I could cut this review short by just coming right out and saying the Ducati Diavel would be on my Motorcycle Mount Rushmore if we were listing bikes currently in production.
After riding the most recent model during an extended full line event in upstate New York recently, I can report that the Diavel is still a great motorcycle and the finest machine Ducati makes.
That might tweak some Italian torque lovers because it’s commonly held that the Panigale (the Bologna bike builder’s halo machine) is Ducati’s top dog. Now, that bike is exceptionally well made, very tight and silly fast. But, it’s also stiff, challenging and extremely sensitive in terms of balance and control. It’s also a special motorcycle, but it’s not for everyone You simply must know what you’re doing to ride it.
The Diavel is an aspiring consumer super bike that most moderately experienced riders can enjoy. Its power is ample, its balance is perfect and its technology aid any rider in squeezing the most from the bike.
Here’s how I described the Diavel when I originally rode it a couple years ago: “If you’ve never sat astride any crotch rocket — especially a seasoned Italian dish like the Cromo – imagine riding a horse that will run you through the sidewall of a barn if you spur it too hard. Imagine taking a bicycle down a ski jump. Imagine rollerblades — rocket-packed like the model Wile E. Coyote orders from Acme.”
I erred on the side of hyperbole there, but the spirit rings true. With a liquid cooled Testastretta engine generating the steady162 horsepower, Ducati tuned the system to put out two more foot pounds of torque. The cromo still breezes past 60 mph in third gear, leaving three more gears to blow wind through your helmet thanks to that light action, precision shifting transmission.
The Diavel’s most appealing quality is its perfect center of gravity. The ergonomics are comfortable — with a wide, contoured seat arranged over a very wide center fuel tank and instrument/readout center. The end result is a motorcycle that always feels centered under you, always reassuring. That encourages rider confidence, which enable said rider to get more out of the ride. It’s a beautiful circle.
A followup note on those rider ergonomics: This is the most comfortable sport bike I’ve ridden. The current ad slogan for the cycle is “ Don’t call me a cruiser…” and such, and that’s Ducati not wanting to wander an inch from its racing roots. Still, this bike is comfortable enough, even with a little forward lean, to ride over long distances.
A sophisticated computer system also enhances the riding experience with a bright display just above the fuel tank. Three handling settings – Sport, Cruise and Touring – are controlled from that screen, as well as readouts on trip distance, time, fuel consumption, etc. It’s a worthy tech display for a bike that’s so hyper-engineered.
In the coming weeks. we’ll be reviewing several more Ducati rides, but we started at the top. The Diavel starts around $17,000+, and that’s an absolute steal for a bike this good.