding public.

            Harley fanatics are upset that when a comparison is done the harley may face some criticism even though all bikes in a comparison receive criticism. Seems it is taken as a personal attack in their choice of ride.

            Harley fanatics are the only people who “understand” Harleys. If your a metric rider you just don’t understand and have no right to compare it to a harley.

            I think I got it now. Have to give harley credit though, they are one of the few companies who has been able to create such fierce brand fanatisicm. Because if this they are able to sell for a premium price, no matter how good or bad their bikes review.

            You will see, I never bagged on the Harley motorcycles themselves.All I said is not my thing. It is the fake culture they sell I don’t understand.

            I like the design of the new carbon, but the only reason it is $20k is because of the harley name. Wrap it under any other brand and it is a $12-$15k bike. Not being willing to over pay for a bike doesn’t mean you can’t afford it.

            So I guess in the end, fanatics are willing to pay top dollar for the style and harley image, while non fanatics are more about the bike itself.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Even if you took the badge off a Fat Bob, it would still be a Harley. It will not become a Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda or Kawasaki. Japan simply cannot make a bike like a Harley. It is not in their culture. That is why they have failed at it so miserably. And if it is still a Harley, you will have to pay top dollar for it if you want it. There is no two ways about it.

          • HazardtoMyself

            Ummm, didn’t Harley just update their line to have an engine that doesn’t mix paint and corners closer to the metrics?

            Personally I think if they dropped their “premium” price they would sell more bikes. Make up for the difference in volume. The number of Harley purists seems to be declining.

            Might get more non fanatics and maybe even some true haters willing to give them a try if they were not just paying for a name.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            True haters will never buy a Harley. No need to dilute the brand by reducing prices or coming out with cheaper models like Ducati did with the Scrambler line. Now every kid and their dog has a Ducati. Harley does have entry level bikes but they will never drop the price of their premium models. That’s why they are called “premium”. And plenty of people are willing to pay for them. A Harley is not for everyone.

          • mikeinkamloops

            When you look at similar bikes ( for example, the new Yamaha Touring bike that has (shudder!) a v-twin and belt drive, the prices are pretty close. HD constantly updates their bikes, but all he haters see is a v-twin. All I can say is, ride one BEFORE you comment. The guys that bash HD but have never ridden one are just trolling.

          • mikeinkamloops

            So true, Sayyed. As my friend once said “no one makes their Harley look like a Yamaha/Honda/Kawasaki/Suzuki.”

          • SerSamsquamsh

            A decent observation:)

        • Max Wellian

          I really like the Fatbob though it doesn’t feel very fast to me. Both of my bikes feel faster leaving a stop. The FB is fast enough to be fun, it handles real well, and is comfy as can be. They need to work on getting that price down though. It’s Road King expensive without the functionality.

          • mikstr

            Rule of marketing : Charge what the market will bear. So long as people keep forking out excess money for said bike, why should they drop the price….. the perils (for the buyer) of a cult brand

          • Sayyed Bashir

            The price is not going to come down. It is a Harley after all which is a premium brand.

          • mikstr

            You mean premium price, cause posers will pay dearly to pose, which makes them all the more pathetic

          • SerSamsquamsh

            I might consider a Harley more seriously if their ad-copy didn’t prey directly on basic insecurities.

          • Max Wellian

            If you shop around here, there’s big savings to be had on last years models.

          • mikeinkamloops

            Big changes this year for the medium size HDs. Hence the price drops on 2017 models. Up here in Canada, the price drops weren’t that significant, though; I’d still spend the extra for a 2018 with that new frame and motor.

      • mikeinkamloops

        “Perfectly smooth”? Not any Guzzi I’ve ever ridden. I like Guzzi, but HDs M8 motors are MUCH smoother. Even my old 103 was smoother. Plus, HDs don’t try and fall over when you rev them😎

        • Born to Ride

          Have you ridden the Cali 1400? Smoothest twin I have ever experienced. No stalling issues either. Can’t comment on any other Guzzi as this is my first.

          • mikeinkamloops

            Yes, I test drove a Cali 1400 when they first came out. Maybe it was just the one I rode, but the engine was, at best, “agricultural”, plus it burned my knees. Loved the looks of it, and I wanted to like it, but I didn’t. Kept my Road Glide a bit longer.

          • Born to Ride

            Yeah my experience is completely the opposite, smooth shifting, complete lack of vibration in the bars above 5mph, and a light clutch. Rides like a sport tourer instead of a cruiser.

    • TheMarvelous1310

      Drop some cams in and graft a turbo on one and see how slow it is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci1b5zrEThY 148 horsepower and 127 pound feet with a hairdryer and hot cams, that’s plenty even at 700 pounds!

      • mikstr

        you can get way more performance for way less money….. considering what a Harley costs, you shouldn’t have to drain the bank account to make it go

        • Born to Ride

          I was gonna link the Diavel article but you beat me to it. Thanks haha.

        • TheMarvelous1310

          If you’re not down to bleed money, you shouldn’t be into motorcycles. Period

          • mikstr

            spending and wasting are 2 different things….

        • sgray44444

          wow, what a terrible video, Mr. Roboto.

          • mikstr

            lol, take your pick, there are thousands on youtube that show better performers at much cheaper prices than blown Hogs…. which was the whole point

          • sgray44444

            I get the point. It was just obnoxious. And, it goes to show you that Harley riders are not the only ones to brag about their bikes. I’m surprised the guy didn’t list the price of all his mods.

