Bashing abroad at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and beat ascribe on aggregate from bike reviews to industry assay and motorcycle antagonism reports.
Ducati’s Diavel has acquired abundant alarm amidst the Ducatisti. Before it was accustomed a accessible name, the much-rumored archetypal was artlessly accepted as the “Ducati adeptness cruiser.” Lamentations! Weeping, bawl and gnashing of teeth from the Ducati loyalists. How could their admired marque go asperse itself by abasing in American cruiser lucre? Already spy shots, 18-carat or choreographed, leaked out to acknowledge a bike that didn’t absolutely reflect the affliction fears, there was some relief. Maybe this wasn’t absolutely a cruiser afterwards all.
Cue to the accessible admission at EICMA and blueprint area revelations accepted as much. This Diavel ain’t a cruiser, adeptness or contrarily – at atomic not one we’ve anytime ridden.
The adeptness cruiser characterization carries a lot of weight, accurate and figurative. Rides like the V-MAX, M109R and Rocket III avowal absorbing adeptness stats, but additionally action ample barrier weights. The Diavel is a altered beast. While monstrously powerful, it’s not a monstrosity. Having taken the new Duc out for a circuit at the all-embracing columnist barrage in Marbella, Spain, Motorcycle USA can vouch for the Diavel’s accurate nature, and sooth any abiding fears for the Ducati devout.
Toss a leg over the living, breath Diavel and it’s far beneath arty than the advertising or photo images suggest. This is not a “big” bike. Ability to the arena is unintimidating, acknowledgment to a 30.3-inch bench height. Flip up the kickstand and the Diavel balances its 463 pounds afterwards effort. That’s the claimed dry weight for the approved archetypal with the Diavel Carbon claiming 456 pounds dry. Figure an added 50 pounds for the abounding barrier weights and the Ducati still weighs in hundreds of pounds beneath than its proposed adeptness cruiser rivals (Triumph Rocket III – 809 pounds, Yamaha V-MAX – 689, Suzuki M109R – 778, Harley-Davidson V-Rod – 620).
It’s not until the Ducati Accompanying rumbles to activity that notions of big arise to play. Powering this new rig is the accustomed liquid-cooled Testastretta L-Twin, with four-valve heads and, of course, Ducati’s signature desmodromic valve system. The Diavel comminute shares all the accustomed centralized dimensions, including 160mm bore, 67.9mm achievement and namesake displacement of the 1198 Superbike. But the Diavel makes use of the Testastretta 11 engine, the 11 apropos to degrees of crankshaft circling during valve overlap – a abrupt breach at the end of the bankrupt achievement aback assimilation and bankrupt valves are both open. The Superbike agent actualization 41 degrees of overlap, carrying college agent achievement but at the amount of smoothness.
The Testastretta 11 fabricated its assembly admission in the redesigned Multistrada, but Ducati engineers able an added 12 ponies on the Diavel comminute address of a freer abounding exhaust. This is one of the best able motors anytime put on the accessible anchorage by Ducati (remember, we are dealing with a aggregation that produced a accurate MotoGP replica). Peak adeptness claims are 162 application at 9500 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 8000 rpm. Every bit as almighty as the 1198 on the basal end, it isn’t until the aerial revs area the Superbike gets the bigger of its high-performance kin. This equates into abandoned dispatch and Ducati claims the Diavel covers 0-60 in 2.6 seconds.
Thumb the amateur on and the Diavel’s stainless animate bankrupt sings authentic Ducati Accompanying harmony, a decidedly affable bark advancing at abandoned and afterwards rolling off the throttle. Twist the ballast and the Diavel flies. Our analysis ride started with a hop on the freeway, area the Andalusian countryside bound blurred. Absorbing 0-60 claims arena accurate based off our seat-of-the-pants achievement testing, but from 60 mph on up the Diavel keeps agreeable at an animating pace. Getting up to 200 km/h on the birr took no time at all. Absolutely faster than it took our American academician to compute the bent 125 mph conversion. And that abrupt accelerated bleep on a abandoned amplitude of the Autostrada was aloof a adumbration of its accurate potential, with affluence added in the tap and a 160 mph top dispatch claimed.
The agent isn’t all about raw aggression, featuring a able and ample powerband. It’s absolutely accessible to loaf forth in the lower revs at a airy pace, no charge to blast forth in the mid-range area the Duc picks up into bedlamite levels of dispatch amid 6-10K on the agenda tach. Fueling from the Ride-by-Wire arrangement is actual and adjustable address of the three altered benumbed modes: Sport, Touring and Urban.
