2015 Ducati Diavel Titanium
Motorcycle and car manufacturers both like to throw around the word ’exclusive,’ to the point that it has almost lost its meaning. Not so with the latest addition to Ducati’s Diavel line, the 2015 Diavel Titanium.
Folks, this is a truly exclusive bike, made so by the very limited, 500-bike production run that builds on the already outstanding Ducati Diavel. The net result is a radically refined ride that boasts all the features the factory has to offer, with the addition of exotic materials and a unique production number to boot. This is THE Ducati to own if you want to stand apart from the plethora of cookie-cutter streetbikes available today.
Continue reading for my review of the 2015 Ducati Diavel Titanium.
2015 Ducati Diavel Titanium
Engine:Testastretta 11° L-Twin, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid cooled
Horsepower @ RPM:162
Torque @ RPM:96
Energy:Electronic Fuel Injection
I like to think of the Diavel line as a streetfighter with a borderline superbike personality, and that borderline gets very fuzzy on the Titanium. Large carbon fiber intake vents accentuate the ’all up front’ look of the bike, kind of like a pit-bull gathering itself to pounce. In another stroke of ’truth in advertising,’ the designers actually used titanium body components, to include the fuel tank, headlight housing and rear seat cover. Carbon-fiber components make up much of the remaining visible ’sheet metal,’ and the fenders, front sprocket cover, radiator covers, gas cap surround and windshield all benefit from this strong and light material.
Large carbon-fiber intake vents accentuate the 'all up front' look of the bike, kind of like a pit-bull gathering itself to pounce.
LED technology provides powerful lighting in a small package. The engineers took advantage of this when they set up the lights to make them as minimally obtrusive as possible while maintaining visibility and safety. Taillight and rear turn signal functions are combined within two vertical LED strips tucked away beneath the rear seat, while the front turn signals mount on the lateral radiator covers. Headlight design borrows from the Monster 1200 line, with distinctive vertical markers on both sides of the main headlight beam.
Electronic key and sensor technology enables the use of a hands-free ignition system. Simply walk up to the bike with the combination flip-key/transmitter in your pocket, and the bike ’wakes up.’ You can unlock the steering and start the bike with a simple push button to the left of the handlebar-mounted instrument cluster, though it is a bit of a tight squeeze to reach it if you have large meathooks for hands, or are wearing gloves. I call this a minor inconvenience, and it is probably the only poor design choice on the entire bike.
Instrumentation is split between two levels, with an LCD screen on the handlebars and an full-color Thin Film Transistor (TFT) on the tank. The TFT display switches automatically between light and dark background settings based on input from the ambient light sensors, leaving one less thing to fiddle with while burning up the roads. Speed, rpm and temperature show up on the LCD display, and the various Ducati Traction Control (DTC) settings can be manipulated here when the bike comes to a complete stop.
Ducati built this bike to be tough and mean, and it started from the ground up with this in mind. Not willing to settle for cast-aluminum wheels, the designers opted for the strong, forged-aluminum wheels to mount the top-of-the-line Diablo Rosso II tires. These road-rubbers are designed with Enhanced Patch Technology (EPT) to maximize the contact patch at all lean angles out to the 41-degree max, and provide confidence-inspiring traction, even in wet conditions.
Great big (read: ginormous) inverted 50 mm Marzocchi forks hold up the front of the bike, and they are stiff enough to handle whatever aggressive maneuvers the rider can dish out.
Great big (read: ginormous) inverted 50 mm Marzocchi forks hold up the front of the bike, and they are stiff enough to handle whatever aggressive maneuvers the rider can dish out. Additionally, the forks are adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping, so you can easily dial in precisely the ride that you want while compensating for various road and weather conditions. A Sachs monoshock holds the rear aloft, and benefits from the same attention to detail as the front. Preload, compression and rebound damping are all adjustable via a convenient control low on the left side of the bike. You can’t reach it to adjust it on the fly, but at least you won’t get your knees dirty when you need to tweak the rear suspension a bit.
