“Ignurànt comm’ al diavel!” – “Evil, like the devil!”
Ducati Factory Worker
On seeing the silhouette of first prototype of the bike
Words: Dhairya Gupta
Images: Nitin Gupta
This is how the unique offering from Ducati got its name. So if this was the reaction from a factory worker, who builds Ducati day-in & day-out, imagine what the reaction from a commoner would be on looking at this “Devil”. So is this just a good looking muscular bike and was all the time spent only in the studio and not in engine shop? Not really. The performance of this cruiser matches its looks. Did I say ‘performance’ and ‘cruiser’ in the same sentence? Yes. To put it simply, this bike combines the performance and handling of a sports bike with the comfortable riding position of a cruiser.
Look and Feel:
One look at the bike and you cannot get your eyes off it. I am sure if it were standing among a crowd of Superbikes and Harleys, this bike would attract the most eyeballs. Be it the Marchesini forged and machined wheels, the exposed trellis frame, the horizontally split headlamp, or the parallel twin LED tail lamps, the bike is design elements galore. However, one thing that I did not really like is the faded look on the air scoop shrouds. We had to run our hands on them to make sure if they were not scuffs from a fall.
The bike comes with a proximity key. So all you need to do is, let the key remain in your pocket, pull up the engine kill switch and the ignition button is revealed. Et Voila! The panel comes to life, the little LCD screen shows a Diavel being drawn by a laser and lots of lights turn up. The instrument cluster is small but very functional none the less. Talking about the info on display, you get a gear indicator, engine temperature gauge, mileage read out and other information. Thumb the starter and the loud grunt makes every other motorcycle sound like a certain Justin Beiber. There are about 10 heavy metal bands playing inside that 1200cc,Testastretta, 11o L-Twin engine. The sound is so addictive that we time and again went through a tunnel just to get a kick from the bike’s sound.
Ride and Performance:
Slot the gear into first and there is a huge thud. This is courtesy a chain transmission which lets you know that it is getting ready to deliver huge amounts of torque to the 240 section rear wheel. Open the throttle and the beat surges ahead. Wheel spins suddenly become an involuntarily affair and inexperienced riders should stay away from this bike. The bike surges ahead like a Spanish bull after an overdose of Red bull. All hell breaks loose the moment you cross 4,000 RPM and you will really be wishing you had spent some extra time in the gym. The power delivery is constant and bike keeps on accelerating hard. This is how a Bugatti Veyron feelss like – both having sub 3 sec 0-100 kmph figures. Slot into second but the madness refuses to cease. The bike keeps moving just like a cannon ball shot does to hit the target – the car in the front in this case. Fortunately, the anchors are well aware of their duty and the brembo units together with petal disks haul you down.
As per Ducati, this bike can easily give a fight to the 1199 Panigale until about 7000 rpm and stays neck to neck until about 9000 rpm. This is how fast the bike is and this is what matters in the real world street situation. A Diavel would be the outright winner in red light GPs. Now, the sisters here share the engine expect for having a different bore and stroke and off course tuning. However one would be struggling much more on a Diavel with nothing to protect you from the wind blast.
Talking about the handling part, this is one bike which comes across as a huge surprise. At the first look, it does not look like something which will be good around corners. This bike has a 240 mm wide rear tire, straight extended handlebar and low stance for crying out loud. How can it go around a corner – is not it something built for long highway rides and enjoy the beautiful valley in curves on the hills? Initially, this is what I had in my mind but I turned out to be wrong. It will be an understatement to say that this bike handles really well. The designers have brought the front wheel closer to the chassis and hence, the reduced the wheel base (compared to other cruisers) makes handling a breeze. The comfortable seat will make you hum your favorite song as you take those corners and try to look like Nicky Hayden. However, be careful as unlike the sports bikes, the foot pegs are lower. Straight line stability is rock steady. However, be careful at higher speeds as it would be the rider who would be struggling because of heavy wind blasts. The fact that this bike, at 207 kgs, is a light cruiser ( just compare it with the 3 ton HD V-rod), makes it an easy handler in traffic. You can gun between those gaps in traffic pretty quick. Needless to say, handling at the lower speeds can be a little tricky as the rear wheel is a little resistant to changes in direction at city speeds.
I rode on tarmac and ride on it was very comfortable. I rode on small patches of bad roads and ride quality, again, was pretty good. You will not have your bones cracking over bad roads – which can be easily found even in our metros.
I remember my early biking days when my and everyone else’s eyes and camera would come out at the very sight of a superbike. However, time has passed since then and thanks to so many of these bikes now being on sale, sighting a superbikes on Delhi roads has became pretty mundane. However, make no mistake, as this bike still makes heads turn. I am always happy to answer questions related to the bike. The best thing to make the biking culture to increase is to educate people and answer their questions. Yes, they might not be buying a Ducati but knowledge and information is the first step towards development.
Ducati and the cultural fit in India:
India is changing. If we can forget about the recent economic turmoil of lower industrial growth and such, we are seeing an increase in sales of lifestyle vehicles. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Riding such a beast in India is not an easy task. Keeping so much power in control isn’t a child’s play. But is Diavel as tough to master as a SBK? Well, in a superbike, the riding position can play havoc with your backbone. The power delivery can see you struggling to easily flow with the traffic. However with this Italian beast, you remain much more in control and comfort. As for the aesthetics, you will grab more eye balls than the bloke on the superbike and you will have people wanting to get their pictures clicked with your bike.
Things you can find at 1 Million other websites – Specs:
- Displacement: 1198cc
- Engine: 1198cc, 11° V-Twin
- Maximum Power: 162 Bhp @ 9500 rpm
- Maximum Torque: 127 Nm @ 8000 rpm
- Gears: 6 Manual
- Clutch: Not Announced
- Bore: 106
- Stroke: 67.9
- Cylinder Configuration: 0
- Engine Block Material: 0
- Chassis Type: Tubular steel Trellis frame
- Cooling Type: Liquid Cooling
- Weight: 210.00 kg
- Fuel Tank: 17.00 ltrs
- Wheelbase: 1590.00 mm
- Wheel Size: Front: 120/70×17 Rear:240/45×17 mm
- Tubeless: Yes