Ducati Diavel V4 (2023) - Review

2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Review Price Spec 30

Technical Review: Ben Purvis (28/10/22)

Riding Review: Adam ‘Chad’ Child (10/2/23)


Price: £23,595 | Power: 168bhp | Weight: 234kg


The days of Ducati being inseparable from the idea of a V-twin engine are long gone. The Multistrada V4 is the firm’s runaway best-seller this year and these days there are nearly as many V4-powered bikes as two-cylinder models in the range. With the introduction of the new Diavel V4 the company is further staking is claim on the four-cylinder format and making the already hard-to-classify Diavel even more of an enigma.

Is it a cruiser? A muscle bike? A streetfighter? The fact it can’t be pigeonholed is more a shortcoming of traditional class boundaries than a problem for the Diavel, which stunned at its launch 12 years ago by combining low-slung looks with insane acceleration and surprisingly capable handling. With the Diavel V4 the company is upping the ante even more.

The new engine, borrowed from the Multistrada V4, puts the Diavel closer than ever to its spiritual ancestor, Yamaha’s V-Max, which pioneered the idea of a drag bike inspired, low-seated muscle-cruiser back in 1985 and revived it in 2008 with the launch of the second-generation ‘VMAX’ version. Where Yamaha’s effort ticked all the right boxes in terms of straight line thrust – getting within a whisker of 200hp with the VMAX 14 years ago was an impressive achievement – the Diavel succeeded where Yamaha stumbled by using sportier steering geometry and slashing weight to create a bike that didn’t disappoint at the first sign of a corner.


Pros & Cons

  • Feels considerably lighter and sportier than the previous model.
  • Excellent Stylema brakes backed up by impressive rider aids.
  • New clocks and new styling add to the appeal and desirability of the new V4
  • Price, starting at £23,595 for the red version or £23,895 for the black, is becoming expensive
  • The bold, over-the-top looks and styling won’t be for everyone.
Ducati Diavel V4 (2023) - REVIEW

No trellis frame but a V4 that replaces the V2, so what's the 2023 Ducati Diavel V4 like to ride? We packed Chad off to the press launch in Dubai to find out.


Review – In Detail

Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension
Comfort & Economy
Owner Reviews


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 price

There’s just one model of Diavel V4 at the moment and it’s a clear step above the old Diavel 1260 and Diavel 1260 S in terms of cost, with a price tag of £23,595 in Red, or £23,895 in black. That’s £5100 pricier than the cheapest V-twin Diavel and £1800 more than the S were in 2022 spec, and given Ducati’s usual MO it won’t be surprising if an even pricier Diavel V4 S joins the range at a later date, too.

The family resemblance between the V-twin and V4 Diavels is clear, with similar proportions and themes across both models. The four-cylinder stands out with a more modern interpretation of the headlight design, even larger and more pronounced air intakes either side of the tank and, as a nod to the cylinder count, a four-exit exhaust that’s reminiscent of a gatling gun.

Despite the similarities, the bodywork is brand new, including distinctive details like a rear light cluster made of dozens of holes under the tail for the illumination to shine through. It’s instantly recognisable and a refreshing break from the norm, but trypophobes (people with an aversion to clusters of holes) might want to look away…

Colour options are straightforward for 2023: red or black. Take your pick.

Ducati’s PCP deal works out to be around £279/month after a 25% deposit.



2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Review Price Spec 35


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Engine & Performance

With 168hp (actually 166.3bhp using imperial measurements, but we’ll go with Ducati’s quoted figure for simplicity’s sake), the Diavel V4 isn’t promising a vast performance increase over the V-twin-powered Diavel 1260. The older bike puts out 162hp, after all. In the torque stakes, the V4’s smaller 1158cc capacity (104cc less than the 1262cc Diavel 1260) is reflected in a peak of 126Nm (93lb-ft) is actually down a little on the 129Nm (95lb-ft) of the Diavel 1260. The peak power arrives rather higher in the rev range than the V-twins did, too, although impressively Ducati has engineered the ‘V4 Granturismo’ engine to reach maximum torque at the same 7,500rpm that the old DVT 1260 Testastretta V-twin needed to reach its peak.