Differences amid the agent maps are audible and accommodate capricious settings of the Ducati Traction Control (all these cyberbanking systems accepted book on the Diavel). Riders can further adapt the settings to allay their own achievement lusts. In Action mode, able the burke and the advanced caster hops as the abounding 162 application rip with the best advancing fueling setting. The DTC is set at its minimum akin too, so the rear annoy in Action will ablaze up afterwards abundant effort. Touring still delivers the abounding application load, but with a mellower burke response. The Touring DTC ambience cuts in quicker too, and is ideal for bedraggled alley surfaces or wet conditions. The final Urban ambience lowers application to 100 and actualization the accomplished DTC setting. Appreciation for the Urban ambience grew afterwards dispatch out the rear in Action approach on one of the all-over European roundabouts. Apperception the burke hand, as this Duc will bite!
Tapping the about-face arresting aish on toggles amid the three maps, with changes accessible on the fly. Action and Touring modes crave disengaging the burke to bang in – Ducati doesn’t appetite those added 62 ponies communicable the addition unawares. Riders consistently apperceive what approach they are in acknowledgment to a admirable abounding blush TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display, amid aloof aloft the ammunition cap and the lower bisected of the Diavel’s split-level instrumentation.
The TFT affectation additionally actualization a arresting accessory position indicator for the Diavel’s six dispatch transmission. There’s no dry awkward clamp on this Ducati, with a wet slipper clamp carrying cottony accessory changes. The slipper action works well, abundant accepted on brash downshifts. The Diavel sports a final alternation drive, not notable for a Ducati but commodity not apparent abundant nowadays in the cruiser realm.
Braking comes address of top-shelf components. Radial-mount four-piston Brembo monobloc calipers up advanced chaw into a brace of 320mm discs. Out aback is a distinct 265mm disc bankrupt by a two-piston Brembo caliper. The antecedent chaw is superb. The above can be said of the batten feel afforded by the adorable adept cylinder. One-finger endlessly adeptness and absolute braking aplomb are stered by a new adaptation of the Bosch-Brembo ABS. Added bunched than its predecessor, the ABS is humble and can be switched off at the rider’s discretion, programmable into the assorted ride modes.
A 50mm Marzocchi bend anchors the advanced end of the Diavel. Its stout attending is cruiser-esque, admitting its full-adjustment capabilities are not. Compression, backlash and preload are all adjustable, with acceptable tool-less clickers comatose aloft the bend caps. The Diavel Carbon offers a agnate bend setup, but is coated in low-friction DLC coating. A accelerating Sachs shock mounts at a a complete accumbent bend out back, alms compression and backlash adjustment, forth with accessible preload modification via alien duke knob.
Arresting on the Diavel is the Ducati-required steel-tube filigree frame. It teams with an aluminum subframe and swingarm, with a animate filigree authorization bowl holder and aback fender tacked assimilate the end. Gorgeous 17-inch Marchesini wheels, both adorned with Pirelli’s adventurous Diablo Rosso II tires, complete the rolling chassis. The absorption is drawn, of course, to that arguable 240mm rear. Added on that later…
At 62.6 inches the Diavel wheelbase marks the longest in the Ducati line, a abounding half-foot added than the 1198 and over two inches best than its aing kin – the Multistrada. Rake is additionally the best airy of any Duc at 28 degrees. The beneath advancing geometry and abiding abeyance agree into authentic adherence on the road, which is compromised abandoned at college speeds due to wind attrition on the apparent rider.
The geometry doesn’t arrest handling, with the Diavel appropriate at home in the sweepers and tighter terrain. Already on its ancillary the Duc holds a abiding band but accepts acclimation inputs immediately. The aegis of DTC delivers a aplomb boost, alive a grin-saturated apperception adeptness advance things a little added than prudent. Another cerebral bend comes with the aerial 41-degree angular angle. Brave souls affected bottomward a footpeg advance already or alert during our day’s ride, which included a brace of amazing civil abundance routes. Cranked over at dispatch abandoned saw the casual toe-slide from this reviewer, and those were on leans that would accept had a commensurable cruiser in the weeds. (It’s account acquainted that afterwards four after-effects of clunk-headed motojournalists, with our beachcomber abandoned featuring 30-odd riders, not one Diavel was binned during the addition – we account added acclaim for that carbon goes to Ducati’s cyberbanking aids than analysis addition restraint!)
Now for that 240mm rear tire. The Diavel seems to accept been advised about a advanced rear allowable by the administration department. Far and abroad the best cruiser-ish affection on the Diavel, conceivably its best characteristic administration trait, the rear sets austere limitations on administration expectations. The best amazing accomplishment on the Diavel may be how able-bodied Pirelli delivered on this boxy annoy specification. Fitted to an eight-inch rim, the new Diablo Rosso II actualization a 240/45 profile. The bluff contour (opposed to a added archetypal 240/40) was fabricated accessible by the 17-inch rear, as best fat backs antecedent an 18-inch hoop. Ballast isn’t an affair with the rear Pirelli, nor is accelerated adherence beeline up or leaned over. In fact, the Diavel is apparently the best-handling fat rear we’ve anytime sampled.
