25 May 2012 - 06:47
First ride: Ducati Diavel
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think ‘Ducati’? Probably the 916, the Monster or some such other appropriately famous moniker. Which leads you to the question – What the hell were they thinking when they drew up the Diavel?!’ And with good reason, too.
Make no mistake, it’s a traditional Ducati. The trademark trellis, the desmodromic V-twin and all the madness associated with that combination – it’s all there. But a cruiser? Well, it would be called that only if it behaved like one, right? And it doesn’t. What it does is take your perception of stereotypes and shatter them to pieces with its Italian V-twin-induced vibes.
If you expect this thing to feel more like a Harley; but boy oh boy, would you be mistaken. Instead, around corners of every kind, it makes you feel more like Troy Bayliss than Arnie on a Fat Boy. It’s all thanks to the very sophisticated thingamajig (very unimaginatively) called Ducati Traction Control system. You get three modes to play with Sport, Touring and Urban, the last of which is a bit like ‘valet’ mode.
However, in the other two modes, the whole mothership astounds you by pulling to 100kph in 2.6 seconds, quicker than most things man has invented yet. And more fun too. The comfortable riding position means that you’re never millimetres away from dislodging your spine, even though ride quality on bad roads is just short of terrible.
What saves and makes the day, though, is the handling. The Diavel is nothing short of the best real-world superbike available, and it is easily the easiest fast bike you can go fast on. The fact that it comes with DTC, ABS and a sorted suspension package only adds to your confidence. Until someone mentions the price tag, that is.
At Rs 29.34 lakh (on-road, Mumbai), the Diavel Carbon, the Prada-wearing devil, with carbon-fibre and brush-finished panels, is as mightily priced as it is capable. Well, at least it gets two pipes and enough red paint.
Check out our full feature on the Ducati Diavel right here.