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Devil in Disguise: Krugger reworks the Ducati Diavel

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
Remember the stir when the Ducati Diavel was launched back in 2010? It’s hard to believe that the brutish ‘power cruiser’ has been on the market for nearly seven years now—but there’s still nothing quite like it under 250 kilos.

To maintain interest, Ducati has boosted the Diavel range to five models, all pumping out a solid 152 horses. And it’s just gone a step further: the factory has commissioned Fred ‘Krugger‘ Bertrand, one of the world’s most acclaimed custom builders, to restyle the XDiavel S.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
Krugger needs no introduction. He’s a two-time World Champion bike builder, able to weave his magic on anything from a humble Yamaha SR400 to a BMW K1600 behemoth. Anyone who has followed EXIF for a while will know that we’re huge fans, and it seems that Ducati are too.

At last year’s Verona motor show, Ducati product manager Stefano Tarabusi had a chat with Krugger, and soon after, a new XDiavel S was delivered to Krugger’s workshop in the small Belgian town of Basse-Bodeux. The brief was relatively open, but—and it’s a big But—the bike needed to stay within the ‘cruiser’ genre. In other words: no clip-ons or rearsets.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
Despite those aesthetic shackles, the result is incredible. We see hints of Krugger’s groundbreaking BMW K1600 ‘NURBS’ from three years ago, but with a lighter (and more rider-friendly) touch.

As with most examples of good design, the secret is reduction rather than addition. “I wanted to simplify the general lines,” Krugger tells us, “and hide part of the Ducati trademark, the frame. To give the engine the space it deserves, it had to be a straight and smooth line.”

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
After removing the XDiavel bodywork, Krugger designed two lateral ‘frames’ and had them made in cast and brushed aluminum. To make the line more aggressive, he’s also lowered the forks by 50 millimeters, tilting the stance down a little at the front.

Krugger has chosen to keep the standard Ducati headlight—“I find it really successful”—but he’s redesigned the rear lighting. There are shades of Italian supercar design in the shaping of the Inox (stainless) steel and Plexiglas, which took eight days to perfect.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
The top line of the bike is virtually flat, replacing the swooping curves and up-kicked tail unit of the showroom XDiavel. This required a lot of work—from precision welding to repositioning the electronics—but the effect is galvanizing. It gives the Diavel an even more powerful, projectile-like mien.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
The rear part of the exhaust system is also new, reflecting what Krugger calls the ‘spaghetti’ under the bonnet of a supercar. Instead of terminating just ahead of the rear wheel, the pipes now snake upwards and into the tail unit, with two angular outlets underneath the brake light.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
Krugger’s added a detachable cover at the rear so that a passenger can snuggle up to the rider, and he’s replaced the standard pullback bars with straight bars—retaining the cruiser vibe, but adding a touch of sportiness. He’s also installed mid-set foot pegs, a new official accessory, to bring the rider’s legs back a little.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
To reduce visual clutter as much as possible, the XDiavel is finished in black. “The overall lines of this machine are still quite complicated,” says Krugger. “But by using black, I could stay within the ‘atmosphere’ of the original XDiavel S—and immediately get the advantage of simplifying the overall impression.”

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
This XDiavel may look ‘cleaner’ than a production bike, but the level of finish is up to factory levels. Krugger says that his approach was to “refine as much as possible, make the lines softer, and pay close attention to the finish.” He’s done just that: even after poring over the images in high resolution, we couldn’t find a wobbly line or loose wire anywhere.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
He’s called the bike ‘Thiverval,’ after a little-known racetrack just over the border in Île-de-France. “I’ve always used a name of a circuit somewhere in the world for my creations,” says Krugger. “This is a little wink to my friend Zed [editor of the French magazine Freeway] who recently passed away. It’s a small circuit in Yvelines, which Zed appreciated very much.”

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger
The bike was revealed a few minutes ago by Ducati at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, as part of the famous Bikers’ Classics event. If you’re lucky to be at this amazing spectacle in Belgium, make sure you seek it out. Velocemente!

Krugger Motorcycles | Ducati | Images © Thierry Dricot 2017.

Custom Ducati Diavel by Krugger