It has the stump-pulling torque of a cruiser and the horsepower of a sportbike wrapped in a blackout package

Ducati explores its Dark Side with the new-for-2021 XDiavel power cruiser. Built with the same relaxed cruiser attitude as its kin, generous blackout treatment adds a decidedly sinister tone that pairs well with the industrial look that the Diavel/XDiavel platforms bring to the table. In addition to the whopping 160 horsepower output of the powerful engine, its emissions have been improved, as well, to meet Euro 5 emissions requirements.

  • 2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1262 cc
  • Top Speed:
    150 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    19995
  • Price:

2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark Design

  • Blackout styling
  • 3.5-inch TFT color display
  • LED lighting
  • Relatively low seat height and relaxed rider triangle
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947863
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947866

You could argue that the XDiavel lends itself to this kind of design. The XDiavel Dark starts out, essentially, as a feet-forward cruiser rider’s triangle on a sport platform. Custom flavors spice up the look starting with the cut-down front fender and blackout treatmen on the inverted fork stanchions, and ending in a wasp-tail subframe with dual huggers to contain the rear-wheel fling.

A cyclops headlight splits the night with bright, LED projectors and an LED DRL ring to boost your daytime visibility to the rest of the world. This thing is dead sexy y’all, with sensuous curves and a Euro-tastic appeal that is unmatched in the current market.

A 3.5-inch, TFT screen displays all of the instrumentation in one neat package at the handlebar clamp. The 4.75-gallon fuel tank dives down to the bucket seat that picks up the same line all the way back to the butt-stop with a stubby tail section to finish the bodywork. An LED taillight rides under the tip of the tail and the plate, tag light; and rear turn signals are mounted to the single-side rear hugger. Honestly, it’s that tail section that really sets the look apart from the crowd, and believe it or not, the stock configuration will accommodate one very brave passenger. If you aren’t close friends to start with, you will be by the end of the ride, know what I mean?

Fold-up footpegs complete the pillion gear, but the pegs are mounted to the swingarm which is the least desirable of the available options as it can make for a bit of a rough ride for your passenger’s feet and legs. Couple that with the aching void behind and under the tail, it’s safe to say this bike falls into the “I can but I’d rather not carry a passenger” category. As for the pilot’s gear, forward foot controls and a pullback handlebar define the relaxed, cruiser-style rider’s triangle that the rest of the bike is built around.

2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark Chassis

  • Rock-solid tracking
  • Fully adjustable 50 mm front forks
  • Corner-optimized ABS
  • Traction control
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947870
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947868
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947872

An exposed, tubular-steel Trellis frame on the XDiavel Dark provides the main structure with the engine used as a stressed member to complete the assembly and achieve its final rigidity. The steering head establishes a relatively wide 30-degree rake angle – another cruiser-tastic feature – that couples with the 17-inch front wheel for 5.12 inches of trail over a 63.6-inch wheelbase. This gives the machine some rock-solid tracking that you might not expect from such a sporty-looking sled.

Cast 17-inch wheels mount Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso III hoops to round out the rolling chassis in a 120/70 ahead of a fat 240/45, both with generous, and generously sticky, contact patches. A single-side swingarm floats the rear wheel on 4.3 inches of travel with adjustable preload and rebound damping, up front, a set of fully-adjustable, 50 mm usd forks take care of business with 4.7 inches of travel. Overall the suspension delivers a plush ride that can easily be dialed in to suit.

The brakes mean serious business. A pair of four-piston, Brembo Monobloc M4.32 binders bite 320 mm front discs, and out back a twin-piston caliper grabs a 265 mm disc, all under the guidance of the stock corner-optimized ABS feature. In a final bit of cruiser-osity, the factory slammed the saddle down to 29.7 inches off the deck, and that translates to increased confidence at stops and when walking it in and out of a parking space.

Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Suspension/Wheel Travel: Adjustable Ø 50 mm usd fork/ 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Preload and rebound adjustable monoshock, remote reservoir, single-sided cast/trellis frame swingarm/ 4.3 in (110 mm)
Rake: 30°
Trail: 5.12 in (130 mm)
Front Brake: Dual Ø 320 mm semifloating discs, radial mounted Brembo monobloc 4-piston M4.32 calipers, PR18/19 radial master cylinder, Cornering ABS.
Rear Brake: Ø 265 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, Cornering ABS
Front Wheel: Light alloy, cast, 3.5"x17"
Rear Wheel: Light alloy, cast, 8.0" x 17"
Front Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 240/45 ZR17

2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark Drivetrain

  • Testastretta DVT 1262 twin-cylinder engine
  • 160 hp @ 9,500 rpm
  • 93.7 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
  • Power and Ride Modes
  • Power launch feature
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947876
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947864
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947877

The beating heart of the XDiavel Dark is none other than Ducati’s Testastretta DVT 1262. A 90-degree V-Twin, or L-Twin if you like, delivers the goods with 160 ponies at 9,500 rpm and 93.7 pound-feet that tops out at five grand. To help you control that great power, the Dark Devil rolls with Ducati’s Power Launch feature and Traction Control system with Power Modes and Riding Mode setting bundles for ease of operation.

Seriously oversquare, the engine runs a 106 mm bore and 71.5 mm stroke that gives it a way-hot 13-to-1 compression ratio that will demand the highest octane you can find, but that’s the trade off for all that get up and go. Dual 56 mm ride-by-wire throttle bodies manage the induction and run with elliptical bores that help improve volumetric efficiency a tad by reducing resistance in the intake.

As you’d expect, it runs a Desmodromic valvetrain that trades the usual valve springs with a pull-closed cam that provides positive valve closure and prevents harmonic valve float at the top of the RPM range. A slipper clutch and six-speed transmixxer sends power to the rear wheel via an all-new, belt-type final drive, and it’s worth mentioning that the XDiavel family is the first to use this technology. Time will tell if it can handle the strain this engine can place on it. After the final-drive ratio is factored in, the XDiavel Dark turns in a top speed right around 150 mph.

Engine: Testastretta DVT 1262, V2 - 90°, 4 valves per cylinder, Desmodromic Variable Timing, Dual Spark, liquid cooled
Displacement: 1,262 cc
Bore for Stroke: 106 mm x 71.5 mm
Compression Ratio: 13:1
Power: 160 hp (118 kW) @ 9,500 rpm
Torque: 93.7 lb ft @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel Injection: Electronic fuel injection system, Øeq 56 mm elliptical throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire system
Exhaust: Stainless steel muffler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox: 6 speeds
Primary Drive: Straight cut gears, ratio 1.84:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25
Final Drive: Belt, front sprocket z28, rear sprocket z80
Clutch: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control

2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark Price

2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947878

The all-new 2021 XDiavel Dark rolls for $19,995 here in its inaugural year. Satin-finish Dark Stealth paint covers the sheet metal, and the frame comes shot in a glossier Carbon Black with generous blackout treatment just about everywhere else.

Instrumentation: 3.5" TFT color display and dedicated warning light display
Safety Equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control, full-LED lighting system
Standard Equipment: DPL (Ducati Power Launch), RbW, Cruise control, Hands-free, Full-LED lighting*, Backlit handlebar switches
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
Color: Dark Stealth
Price: $19,995

2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark Competitors

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout
- image 729159
2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark
- image 947861

The XDiavel Dark is pretty much in a class of its own as a sport-cruiser in the looks department, so I decided to see how it fares against a cruiser proper in Harley-Davidson’s Breakout.

Harley-Davidson Breakout

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout
- image 795420

As a Softail, the Breakout has an air of antiquity about it that the Duc utterly rejects, so it will come down to personal taste at the end of the day. The Harley’s seat is dead low at 25.6 inches off the deck and its forks are kicked way out at a 34-degree angle that encroaches on chopper territory, a combination that reinforces its classic panache. Trail is even longer at 5.7 inches to give the Softail rock-solid tracking, but at the expense of some of its cornering enthusiasm. It’s important to note that the current Softail chassis is much more willing in the corners than the original frame, so there’s that to consider as well.

