Ducati Diavel

Posted: 10 Jan 2013

Hats off to Ducati for building a cruiser-styled bike that has all-round performance capability to shame quite a few of the other sports machines. The Diavel lives in a small world populated by Yamaha VMAX and Harley’s V-ROD, but neither of these can live with it on the road.

For instance, there aren’t many bikes that can match the Diavel’s get up and go explosive acceleration. The VMAX comes close but loses out in the first corner because the Diavel was designed to be ridden fast on all roads and not just along straight sections. The V-ROD lags behind in terms of performance and handling.

Powered by a former Ducati Testastretta superbike engine (reworked for low to midrange acceleration from 94ft lbs of torque), the rate at which the Diavel gets up and goes to stretch arm and neck muscles is exacerbated by the minimalist wind protection of a small fly screen. This screen suffices up to legal speeds and in doing so makes the Diavel quite a comfy chair to admire the scenery.

In order to net the cruiser look of long and raked but retain Ducati’s traits of handling and performance, the Bologna design team paid a lot of attention to details. One such area was the Pirelli rear tyre. In true cruiser-style the tyre is a massively wide 240-section but is developed with a profile to aid cornering rather than just looking good.

What this means is an awful lot of former race-replica owners can get their fill of speed and sporting attributes in absolute comfort and look good at the same time. It is that good that a Diavel at a trackday is not uncommon and should be regarded with suspicion and not just as a possible target – most owners know how to get the best out of their 165bhp Diavel.

It goes without saying that such a capable machine needs the back up of safety and the Diavel gets it in the form of a strong chassis, stunning brakes backed up with ABS and, of course, Ducati’s superb traction control system. If you dare to be different then Ducati’s Diavel should be near the top of the ‘possible’ list.

+ points – performance and handling. Comfort. Unique style.
- points – rear tyres are specialist and costly.

Price: £14,995
Power: 159.6bhp, 94ft lbs
Kerb weight: 239kg
Seat height: 770mm
Colours: Blue, red