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xBhp Rides and Reviews the Ducati Diavel in China.
Text & Photos: Sundeep Gajjar/ Sunny
Almost every two wheeler company that is out there for serious business has at least one cruiser in it’s product lineup. And the weight is almost always inevitably hovering around quarter ton mark with all that steel and chrome and yes of course the fat rubbers. It is in these times when Ducati decided to actually work on a motorcycle form which is traditionally seen as slow and relaxed, far removed from what Ducatis are supposed to be. Amidst terrified gasps from Ducatistas across the world and in some cases industry experts like the former Confederate Motorcycles designer – JT Nesbitt who shunned the Diavel as “a monumental breach of brand trust and honesty,” citing the 240mm-wide rear tire as the first time Ducati had ever specified a component that “objectively compromised the performance of their motorcycle.” ( source : Motorcyclist magazine and hell for leather ).
In the middle of this storm Ducati held it’s belief in the Bart Janssen-Groesbeek (Ducati Style Center Senior Designer) led project, and when it finally made it to the road, it blew almost everyone away across the globe, however almost everyone were left scratching their heads trying to figure out what in the world can it be classified as, and that’s what we will try and do here…
First impression: It’s a Cruiser!
With the new Diavel, the comparisons will be inevitable. The most obvious one being with the cruisers of the world, – the Intruders, the Harleys and the alike. This primarily stems from Diavel’s visual profile – the low slung seat and the relatively relaxed position coupled with the behemoth 240mm rear, which is only to be found on big power cruisers like the Intruder and the Rocket III.
Second reckoning : It’s a muscle bike!
What is exciting is once you see the specification sheet some mildly unexpected comparisons begin – with the muscle cruisers like the Harley Nightrod and the legendary vMax.
Hell no, It’s a Streetfighter!
The wake up punch doesn’t end here. Once you sit on it you will realize its seating position is unlike any cruiser, more like falling between the Monster 1100 and the Hypermotard, taking models from only the Ducati lineup.
Take it off the stand, try and move it. The bike will move a lot more faster and way lot easier than you expected after just looking at it and knowing it sports a 240mm rear. That’s another punch there in the stomach. After all it is just 222 kg kerb ( propelled by 162 horsepower) which is just 16 kgs more than your Yamaha R1 superbike at 206 kg kerb ( propelled by 179 horsepower)! And I think that’s just astounding for a bike which looks as massive as the Diavel and is supposed to be weighing on the other side of 300 kgs!
You know what they have built a damn superbike, which doesn’t look like one!
The final realization dawns upon you once you take it around the parking lot and then a road track ( which is where I rode it). This thing accelerates like a devil with his horns on fire, it turns like it ain’t got the 240 mm up rear ( which is expected since Pirelli specially developed those beautiful Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIs enabling the bike to give a complex or two to the full specced superbikes on a track day.
Last but the least, the way it looks…
It looks like a creature conjured up from the darkest pits of hell, bad mouthed, loud and with raw power controlled only by a plethora of electronics stashed away in almost hidden nook and crannies of the frame. Many people will not see it that way and will perhaps detest it by calling it an ugly thing with no certain design character. But once they own it they will like to call it their hell hound, and will probably dress to match it’s character as well. Tight leathers, a full face (yes, not a half face, thats for true blue cruisers!) carbon helmet ( the Daijya G-Fit Carbon helmet which i was wearing would be a good choice!).
I personally love the styling of the bike, it exudes a lot of attitude, reminds me of mad max and resident evil combined into one!
I also have yet to see a bike so well finished, the brushed aluminum radiator hoods, the seamless integration of pillion foot pegs, the dual display ( one TFT + one LCD ) gives it a whole lot of extra premium feel.
To me this one bike on which you mix with those Harley guys and give them a serious complex, or go for that mountain run with one piece leather clad knee scraping buddies and give them a complex too, or take it to to your office party and park it right along side that Royce making it look right at home.
This is one bike which defies classification, has got that Ducati badge and will poke you everyday to ditch your car to work…
This is one bike which I gotta have, RIGHT F NOW!
With Gabriel Del Torchio, World CEO Ducati