The new Ducati Diavel is a conundrum for some. Folks are trying to define it, and it refuses to conform. Why must folks, professional moto-journalists thus far, insist on pigeonholing everything? Long before the Diavel even hit the streets people were calling it Ducati’s Cruiser and comparing it to the VMax and V-Rod. Must …Force …Square …Peg …Into … Round…Hole!
Sorry, folks. The Diavel don’t play that game. On one hand, it may be a man without a country, ostracized for not fitting in. Or on the other hand, is it a starting point for a whole new genre of motorcycle? To paraphrase the mumblings of a frustrated fellow journalist I met on the recent Marbella Spain Press Launch of the 2011 Ducati Diavel: whatever it is, it sure is fun.
Why did Ducati build it? Maybe as a marketing exercise to give riders something different. Maybe as a test of its mechanical and technological expertise to see if it could be done. Maybe as an extension of its varied product line. Or maybe just to mess with insecure people’s heads.
Some of the highpoints include an unmistakably Ducati trellis frame; light curb weight; optional carbon-fiber bodywork; sportbike-spec front rubber; ABS; multiple, programmable traction control settings in each of the three riding modes; fly-by-wire throttle; light-sensitive, tank-mounted, Thin Film Transistor display instrument; LEDs all around; 25″-long, single-sided swingarm; and inboard rear brake. And if you think I’m leading somewhere, you’re right – -the back of the bike. Check out the fat 240 rear tire on a 17″ x 8″- genuine Marchesini rim with contrast-cut machining you’d usually only find on high-end, aftermarket wheels. And that’s just the stuff I’m gonna throw out here. For the whole story, you need to read my full New Bike Evaluation in the June issue of RoadBike magazine, on newsstands May 3. I don’t know if I’ll define it to your satisfaction, but I’ll tell you all about it.