H-D takes a hit in the stems as it has no answer for the adjustable suspension the XDiavel rides upon – almost unforgivable here in day’s market, though it does come with stock ABS. Too bad it’s of the vanilla variety so Ducati wins again. In fact, the entire electronics suite is skewed towards Ducati’s favor, and that is not likely to change, not in the immediate future anyway.

The Breakout’s best selling point is its 114 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin that cranks out 119 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque that makes the 94-ish pounds o’ grunt from the Testastretta engine seem like small potatoes. That said, Duc wins in horsepower, no question, and in a flat-out drag race I’d put my money on the Eye-Tie every time. The Breakout rolls in Vivid Black for $20,499, other color packages are more expensive of course, and at this price point the five-bill difference is hardly a consideration at all.

Read our full review of the Harley-Davidson Breakout

He Said

“Man this thing has it all; it’s sexy mean due to its engine and tractable due to its electronics, it is a definite threat for the streets. The cruiser layout makes it comfortable over the long haul, but let’s be honest, this bike is all about the power, and it really puts the sport in sport-cruiser.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “You know, nothing else really looks like a Ducati and the XDiavel Dark just exemplifies that. It’s surprisingly unintimidating to ride even though it looks like a sinister monster. Brakes are quite ample and handling is good, but it is a cruiser so even though it looks and feels decidedly sporty, it doesn’t handle corners like a sportsbike.”

2021 Ducati XDiavel Dark Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Testastretta DVT 1262, V2 - 90°, 4 valves per cylinder, Desmodromic Variable Timing, Dual Spark, liquid cooled
Displacement: 1,262 cc
Bore for Stroke: 106 mm x 71.5 mm
Compression Ratio: 13:1
Power: 160 hp (118 kW) @ 9,500 rpm
Torque: 93.7 lb ft @ 5,000 rpm
Fuel Injection: Electronic fuel injection system, Øeq 56 mm elliptical throttle bodies with Ride-by-Wire system
Exhaust: Stainless steel muffler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox: 6 speeds
Primary Drive: Straight cut gears, ratio 1.84:1
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=27/20 4=24/22 5=23/24 6=22/25
Final Drive: Belt, front sprocket z28, rear sprocket z80
Clutch: Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Suspension/Wheel Travel: Adjustable Ø 50 mm usd fork/ 4.7 in (120 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Preload and rebound adjustable monoshock, remote reservoir, single-sided cast/trellis frame swingarm/ 4.3 in (110 mm)
Rake: 30°
Trail: 5.12 in (130 mm)
Front Brake: Dual Ø 320 mm semifloating discs, radial mounted Brembo monobloc 4-piston M4.32 calipers, PR18/19 radial master cylinder, Cornering ABS.
Rear Brake: Ø 265 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, Cornering ABS
Front Wheel: Light alloy, cast, 3.5"x17"
Rear Wheel: Light alloy, cast, 8.0" x 17"
Front Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 240/45 ZR17
Dimensions & Capacities:
Seat Height: 29.7 in (755 mm)
Wheelbase: 63.6 in (1,615 mm)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.75 gal (18 l )
Fuel Economy: 42.8 mpg (5.5 l/100 km)
Dry Weight: 487 lb (221 kg)
Curb weight: 545 lb (247 kg)
Number of Seat: 2
Details:
Instrumentation: 3.5" TFT color display and dedicated warning light display
Safety Equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control, full-LED lighting system
Standard Equipment: DPL (Ducati Power Launch), RbW, Cruise control, Hands-free, Full-LED lighting*, Backlit handlebar switches
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
Color: Dark Stealth
Price: $19,995

Further Reading

Ducati

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TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
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All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducati.com, harley-davidson.com

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