If you had told me that our beloved Ducati – with their legendary track record in World Superbike and MotoGP, along with their lineage to great riders like Carl Fogarty, Troy Bayliss, Doug Polen, and now Valentino Rossi, to name just a few who have ridden the Bologna bullets – was going to roll a full blown cruiser out of the vaunted Italian factory, I wouldn’t have believed it.
Furthermore, I may not have condoned it. In other words: when hell freezes over.
Well, hell froze over. And the Diavel (roughly translated from Italian to "Devil") has thoroughly melted the ice away. The Diavel is a bold move by stalwart WSBK kings, Ducati, to enter the heavy cruiser market.
This vital segment of motorcycling, especially in the US, has been on Ducati’s radar for some time. I have to hand it to the Italian engineers who, evidently under the influence of fine red wines, espresso, and the land of fine art, have delivered a cruiser that defies description or even real classification.
A cruiser with the soul of a sportbike, or a superbike disguised as a cruiser? No matter how you slice it, the Ducati Diavel is a motorcycle of spectacular design and dynamic function. Perhaps the most alluring and telling aspect of the Diavel is the ride mode that offers riding settings of, get this; SPORT – TOURING – URBAN (The equivalent of setting fazers to STUN).
Take a visual tour around the Ducati Diavel (and see it at lean angles not usually associated with a cruiser) in the accompanying video and then try to tell me this machine betrays Ducati’s lineage of beauty and seduction.
Then read Arthur Coldwells’ (Ultimate Motorcycling publisher) review of the Ducati Diavel from his recent ride of the new machine in Spain.
From the 162 horsepower Ducati Testastretta 11-degree L-Twin to the 8-inch wide rear tire (and coupled with a dry weight of 465 pounds) the Diavel is positioned to redefine cruisers as much as it may redefine the scope of what Ducati is as a manufacturer.
The funny thing is, Ducati may have just garnered a whole new crowd of "conquests" who have been less than satisfied with the slow development in performance for heavy cruisers. What better segue is there for riders who were weaned on sportbikes and now want to get onto a cruiser, than a bike that has its heart in Italian superbike racing?
The Ducati Diavel… devilish delight.