The engine itself is essentially similar to the version used in the Multistrada V4, itself a derivative of the more highly-tuned Desmoquattro Stradale from the Panigale and Streetfighter V4 models. For the Diavel, it’s tweaked to make a fraction more torque than the Multistrada version, and like the latest Multistrada V4 it features an extended cylinder deactivation system that shuts down the rear cylinder bank when stationary or riding slowly to help save fuel and reduce heat-soak reaching the rider. On the Diavel, Ducati says the switchover between twin-cylinder and four-cylinder modes is accompanied by a distinctive change in exhaust note, too.

As you’d expect, the engine has a full complement of rider-assist electronics including three power modes and four riding modes (sport, touring, urban and wet), as well as cornering traction control and ABS, launch control, wheelie control, and an up/down quickshifter for the six-speed transmission.


There could possibly be a few diehard fans of Ducati’s Testastretta DVT V2 engine who are disappointed by Ducati for opting for a V4 over the traditional big twin. On paper, the old 1262cc motor produces slightly more torque, and does so at 5000rpm compared to V4's peak at 7500rpm. Peak power is a little less on the twin, but again it’s lower in the rev range and therefore easier to access. But the on-paper figures don’t tell the full story.

Firstly, the new V4 is 5kg lighter than the V-twin. Secondly, it acts as a stressed member in the Diavel's new monocoque frame, which is another 4.7kg lighter than the V-twin's trellis frame. Thirdly, while the V4 is slightly wider by 20mm, its length is reduced by 85mm and its height by 95mm. The result is a considerably lighter and more compact engine that produces more power and only a fraction less torque. It also has a counter-rotating crank, just like the factory race bikes.

The engine is very similar to the peach of a V4 found in the Multistrada. The fuelling is perfect: soft and creamy from the initial uptake without a whiff of no snatchiness. It’s far smoother in the low revs than the old twin.

There are four riding modes to choose from – Sport, Touring, Urban and Wet –the latter two both capping power to 115hp. These modes also change and optimise the lean-sensitive riders aids and can be personalised to taste. How about full power in Urban mode, for example? Perfect for when you want to embarrass a Porsche away from the lights. It's worth noting, too, that while the Diavel may have the ultimate performance to humiliate all sorts of supercars in a head-to-head, Wet and Urban modes feel docile and relaxed; are so easy to enjoy you'd never think you were riding an aggressive muscle bike.

I thought I would miss the torquey character of the V-twin Diavel but I didn’t. The new bike digs from deep down and accelerates hard, driving relentlessly through its midrange and challenging its bus-wide 240-section Pirelli to find   grip. It also sounds lovely from both the intake and that distinctive four-barrel exhaust muffler.

The smaller capacity V4 also loves to rev, noticeably more so than the twin. You can hold onto a gear for longer and enjoy the fluid and seamless build of rpm. In both Touring and Sport mode, this is a deceptively fast bike. Tap on the (standard) quickshifter, which works both up and down, keep the throttle wide open and you’re soon passing 200kph and more without hesitation. After riding the 2023 Diavel I think even the most diehard of V-twin fans will favour the new V4. Against expectation it's a perfect match for Ducati's performance cruiser.



2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Handling, weight and suspension

The Diavel V4’s chassis is a new aluminium monocoque design, using the engine as a stressed component and helping make the bike lighter and more compact.

The removal of a traditional trellis frame has saved 4.7kg alone. The new V4 is 5kg lighter than the V-twin, and the sub-frame is another 2.4kg lighter than previously. Unsprung weight is reduced via 0.9kg lighter rims and 0.6kg off the front brake discs

The suspension is fairly typical Ducati fare, with 50mm USD forks and a piggyback monoshock, although unusually Ducati’s official specifications don’t name the manufacturers of the suspension. A higher spec ‘S’ model with Ohlins suspension and possibly semi-active kit seems to be a logical future addition to the range. The steering head angle of 26 degrees is relatively relaxed, with 112mm of trail, but that’s a degree steeper and 8mm less trail than the Diavel 1260, and it had no problem getting into turns.

