2023 Ducati Diavel V4 Review: Set for Warp

CarBuyer Team
Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

2023 Ducati Diavel V4

Launched: June 2023 – Price: S$88,800 with COE no insurance
Petrol, naked performance road motorcycle
168hp, 1158cc, V4

Massively powerful
Head-turning style
Easy around town

Pillion seat is a short-ride only deal
Range is short

words: Deyna Chia


How fast? Zero to one hundred in under three seconds! Does it turn? See? No chicken strips on that sportscar-wide 240/45 R17 rear tyre!

First conceived to be a challenger to the Yamaha VMax 1200 v4, the Ducati Diavel came to life in 2011 as a drag bike, with handling dynamics and fuel range that the Yamaha VMax of the past and present could only dream about. Powered by re-tuned engines lifted from Ducati’s superbikes and sport tourers, the Diavel V4 is now powered by the 168hp, 126Nm, 1158cc V4 Granturismo engine.

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Twisting out full throttle in third gear is like entering light-speed, much like the scene where the Millennium Falcon’s warp drive finally does its thing in Star Wars, but without the anti-climax false start. To the unprepared (like we were the first time), that torrent of torque was so vicious, it all actually gets a bit light-headed even for seasoned sports riders as you get propelled forwards faster than the blood can deliver oxygen to the brain. 

Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

To describe the experience as thrilling would be an understatement. Equally impressive was how the Diavel resisted wheelie-ing whilst delivering such thrust. However, setting the rocketship (we mean Diavel) in Urban or Rain power modes transforms the Diavel into a sedate commuter. Just stay away from Sport or Touring if you’re in a built-up, urban space, because you will very quickly run out of space. 

How does it handle? 

The Diavel is surprisingly nimble, its agility aided by the counter-rotating engine crankshaft that reduces the gyroscopic effect when turning the bike on an open or increasing throttle, and a light 241kg kerb weight. It is 13kg lighter than the Ducati Diavel 1260S, and 70kg lighter than a 2016 Yamaha VMax. 

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Across the usual test routes in Singapore, the Diavel handled much like a super-naked (which are typically 30kg lighter), with the 240/45 R17 rear tyre affording direction changes as if it were 200 or narrower. In the tighter second gear corners, the Diavel’s fully adjustable 50mm inverted fork and rear monoshock provide good support and help the bike to resist the rocking sensation that we typically get from bikes in this genre. 

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True to Ducati’s racing DNA, the Diavel rides like a comfy super-naked, and less like a sporty muscle cruiser. Case in point is the fact that we managed to use all of the rear tyre’s tread surface, evidenced by the lack of chicken-strips! 

Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

One bugbear with that ultra wide rear tyre is, that whilst it allows quick direction changes, it resists increased lean angles mid corner, so don’t be overzealous when “attacking” corners as if this were a super-naked or superbike. Gear shifts were crisp and precise, though the shift-timing of the Ducati Quick Shift wasn’t as seamless as on the Streetfighter V4S we tested previously. Not perfect, but dependable. 

Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

Drag bike, but does it stop? 

The rocketship acceleration of the Diavel is addictive, and we were caught out a few times by the traffic lights, and had to apply the brakes quickly and firmly. Unsurprisingly, the 330mm front brake discs and Brembo Stylema calipers were more than adequate, which according to Ducati, can slow the Diavel down as quickly as race bikes, at 11.5 m/s2

Suitable for all ages and sizes? 

With a seat height of 790mm, mid-control foot pegs and raised handlebars 20mm closer than the Diavel 1260, the Diavel V4 will suit a large audience. We found no fault with the riding position and placement of controls, or the degree of knee bend. We would say the riding posture of Diavel intersects that of naked bikes and (mid control) cruisers. Affording spirited riding and straight-line cruising at the same time. 

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Good looker – says others

On the styling front, the Diavel V4 looks like a sporty younger relative to the outgoing Diavel 1260S. The omega-shaped daytime running lights outlining the LED headlight and multi-point LED rear light unit under the tail really scream “check me out”. 

Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

The retractable handle and passenger footrests make the Diavel V4 to appear like a single seater. We received the most compliments from non-motorbiking on-lookers, including folks from our own esteemed editorial team. Aurally, there were no complaints either, reflecting the effort Ducati took to tune the sound quality of the exhaust note, with a seamless transition in tone when the engine switches from two cylinders (for emissions) to four. 

Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

Armed with the latest generation 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (6D IMU) electronic package with: Cornering ABS (accommodates ham-fisted emergency braking whilst leaning the bike); Ducati Traction Control (DTC); Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC); Ducati Power Launch (DPL); Ducati Quick Shift up / down (DQS) and Cruise Control (it’s a muscle cruiser!), the three power modes and four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Wet) can be selected via the backlit handlebar controls. 

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Selections are displayed in the new 5-inch colour TFT dashboard, which can be connected via Bluetooth to the rider’s smartphone to make calls and even read text messages. Turn-by-turn navigation is available as an accessory via the Ducati Link App.

I’m going to commute with mine! 

The Diavel is by no means a fuel sipper. Riding about in fifth gear mostly, we estimate that the Diavel will do about 240km before running dry. However, Ducati promises that maintenance costs will be kept lower, with valve clearance checks only required every 60,000 km.

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Who wants one? 

The muscle cruiser bike category is marmite at this time. With borders reopened post-Covid, and new adventure touring models being rolled out (e.g. the new Honda Africa Twin, BMW R1300GS), many might pass over looking at bikes like the Diavel V4. 

Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

However, having a preference for naked bikes for both commute and touring duties, we think the Diavel offers an interesting proposition. It has dynamic abilities like no other muscle cruisers on the market (from HD to Triumph’s offerings). It’s got a really special V4 engine, light enough to commute with, whilst looking good with nearly every attire (save for a sunday golf bag slung over the shoulder). But first, you need to get over its eye-watering, Ducati level price tag.

Ducati Diavel V4 in Singapore Motobuyer Carbuyer

Ducati Diavel V4 2023 

Engine1158cc, V4
Power168hp at 10,750rpm
Torque126Nm at  7,500rpm
Gearbox6 speed Manual Transmission with slipper clutch and Ducati Quick Shift
Weight (no fuel)223kg
Seat Height 790mm
AgentDucati Singapore
Price S$88,800 with COE no insurance (at time of writing)
Verdict Eye-opening warp speed and dynamic capability much like a premium sports sedan (think AMG E 63). Premium price to match, but for enthusiasts looking for that do-it-all one bike garage, the Diavel V4 is worth a look. 


diavel Ducati naked bike V4

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CarBuyer Team

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