      • sgray44444

        ANYTHING can be tuned to make horsepower. How many of you are actually going to do it?
        Forced induction is a stupid comparison. It only ends with the guy with the most money winning the dyno shootout.
        Force feed a Harley and you get a 150 hp land yacht that still handles like crap. The only reason to do it is for bragging rights or burnout contests.

        • TheMarvelous1310

          Since we’re obviously ignoring the fact that people enjoy the way Harley-Davidsons ride and perform in larger numbers than any other motorcycle company worldwide besides Honda, the only reason to have ANY bike larger than 600cc on the street is bragging rights. Even something objectively slow, like the Moto Guzzi V7.

          • sgray44444

            You can’t be serious. You must ride Harleys! I would never buy anything just to brag about it.

          • mikstr

            he he…. truth is coming out….. a Hardley poser right to the end…..

          • mikstr

            “Since we’re obviously ignoring the fact that people enjoy the way Harley-Davidsons ride and perform in larger numbers than any other motorcycle company worldwide besides Honda” now that’s a keeper if ever there was one. So you seriously think they sell more bikes than Yamaha, Suzuki, or Kawasaki? Heck, I am sure Bajaj sells many, many times the number of bikes that Hog sells. There is so much more to global motorcycle sales than the US market…

          • Douglas

            Well, narrow it down to those over a litre and H-D is tops. They’re quite a status symbol in Nippon, like Rolexes, Colibri lighters, etc.

          • mikstr

            Of course, North America by no means has a monopoly on image-obsessed posers…

          • Douglas

            Well, if NA had a monopoly on posers, no other nations would have any, right? But you’re saying they do? Affluent Japanese (and other nationalities as well) have a fine eye for quality, and can afford anything they choose

            I’ve come to believe that all this anti-HD stuff isn’t so much about the scoots themselves, rather some of the individuals who ride them….it’s HOW they ride…..how much noise they can make and how much attention they can get….they take themselves soooo seriously, in their standard H-D getup. It gets tiresome.

            Personally, I rather like Harleys……I’ve had 3 of them, had no issues at all (except a brake lite switch on the Superglide) and got lotsa compliments.

          • Jason

            Even Royal Enfield sells 3 times more Bullets per year than Harley.
            Then there are Hero and Bajaj, both which sell millions of motorcycles per year while Harley hovers around 250,000

          • Douglas

            I’m curious….who told you that?….and I don’t think they make anything over 750, right? I commented that over 1 litre (that’s 1000cc, ya know), H-D is tops worldwide.

          • Jason

            I didn’t respond to your post. I responded to TheMarvelous1310’s post who claimed Harley is the second best selling motorcycle manufacturer worldwide.

            No, Royal Enfield doesn’t make anything over 750cc. Their bread and butter is the 500cc Bullet. A low performance retro bike that sells on nostalgia. Sound familiar?

  • Jayy Cee

    How do you only get 82 HP out of over 1800cc’s? My SV650 puts out 70 RWHP and is 1/3 the displacement almost. Torque is just a natural product of displacement. Therefore, just shows how unimpressive these Harley motors are.

    “Harley Davidson. The most efficient way to turn
    gasoline into noise without the unwanted side effect of horsepower.”

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Who needs screaming horsepower when you can have 104 ft lbs of torque at only 3100 rpm? These are different engines for different kinds of riders. You like Diavels, good for you. Not too many people do. Harleys are much more fun to ride around town and on the freeway as the article said.

      • mikstr

        Now for a dose of reality: Twist the throttle aggressively on ANY V-twin at low rpm (ie. 800 – @ 2500) and see what happens . Here is a hint: the thing will chug and lug so bad you will be left thinking it will fall apart (same goes for big Singles btw; try a Duke 690 below 3500 rpm). This is not a knock on Harley, it’s common to ALL v-twins (own one, rode many, am speaking from experience). In fact, it gets so bad that some older Harley engines have had their cranks go out of phase as a result. So, power is there, until you try to actually use it (which is why I always laugh when I hear this ever-present V-twin low-end BS). Roll on it smoothly (ie. slowly) and you can harness it, but any kind of aggressive throttle will have most anyone with respect for their bikes easing off immediately. An I-4 is another story, of course and I rode a Bandit 1250 (two-up nonetheless) down to about 15 mph in 6th and rolled on it with nary a stumble
        Case in point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk30A9ePj6A I have read of folks taking off in 6th on their GSX-S1000, thoiugh can’t confirm it to be true….

        try this on your Hog (or any other V-twin for that matter), lol

        • SRMark

          What? Both my Buell S2T and Kawasaki Mean Streak pulled clean and strong at full throttle at 2500. My Klr650 stammered like it was gonna die but not those other two.

          • mikstr

            Every Victory I rode (numerous 100 and 106 ci engines), Yamaha Raider, Suzuki C109, my vtr, various Ducatis and virtually every cruiser I hear being lugged sounds as though the engine will self-destruct- your bikes must be real special and unique, hang onto them….

          • sgray44444

            It’s all about the tune. Throw a tiny cam in an inline 4 beast like a Bandit or Hayabusa and it will make a mountain of torque at a low RPM. It will also probably detonate itself out of existence quickly at the compression ratio of a typical Japanese inline 4.

