First Impressions: Nitin Gupta Rides The Ducati Diavel

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Ducati Diavel has to be the newest contender in the band of big, bad bikes. Our man in Delhi, Nitin Gupta, recently managed to lay his hands on this exotic machine, and came back rather stunned. Here, in this brief first impression, he tries to review the bike for our readers, penning what he felt about the machine during his brief ride.
Ducati Diavel
Ducati has categorized the Diavel as a Sports Cruiser, and after riding it for a while the first thing that I can say with confidence is, that the categorization is rather apt. Sharing the parts bin with its SBK sibling i.e. the 1198, the Diavel manages to churn out a very healthy 162 horses. However, sharing engine components with its sportsbike cousin doesn’t mean that it’s as agile. Having said that I still feel that the Diavel handles rather well for its size. It does not have a real rival in the market as of now owing to its unique shape, positioning and behavior.

The Diavel’s massive girth may be intimidating for many, but it’s quite manageable and light for its size. It’s no sportsbike, but makes you feel comfortable around corners, unlike some other similar sized cruiser. You need to have ample width and some experience if you want to lean on this one though. Diavel’s fully adjustable rear and front suspension and awesome brakes along with its naked body make it a nice bike to ride in town.
Ducati Diavel
However in a hot weather country like India, the Diavel does get heated up rather quickly, and you will see the temperature rising to 103 degrees within a few minutes riding in traffic. And god save you if you find a bumper to bumper traffic jam, the variety you get in big metros like Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore.

Having a great ground clearance and seat height of 30.3 inches helps a great deal on the Indian streets. At 207 kg, the Diavel, without doubt is heavy but it has been nicely balanced to not be too cumbersome for its rider. It’s no fly, but steady and balanced enough to react swiftly to direction changes, especially at slow speeds, a trait which is absolutely essential in a country like India.

With added benefits like Traction Control and riding modes like Sports, Touring and Urban with a maximum difference of 62Bhp the Diavel knows when to rear up and when to mellow down as per the rider’s requirements. The Sports mode employs full 162 bhp and DTC 1 Mode, Touring mode too puts all the horses to work, but with DTC level 3, and Urban mode employs only 100bhp with DTC 5. You have to press a little button on the left handlebar to toggle highlight various modes. Long press the button to choose a mode. The system will then ask you to close the throttle completely. Once you do that, you have selected your riding mode. This can be done easily while being on the move too.
Ducati Diavel
The TFT screen is equipped with a lot of things delivering information in liberal volumes including the DTC on/off sign, riding mode indicator, gear shift Indicator and the current gear you are in. The gearshifts are extremely smooth and the gear shifter lever appears to have been dialing the inputs in a lump of butter inside. A wet slipper clutch system helps reduce harsh engine braking.

The braking on the Diavel is phenomenal. The radially mounted four piston Brembo calipers bite the large discs rather violently to tame this beast and the ABS is also programmable as per the rider’s choice into various Riding Modes. The steady suspension and balanced geometry of the bike gives Diavel impeccable stability on the road. No fairing, however, means that wind blast is an issue the moment you slightly past the triple digit speeds.
Ducati Diavel
The Diavel also has its set of eye candies. The extremely bright LED backlights & indicators, brushed aluminium radiator shrouds, a bright TFT display, a small LED display over the number plate and the license plate mounted on the aluminium trellis swing-arm do make the Diavel all the more alluring.

The Diavel may be quite expensive, but it’s one of the most eye catching bikes you would ever buy. This is as exclusive as it comes. Diavel is as much a chick magnet, as it is a matter of envy for other big bike riders, even the SBK owners included. It’s like nothing else on the road. As the adage goes, love it, hate it, but you simply can’t ignore it.

Ducati Diavel


Displacement:    1198.40 ccm (73.13 cubic inches)
Engine type:    V2, four-stroke
Engine details:    Type Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder
Power:    162.00 HP (118.2 kW)) @ 9500 RPM
Torque:    127.50 Nm (13.0 kgf-m or 94.0 ft.lbs) @ 8000 RPM
Gearbox:    6-speed
Clutch:    Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run.
Frame type:    Tubular steel Trellis frame
Front suspension:    Marzocchi 50mm fully adjustable usd forks
Rear suspension:    Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Sachs monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Instruments:    Handlebar mounted instrumentation with LCD display: speed, rpm, time, coolant temp. Warning lights for: Neutral, turn signals, high-beam, rev-limit, DTC intervention, ABS status, oil pressure, fuel reserve. Tank mounted instrumentation with TFT colour display: gear selected, air temp, battery voltage, trips 1 and 2, fuel reserve trip, average and actual fuel consumption and speed, trip time, scheduled maintenance. Full status and/or management of Riding Modes, DTC, RbW and ABS.
Seat:    Dual seat
Factory warranty:    2 years unlimited mileage
Color options:    Red, Diamond Black

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