Bikes that have a lot of ’go’ need a lot of ’stop.’ Ducati maximized stopping power with the powerful Brembo Monobloc calipers. The dual front four-pot calipers act on big 320 mm brake discs, while the rear two-pot caliper binds on a 265 mm brake disc to provide the power and control necessary to tame the beast and keep the bike under control. A compact, Bosch ABS system assists the rider by reducing the amount of skill (finesse?) needed to manage the brakes, and according to the factory, this combination of technologies gives the Titanium even greater control and performance than its superbikes. Good thing too, since most of us are not racetrack-trained professionals.
Last but not least, the bones of the beast are constructed of thin-walled but large-diameter steel tubing in the classic Ducati trellis frame configuration. This method produces a strong and stiff frame while keeping weight down to a minimum. Die-cast aluminum struts make up the rear sub-frame, keeping the weight low on the low-stress rear of the bike. The Dark Chrome finish on the trellis frame represents another detail exclusive to the Titanium – as if we needed more.
Now that we have peeled back the layers, we finally get to the ’onion.’ The Ducati Corse-inspired Testastretta 11-degree Dual Spark engine cranks out a maximum of 162 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque, depending on the selected riding mode. You may look at this 90-degree, L-twin engine and wonder what the 11 degrees is about. Wonder no more – this value refers to the 11 degrees of crankshaft rotation during which valve overlap and exhaust-gas scavenging occurs.
Ducati kept to its 'controlled power' philosophy to the very end, all the way down to the transmission.
This is a much smaller overlap window than the 41 degrees used in pure race engines, and it helps improve fuel economy and emissions while preserving the purity of each incoming fuel-air charge. Each combustion chamber contains a pair of spark plugs for improved flame-front propagation and even combustion. Targeted injectors aim their spray at the intake valves for improved atomization and vaporization of the fuel charge, further increasing mileage and reducing emissions. Catalytic converters within the slash-cut silencers (mufflers) combine with the above systems to help the Testastretta meet the stringent Euro-3 emissions standards.
Ride-by-Wire – I neither like it or trust it. Nevertheless, the factory didn’t call me first, so it installed a RbW system that works in conjunction with the riding mode system and the DTC computer. The system reads the throttle (grip) position and makes adjustments based on rear-tire slip and riding mode selection. It also changes the throttle progression and overall power output so you can tune the bike for pure sport riding, touring or your everyday city commute, essentially giving you three bikes for the price of one!
Ducati kept to its ’controlled power’ philosophy to the very end, all the way down to the transmission. It used the race-tested ’slipper’ clutch to complete the connection between the engine and rear wheel. This oil-bathed, multi-disc clutch uses a progressive, self-servo mechanism instead of strong clutch springs to bind the clutch, leaving you with a feather-light feeling at the clutch lever (you can’t hear it, but my left hand just squealed with delight). The binding effort is reversed during engine braking, and it allows the clutch to slip a bit to reduce rear-wheel hop and destabilization of the rear end when aggressively downshifting into a turn. Maybe it’s just me, but I really like this system, even though I don’t really need it.
The $27,995 price tag is a trifle lofty, but considering the top-shelf equipment on this sled, plus its truly exclusive nature, one could almost consider this a bargain. Besides, if you are looking to be one of the lucky 500 to own it, price probably isn’t a huge concern.
“Gotta say it; those Italians can sure make one hell of a bike! This combination of style, power and control can’t be easy or cheap to develop, and it helps to put superbike-like performance within reach of Joe/Jill bike owners. Hey Ducati, need a new test rider?”
My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "The Diavel Titanium is what I call a mid-life crisis bike. It’s expensive and geared toward an older crowd, probably well established in their careers and can afford an expensive weekend toy. It’s a nice bike, and priced much more reasonably than I would have guessed. I would be more impressed if Ducati used the titanium for major components like the frame, but instead relegated it to inconsequential trim pieces.