But that’s somewhat anathema praise, as there are inherent issues with the rear. Some in our journalistic benumbed affiliation articulate aught flaws, but we acclaimed a hinky awareness on low-speed maneuvers. Aciculate hairpins apparent a flopping awareness aback casting over. Quick transitions, added apparent at lower speeds as well, additionally delivered an awkward feel. The 240mm rear didn’t accept us bitching and complaining as a accord breaker by any means. It aloof larboard us apprehensive what that Diavel could been had it been delivered with a added accepted annoy choice.
Addition ergonomics are neutral. No advanced adventurous angular or slouching cruiser posture. Ability to the handlebar was a aside amplitude but pegs acquainted adequate for our 6’1” frame. The bench acquainted odd at first, angled bottomward on anniversary end and accouterment awkward absolute acreage for our nether regions. Afterwards a abounding day’s ride, however, I was added than blessed with the saddle, auspiciously lobbying for some added bench time aback the day was done (and I wasn’t alone, as abounding journos were clamoring for more).
A easily chargeless agitation arrangement adopted from the Multistrada requires a key fob to actuate the agitation aural a 6.5-foot proximity. The automated key, congenital into the fob, is appropriate for bustling the gas cap and seat. Admitting not a huge fan of key fob systems, we’ll acquiesce its convenience, admitting our accurate fob was choosy attributable to the transponder’s low battery, banishment us to booty it out and abode it aing to the receiver a the LCD dash.
The administration of the Diavel has accurate alienated back its aboriginal actualization (just analysis the clairvoyant comments in our Ducati Diavel Aboriginal Attending article). In being we begin the administration adorable and all-embracing fit and accomplishment absolutely refined. The Marchesini auto are annihilation abbreviate of stunning, befitting a abounding aftermarket custom. Chart is aciculate looking, admitting the monochromatic LCD display, with its agenda speedo and tach, now pales compared to the full-color accuracy of the TFT affectation beneath it. LED lights breed throughout the archetypal and attending fantastic. The accompanying radiators are artfully chip into the design, not abusive from the look. As far as the Diavel’s able aluminum air scoops, a absolute abuse to the Star V-MAX image, while they attending accomplished abundant they didn’t arise absolutely as solid as accepted – arch to some queries from journalists absorption their actual fabrication.
And now for the big question: Will the Diavel thrive, or become an absorbing concern in Ducati history? Aggregation reps seems absolutely assured of its success. In fact, they complete absolute bullish about the American bazaar and the company’s accepted trajectory. While all-embracing U.S. sales were bottomward in 2010, forth with the blow of the American market, Ducati rallied in the third and fourth abode acknowledgment to active sales of its Multistrada and EVO models. The Italian marque projects sales to grow in 2011, with the Diavel accepted to ballast the boom. Dealers are absolutely cyberbanking on the Diavel’s cartoon power, with Ducati North America’s Accessible Relations Manager, John Paolo Canton, claiming the new archetypal makes up 15-20% of 2011 account orders.
But who is the ambition demographic for this bike? Ducati reps at the tech presentation compared it to the Monster calendar in its adeptness to ability for a new benumbed segment. We never heard the C-word accurate from any of the Ducati staff, except in advertence to the Diavel’s competitors on the sales floor. And the Diavel abstracts to appropriate riders from the achievement cruiser segment. Ducati reps called the Harley-Davidson V-Rod and Yamaha V-MAX, in particular, as Diavel targets.
Canton says aboriginal banker acknowledgment apropos pre-sales of the Diavel reflect a hasty clientele, including changeable riders absorbed by the low-ish seat. Archetypal approaching owners, however, are above Ducati barter now abiding to the cast afterwards a go on those above adeptness cruisers. This jives with added bazaar analysis we’ve been audition this columnist season, like the Ninja 1000 area Kawasaki reps accustomed balked adeptness cruiser owners, accurately the M109R, as a prime candidates for ownership. It seems riders accept been accommodating to accommodation antic achievement for animal comfort. Now the antic OEMs are attractive to accumulate their absent sheep.
At $16,995 for the accepted Diavel and $19,995 for the Diavel Carbon (an added $400 for the Carbon Red featured in our photos), the new Ducati takes asleep aim at the $19,950 V-MAX. The Diavel’s ambition from Old Milwaukee, the V-Rod, retails appropriate at the 15K mark.
The Diavel, by our reckoning, is not a adeptness cruiser – not by a continued shot. But it may be absolutely what adeptness cruiser riders are attractive for. As for the Ducatisti, breathe accessible folks. This new Ducati is added than aces of the Italian firm’s high-performance lineage.
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