The Ducati Diavel is a power cruiser and Ducati’s answer to the Harley V-Rod.
The Diavel is essentially a hot-rod sportbike, and when it screeched on the scene in 2011 it stole the hearts of American riders who’d previously been loyal to the V-Rod, as it set the power cruiser mold in the States.
With its retuned 1198cc Testatretta superbike motor, The Diavel is a force to be reckoned with, but is the Ducati Diavel reliable?
Here is the short answer to are Ducati Diavels reliable:
The Ducati Diavel is reliable thanks to its Testastretta superbike engine, high-grade parts, and engineering design. While rumors online question its dependability, Ducati refines the Diavel with every generation making the newer models more reliable; reliability depends on ownership habits.
How Reliable Are Ducati Diavels?
The Diavel’s Testastretta engine has a proven record of reliability, to the point that since the 2019 generation, the primary service intervals were upped to 18,000 miles.
The average rider hits 4,000 miles a year, meaning the bike is robust enough to last for years before a primary service is needed.
But as we mentioned up top, riding, storage, and service etiquette go a long way.
The Diavel has a state-of-the-art engine that performs well but needs specialized maintenance to stay performing dependably.
This is why the Ducati’s reputation for reliability is sometimes brought into question; the Testrastretta motor uses a desmodromic valve that requires routine inspection and maintenance. This technology is somewhat unique and wrenching on it requires some particular knowledge.
So, depending on the year model you’re rocking on, the 18,000-mile valve-check is a make-it-or-break-it-moment when it comes to the future reliability of your Ducati Diavel.
Many responsible owners enjoy consistently dependable high-performance and there’s no lack of comments in the forums from Diavel-worshippers who sing praises for their Ducati like it possesses supernatural powers.
No bike is perfect, though, as you’ll see below from these snippets from real-life Diavel-owner testimonies:
“Fuel gauge sensor and then shock linkage are the negatives, but other than that, the general quality is as you would expect from a Ducati. Lovely finish and quality feel to the bike, that’s not been tarnished despite my all-weather and hard riding antics.”
“Handlebar-mounted brake and clutch reservoirs leak for fun. Due to vibration, number plate bolts need to be thread-locked or replaced with steel & locknuts.”
“The quality is unsurpassed, Ducati uses the finest components available, the fit and finish of the components are exquisite, my bike is mechanical art, I can look at it for hours.”
“Cleans up easily, with no corrosion, pitting, or signs of weather after four years. Fantastic build quality. I’ve been touring Europe through Spain with no issues. Starts on the button, nothing has ever gone wrong apart from a loose ABS sensor cable – which attaches to the battery and is fixed by tightening the bolt.”
“Let’s get this straight: Italians know the design! This bike turns heads – so much you may even be tired of it. Reliability is good and quality quite good as well. 1st Gen bike had certainly more small annoying flaws to be fixed.”
“Only time will tell, but after owning a 2015 model for four years and 13,500 miles, my expectations are high.”
Like we’ve said from the start, the secret to Ducati’s longevity is its liquid-cooled, V-Twin engine. This beast of a machine rocks two spark plugs per cylinder with a max HP blast of 160 HP at 9,250RPM.
This is a powerhouse engineered to perform.
The Testatretta had been around since the Multistrada. Still, the Diavel got a new-and-improved iteration of it that bypassed some of the minor troubleshooting Ducati had to do in the early days of the Multistrada.
With each generation, the Diavel gets more and more reliable. As one Diavel dabler put it:
“Ducati listened to its customers! Every complaint I had with the previous generation has been resolved with this redesign, from the unreliable menu switch to the hard-to-open key fob to the transmission that made finding neutral challenging. The new swingarm leaves more room to clean and lube the chain. To take an already incredible machine and improve it so drastically was a big feat! So far, my only complaint is that the turn signal switch is too easily pushed to the side when pushing it inward to cancel the signal. I often think I’ve canceled my turn signal, but look down and see the right-turn signal flashing. This is negated to some degree by the fact that turn signals are self-canceling, but this feature doesn’t work during lane changes.”