Calling it a "Diavel Titanium" sounds impressive, but when you look at it closely, not so much. That being said, even though the titanium components turn out to just be fluff, the 50 mm front forks tell me the bike means business. It’s like putting a gold nose cap and gold ear tips on a tiger and calling it a gold tiger. It might sound impressive, but the gold is just fluff. Underneath it’s still a tiger with all the power, skill and cunning it had before the gold trim was added."
|Engine Type:||Testastretta 11-degree L-Twin, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid cooled|
|Bore x Stroke:||106 x 67.9 mm|
|Compression ratio:||12.5 to 1|
|Power:||162 horsepower at 9,250 rpm|
|Torque:||96.2 pound-feet at 8,000 rpm|
|Fuel injection:||Electronic fuel injection, elliptical throttle bodies, fully ride-by-wire controlled|
|Exhaust:||Stainless steel muffler with aluminum tips and brushed steel cover; catalyzer and 2 lambda probes. Zircotech ceramic coated exhaust tubes.|
|Primary drive:||Straight cut gears, ratio 1.84 to 1|
|Ratio:||1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25|
|Final drive:||Chain drive; 15-tooth front sprocket, 43-tooth rear sprocket|
|Clutch:||Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control|
|Frame:||Steel tube Trellis with Dark Chrome finish|
|Front suspension:||Marzocchi fully adjustable 50 mm usd fork with DLC-treatment|
|Front wheel:||Dedicated lightweight forged alloy with machined finish, 3.50 x 17 inches|
|Front Tire:||120/70 ZR 17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II|
|Rear suspension:||Fully adjustable rear shock with progressive linkage. Remote spring preload adjustment. Single-sided aluminum swingarm|
|Rear wheel:||dedicated lightweight forged alloy with machine finish, 8.00 x 17 inches|
|Rear tire:||240/45 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II|
|Front wheel travel:||4.7 inches|
|Rear wheel travel:||4.7 inches|
|Front brake:||Dual 320 mm semi-floating discs, radially attached Brembo Monobloc four-piston callipers with ABS as standard equipment|
|Rear brake:||265 mm disc, two-piston floating caliper ABS as standard equipment|
|Width at Handlebars:||34 inches|
|Seat height:||30.3 inches|
|Dry weight:||452 pounds *Weight data refers to the dry weight of the motorcycle without battery, lubricants and coolants for liquid-cooled models.|
|Wet weight:||516 pound *Wet weights indicate total bike weight with all operating consumable liquids and a fuel tank filled to 90 percent of capacity (as per EC standard 93/93).|
|Fuel tank capacity:||4.5 Gallons|
|Number of seats:||Dual seat|
|Instrumentation:||Handlebar mounted instrumentation with LCD display: speed, rpm, time, coolant temp. Warning lights for: Neutral, turn signals, high-beam, rev-limit, DTC intervention, ABS status, oil pressure, fuel reserve. Tank mounted instrumentation with TFT color display: gear selected, air temp, battery voltage, trips 1 & 2, fuel reserve trip, average and actual fuel consumption and speed, trip time, scheduled maintenance. Full status and/or management of Riding Modes, DTC, RbW and ABS.|
|Standard Equipment:||Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (ABS + DTC), RbW, Hands-Free, full-LED headlight, front turn signals with guide lights. In titanium: tank cover, rear seat cover (carbon/ti), headlight cover. In carbon fiber: rear seat cover (carbon/ti), front sprocket cover, radiator covers, front and rear mudguards, gas cap cover, large air intakes, mini windscreen. Other: black machined mirrors, alcantara/leather seat.|
|Warranty:||24 months unlimited mileage|
|Maintenance service intervals:||9,000 miles/12 Months|
|Valve clearance check:||18,000 miles|
|Emissions and Consumption:||Follows the US Federal Regulation|