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Touring on an XDS


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#1 Crussell

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:03 AM

I completed a 2700 mile road trip on my 2016 Xdiavel S in May and I thought I would share some of my thoughts about the Xdiavel’s long distance capabilities .

I should point out that I have made some modifications to my bike and I will comment on their usefulness or lack thereof. In addition to the Termi exhaust, I tweaked it a little bit to make the bike more suitable for long distance travel; I have a custom seat by Corbin which has a removable rider backrest and added Ducati’s rearward bars to get the seated position more upright so I can use the backrest. I moved my pegs all the way forward. I added ports on the bars to charge my GPS as well as my cell phone and a port behind the tank for my heated gear. My dealer installed Ducati’s heated grips for me. I added Hepco Becker’s “Rugged Bags” mounted on their C-bow hardware and added a small bag I picked up at REI behind the backrest for quickly accessible small items. I mounted the Puig Touring windscreen up front and added the small Puig visor for additional wind and rain protection for the trip. The visor also reduces buffeting to the helmet which makes communications and music thru my Sena 20s more enjoyable.

My trip with two buddies started in Southern California and took us as far north as Portland Oregon. Actually we crossed over in to Washington but only for a short while to get a better view along the Columbia River Gorge. Temperatures ranged from the high twenties to the low nineties. We planned on limiting our interstate travel and ride secondary mountain highways as much as possible. Two days of heavy rain caused us to veer off course and we actually spent more time on Highway 395 than originally planned.

Touring in the rain is not the Xdiavel’s forte. There is simply not enough protection from the rain and wind for you to be really comfortable and stay dry. My rain jacket performed well with the help of the windscreen and kept my upper body dry but my hands and legs got soaked. I admit that my rain gloves and pants were a little worn and the high pressure wash coming from the highway was just too much for them. Even sopping wet, my hands stayed warm tho. The Ducati heated grips are phenomenally good.

I am running Michelin Power RS tires and did not expect them to be a good rain tire but they are. They stuck to the wet pavement really well. The much maligned Xdiavel rear “half a fender” did a great job of keeping my backside dry. Getting rid of it is not even a consideration for me at this point.

I was pleasantly surprised at how dry my saddle bags stayed inside. I had all my belongings inside garbage bags but I don’t think that was even necessary. The leather Hepco Becker bags performed well with only the slightest bit of moisture working its way inside despite many hours of heavy rain.

I’ve made my XDS as comfortable as I can but it still doesn’t hold a candle to a real touring bike for comfort on the interstates. My Corbin seat has eliminated vibration I previously felt thru the seat area and is extremely comfortable especially with the riders backrest but...... on long interstate hauls the XDS transfers vibration to your hands thru the bars. The vibration also causes some distortion to the mirrors which I have since replaced with CRG’s. The same can be said about the foot pegs. Thick rubber soles on your boots and good insoles can eliminate some of it but not all and just like the bars it is noticeable on long rides.

The original seating position on the XDS was comfortable for short rides but I could never have done a 2700 mile ride on it because the forward controls placed too much weight on my lower back. The rearward bars and the backrest take stress off my lower back. I usually ride locally without the backrest but can ride only about a hundred miles before my lower back aches a little bit. So it was a life saver on this ride. My back never bothered me and I appreciated the forward foot controls so I could stretch my legs.

Cruise control is a necessity for me on long rides and the XDS cruise control is excellent. Super easy to use and adjust the speed exactly where you want it. It’s easy to bump it up or down in small increments and it is perfectly placed on the bars. You can reach it with your left thumb while keeping your hand on the grip. My Moto Guzzi has the Cruise control on the throttle side. So lame!

I think the front suspension on the XDS is good but the rear must be adjusted perfectly to be just barely adequate. I overdid the preload setting on the shocks for this ride. I was adjusting for the additional load of all my gear but I already had it cranked up pretty good for sporty rides thru Southern California canyons near my home and by increasing it even more, it was simply too stiff. I got side aches on a couple of the days and I think that had something to do with it. I don’t blame the bike for this as it was my mistake but a better valved shock and a more progressive spring would make this bike more enjoyable for touring.

The bikes electronics are great. Three riding modes with ABS and traction control, fully adjustable in each mode. I like the fact that you can easily switch between riding modes while riding. The Ducati “infotainment system” is a nice feature which pairs with your phone and helmet headset and allows you to see that you have incoming calls or texts and advance the musical tract from your phone to your headset. It is supposed to adjust volume as well but I have never heard of anyone actually getting that to work. There is an array of helpful information you can scroll to on your dash such as; Air temp, coolant temp, two trip meters, range, etc, etc. All these are useful when touring.

