Tested: 2023 Ducati Diavel V4

The 2023 Diavel V4 arrived for its test at a lovely house on top of one of those notorious hills just outside of Los Angeles, the ones where the turns are as sharp as cactus needles and the road was and was not paved here and there.

What that meant was that I had a journey to or from headquarters and at all hours of the day and night either going practically straight down or practically straight up and doing the spaghetti-zig-zag-tango. And having a ball. The V4 is everything everyone ever loved about a Ducati – looks, speed and style stem to stern.

What’s new for 2023

It’s all-new, with the engine a modified version of the spring-valve Granturismo V4 we first saw in the Multistrada. It’s also got a new frame and a redesigned single-sided swingarm. The cylinder cutout system’s been improved, too, running the front cylinder bank only at low speeds to help improve your emissions and save gas bucks, and to prevent heat-soak reaching the rider.


The beauty of the V4 is it appears to be a heavy lug – I was surprised to see how big the beast was, despite its miniscule rear “seat” fit for a 110-pound human, maybe. But it weighs a tight 491 pounds, so you can climb right on and head right off with practically no “get to know you” time. The bike is so balanced and the responses so instantaneous that the usual grace period, where you and the motorcycle get to know each other, was probably less than 30 seconds.

Lookswise, it’s a ten, for a few reasons. The LED daytime running light at the front has a double-C shape. You won’t see it unless the bike is on at night and you’re looking at it from behind, but the rear light cluster consists of an array of point LEDs under the tail with a particularly compelling original design that repeats the double C of the DRL. What this means, too, is that those behind you on roads see this sparkling, unique series of lights, and they know what it is and what you are.

The Diavel V4 features a chassis with a monocoque frame and single-sided swingarm, both made of aluminum. Everywhere you go, you get respect.


You’ve got a 1,153cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-4 engine with a counterrotating crankshaft and 4 valves/cylinder. That’s one angry engine. And despite the addition of two extra cylinders and a much bigger fuel tank than the Diavel 1260 of old, the V4 is actually 24 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. 0-60’s accomplished in a scant 3 seconds.

Brembo Stylema four-piston radial calipers stop you instantly, with no skid or mush. Up front, you’ve got two 330mm discs assisted by cornering ABS. A 265mm disc and two-piston Brembo caliper help at the rear.


The motorcycle’s MSRP is $26,695, making it comparatively expensive indeed. That’s $4,900 more than that 1260 and $1,800 above the 1260 S despite lacking the semi-active, electronically adjustable Öhlins suspension of the 1260 S.


In addition to cornering ABS, you’ve got lean-sensitive traction control, launch control, cruise control, wheelie control, and a bidirectional quickshifter coming as standard. A color TFT dash provides access to all the many settings as well as three power modes and four riding modes. Me? I just left it in “Sport.” I have two speeds – “stop” and “fast.”

That TFT dash also provides Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphones, with turn-by-turn navigation as an optional extra.


It’s around 35 MPG depending on your riding style – and I’m sure I got less because I climbed a mountain every single day to get home. But with the 5.3-gallon fuel tank (That’s more than the 4.2 gallons on the Diavel 1260) you have a range of about 200 miles.


*You have to “pinch” the starter switch to the left, not right, and it’s positioned in between the gas tank and the body of the machine. It’s an awkward pinch.

*You can adjust the rear view mirrors left and right but not up and down, meaning for a very tall or a smaller rider, they have to either duck down or peek up to see what’s behind them, like it or not, and I didn’t like it.

Complaints were few, however.

The Ride

They told us at motorcycle training school back when that “smoothness is the key,” but it kind of goes out the window when you experience the V4’s incredible acceleration, handling and braking at speed. You can lean wayyyyy over around the turns and whatever your throw at the motorcycle, it answers you back with “Is that all you got?” A race track would make a proper test, but the mountains in and around Glendale, California, gave me a sweet taste. Nothing to say but three words: “Wow, wow, wow.”

There’s more, much more. Click here.

Ride safe. JM

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