The Diavel is unlike a Ducati, brawny and macho. Stretched and low, its double parabola headlight swoops into tapered alluminuium alloy handlebars. Panels flow with smooth lines, visible as the alluminium headlight shroud meets similarly alloy and brush-finished air scoops. Colossal in pictures, this power cruiser isn’t all that intimidating in the flesh.
As on the Multistrada, electronic ignition allows the key to remain in your pocket. The Diavel instruments are read via a pair of displays. The humongous tank has deep grooves. Like most Ducati’s, both flanks flaunt trellis frame sections. The pillion footrests fold out and the grab handle is also retractable. The Diavel ends in a broad, cropped, somewhat bland tail.
This Devil comes with a warm blooded, 1198.4cc, four-stroke, L-twin Ducati Testastretta heart. It’s a four-valve per cylinder, Desmodromic powerplant based on the 1198, major revision being reduction of valve overlap from 41 to 11 degrees. You get 162bhp at 9500rpm.
A pair of radiators keeps the Diavel engine cool. The Diavel comes with a six-speed gearbox, shifting in one-down, five-up pattern. Feel at the gear shift pedal is heavy, but precise. Throttle feel benefits Ride by Wire (RbW).
Three engine maps regulate Diavel power delivery depending on your riding mode. There’s 162hp with a scalpel edged, sporty feel in Sport mode. Then you get 162hp, albeit with progressive delivery and slightly higher Ducati Traction Control (DTC) assist in Touring. And finally, Urban where 100bhp is output with soft manners and DTC works hardest. As on the Multistrada, you can toggle riding modes ‘on-the-fly.’ The Diavel accelerates like a brute, shooting off the blocks with drag bike intent, breezing through its fat spread of mid-range power with violent force and pushing remarkably hard towards the limiter at high revs. Ducati claim 0-100kph in 2.57 seconds.
As on most Ducati’, the L-twin blasts out an electrifying, loud engine note. The engine runs vibe free with ample performance to match the fastest production motorcycles made today.
The Diavel’s Trellis frame spine uses tubular steel, as well as dual alloy sections that meet a rear sub-frame. The riding position is upright, this big motorcycle feeling relatively light. While still no ideal motorcycle for urban Indian traffic, a Diavel is capable of stitching up corners with confidence. The rear tyre is ultra wide, bi-compound, with a hard center patch keeping mileage and wear in check. The powerful brakes are ABS enabled.
The lightning quick Diavel feels anything, but the heavy, power cruiser it looks. No, the latest Ducati doesn’t handle like a nimble sportsbike, but it can still give many an able motorcycle a run for its money.
Redefining power cruisers and raising the bar, the Diavel offers soul in a motorcycle that proves European bike manufacturers are finally making bikes to match, if not better their Japanese rivals. There’s a lot more to the Diavel. Read our full story in Autocar India March 2011, on stands across India now.