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2019 Ducati Diavel review: Dancing with the devil
THE classic American power cruiser motorcycle pairs a big image with an equally large engine. The result is, like some of the muscle cars of yore, a machine that excels at straight-line speed, but is less adept at going around corners quickly.
Ducati's twist on the power cruiser formula throws all that out the window.
The Diavel (meaning "devil" in Ducati's native Bolognese dialect) first appeared eight years ago, and this new, third-gen model continues to make a flaming mess of the power cruiser rule book.
Muscular styling, a long and low stance, and a huge 240mm wide rear tyre all deliver big on the "cruiser" part of the equation, while the new 1,262cc L-twin engine makes a screaming 159 horsepower. That's more than most cars in a machine less than a fifth of the weight, so the "power" part is hardly a surprise.
What is eyebrow raising is the Diavel's agility. While it's big and imposing, and not the easiest machine to park, on the move the Diavel behaves much more like the sports bikes Ducati is known for and can carve corners with an ease that totally belies its appearance.
What's even more surprising is that there's also a light side to it. The Diavel doesn't make a rider feel the brimstone, since it doesn't run horribly hot in traffic, and its suspension is sporty but still relatively comfortable.
There are guardian angels in the form of a host of rider aids that include traction control, wheelie control, cornering ABS and more. There are also three riding modes, Urban, Touring, and Sport, which significantly alter the bike's behaviour, going from easy-rider to bat-out-of-hell at the flick of a switch.
The result is a machine that's not just enjoyable to ride on fast, open roads, but can even hack the daily grind as well.
Ultimately, this Ducati isn't the sort to whisper in your ear and encourage you to get up to all sorts of bad behaviour, but actually does its best to keep you out of trouble. Despite the brutishly powerful engine, it's also user-friendly enough to make you feel well-acquainted with its abilities before long. As they say, better the Diavel you know than the one you don't.
Ducati Diavel 1260
Engine 1,262cc, L-twin
Gearbox 6-speed manual
Max power 159hp at 9500rpm
Max torque 129Nm at 7500rpm
Wet Weight 233kg
Seat Height 780mm
Price S$59,900 (with COE, road tax)
Agent Ducati Singapore (Wearnes)