Now ownership habits are critical, not just service inspections and storage.
Its hot-rod nature inspires many Diavel owners to wrench on aftermarket race-enhancing upgrades.
If you have doubts about whether or not installing third-party race enhancements negatively impacts your reliability, consider this; Ducati will void your warranty if you do it.
How Many Miles Can a Ducati Diavel Last?
A Diavel could last for over 70,000 miles if its owner rides and stores it per Ducati’s spec and services per the intervals Ducati recommends in the owner’s manual. Observe the break-in period to extend your Diavel further.
The most crucial variable on how long a Diavel will live besides general maintenance is how you ride it.
The Diavel is a multi-purpose motorcycle, meaning that while some riders hit the track on it, others hit the highways for long trips – and as you may have guessed, owners who ride conservatively are usually the ones with the highest mileage.
Your Diavel could last well over 70k before you need a rebuild, providing you’re doing attentive upkeep.
Don’t take our word for it; let’s turn to some online testimonies from real-life Divael speed demons:
“I love all types of bikes, but I’m NOT a cruiser rider (more into sports bikes), but I wanted something interesting that I could also tour on with my wife, and I’ve now had 2 Diavels and love them. I’ve also test-ridden the latest 1260 model, and although 1260 feels a little more responsive in the midrange and is more refined as a riding experience, I still prefer my 2017 model overall. This model offers a more visceral experience, in my opinion. It’s slightly edgier and a bit more of a hooligan. It’s also such a fantastic all-around road bike to live with. I have clocked up around 40k miles on the 2 I’ve owned. This has been touring two-up with entire luggage and my wife across the best roads in Europe, scratching around with mates around the UK, and sometimes just riding to work.”
“80,151 Miles. With the recommended maintenance schedule, any engine will go the distance. Any machine that’s neglected will have issues.”
“I had an ST2 that I sold with 135k on it. Still going strong, and only failure was a generator. Only sold to update to an ST4S for more power and better suspension two up. The ST4S was finally dealt with 80k and no problems. There is a rumor mill run by Japanese[brand] bike owners that Ducatis are unreliable, but these are assumptions either from jealousy or some early models. Properly looked after, they are just as reliable, if not more, than their counterparts. I would expect a longer life from the engines as you tend not to redline them like a four as there is no need. I am not sure of this selling mindset when the warranty is over. I’m usually busting for a warranty to finish, so I can do the mods that will make it suit my riding style.”
For any readers considering a brand-new Ducati Diavel, we give it two thumbs up – these bikes will last for miles and miles of the rip-roaring, devilish run, but you have to break them in per Duc’s owner manual instructions.
- Avoid ripping roads at high speeds.
- Avoid high revs in low gears, neutral, or disengaged clutch.
- Avoid lugging the motor at low RPMs in high gears.
- Avoid twisting your throttle past the three-quarters mark for the first 1,000 miles.
- Avoid hard stops and aggressive starts.
- Avoid rapid RPM acceleration.
- Avoid redlining in any gear.
- Observe Ducati’s spec RPM guide for each gear.
In short, if you follow Diavel’s suggested break-in period and have your bike serviced by a trained Ducati technician, it could be over 80,00 miles before your engine needs work. Way over.
That said, these are high-class bikes, not project bikes for home wrenchers.
Failing to inspect and maintain your Diavel’s Testeretta moror properly will shorten that life span by more than a few miles.
Related: Is the Ducati Monster Reliable?
What is Considered High Mileage for a Ducati Diavel?
The used market deems a Ducati Diavel high mileage at 25,000 miles, a figure established partly on the belief that a supersport power cruiser is redlined on the race track for most of its life. The truth is that mileage has little effect on a Diavel’s longevity.