The single-sided swingarm carries another signature Diavel styling cue in the form of a vast 240-section rear Pirelli Diablo Rosso III rear tyre, which the firm says helps the bike hit 62mph from standstill in less than three seconds. Compared to the V-twin Diavel, the rear suspension has 15mm more travel for increased comfort.

The traction control is Ducati’s ‘DTC EVO 2’ system, with ‘predictive’ software that anticipates the throttle application on corner exits and intervenes quickly but unobtrusively to control wheelspin.


I wasn’t expecting Ducati to have made such an advancement; after all the V-twin Diavel is hardly a poor handling bike – but the step up from the old to the new is a considerable one.

As well as a new monocoque frame, Ducati has made a series of small improvements – a reduction in both sprung and unsprung weight, a steeper steering head angle, plus a counterrotating crank – which added together make the difference.

You feel this immediately, even at slow speeds, when the new V4 is considerably lighter and easy to manage. Then, as the speed and fun increase, the difference between the old and new bike becomes even more apparent. Although the new bike continues look like a cruiser, it really isn’t a cruiser at all in terms of handling. Frankly, it would murder any traditional V-twin that crossed its path – it’s that good. In fact, the Diavel is now more comparable to a conventional large-capacity muscle bike, a Ducati Monster 1200 S, perhaps.

If you didn’t know you’d never guess the Diavel runs a wide 240-section rear tyre, which you might expect to inhibit its handling. The steering is light and effortless and a real surprise for this type of bike. Even at speeds above 60mph, fast direction changes take considerably less effort than before. Ground clearance is decent, though the pegs will eventually touch if you ride aggressively. But don’t worry, once you hear the pegs touch, the Diavel doesn’t feel on the limit. Even at 180-200kph, with the pegs tickling the (private) road, the Diavel delivers confidence, and remains unflappably stable.

Ducati have added 15mm more travel to the rear suspension to improve comfort, which normally compromises sporty riding, but you’d never know that either. The rear stays composed and handles fast direction changes with insouciant ease. We did have the perfect riding conditions in launch-venue Dubai, including a grippy private road to push the handling – and the Diavel delivered way above my expectations. The sheer usability and easy handling made the Diavel enormously good fun to ride briskly, delivering a ride as satisfying as any as I have had on a sports bike in recent times.

So assured is the new chassis, you could argue that Ducati didn’t need to update the Diavel's electronic rider aids, as the mechanical grip and feel are so on point. With so much grip to play with on Dubai's utopian asphalt I barely bothered the Diavel's extensive raft of electronic goodies. However, laying all that torque to the road on a coolish morning in Yorkshire would present the Diavel with a new set of challenges, and the true test of their performance will have to wait until we can grab a Diavel V4 for a UK test. 

The new TFT dash and neat, backlit switchgear will certainly make it even easier to fully exploit the rider aids. On a night ride, I opted to switch off the anti-wheelie control and deactivate the rear ABS in Sports mode – just to see what happened... – but in the real world, I’d simply opt for Touring mode, and rely on its pre-set rider aids should I make a mistake or get lazy.




2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Comfort & Economy

Speaking of comfort, that should be another strong suit for the Diavel, at least until you hit higher speeds where the lack of fairing and upright riding position will start to take their toll.

The seat is a low 790mm and compared to the Diavel 1260 the V4’s bars are 20mm closer to the rider to make it less of a stretch; the Diavel V4 might be one of the company’s biggest bikes, but it’s well suited to riders of smaller stature. For passengers, there are fold-away footpegs and a telescopic grab bar, providing practicality without marring the bike’s appearance when you’re riding solo.

