We don’t need to tell you how brilliant Ducati motorcycles are, and we surely don’t need to give you an introduction to the Diavel. The jaw-dropping and powerful Italian machine is one of the most popular motorcycles Ducati has ever made. First launched back in 2011, the Diavel stirred the world’s motorcycle industry with its sheer performance and looks to die for.
The Diavel gained so much popularity in so less time that Ducati decided to come up with a slightly updated model called the XDiavel. This kid had its parent’s genes but was a bit relaxed. Ducati altered the riding stance on the XDiavel by providing front set footpegs, low seat, and sweptback handlebar; all of them come with 3 different configurations each. Overall, it provided a better package if you wanted to have a more cruiser-like performance rather than a sportbike-like performance of the Diavel.
Fast forward to the present, there are two Diavel models on sale in the UAE – the 1260 and the 1260 S. We’ve been trying to get our hands on any one of them since last month. And finally, we had the Diavel 1260 with us for review after Ramadan thanks to Ducati UAE. We had a full week to review this unit so we took our time, understood the bike, put on some kilometres on the odo, and here’s what we have to say.
Looks and styling
The Diavel is not just another bike on the road. It has got looks that can’t be matched by anyone. Ducati clearly spent countless hours designing this beauty. The Diavel has a unique aura. If you start admiring its elements, you wouldn’t notice the time passing by. When we got the bike for review, that’s exactly what happened with us. We lost in admiring this beauty for longer than expected. Also, not to forget, there is a 3.5-inch TFT colour display. It might sound like a bit undersized but its high-resolution display is phenomenal and the entire system gives you a plethora of information. So you don’t really mind the small size.
While looks are definitely subjective, there is a universal law in case of the Diavel. It states, ‘The Ducati Diavel is jaw-droppingly beautiful with its sophisticated design’. So you can’t really have a second opinion here. No doubt the Diavel 1260 won the Red Dot Design Award 2019 and also was the primary topic of discussion at the Milan Design Week. In fact, to showcase its expertise in designing motorcycles, Ducati presented a special edition Diavel 1260 Materico at the event.
Engine and performance
This is the second best part of the Diavel, first being its killer looks. Powering this beast is Ducati’s twin-cylinder 1262cc Testastretta DVT engine that produces 159 horses and 129 Newton-metres. The latest model comes with a new architecture, translating to a sportier delivery with unbelievable acceleration while maintaining a flat and consistent torque delivery thanks to the Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT). It’s because of this that the bike doesn’t feel that intimidating as it looks.
The engine uses a Dual Spark (DS) system which means there are two spark plugs on duty for each cylinder. In short, this helps in better combustion resulting in reduced levels of pollutants exiting the exhaust without compromising the performance of the bike. Also, the Ride by Wire (RbW) allows for very precise throttle control at all times. Ducati has also provided 3 riding modes and 3 power modes so that you can have an experience as personalised as possible.
Ride quality and ergonomics
Like we mentioned earlier, the Diavel has a unique aura and feel. As soon as we hopped on to it, we were instantly amazed by the spot-on riding ergonomics. And just to let you guys know, yes, we were grinning inside our helmets all the time. The Diavel is a big bike but it doesn’t feel like one once you are astride it. Perhaps, that is because it has a balanced/neutral riding position; neither it is too aggressive and dedicated nor it’s too relaxed and stretched. Ducati found the perfect combination between performance and comfort and implemented that in the Diavel. This means that the bike is ideal for both having fun and giving it the beans and for travelling comfortably, crunching miles all day long.
You can’t really say that the Diavel 1260 is a great handler unless you actually ride one. That’s because it doesn’t look like a bike that can take on a corner aggressively. It appears to be one giant cruiser-type of a bike. But like it’s said, never judge a book by its cover, it is exactly the same with the Diavel. You’d be surprised to know how it beautifully and maturely it handles corners. You wouldn’t even feel the sheer weight of the bike.
To help the Diavel achieve unbelievable handling characteristics, Ducati has revised the placement of the engine. The engine sits just a tiny bit backwards (towards the rear tyre). This gives the bike a better mass centralisation and distribution. As a result, the Diavel isn’t just better at taking sweeping corners but it also changes directions extremely quickly and easily.
If you want to experience a bit more fun then you can have the Diavel 1260 S which gets more performance oriented Ohlins suspension system along with a quickshifter.
You should always keep your ego back at home whenever you’re riding a powerful bike like the Diavel 1260. This would keep you and others safe. However, if you forget to do that, Ducati does offer a host of safety features. There’s the Brembo braking system and Bosch cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control Evo (DWC), Ducati Power Launch Evo (DPL), cruise control, and much more. All these features keep an eye on you without spoiling the overall riding experience.
The Ducati Diavel 1260 falls in a very unique genre of motorcycles and perhaps that’s the reason it doesn’t have any direct rivals. We sat down and thought about bikes that might compete against the Diavel and we came down to two names – Yamaha VMax and Harley-Davidson FXDR 114. We weren’t able to get a hold of the VMax at the time of this review so we can’t really elaborate on its behalf. As far as the FXDR 114 is concerned, it comes nowhere close to the Diavel’s performance and quality of equipment.
After living the short yet amazing life with the new Diavel 1260, we are nothing but impressed and blown away but this utterly fantastic motorcycle. It checks just the right boxes that a motorcyclist could think of. Somehow it manages to read your mind and predict your next move and just moulds itself into that character. It’s extremely well planted in the corners, it travels like a bullet on the straights, and feels like a relaxed cruiser in traffic. The Ducati Diavel 1260 S is a motorcycle that you can’t say no to.
The Ducati Diavel 1260 price in the UAE is around AED 85,000 (~$23,000) and is available in only a single colour option – the Sandstone Grey – whereas the more capable 1260 S will set you back by approximately AED 105,000 (~$28,000) and comes with an additional and exclusive ‘Total black’ colour option. For more information, you can visit Ducati UAE’s website.