          • mikstr

            tune yes, but firing sequence plays a part too, and the irregular V-twin firing sequence does not take kindly to generous throttle at low rpm…..

          • sgray44444

            That’s what the massive flywheel is for.

          • mikstr

            Yes, but even it can’ t do away with the low rpm chugging; physics at work

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I do actually own a 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250S and love it. But I also love my 2007 Harley Softail Custom and ride it everyday and have received more speeding tickets on it than on my other two bikes. All these complaints have nothing to do with the normal riding of motorcycles on a daily basis. Only sportbike riders come up with these complaints and they are not going to buy a Harley anyway, so who cares! You are supposed to ride a bike the way is it designed. You are not supposed to ride a cruiser like a sportbike. Why would you lug it from 0 rpm? Any 4 year old (except Mr. T) can understand that.

          • mikstr

            “Why would you lug it from 0 rpm anyway?” you may want to explain that to your legion of fellow Hog owners, lol

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        • Chris

          I have had my 15 Street 750 in 6th gear as lo was 30. She didn’t like it too much.
          Take a Fat Bob, Add a V&H FP3, Intake and exhaust when available, See what the power will be? My 750 with Stage 1 upgrade was Dyno’d at 70HP and 58 pounds Trq. Up from 57HP and 45 Trq.

      • Born to Ride

        If ease of operation is synonymous with fun then sure, if heart stopping acceleration is your idea of fun, not so much. I much prefer my sportier multistrada around town and the freeway, but love my Guzzi on an open country road. Horses for courses.

    • mikstr

      yes, but the paint is shiny 🙂

    • sgray44444

      Harley intentionally tunes their motors like this. They are severely under-cammed. I don’t dig it either, but it appeals to the type that rides them. A slightly larger cam, a pipe, and a tune, and it will produce a LOT more horsepower. Whether or not you can stand the insane vibration where it makes power after the fact is up to you.

      • TheMarvelous1310

        The vibration isn’t really that bad with the right gloves. Yeah, your hands will get numb, but you won’t feel it until you stop for gas!

      • Max Wellian

        They tend to scissor their cranks when people try to make them too powerful. Best to ride them like they are.
        You want a rocket, buy the Duc, find a good tech, and give him your kid’s college fund account number.
        You want a fun, comfy, streetbike, get the Harley and change the oil every 5k or so.
        Prices on either are way too high though.

      • mikeinkamloops

        If you’ve ridden the 114, you’ll see that there is very little vibration compared to an older HD, or ANY other v-twins. It’s a smooth motor!

    • TheMarvelous1310

      You get over 100 with a re-flash and an exhaust, plus the same HUGE torque. You don’t miss the revs after that.

      • sgray44444

        It would be interesting to slap a cam in with a little more duration and extend the torque band out to 5400. If you could do that (and I know it would be easy), you would have 100+ horsepower, since hp=torque at 5252 rpm. Even the big blocks from the muscle car era would turn 5200 rpm.

    • Jon Jones

      Nice!

    • mikeinkamloops

      Your SV 650 has about 50 foot punts of torque and doesn’t make any power below 4000 rpm. Completely different motors. I know, I ride a vstrom.

      • mikstr

        It also only has 1/3 the displacement

        • mikeinkamloops

          And again, I say, completely different motors for completely different purposes. My old Road Glide would happily putt along at 2500-3000rpm fully loaded with wife and gear. It would pull from 1500 rpm or less. My Vstrom 1000 is faster and handles better, but I’d be damned if I want to ride it across 10 states fully loaded with wife and gear — although many do; I’m too old for that. You, my friend, have an irrational hate on for HD, which can mean only one of two things — you’ve never actually ridden one, or you can’t afford one. Don’t give me the “polished turd” line — you have a hate on, and continuing to troll on this page is making you look pretty silly.

  • SerSamsquamsh

    The x- Diavel is a hidious sack of design non-decisions! That tin colestomy bag! The machined surgical scissors on the cylinders! The non Euclidean hideousness that can drive a person insane.

    Complete product dysphonia.

    Not even the delightful young lady at the show could persuade me to sign up for a ride on that malignant pile of corrupted filth.

  • mikstr

    Both are beautiful IMO (from a non-cruiser guy and self-avowed Hog hater)….

  • SRMark

    Kinda of an apples to rocks comparison. But I find the Ducati styling to be a bit odd. Interesting, but odd. I’d take the Harley. Gobs of torque and interesting look. Not a huge fan of the headlight but I’d live with it. I’d want a more standard riding position to handle the vast amount of power available in the Ducati. Gotta love both bikes though. It takes guts to go out on a limb like that and I tip my hat to them both.

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  • Brian Clasby

    Since we’re talking about Harley horsepower – I wonder if they are ever going to bring back the V-Rod or use the motor in anything.

    • mikstr

      they weren’t moving off the showroom floors before (shame as it’s a nice engine), what makes you think they would move in the future?

      • Brian Clasby

        Just that since they’re updating entire lines they might update that too or perhaps add a high-end model to the street line. A Street Rod 1200 might sell . . . Maybe.

        • mikstr

          It could be a great bike, but it will never happen: V-Rod was a flop as was the XR1200…. can’t see a marriage of the two being any different, which is a real shame… the reality is Hardley-philes want heavy, underperforming air-cooled 45-degree vees and non-Harley types won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole for fear of being lumped in with said posers….

