Diavel in the Bolognese dialect means Devil and the name fits this Power Cruiser - she really is a beast!
The legend goes the name Diavel came about early in Ducati’s development stage of the bike, when the prototype was assembled and wheeled out in front of a group of Ducati engineers and technicians. One gathered, looked at the bike from the rear and noticed the bike’s silhouette and unwittingly named the bike by describing what he saw ‘’inurant comm’al diavel’’, which translated is ‘’Evil, just like the devil!’’
And you know I think the Ducati staff member had it right and there are many others who have also made the same observation. To me the bike resembles one of my favourite devils and movies of my teen years, the movie? Predator!. Starring Arnold Swartzenegger , Predator was a Game Hunter who arrived on earth to hunt humans and wore a suit that made him invisible.
It’s Predator’s suit where I draw the comparison, all black, with sharp edges and lines are reminiscent to the helmet of the creature. In the movie Predator was referred as the devil but that isn’t the only comparison, the Diavel packs all the muscle of Arnie!
The Ducati development crew tried to stay true to Ducati traditions and wanted to create a cruiser with an angry street fighter stance, broad shoulders (by way of the radiators) which taper down to an athletic midsection and they did that.
The Diavels large physic and 240 arse end makes the bike appears far larger and heavy than it actually is. The Carbon model weighs in @ a lightweight 207kg (456lb). True to tradition Ducati have taken their experience in Moto GP and combined lightweight composites and milled aluminium to save on weight. 5.5lbs (2.5kg) ‘’unsprung weight was saved on the Carbon due to its lightweight Marchesini wheels. The standard Diavel wheels are a custom 14 spoke machine finished rims, the front 3.5x17 and the rear is a flow formed huge 8x17 rims.
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso 11 tyres were designed in partnership between the two Italian legends specifically for the Diavel. The front a conventional 120/70x17 section with a tread pattern to enhance wet weather performance and the 240/45x17 rear has a innovative sport orientated profile, custom-style width and bi-compound grip to enable high grip at full lean and long life due to Enhance Patch Technology (EPT) to maximise the contact area at all angles.
Ducati used the trademark trellis frame on the cruiser. The frame is fabricated from large diameter, light gauge tubing with two lateral diecast aluminium sections which flow into the sub frame.
The long aluminium single sided swing-arm gives the Diavel a wheel base of 1590mm (62.6in) and the bike stance can provide riders of lean up to 41 degrees.
The front suspension is via black bodied fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi front forks with slash cut triple clamps, cast aluminium on the lower and forged upper with rubber mounted rises and tapered handlebars. The rake is 28 degrees and the front end has a 70 degree steering lock for maximum manoeuvrability.
The rear suspension on the Diavel is via a horizontal positioned Sachs rear suspension unit with adjustable compression and rebound damping which is operated by a progressive pull rod linkage from the swing-arm, an adjustment knob is mounted on the right hand side under the seat and is easily accessed from the seated position.
Which brings me to my favourite part of the bike the 11 degree 1198cc Ducati Testastretta 162HP/94lb-ft (127.5Nm) Brute of a motor.
The Testastretta is a reinvention of the 1198 Superbike motor.
Ducati has reduced the race bred Testastretta Evoluzione engine used in the 1198 reducing the angle of the stroke from 41 degrees to 11 degrees and as a result, the fresh inlet charge flow is less compromised by exiting exhaust gases.
Ducati says the changes made have resulted in a much smoother combustion, improved fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions.
The radiators are positioned either side of the bike and have been combined a new 64mm water pump which has increased flow rate 35% @ high rpm.
These changes combined with the use of new valve seat materials, improved combustion efficiency and temperature management design, Ducati can now recommend major services can now be done every 24,000Klm (15,000 miles).
The 6 speed gearbox features an oil bath slipper clutch. The operation of the clutch is light, smooth and responsive.
The Diavel also has three electronic ride seatings, which can be selected from the left hand control box even whilst in motion.
The mode changes are made via the bikes Ride-by-Wire (RbW).
The RbW system administers the mappings to regulate power and the (DTC) Ducati traction control uses eight levels of traction control to enhance control by reducing wheel spin under heavy acceleration and although each mode has pre-set values of RbW and DTC, settings can also be adjusted for personal preference.
The Urban mode is the more user friendly of the settings and whilst putting out a credible 100hp, the traction control five setting makes the bike a very comfortable and manageable ride in heavy traffic conditions.
The next two settings Touring and Sport both top the horse power @ 162hp only the Touring mode gives the rider a smooth, friendly power delivery and the DTC is set to level 3 to give the rider and passenger a comfortable ride and maximum comfort and then there’s Sport! Wow, this setting gives the rider full use of those 162 horses and drops the DTC to its lowest setting 1 and lets the rider experience the real Ducati experience.
The Diavel comes in five models, the Dark as featured, Standard, Carbon, which comes with a mix of aesthetic and performance components and the Strada. The Strada is the tourer of the range equipped with side bags/ panniers, screen, touring seat and high layback handle bars. There is also the Special Edition AMG Diavel.
The twin-level seat is comfortable and the seat height at 770mm (30.3in) is one of the lowest in the Ducati range. The seat also comes with a removable single seat cover. Under the seat is an extendable T grab rail for passengers, which as with the seat was designed to flow with the bike.
The mid mount controls are more centre compared to the Ducati sports range and provide a comfortable riding position and easy access to the foot controls.
Resembling runway lights the Diavel is fitted with two vertical strips of LED lights on the front and rear. The taillights are two clear strips positioned on the underbelly of the seat that aluminate and provide tail, brake light and indicators. The fronts are clear lens and run vertically down the leading edge of the lateral radiator covers which illuminate to provide indicators.
The number plate has be ingeniously repositioned on an innovative mount that curves around the 240 rear tyre and is mounted to the single sided swing-arm and the frame work carries a hidden power feed to the dedicated LED illumination for the number plate.
The 17L fuel tank looks huge mainly due to the incorporation of the massive aluminium air intakes on either side and was designed to keep the seamless profile down the seat to the rear sub frame. The focal point of the tank is the high resolution display panel, steel tank skin and sculptured knee panels.
The Diavel comes in traditional Ducati red with red frame and diamond black with black frame and both have black wheels. The Diavel Carbon comes in ‘’red carbon’’ (gloss red over matte carbon weave) with red frame or ‘’black carbon’’ (both gloss and carbon weave) with black frame. The Diavel Cromo is finished in gloss black with contrasting silver pin-stripe, chrome-finished tank and panels and polished aluminium headlamp lower. The Diavel AMG Special Edition is dressed in matte black carbon fibre bodywork with AMG’s very own ‘’Diamond White Bright’’ stripe and frame contrasted with black wheels.
Check out the Diavel @ www.Ducati.com.au
Thanks to Stephanie and Adam, Ducati Australia and Fraser’s Motorcycles for the Diavel experience.