Once aboard, the electronic conveniences include Bluetooth connectivity to a new, five-inch TFT dashboard, giving the usual access to music and phone operations as well as turn-by-turn navigation. Accessories can boost the Diavel’s touring abilities, including semi-rigid luggage with 48 litres of storage, a passenger backrest and a screen that should provide welcome respite from wind blast if you’re covering long distances at speed.

The big, 20 litre tank and decent 44.1mpg economy mean the Diavel promises close to 200 miles of range between fill-ups.

Economy isn’t just measured in fuel, though, and the Diavel will also save money by spending less time at the dealer than many bikes. The service intervals are 9000 miles or 24 months, and you don’t need to worry about valve clearance adjustments until 36,000 miles.


The only downside of our enjoyable ride in Dubai was we didn’t get to churn out some big miles. However, I appreciated the change in the ergonomics, with the bars 20mm closer to the rider and more natural, relaxed and less of a stretch for shorter riders. The seat height has increased slightly, but it’s still low and a serious option for shorter rider, who shouldn't be put off by the Diavel's  muscular attitude.

Cruise control comes as standard while that new dash is clearer and far more appealing and informative than previously. The seat is comfortable and despite the sporty handling the suspension feels compliant on the relatively smooth roads in Dubai.

Cutting the rear two cylinders below 4000rpm reduces the amount of engine heat to the rider when riding slowly. You can hear the difference in the exhaust tone as you pop above 4,000rpm or request a large amount of torque. There’s no judder, just a different pitch, and even in the midday heat of the desert the Diavel didn’t feel excessively hot when stationary. Ducati also say that de-activating the two rear pots at low rpm improves fuel economy by around 6%

While I had the opportunity to ride with a pillion, I also jumped on the pillion seat myself. The neat pull-out pegs and grab rail are nice touches, and the pillion perch is roomy, comfortable and more than just a token gesture. Equally, when riding, you’re aware the pillion is there but they are not squashed against you like rucksack. In fact, use the quickshifter for smooth gear changes, and the Diavel should become a sensible two-up machine. More test miles will tell us for sure.


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Review Price Spec 36
Above: a pillion would fear sliding into that 200 cross-section rear


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 brakes

You won’t be surprised to hear that the Diavel’s brakes come from Brembo, and with dual 330mm front discs and Stylema radial calipers they promise to be just as effective in slowing the bike down as the V4 engine is in accelerating it. As with all Ducatis, there’s cornering ABS thanks to an onboard IMU, and the firm claims that the Diavel V4 can slow down at a rate of 11.5 m/s2. At the back, a Brembo 2-piston caliper grabs a 265mm disc.


Like the handling, this is another significant step for the Diavel. The old M50 stoppers were very good, but the new Stylema calipers are superb. Ducati has invested heavily in developing lean-sensitive ABS that isn’t intrusive, and the new brakes work in perfect unison with the electronics to do an excellent job of hauling up the lighter Diavel. Add the Diavel's excellent stability and grip from the front Pirelli Diablo Rosso III, and I’d wager that it could stop as well as some road going superbikes.


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Technical Review Price Spec (17)


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Rivals

The Diavel has always been hard to pigeonhole – it’s really a cruiser or a sports bike, and neither is it a conventional roadster – and with the introduction of a V4 version we don’t come any closer to finding direct competitors. Instead, buyers might well consider some of the other machines that also defy traditional classification but are guaranteed to turn heads. You might want to try one of these:


Triumph Rocket 3 R | Price: £20,600

On sheer visual presence the Rocket 3 R is clearly up there with the Diavel, and with 165hp on tap from that massive 2500cc three-cylinder engine it’s close in terms of power – but it’s still a vastly different proposition overall. The vast engine means the Triumph has approaching twice as much torque, peaking at less than half the Ducati’s rpm. On the downside, the Triumph’s weight is also substantially higher than the Ducati’s.