          • sgray44444

            Hate to say it, but this is about as close to the truth as I’ve seen. The Harley crowd is the number 1 reason I would never buy one. I actually kind of like the bikes themselves- they have a unique character.

    • TheMarvelous1310

      I think they should squeeze it into the Sportster, but I’m crazy.

      • mikstr

        and become showroom furniture…..

        • TheMarvelous1310

          Nah, the squids and stunters would eat them up.

          • mikstr

            to their credit, squids and stunters don’t want anything from Milwaukee, lol, and who can blame them….

      • Born to Ride

        That’s not crazy, it’s called logic. Giving a mortorcycle with “sport” in the name a flexible an athletic engine. Who would do such a thing!?

  • Matt O

    This is an unfair comparison. The Fat Bob should be compared to a metric cruiser. In every performance measure the Ducati destroys the HD, and i find it telling that there are no acceleration or roll on numbers in this comparison. Perhaps putting those numbers would have highlighted the disparity. Its too bad that HD can’t figure out how to let a engine rev. Having ridden bikes with the M8 motor, if they could hold that torque for just 2k more rpm they would be great. the power just falls off so fast.

    • Gruf Rude

      I’m no engineer, but it seems the 45degree V-twins just cannot be made to rev that extra 2000 RPM without inherent vibration killing reliability.

      • Matt O

        then perhaps HD should have invested more in the Revolution motors from the v-rod. 60* revs to 8K and makes good torque and power.

        • mikstr

          problem is their customer base don’t want them…. must be so utterly frustrating to be an engineer at Harley… working with a straightjacket that is a long-stroke 45-degree V-twin…

          • Matt O

            HD could put whatever motor they want in it and people would still buy them as long as it still looked right. Most of their buyers don’t know or care about the technical aspects of their own motorcycle.

          • mikstr

            very true, but then same ignorant individuals come on forums and spew nonsense and urban legend as fact…. reminds me of the old saying “better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt”….

          • Sayyed Bashir

            You don’t seem to be taking your own advice.

          • mikstr

            Sayeth the poser poster child

          • Sayyed Bashir

            HD cannot. Harley riders are married to the 45 degree twin due to the sound, look and feel. That’s one reason the Street 500 and 750 with a 60 degree twin are not so popular with the HD crowd whereas the 883 is accepted.

        • TheMarvelous1310

          nobody likes overhead cams. Too much maintenance, not enough low end torque. Besides, you can already buy one of those anywhere.

          • mikstr

            since when does OHC have ANYTHING to do with an engine’s torque output? If anything, OHC, by virtue of a lighter, more responsive valvetrain, can BOOST torque as it allows tuners to use more aggressive cams (more lift, which is key for torque).

            You guys are too funny…. Wasn’t so long ago you guys were saying the same thing about 4-valve heads and now that the new M8 sports them, it’s surely the greatest thing since sliced bread….. Time to quit drinking the Hardley kool-aid……

          • TheMarvelous1310

            Harleys are underpowered and mechanically archaic on purpose and always have been, proven technology underperforming steadily will always last longer and be easier to fix even after the parts are gone and the molds are melted. Plus, you can get more than enough power with a hot cam, an exhaust and a re-flash, and you still have the oppurtunity for more with a big-bore kit–and all of that before you even think about forced induction!

            We know our bikes are slow and heavy, but we don’t need to impress you or outrun you because we’ll still be riding when you need to swap chain links/adjust valves/walk off your sore pelvis or tailbone/sleep. Then you’ll have a hard time catching up, without breaking one of those pesky speed limits!

          • mikstr

            more Hardley delusion….. “we’ll still be riding when you need to swap chain links/adjust valves/walk off your sore pelvis or tailbone/sleep.” so you’re saying only Harley builds comfortable bikes? Too funny (though quite predictable). Pretty obvious your knowledge of motorcycling is limited to the confines of Milwaukee, so no sense in trying to pull you into reality, might make your entire universe come apart… meanwhile, back in a place called Reality, the rest of us can enjoy bikes that are lighter, quicker, better handling, stop better, handle better, are more reliable, more comfortable, more versatile… than anything Milwaukee has ever produced and, with its existing brainwashed client base, will ever produce…

          • Born to Ride

            You had me on board until you mentioned sore tailbone on a sportbike. I never experienced that ergonomic problem until I bought a cruiser. With a forward lean, the majority of your weight is on your inner thighs and the meaty part of your ass, in the lazy boy position your weight is right on the tailbone and lower back. Good thing the seat is as padded as it is otherwise the bike would be unrideable.

          • mikstr

            easy on the poor guy, logic is not his forte… thinks a tailbone-oriented riding position is comfy, lol

          • sgray44444

            Exactly the reason I switched from cruisers to adventure and sport bikes. The riding position killed me on my cruisers, but I could go all day on my V-strom, and have done 12 hours on my Speed Triple, even with a 36″ inseam and its somewhat high pegs.