Where this bike really shines is on the mountain passes and secondary highways. This is where I like to tour and this bike is unbelievable fun on twisty roads. It corners really well. The massive back tire hugs the road and somehow doesn’t seem to hinder the handling. It’s still flickable! Changing directions from one turn into another is easy as the bike rolls side to side like a sport bike. It’s stable at high speeds and super quick. Maneuvering thru gas stops, small towns, rest areas, etc. is a piece of cake on this 485 pound (dry) marvel of a machine.

Yes you can be very happy touring on this bike if you keep your expectations realistic. It’s never going to be as comfortable on the interstates as a Goldwing or other full on touring bikes but it will put a smile on your face everywhere else.

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Edited by Crussell, 03 July 2018 - 05:24 AM.


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    #2 creyes8043

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    Posted 15 July 2018 - 02:41 PM

    That is awesome review. I just bought one and I agree with everything you said. Having so much fun. I am trying a new style, coming from a panigale 899. So different but I love it.

    #3 Crussell

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    Posted 17 July 2018 - 07:10 AM

    Thanks for the kind words creyes. I tried to write something helpful to long distance riders who are considering this bike but wondering if it will work. I’m glad you are enjoying yours. I can imagine after coming off of a Panigale it will take some getting used to.

    #4 Oneup008

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    Posted 22 July 2018 - 08:39 PM

    Any belt issues? Some members have experienced rocks getting in under the chain guard and playing havoc with the belt. That might be my only concern with the X model, which I do not currently own.

    #5 Crussell

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    Posted 23 July 2018 - 06:27 AM


    View PostOneup008, on 22 July 2018 - 08:39 PM, said:

    Any belt issues? Some members have experienced rocks getting in under the chain guard and playing havoc with the belt. That might be my only concern with the X model, which I do not currently own.

    Yeah it’s an issue but only because I’m aware of the problem others have had. I avoid dirt or gravel pull over areas as much as possible and haven’t had any problems with mine in 15K miles.

    #6 UK_biker

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    Posted 01 June 2019 - 03:58 AM

    What tyre pressures do people use on their Xdiavel (with vs. without luggage)?

    #7 Crussell

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    Posted 01 June 2019 - 11:01 AM

    I run 37psi front and back with or without luggage.

    #8 Crussell

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    Posted 19 July 2019 - 05:54 PM

    Converted my bike back to Touring mode the other day. Panniers back on etc. Heading north next week with my son. Destination unknown. Probably stay near the coast where it’s cool. I converted my Givi 20 liter tail bag, which I couldn’t use because of the tail section on the custom seat, to a backrest bag. This combined with the two 24 liter Hepco Becker panniers will give me 68 liters of storage. I should be able to get by with that. Also taking my Moto Guzzi Cali 1400. We’ll trade off riding the bikes. I’m sure we’ll both want the Xdiavel in the twisty sections, but hey it’s my bike! Heh heh.

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    #9 DucaRicardo

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    Posted 19 July 2019 - 10:17 PM

    I’m looking into getting a set of bags for the Xdiavel. The hepco system is on my next mod list for sure. Thanks for the review and like to see that the XD can be turned into a touring style bike


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    #10 Crussell

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    Posted 20 July 2019 - 09:18 AM

    View PostDucaRicardo, on 19 July 2019 - 10:17 PM, said:

    I’m looking into getting a set of bags for the Xdiavel. The hepco system is on my next mod list for sure. Thanks for the review and like to see that the XD can be turned into a touring style bike


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    You can’t go wrong with the Hepco Becker C-Bow system. I like the “Rugged Bags” that are on mine because they keep the added weight positioned low on the bike for better handling. My Xdiavel is versatile enough to get me to the best roads in the country and then still handle really well so that I can enjoy them to their fullest.

    #11 matyoka

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    Posted 24 October 2019 - 11:36 AM

    Question for the seasoned XD owners... Do I really need the S model? What is the biggest difference if I settle for the basic XD version? Do you guys really use the DMS and Bluetooth much? I am still on my Diavel, helmet speakers, Cardo... so I am not really that much into technology when it comes to riding. Only reason I am asking is that I came across an xD Dark that has the midcontrols and Termis on already. Those are my only 2 important parts I would have done on my own.