Power/Torque: 165bhp/163lb-ft | Weight: 291kg (dry)


Harley-Davidson Sportster S | Price: £14,595

It might carry the old Sportster name, but the Sportster S isn’t a typical, underpowered, thudding Harley. The VVT-equipped Revolution Max engine doesn’t match the Ducati’s power but it’s high-tech and while the H-D’s suspension and brakes aren’t as exotic as the Italian bike’s, it’s still much more capable than most machines wearing the Harley shield when the road gets twisty.

Power/Torque: 121bhp/92lb-ft | Weight: 228kg (wet)


Kawasaki Z H2 | Price: £17,299

Like the Diavel, the Kawasaki Z H2 is a bike with no clear rivals, thanks largely to its supercharged four-cylinder engine. While arguably closer in spirit to the Ducati Streetfighter V4, the Z H2 isn’t superbike-derived or as track-focussed as the Streetfighter, perhaps making the Diavel its nearer rival. There’s no shortage of performance, but it can’t hold a candle to the Ducati when it comes to styling.

Power/Torque: 197bhp/101lb-ft | Weight: 239kg (wet)



2023 Ducati Diavel Verdict

I’ve ridden the old Diavel V-twin extensively; toured, cruised and even ridden on track – it’s a very good bike. And while I knew Ducati would make a success of fitting a new V4, I didn’t realise how much of an advancement the new model would be, especially in the handling and stopping departments.

The V4 is a significant improvement over the old bike. The handling feels lighter, more natural and easier, both at slow speeds and when pushing the limits with pegs brushing the road. The Diavel is much more than a big muscle bike now and more like a Ducati Monster on steroids. The brakes have taken a step forward, the clocks are far more appealing and the overall design, while still clearly a Diavel, makes the bike more desirable and exclusive than ever. Just look at that gorgeous combination of four protruding exhaust pipes that stop short of that stunning huge rear wheel that's linked to that single sided swing-arm that's... I could go on.

The Diavel is so much more versatile than it once was, with improved handling, looks, and ease of use, while preserving or adding to the desirability and comfort. The only downside is price: £23,595 for the red or £23,895 for the black. The Diavel has always been pricy and exclusive, and if you want the best you’re going to have to dig deep and pay the big bucks. Demand might also outstrip demand, as anyone who tests rides the new Diavel will be very tempted, and I can see many owners of the V-twin trading up immediately. It's almost as if the V4 has created a new segment of naked muscle bikes.


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Technical Review Price Spec (4)


2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Technical Specification

New price

From £23,595



Bore x Stroke

83 x 53.5

Engine layout

90-degree V4 ‘Granturismo’

Engine details

4 valves per cylinder, counter-rotating crankshaft, Twin Pulse firing order, liquid cooled


168 hp (124 kW) @ 10,750 rpm


93 lb ft (126 Nm) @ 7,500 rpm


6 speed with Ducati Quick Shift up/down

Average fuel consumption

6.4 l/100 km (44.1mpg) (claimed)

Tank size

20 litres

Max range to empty

194 miles

Rider aids

Riding Modes, Power Modes, Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, Ducati Brake Light, Ducati Quick Shift, Ducati Power Launch, Cruise control


Aluminium monocoque

Front suspension

50mm USD forks

Front suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable with compression and preload adjustment on the left tube, and rebound on the right tube

Rear suspension

Piggyback monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable preload, compression and rebound

Front brake

2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radial-mount Brembo Stylema monobloc 4-piston calipers, radial master cylinder PR16/19, Cornering ABS

Rear brake

265 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating calliper, Cornering ABS

Front wheel / tyre

Light alloy cast, 3,5" x 17"/Pirelli Diablo Rosso III, 120/70 ZR17

Rear wheel / tyre

Light alloy cast, 8,0" x 17"/Pirelli Diablo Rosso III, 240/45 ZR17



Seat height



236kg (kerb)


2 years, unlimited miles


9000 miles, 24 months

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated




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2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Technical Review Price Spec (16)


What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.