          • sgray44444

            I don’t think they are intentionally archaic. It’s really the synergy of the design that produces the end result. They sell bikes based on the sound of a single pin long stroke motor. A long stroke, out of balance motor just can’t rev without massive vibration. So, what do you do with it? Maximize the torque in the RPM range that the bike will be used, which is why they end up with a torque curve that looks like a ski slope rather than a plateau. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless you want to start comparing apples to oranges, like this article. Anything can be tuned into performing better, and I really think most Harleys would benefit from more cam to produce a little more of a powerband and horsepower peak. Then again, I prefer a torque curve like the Ducati has, but it’s butt ugly, and I would want that motor in a chassis that can actually use it to full advantage. I really think the Ducati is the odd Duc here.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            You are right. That is exactly the kind of engine and bike Harley riders like, and there is absolutely wrong with that, other people’s comments here notwithstanding.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Well said, Marvelous! I don’t understand why these sportbike types spend so much time on these forums putting down Harleys. Must be some kind of inferiority complex or low self esteem. Or there could be a “sour grapes” syndrome where they have to bad mouth anything they cannot buy even if it is actually good. They should be out there riding their wonderful bikes instead of wasting our time here. We like riding Harleys and don’t have to justify that to anyone. Live and let live.

          • sgray44444

            Exactly! A lighter valvetrain (like overhead cam) lets the valve get off the seat quicker and into an area where the head flows significantly, which is ALWAYS good for torque. It might seem odd, but a 2 valve head typically has a torque advantage over a 4 valve head, due to induced swirl at low RPM. But, this is only at low RPM, and the difference is very small.

          • mikstr

            can’t speak to the swirl effect, but I recall reading that at low/initial lift, four-valve heads flow better as valve circumference is the key determinant of flow (as opposed to total area, which becomes more critical at full lift) and that two intake valves, at equal area, have a greater circumference than a single large valve. All this to say that the four-valve configuration is overwhelmingly superior to a two-valve set-up and OHC is potentially much superior to OHV (and some variations of OHC are superior to others, finger followers having more potential than shim-under-bucket designs, for example). It’s all about component weight and inertia (but try explaining the merits of light weight to someone groomed on overweight chromed-up land yachts, lol)

          • sgray44444

            All very true. David Vizard studied 4 valve heads vs. 2 valve heads and found that 4 valve chambers tend to be stagnant at low openings (a lack of swirl, or tumble, that aids in combustion at low throttle low RPM use). He actually patented a method of inducing swirl with a 4 valve head to combat the problem, typically by staggering the flow by using two different intake valve sizes in a 4 valve head. Like I said, we’re talking about a very small effect. That said, it is interesting to look at the differences between the modern Chevy LS 2 valve motor (still pushrod and ohv) compared to other modern OHC 4 valve motors. The LS motor tends to produce better torque at lower RPM, while still being very effective at producing horsepower up to an RPM (typically 8500 or so) where the valve train becomes unstable. 2 valve pushrod motors are still a viable solution and have been refined to the point where they are extremely efficient. Of course there are endless small variables that define an engine’s performance, so we are speaking in generalities. Harley is much more limited by the long stroke and uneven firing order than by its valve actuation.

          • mikstr

            thanks for that interesting insight. Speaking of the swirl, didn’t Buell (on its ill-fated 1190) have one valve open slightly sooner than the other to create this same effect?

          • sgray44444

            I don’t know about that, but it sounds interesting. I’ll have to google that and check it out.

          • mikstr

            Kevin Cameron did a write-up about it for CW IIRC…..

          • Craig Hoffman

            One could hardly accuse the Motus of being slow, and it’s Corvette inspired engine has pushrods.

            Pushrods make sense in a big V-Twin format. They can handle the lower rev range and they keep an inherently tall long stroke engine from swelling to ridiculously tall, AKA Victory, proportions.

            Harleys can make good enough for their intended use power and the new Milwaukee 8 engine is a nice step forward. HD is always holding back on us though, you have to dig deeper into your wallet and spend for “CVO” or at least “Screaming Eagle” to get the power. Can’t blame HD for that I suppose, but it is more than a little annoying. When dropping this kind of money on a motorcycle, I want their best effort.

          • Born to Ride

            You realize that you can have overhead cams and hydraulic lifters right? I believe the victory engine was configured that way and was considered to be one of the lowest maintenance cruisers available. My Guzzi on the other hand, has pushrods and requires valve checks every oil change. (they are a cakewalk though)

          • TheMarvelous1310

            I don’t know if we can use Victory as role models. They never really did anything with all that innovation besides the Vision, and that’s a boring lump compared to the concept version. Besides, that thing had a mean rattle at upper RPMs and a terribly clunky transmission.

          • mikstr

            A Hardley-phile knocking another company for lack of innovation? Incredible! It just so happens that the Victory engine absolutely KILLED the Harley in power and torque production at equal displacement. Have a look here: https://www.cycleworld.com/2016/01/13/2016-victory-gunner-cruiser-motorcycle-dyno-run-video-and-performance-chart#page-2

            basically same numbers as the all-new (and revolutionary, lol) 114 ci Milwaukee Eight (despite being down 8 cubic inches in displacement)…..

          • mikeinkamloops

            So, if Victory was so awesome, why is it dead?

          • mikstr

            Cause all the poser-boys only care about the name on the tank…. really, as if you didn’t know that, lol Hardley’s been polishing turds for years, and their brainwashed customers keep buying them… though the well is beginning to run dry as posers move on to other equally shallow pursuits… can’t believe you’re questioning the obvious…

          • Gruf Rude

            Honda did it for years on the Nighthawk.

        • vrod is liquid cooled… different animal

  • TheMarvelous1310

    Now that Harley’s got their suspension woes mostly under control, it’s high time they started playing with turbos. And full-size fairings. Basically what I’m saying is, Softail XR11800X Grand Prix.

