Given our perilous state, the last thing the world needs is a 162bhp, 207kg, traction controlled muscle bike – so hooray to Ducati for actually having the balls to build one. Words rarely fail us, but when you cast your eyes on this beast, it’s hard to know where to start. Born from a completely blank canvas, this is totally alien territory for Ducati, but by the looks of the Diavel (Bolognese dialect for devil), Ducati has got it nailed.
At the throbbing heart of the bike is the Testastretta V-twin motor, barking at the best of times. Focus on the reducing the valve overlap angle (cut from 41° on the 1198 Evoluzione engine to 11° here) and a new ride-by-wire system does the job of managing the Diavel’s gargantuan low-end grunt. The massive 127.5Nm of torque is delivered to the road via a huge 240-section rear tyre, developed specifically for the Diavel. Like the Multistrada, the bike gets three riding modes to meter the power accordingly as well as the DTC traction control system. Nuts.
Despite that tyre, the Diavel promises to handle, with a 50mm fully adjustable Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock. Radially mounted calipers do the stopping, with an ABS system there to help in emergencies. The trellis frame possesses massive torsional rigidity, despite using light gauge tubing.
And then there’s the styling. With the choice of the standard or a lightweight ‘Carbon’ version, both machines offer stunning looks with neat touches everywhere – like the retractable pillion pegs and handle, cleverly suspended number plate holder, and split level instrumentation. Expected in Spring.