    Thanks fellas,

    Lev

    Edited by matyoka, 24 October 2019 - 11:53 AM.


    #12 Crussell

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    Posted 24 October 2019 - 01:14 PM

    Fancier wheels, better brakes, cruise control, glossy paint and blue tooth package. Am I leaving anything out.? Those were enough for me. Totally a matter of preference tho. If those items aren’t important to you and you have a good deal on the base model, go for it.

    #13 matyoka

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    Posted 24 October 2019 - 01:53 PM

    The basic edition comes with Cruise control, which I love versus my current Diavel. The one I am looking at is in Virginia I am in AZ. Sales tax is a bitch but guess have to get comfy with the idea as there are no good deals from private individuals near me. Bike is a '16 Dark Stealth with 219 miles!!!!! Comes with Termis and Midcontrols which I NEED for riding this monstrosity. Small dent in tank... bummer but I can live with that.

    Couple of pics to give an idea... maybe someone knows the bike and can chime in?

    Thanks,

    Lev

    Posted Image


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    Posted Image

    Edited by matyoka, 24 October 2019 - 02:16 PM.


    #14 Crussell

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    Posted 24 October 2019 - 10:03 PM

    I think that cruise Control was added to that bike. When I bought mine in 2016 only the S version had cruise. Nice feature to have regardless.

    #15 Crussell

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    Posted 25 October 2019 - 06:07 AM

    I stand corrected. I looked at the brochure I picked up when I bought mine and see that even in 2016 cruise control was standard on the base model.

    #16 matyoka

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    Posted 25 October 2019 - 09:46 AM

    Crussel, no worries. I sort of knew they were standard equipment but not 100% sure. In any event, I am on the fence with this bike... 2016 with 229 miles and a small dent on the tank LOL. The dealer says someone hit the bike while in their ownership, it did not come in this way. My only worry is the low mileage on the bike... 3 years with minimal use can easily effect the seals, timing belt, leaks down the road to drying out. All these could be non existing issues of course that's why I am asking questions.

    What you gents think?

    Edited by matyoka, 25 October 2019 - 09:46 AM.


    #17 Crussell

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    Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:46 AM

    I was hoping someone else would chime in on this because I consider myself a little bit of a hack as a mechanic so don’t take this as scripture. I wouldn’t worry about the seals and belts. They will have very little wear and exposure to heat. I would however want to know if the bike sat on the dealers floor for a couple of years before selling or in someone’s garage. Stale gas gumming up the fuel system would be my main concern and dealers don’t gas up new bikes until they sell. You haven’t mentioned the price so it’s impossible to form an opinion on if you have found a good deal or not.

    #18 Tonyt

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    Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:52 AM

    If it's a good price buy it. You know the possible common problems. Rear break fuel gauge issues for the most part. For the most part mine has been rock solid.

    #19 matyoka

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    Posted 26 October 2019 - 09:03 AM

    View PostCrussell, on 26 October 2019 - 05:46 AM, said:

    I was hoping someone else would chime in on this because I consider myself a little bit of a hack as a mechanic so don’t take this as scripture. I wouldn’t worry about the seals and belts. They will have very little wear and exposure to heat. I would however want to know if the bike sat on the dealers floor for a couple of years before selling or in someone’s garage. Stale gas gumming up the fuel system would be my main concern and dealers don’t gas up new bikes until they sell. You haven’t mentioned the price so it’s impossible to form an opinion on if you have found a good deal or not.


    2016 xD NOT S

    $13855 OTD + 699 shipping + 1500 AZ tax

    Termis and Ducati midcontrols... the two MUST upgrades already on it. Was serviced last week by the dealership (Triumph of Harrisburg, Va) Perhaps someone is nearby to inspect this for me? Posted Image

    I know I can wait for the right deal near me on an S version from a private sale with no tax, but the upgrades alone are $3500. Yeah the tax and shipping is a bitch...

    Lev

    Edited by matyoka, 26 October 2019 - 09:29 AM.


    #20 Crussell

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    Posted 28 October 2019 - 08:02 AM

    Seems like a decent deal especially if you planned on adding the Termi and the mid controls. Have you looked into getting the dent repaired?
    i paid 25k for my S and it only had 219 fewer miles :)
    Hey one other thing about the S model which you may have already discovered, it has a pretty slick LED daytime running light.





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