    • Born to Ride

      That would be hilarious and super fun! I’d put my Guzzi to the test for sure!

  • Mark Hammond

    Where are the performance tests? How about real world 40 – 60 mph and 80 – 100 type tests.

    • TheMarvelous1310

      Completely unimportant. You’ve never been about to merge or pass on the highway and thought “WAIT! Is my 80-100 fast enough for me to do this?”, I guarantee it.

      • Mark Hammond

        You are correct because I would only purchase a bike that is capable of ripping past a line of rvs. I want to be sure that a bike has the capability to pass quickly because many can not. Some large bikes can not even get to 100 in the same day. I do not want one of those machines. Magazine tests used to provide that information.

      • Josh Heinz

        I guarantee I have. Not in the literal “I know my bike does 80-100 in X, so I need Y amount of time to pass Z number of cars”, but every time I go for a pass, I consider if I have room to clear it. Which is exactly what 80-100 measures.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Fatbob wins the resale value category after 5 years. The Duc will be utterly worthless 5 years down the road.

    • mikstr

      ’cause we all buy bikes bikes as investments….. stick to bonds if you care about such things…..

      • Mark Vizcarra

        Well i guess, but I didnt mean it in that sense. I didnt buy mine has an investment. I have 25K miles on my 2015 Road King that I bought in 2015 and its worth 13-15K if I wanted to unload it easily. 25k miles on a ducati is ancient and worthless to some buyers and maintenance costs and parts are really low to HD compared to Ducs.

    • Josh Heinz

      A quick (by work computer standards) glance at Cycle trader reveals that you are wrong. They both have very, very similar windows of resale value, with 2011s going between $8500-$12000, 2012s for $9500-$13000, and so on. Considering the Diavel starts ~$1500 cheaper than the HD, that means the HD loses more value over the same period.

      • mikstr

        Easy with the facts, Hoggers don’ t much care for those

        • Josh Heinz

          In fairness, his point about the service costs are dead on. The higher costs would definitely level the playing field financially. For my money though… hell yeah, worth it any day of the week, twice on Sunday, thrice on holidays. The Diavel is supermodel sex on two wheels, the U.S. is a sweaty old biker with a two foot beard with no shirt. Pass. Hard, hard pass.

  • Tim Sawatzky

    Congratulations Harley for finally building an engine that has more… wait, I just Googled it, nope, the 2006 Roadliner still has more HP and Torque from about the same size engine. Oh well, I’m sure the Harley faithful will love anything they put out as long as they continue to charge a ridiculous amount of money for it. And really, the Diavel is not a cruiser. I don’t know what it is, but other than having 2 cylinders and a clam-shell riding position, it has nothing else in common with a “cruiser”.

    • TheMarvelous1310

      You don’t compare a Harley-Davidson to a non-Harley, you compare it to the previous model.

      • mikstr

        only then does it stand a chance of winning a comparison, lol

        • TheMarvelous1310

          No, Harley-Davidsons almost always win subjective comparisons. You know some vehicles, like the Rolls-Royce Wraith or the Bugatti Veyron or the Jaguar F-Type or the Charger Hellcat, are never ever gonna win an objective test. They don’t need to, because they’re not selling numbers or bragging rights. They’re selling an ambiance wrapped in a mode of transportation, and good luck beating THAT with performance numbers-even Victory couldn’t, and Indian still can’t!

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Well said! No one has ever been able to produce anything like a Harley, and it is not for want of trying. They simply can’t. Indian comes close but it has other problems.

          • mikstr

            Why would you want to? Its only sales feature is the name on the tank, which appeals to millions of mid-life crisis boomers… can grt better bikes for less money (if you’re not an image-obsessed poser that is)

          • TheMarvelous1310

            Can you get a dictionary?

          • mikeinkamloops

            Sayyid, mikstr is blinded by hate for HD. Possibly his bank account won’t allow him to own one? I’ve tried to reason with him, but he’s one of “those” guys…

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I am glad I am not the only one who thinks that.

          • mikstr

            Too funny! You do realise that you are freely admiting, albeit in different words, that Hog owners are buying to pose don’t you?

          • TheMarvelous1310

            No, posing is to impress OTHER people. A Harley-Davidson is to impress YOURSELF. A poser would be, for example, a squid on a sportbike he’s never tracked doing wheelies and burnouts. Or any sportbike riders who’ve never been to the track, for that matter.

    • mikeinkamloops

      Do they still make the Roadliner? Nope. Wonder why? I rode one, and it had lots of torque, but rpm topped out around 4200, and it handled like it had two flat tires. Those things did not sell; if you bought your 2006 in 2009 as new old stock, you probably got a decent price. So, Yamaha is trying the big tour bike thing again. Will it sell? We will see.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Good point! The Japanese have almost given up on trying to beat Harley. Metric cruisers are a dime a dozen. They are good bikes but they are not Harleys.

        • SerSamsquamsh

          Metrics are designed on a spreadsheet instead of by people that enjoy their craft.

      • mikstr

        Likely won’t sell cause the posers onlybuy Hogs

        • mikeinkamloops

          Interesting comment, being as you see more people TOURING on big Harleys than all other brand combined. Are they posers too? After HD, you’ll see BMW and Gold Wings. Recently, a lot of “adventure” bikes are on the road now too. I won’t deny that some people buy HD to go bar hopping or “posing”; some people buy Japanese cruisers to do the same. But on the open road, most of the touring bikes you’ll see are HD. Take off your hate blinders, and you’ll see.