Based on more than a few real-life Diavel owners (some are mentioned above) its actual engine lifespan could be over 80,000 miles, which shouldn’t come as a great surprise.
This blue book 25,000 ‘high-mile’ number gives used Diavel shoppers the opportunity to get a good deal on a bike with plenty more miles of life left.
That said, the assumption isn’t based on a fallacy.
If the previous owner pushed their Diavel to its limits, it’s likely got some critical wear and tere by 25,000 miles.
To be sure that’s not the case for your future two-wheeled hot-rod, here are some more accurate methods of determining whether a Diavel is “high-mile” rather than going solely by its odometer reading.
- Write a checklist beforehand: First, carry a checklist to the buy. If you outline the most common Diavels problems ahead of time, you won’t forget your concerns on the fly.
- Ask for service records: Request records and receipts for anything from general oil changes and valve inspections to a history of aftermarket modifications and repairs. A record is a positive sign that the prior owner valued their Duc.
- Run the VIN: Searching the dealership and online police records for the VIN of the Diavel your looking at not only pulls up any crash information but also lets you know if you’re looking at buying a Diavel that’s stolen.
- Test ride the Diavel while it’s still cold: You’ll probably have to give the previous owner some collateral while you’re ripping around the hood on his bike, but a test ride is a fast way to check the Diavel’s conditions. Ask them ahead of time to leave the bike cold so you can see how easily it starts for real – keep an ear out for strange noises.
In short, while the used market regards a Diavel to be high mileage after a measly 25,000 miles, a responsibly-maintained Diavel can run for way more than 80,000 miles.
What Are the Best Model Years to Buy and Avoid?
Best Years: 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 S
The 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 S was essentially a complete redesign, with a new frame and subframe, wheels, swingarm, suspension, engine covers, bodywork, silencers, and fuel tank.
It had a fatter rear tire and a tighter front rake, putting it right between the OG Diavel and the top-notch XDiavel.
Worst Year: 2011
This is hard because when the 2011 Diavel dropped, some sources called it the bike of the year, while others were simply confused by it.
It has the Multistrada’s superbike engine, but was it low, beefy… and raked out?
The fact is that Ducati was trying something new.
They improved on the Diavel every year from when it came out based on owner feedback.
Like anything, the Diavel just needed some time to grow into its own.
You may also like: Are Ducati Scramblers Reliable?
What Usually Breaks First on a Ducati Diavel?
The electrical system is the first thing to fail on a Ducati Diavel from the first generation models. Overheating Regulator/Rectifiers caused electrical problems on some early-generation Diavels.
Ducati Diavel Maintenance Costs
Ducati Diavel Maintenance cost is higher than the average motorcycle service due to its complex and technical maintenance on its Testarretta DVT engine–these inspections exceed $1,000. That said, the more modern Diavels only need the major services once per 18,000 miles.
Here are a few examples of Diavel maintenance prices:
- $350 for a set of tires
- $150 for a stator replacement
- $80 for a new battery
- $150 for fork seals, bushings, snap rings, washers, seals, and fluid
- $100 for the wheel bearings front and rear
- $60 an oil change
- $200-$500 for a full-service inspection(recommended)
There are other ownership costs to factor in, such as:
- Jacket = $200
- Gloves = $100
- Winter riding gear = $200-$500
- Rain gear = $75-$300
- Helmets = $100-$500
- Fuel = $15 a tank
- Storage = $?
- Insurance = average cost of motorcycle insurance for a stacked power cruiser like the Diavel is $721 a year.
5 Tips for Diavel Reliability
- Observe Ducati’s Spec Maintnece Schedule for your particular year-model Diavel.
- Refrain from Third Party Race Customizations.
- Refrain from Installing Cheap Aftermarket Components rather than Ducati Recommendations.
- Keep Racing responsible and to a Minimum
- Store your Diavel away from Harsh Weather
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