Ducati’s seven new model launches for the 2023 range are becoming clearer by the day and now it’s clear that a completely new Diavel V4 is one of the key additions to the line-up after spies snatched pictures of a near-finished prototype on the road.
You can see the bike on the website of Germany’s Motorrad magazine, but the bike has a very clear Diavel look – carrying over key features including the forward-hunched stance, single-sided swingarm, sloped headlight and vast air intakes protruding forwards on either side of the forks. What’s very different, though, is the engine. Gone is the 1262cc, variable-valve-timed Testastretta DVT of the existing model in in its place sits the ‘V4 Granturismo’ power unit that’s current home is the Multistrada V4.
Of course, the engine change means that despite the instantly recognisable Diavel shape, virtually no components are actually carried over from the existing Diavel. The chassis is new. The body panels are all new. The tank is new, as is the headlight and the swingarm.
Although we can only go on what can be seen in the pictures, there’s still a lot to say about the new Diavel V4. It appears that the frame is now largely above the engine, lacking the trellis front section of the V-twin Diavel and instead almost entirely hidden from sight under the fuel tank.
That tank itself is a substantial change from the current bike, too. Where the existing Diavel has its airbox under the same cover as the fuel tank, with those large side-mounted intakes feeding straight into the ‘tank’ section, the new V4 version is slightly reminiscent of another V4 muscle cruiser – the Yamaha V-Max. The side intakes are quite separate from the tank – itself a more conventional shape than the V-twin Diavel’s – and they feed into the ‘V’ of the engine.
Up front, the headlight is clearly a multi-element LED design, with frosted strip of DRLs around the edge and stacked larger LEDs and reflectors for the main light in the middle. The spy shots show the base version, without the exotic, gold-coloured forks that are sure to be used on a Diavel V4 S. Although slathered in black tape to hide its body panels from sight, the prototype’s bodywork is actually painted classic Ducati red, and there’s even an embroidered ‘Diavel V4’ logo in the step between the rider and pillion seats.
The forks and brakes might be carried over from the V-twin Diavel, but the single sided swingarm is new and fitted to a rear monoshock that’s on a more conventional angle than the near-horizontal design of the current bike. There’s no obvious rising rate mechanism to be seen, so the rear suspension could be direct-action unless there’s a hidden linkage under the seat where the top of shock attaches.
The engine cases are identical to those of the Multistrada V4, confirming that this is the larger-capacity, 1158cc V4 with around 170hp instead of the more highly-tuned, 200hp-plus, 1103cc engine used in the Panigale V4 and Streetfighter V4. One bold move to identify the V4 is the addition of an exhaust with four exits, arrange in a diamond pattern, emerging on the right hand side from the under-engine silencer.
The wheels are similar – but not identical – to those used on the XDiavel S, finished in black but with machined alloy edges to the spokes.
So far, Ducati has launched the first of its new 2023 models in the form of the Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini, and there are six more unveilings planned during September, October and November 2022. These are expected to include a new Monster SP – probably coming on 15th September '22 at a launch that’s titled ‘Ready for More?’ – and a new Panigale V4 R homologation special, due on 7 October '22 at the ‘This is Racing’ presentation. The ‘Unlock Earth’ unveiling (29 September '22) is surely an additional Multistrada model, and we know that one of the remaining launches will be the all-new Scrambler line up – probably the final one on 7 November '22, titled ‘Next Gen Freedom’. That leaves two slots for the Diavel V4, 20 October '22 at an unveiling called ‘Push Forward’ or 28 October '22 at the ‘Dare to be Bold’ presentation. The latter seems most likely, given the Diavel V4’s seemingly unrivalled position in the market and its aggressive appearance, but watch this space to find out more.