  • Patriot159

    I’m guessing the crowd these rides speak to would gravitate to the HD despite the lower scores in certain categories.

    • sgray44444

      Heck, I ride sport bikes and I wouldn’t touch the Diavel. I would buy a Harley if I wanted a cruiser. If I were to drop this kind of cash on a Ducati, it would be a real Ducati, not something compromised for market share in the US.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      You are right. The lower scores are in categories they don’t care about.

  • lennon2017

    Amazing. Everything that was initially said about the XDiavel with its deficit of torque in-town and difficulty of turning immediately condemns it next to the Fat Bob in my mind. An easier to ride cruiser is a better cruiser. It’s intended use is apparent, no? Instead, the verdict is: POWER! SPEED! MUAHAHAHA.

    • Born to Ride

      The lack of flywheel mass and 100+ lb weight advantage will make up for the pure torque deficit when it comes to acceleration. If you ride the Ducati properly, as in not lugging it under 4 grand, the “around town” torque nonsense fades away. It will pull harder than the Harley from any speed, however, that makes it a tiring bike to ride. It revs so fast and pulls so hard even at small throttle openings that ease of operation is diminished by rider fatigue.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Very good observation. I used to stall my KTM 1190 R all the time in the dirt at low rpm, until I learned to keep the revs high and feather the clutch). My BMW 1200GSA buddies just tractor it through at any rpm.

  • Lewis

    I am not of fan of this Ducati. Having owned a Monster and a 748, I can’t believe this is from the same company. I have seen the Fat Bob 114 up close and had a sit. I like what I saw. I might consider the Fat Bob if it were a few thousand less, but if I am buying in this category, it is V Max all the way. I think the Fat Bob wins over both the Max and the Devil as far as aesthetics are concerned.

  • Eddie

    Harley, for almost $20,000 should have more horsepower standand. How about electronic suspension and traction control with less weight to compensate for less horsepower. I like the Harley’s look but style only is not going to sell bikes. GM is had the same problem a few years ago. Europe is going to make air cooled motors very difficult to pass emissions.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      “style only is not going to sell bikes”. Harley will sell a lot of these bikes like always. This is exactly the kind of bike Harley riders want, and that’s why Harley makes it. Harley already has several models with liquid cooling. When the time comes, they will be ready. All Harley models meet European standards.

  • DAVID

    I’ll take the DUC over any HD, OMG that small gas and almost 700 lbs you gotta be kidding.. These people talk about how the HD is better around town REALLY they must have won the lottery, be a cold day in HELL before I spend $20,000 dollars for bar hopping….
    These people seem to forget these bikes off the floor no mods!!!, if you want to be an ***ASS*** put the same amount of money into the DUC and really see who the winner is.

    • mikeinkamloops

      What do you ride now, David?

      • Sayyed Bashir

        An ass?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The tank is 5 gallons as always and gives a 200 mile range as always. A bigger tank only serves to weigh down the bike. Most people stop every 100 miles to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, get something to drink, and fill up the tank. So the only problem you seem to be having is the price. Well, I am sorry to say that the Harley is probably not the bike for you. There are no winners or losers. Just people who like to ride different bikes.

  • mikeinkamloops

    Another question – which one is going to spend more time in the shop? My 2008 HD, which I just sold, had 90,000 km with only one issue, that being a clutch issue. I’ve ridden the new HD 114 Fat Bob and it’s nothing like ANY HD before it – the handling is amazing, and the power is bags of fun. My V-Strom will out handle it, but like the Duc, the Strom makes power up top; it doesn’t have the pull (torque) of the HD. So I guess it’s a case of where you like to ride. FWIW, my old HD had a stage 2 cam and big bore kit installed; it revved to 6300 rpm with the flash. I’m sure one could do something similar to get more revs and HP from the 114.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I have 159,000 miles on my 2007 Softail Custom and still ride it daily. I love riding it.

  • Steve McLaughlin

    What kind of comparison is this? Some lame attempt to get some Harley advertising in? The HD is outclassed by just about every motorcycle in the world.
    Get the Ducati.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Are you going to get the Ducati?

  • Fabian

    This Ducat looks horrible. It’s a contraption of an oil refinery. I’ll take the Harley in a minute, it looks clean. As to the leaning angle; past 11 degrees I call mamma.

  • Jerry Oslo

    You guys complained about the riding position on the XDiavel, saying the handle bars and foot pegs are too far of a reach. The XDiavel is adjustable, you can get a closer to the rider handle bar from Ducati, and the foot pegs are adjustable with just 2 bolts on each side. You can move them further away or closer. In the closer position they mirror the Harley position.

  • Bubba Blue

    Oh yeah, I just love riding around town at 8000 rpm. It’s so relaxing.

    • spiff

      Ha, no need to ride around at 8k, but a least there is the option.

  • Matias Blanco

    Looks are always subjective, but xdiavel won EICMA 2015 design award. You might not like it, but to say it´s horrible… I can se many complaining about xdiavel performance but never ever rode one. I own one, I´m 5 11″ and the riding position is spot on, but there are many positions combinations for the handlebar, pegs and seat. I like the looks on the fat bob, I like booth, but tecnology, performance and ergonomics are on the xdiavel side. And 1868 cc for 82 hp, for almost 20 grand? You must be kidding me.

