Review: Ducati XDiavel Dark

Review: Ducati XDiavel Dark

The Ducati XDiavel Dark is a captivating fusion of power, sophistication, and unmistakable Ducati style. This cruiser motorcycle stands as a testament to Ducati’s ability to break away from convention while maintaining a harmonious balance between performance and aesthetics. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the design, performance, technology, and overall riding experience that the XDiavel Dark offers.

Design and Appearance

The XDiavel Dark is a visual spectacle, a manifestation of Ducati’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of motorcycle design. The muscular and low-slung profile instantly communicates its cruiser DNA, but with a distinct Ducati flair. The minimalist approach to the design is highlighted in the Dark variant, with a matte black finish that exudes an aura of mystery and power.

Iconic Silhouette: The silhouette of the XDiavel Dark is unmistakably cruiser, with a long wheelbase and low-slung seat. However, Ducati has injected its own sporty DNA, resulting in a sleek and aggressive profile that sets it apart from traditional cruisers.

LED Lighting: The XDiavel Dark features cutting-edge LED lighting, both at the front and rear. The signature Daytime Running Light (DRL) not only enhances visibility but also adds a distinctive and modern touch to the bike’s face.

Premium Finishes: Every detail of the XDiavel Dark reflects Ducati’s commitment to craftsmanship. Premium finishes, including the matte black paint and subtle branding, contribute to the bike’s overall aura of sophistication.

Muscular Rear: The rear of the XDiavel Dark is a symphony of design and engineering. The wide rear tire, single-sided swingarm, and minimalist tail section create a muscular and imposing presence.

Engine and Performance

At the heart of the XDiavel Dark beats a powerful and high-performance engine that seamlessly combines the characteristics of a cruiser with Ducati’s racing heritage.

The XDiavel Dark is powered by a potent Testastretta DVT 1262 engine. This 1,262cc, L-twin engine is tuned to deliver a robust torque curve across the rev range, ensuring an exhilarating riding experience. Ducati’s Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) technology is a standout feature. It optimizes performance by adjusting the timing of both intake and exhaust camshafts, providing strong low-end torque and potent high-end power.

The XDiavel Dark is a torque monster, with a significant emphasis on low-end and mid-range torque delivery. This ensures responsive and assertive acceleration in any riding scenario. The ride-by-wire system contributes to precise throttle control, offering a smooth and predictable power delivery. This is particularly valuable when cruising at lower speeds or maneuvering through city traffic.

Chassis and Handling

Ducati has masterfully engineered the chassis and handling characteristics of the XDiavel Dark to defy cruiser norms and deliver a dynamic riding experience.

Frame Design: The bike features a robust and stiff steel trellis frame, providing the necessary foundation for both stability and agility. The frame design is a nod to Ducati’s commitment to performance, even in the cruiser segment.

Adjustable Suspension: The XDiavel Dark is equipped with top-notch suspension components, including fully adjustable front forks and a rear mono-shock. Riders can fine-tune the suspension to their preferences, ensuring a comfortable yet dynamic ride.

Brembo Braking System: Brembo braking components handle the stopping duties with precision. Dual front discs with Brembo M50 calipers offer strong and progressive braking power, instilling confidence in the rider.

Cornering ABS: The inclusion of Cornering ABS adds a layer of safety by adjusting the braking performance based on the bike’s lean angle. This is a notable feature, especially considering the cruiser category’s historical absence of advanced safety technologies.

Electronics and Technology

Ducati has not spared any expense when it comes to infusing the XDiavel Dark with cutting-edge electronics and technology.

Riding Modes: The XDiavel Dark offers multiple riding modes, allowing riders to tailor the bike’s behavior to different scenarios. These modes can adjust parameters such as power delivery, traction control, and ABS settings.

Traction Control: Advanced traction control systems contribute to the bike’s stability, especially during acceleration. The system intelligently manages power delivery to prevent wheel slip, enhancing both safety and performance.

Cruise Control: For long stretches of highway cruising, the XDiavel Dark comes equipped with cruise control. This feature adds a layer of comfort during extended rides.

Full-Color TFT Display: The instrument cluster is a full-color TFT display that provides a wealth of information in a clear and visually appealing format. Riders can easily access details about speed, gear position, fuel level, and more.

Comfort and Ergonomics

While the XDiavel Dark embraces Ducati’s performance-oriented ethos, it doesn’t compromise on rider comfort. The low-slung seat, coupled with a manageable seat height, ensures that riders of varying sizes can comfortably reach the ground. This is a crucial consideration, especially for cruiser motorcycles.

The XDiavel Dark features forward foot controls, a hallmark of cruiser ergonomics. This riding position enhances the laid-back and relaxed feel associated with cruisers. The handlebars are designed for a comfortable reach, allowing riders to effortlessly control the bike without straining their wrists or shoulders.

The passenger seat is designed with comfort in mind. The XDiavel Dark is not just a solo cruiser; it accommodates a passenger with a seat that prioritizes comfort without compromising the bike’s aesthetics.


Engine Ducati Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing)
Displacement 1,262 cc
Transmission Six-speed with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS)
Frame Steel trellis frame
Suspension Fully adjustable forks (front) Rear adjustable mono-shock (rear)
Brakes Dual disc with Brembo M50 calipers (front) Single disc with Brembo caliper with ABS (rear)
Wheels Adjustable
Seat Height 31.2 to 31.9 inches

How does the Ducati XDiavel Dark Ride?

The XDiavel Dark is not merely a cruiser; it’s a cruiser with an attitude. The combination of a torque-rich engine, agile chassis, and advanced electronics creates a riding experience that defies cruiser stereotypes.

Acceleration: Twist the throttle, and the XDiavel Dark responds with a surge of power that pins you to the seat. The torque is immediate, providing an exhilarating acceleration that belies its cruiser classification.

Handling: In the corners, the XDiavel Dark surprises. The adjustable suspension and sport-derived chassis result in a cruiser that handles with agility. It leans into turns with confidence, and the wide rear tire provides ample grip.

Versatility: Whether you’re cruising down the highway, navigating city streets, or taking on winding roads, the XDiavel Dark adapts. The riding modes allow you to tailor the bike’s behavior to your preferences and the riding conditions.

Urban Maneuverability: Despite its muscular appearance, the XDiavel Dark is surprisingly nimble in urban settings. The forward foot controls and relaxed ergonomics make it easy to filter through traffic, and the low seat height adds to the overall maneuverability.

Cruising Comfort: On long stretches of open road, the XDiavel Dark lives up to the cruiser ethos. The comfortable seating position, coupled with cruise control, allows you to enjoy the ride without fatigue.


The Ducati XDiavel Dark is a masterpiece that transcends the boundaries of cruiser design. It’s a cruiser with an Italian soul, marrying the relaxed cruising experience with Ducati’s performance pedigree. The matte black finish of the Dark variant adds an element of mystique, emphasizing the bike’s assertive character.

For riders seeking a cruiser that challenges conventions, the XDiavel Dark is a compelling choice. It’s a head-turner, a powerhouse, and a technological marvel. Ducati has succeeded in creating a cruiser that not only pays homage to the genre but redefines it, infusing it with the spirit of performance and innovation.

In the realm of cruisers, the Ducati XDiavel Dark stands as a symbol of rebellion—a two-wheeled statement that elegance and power can coexist. It’s not just a motorcycle; it’s an experience, an expression, and a bold step into the future of cruising.

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