An updated version of the Ducati Diavel is expected to make its debut at the 2015 EICMA Motorcycle Show on November 2015. But before it graces the stage in Milan, Italy, a test mule of the cruiser-style sportsbike was spotted getting some run in Italy. Unlike test cars that can be covered in layers of camouflage to hide their design, test bikes don’t have that kind of luxury so when the new Diavel was spotted, it already showcased some of the changes that we can expect from the new model.

To be clear, most of the updated Diavel’s greasy bits indicate that it’s going to retain many of the components that are already in the existing model. But as prototypes go, there are a handful of noticeable changes that adds more of that cruiser DNA into the bike. Not that it’s going to make that leap completely, but the all-new frame, reshaped seat, re-routed exhausts, and the higher degree of the steering angle have some cruiser styling in them. The front section also boasts of a new headlight that isn’t as upright as the previous version. Moving to the side, you’ll notice that the massive air intakes that dominated the side profile of the current Diavel are now gone, exposing more of the frame and the rear cylinder.

More than anything else, the new Diavel looks to have a more relaxed look to it. Dare I say, should we already start calling it a cruiser?

Continue reading to learn more about the new Ducati Diavel.

What else is there

The aesthetic changes are pretty evident, but it’s not the only thing that looks new, or at least updated in the new Diavel. On the performance side, the new Diavel should graduate from its existing 1,200 cc V-Twin Testastretta engine and fit a brand new 1,200 cc DVT Testastretta engine. The latter is the same powertrain found in the new 2015 Multistrada. Given the matching performance, efficiency, and emissions compliance of the two models, the updated Diavel should also get the new engine. It would be interesting, though, to see if Ducati can stretch the displacement to about 1,300 cc to accommodate better torque figures for the Diavel.

Another big change on the performance front is the apparent decision to shift from a chain drive to a belt drive. It’s hard to make out the new belt drive from the photos, but if you look a little closer, you’ll definitely see the difference. The shift to a belt drive is crucial since this type of drive is quieter, cleaner, and runs more smoothly compared to a chain drive. It also doesn’t need lubrication the way a chain drive does, eliminating the added maintenance costs that come with the latter. Unfortunately, chain drives are traditionally sturdier than belt drives, in large part because of the belt drive’s tendency to slip or snap completely from wear and tear.

I fully expect the updated Ducati Diavel to show off its new wares at the 2015 EICMA Motorcycle Show. But until then, these spy photos are the clearest indication that we should at least anticipate seeing a new-look Diavel that further straddles the line between cruiser and sportsbike.

What do you think?
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