  • Craig Hoffman

    The HD looks 10x better, sounds great with proper baffled pipes on it, and is perfectly engineered to go stoplight to stoplight, and hop around town. The new engine is a nice advance, and I am sure it responds well to easy mods to make it perform better for it’s intended use.

    I do wish the HD crowd would stop with the straight pipes. Even if they worked (they don’t) HDs are not fast motorcycles – if fast is truly important, buy something, almost anything, else. Why bother making them so noisy, unless you have a complex and did not get enough attention in High School as a kid? It that is a problem, stop annoying everyone else on the road and seek therapy…

    There are a many other options out there that can spin a dyno drum far harder than a Harley. One can easily and less expensively obtain that kind of performance, from used Bandit 12’s for pizza & beer money, and even in a tall dirt bike looking thing with semi knobby tires. There is no need to ride around on this Toontown looking Duc. I can see why nobody buys them. The Duc’s engine, if it had feelings, would likely be bummed that it was installed in this weird looking orphan package, and not picked to pull Multistrada duty.

    Never thought I would say it, but horsepower is not everything…

  • Dirk Lehew

    If Harley built an airplane would you fly in it? Just curious…
    Honda and Kawasaki build jets-no loose tolerances there

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The design should be simple so it works even without tight tolerances. It is more reliable that way. Harleys run forever. Even the first Harleys made 114 years ago are still running. Can’t say that about Japanese bikes.

  • Dirk Lehew

    Ridiculous illogical that’s like saying a 1918 Sopwith Camel is a better airplane than an F-16 because it’s “simpler” therefore more reliable. Besides there aren’t any 114 yr old Japanese bikes yet to make a valid comparison. And you never answered my question-I sure as hell would not put my child in a Harley-Davidson airplane to crop dust let alone fly across country. Those bikes are outdated anachronisms that persist because they satisfy a need for some people to feel cool. They succeed there but for those of us that consider motorcycling a sport they are abject failures.

    • mikeinkamloops

      Are you actually trying to say that HD builds the same bike as they did in 1918? Because that shows your ignorance about motorcycles in general. Take one for a demo ride before you spout such utter nonsense.

      • Dirk Lehew

        Read more carefully-making the point that just because it’s “simpler” with “loose tolerances” that make it more reliable(?) doesn’t in any way make it superior. I’ve been riding for 47 years multitude of bikes multiple Harleys old and new-and what they call improvements(Brembro brakes, ABS, DOHC) have been around on other bikes for years. They are still basically the same overweight, poor handling, vibrating(more than they should), overpriced, poor performing(in an absolute sense) bikes they’ve always been-BUT they are for the most part beautiful machines with excellent fit/finish. Ironically the best Harley ever built was the VRod, and they d/c’d it because the Harley aficionados just couldn’t wrap their minds around a Porsche engine and water cooling.
        I get the Harley riding experience and enjoy it on my custom Honda Fury but for riding using all my skills and for the sport of riding I ride my 2014 Triumph Trophy SE. Will run circles around any Harley and just as comfortable.

        • mikeinkamloops

          All I can say, Dirk, is take any new HD out for a ride.

          • Dirk Lehew

            I have Mike a 2017 Road Glide with the Milwaukee8 and all the bells and whistles. There’s a little more power, better mapping, transmission shifts lower effort and smoother, and of course very pretty bike great fit/finish. I don’t want to continue insulting the brand you obviously feel strongly about. I guess a lot of my feelings about HD are based on the HD fanatics that tell me “get a real bike” and “look at all that cheap plastic” and “if you don’t ride a Harley you ain’t sh*t”. It’s ok to love your ride, but don’t tell me mine is inferior because of some baseless opinions. I am a fast rider, love the mountain switchbacks where handling is paramount. And I can’t tell you how many HDs I’ve passed sometimes 5-6 at a time because they can’t(or won’t) ride my pace. I want me to be the limiting factor in the sport of riding, NOT the bike. And Harley’s always are. But just ride what you love, and how you like to ride it. Oh, and you might want to ride a Trophy sometime. I’ll ride anything and everything because I love bikes and you never know what you may like-funny many HD lovers won’t sit their ass on anything else. Afraid they might become enlightened?
            Peace-and ride safe

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  • Mad4TheCrest

    For quick rides through mountain curves the Ducati’s extra 8-9 degrees of available lean would be an advantage in speed and potentially safety as well. Everywhere else the HD should be the more satisfying ride.

    • mikeinkamloops

      Agreed, but for that kind of riding, anything else from the Duc catalog would be better. I’d go with a Multistrada for my kind of riding these days.

  • Kahless01

    the harley just now catching up to what my thunderbird storm made in 2011 on regular unleaded. i made 84hp and 106lb/ft. ill take the triumph over either of these.

  • these two bike should not have been compared. they are completely different and not even is the same price range

  • Hows_That_Change_Working_ForYa

    Harley must get on the HP wagon and improve it dramatically. I always wondered why they never published their numbers but this is why,, they pale in comparison to the competition.

  • Moueix

    lol… I’ve had my XDiavel S for a year now, after owning 2 V-rods over the last 12 years.I also have a ’13 FLTRU. Nice bike for what it was built for.

    I don’t even know where to begin. There is no comparing a Harley and a Ducati. Not ever.