You don't need perfect vision to see that this 2015 Ducati Diavel, in any of its variant guises - the Standard, Carbon Red, Carbon White or the limited edition Titanium - like before, has the strength to bowl you out clean with its looks, design and overall sex-appeal. The latest avatar, seen in its Carbon Red guise here may have the same silhouette as the older model, but a closer look reveals a couple restyled features like the cut headlamp unit which now houses LEDs and lends the bike a grittier looking face.
Then there's the radiator shroud that hugs the bike tighter and more angular cut exhaust tips that accentuate the beautiful single sided swingarm and that rubber monster of a 240/45 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II rear. In addition to the obvious carbon bits that bring down this bikes weight over the standard variant, the wheels are different too. These ones are forged alloys (rims on the standard model are cast iron), while the front suspension gets a coating that makes braking and its' overall functioning a tad smoother.
The new Diavel comes with a cool split instrumentation with the speedo, tacho, clock and engine temp filling up the upper half of the digital console, while the one mounted on the long sweeping 17-litre tank displays info and rider control options like the 8-levels of traction control, ABS that can be switched off, distance trips, clock, average consumption, distance to empty, engine temp indications, and other stuff for you to cycle through. On the left corner of the lower display lies the smallest of indicators that if not paid attention to could be the cause for worry while dancing with this Diavel - the digi-fuel indicator gauge.
Though there's a lot of tech involved with this motorcycle, it's not exactly the Starship Enterprise of its time, because most of the Japanese and American motorcycles of this calibre come with the same safety and power delivery features. But by way of usage of the sophisticated electronics through simple yet suave buttons, makes everything feel a little better and in a way, grand. Even the keyless starting sequence to this bike is fun.
The saddle is spot on with the pegs and bars keeping you in a rather upright and slightly stretched forward position. It's comfortable just as you would expect for a bike to cost this much money.
Mechanically, the new bike stays pretty much the same as the last. The 1198cc Testastretta 11Â° Dual spark motor that lays nestled into Ducati's signature trellis frame is identical as far as power delivery goes with 162bh and 130.5Nm of torque on tap through the ride by wire throttle. The 2015 model has a 4 per cent increase in mid-range torque delivery over the older model, but this improvement isn't a very prominent. The bike comes with three riding modes that regulate throttle response, traction control and power delivery - Urban (100bhp), Touring (162bhp low) and Sport (163bhp high) - to cycle through on the TFT display on the tank. Power delivery in urban feels rather dull and boring while the bike feels its lively best in Sport. Acceleration in a straight line is tremendous, with the throttle being superbly sensitive to the slightest of actions.
The throttle is light, the clutch is forgiving and the bike accelerates clean and smooth with a little if any pleasant vibes felt through the bars up to the 10,000rpm limiter, taking you to triple digit speeds without a fuss. Hard cornering isn't one of this bike's fortes but the Duc remains composed and predictable on long sweeping bends. Riding the Diavel, you'll want to keep to the highways as much as you can. It's a place where the Ducati feels more at home. In a straight line it's linear and strong from low revs. Sure, the city is fun if you're seeking attention. And boy, do you get a lot of it. This Ducati isn't at all hard to manoeuvre around tight spots in town, too. But you don't want to be stuck in peak hour city traffic. Especially in a city like Delhi.
Give the Testastretta 11Â° a rest with a flick of the fancy-functioning kill-switch, and all around you will appear silent, up until the point where one individual will inquire about the bike out of genuine curiosity. Reply to that query, and there's sure to be a zillion more questions from every direction coming your way, in all kinds of dialects. Keeping the Ducati running for more 15 minutes in touch and go traffic, and the bike may tend to roast your future family making apparatus. The suspension, which is completely adjustable, feels collected and just about alright given Indian road conditions on the default factory setting, while the tyres are good for paved surfaces. Throw a bit of gravel under them and the tyres loose a bit of composure, but that's when the traction control kicks in to save you from hairy instances.
The Diavel seriously roars, demanding even more spectators and attention. It sounds loud, menacing and does the mean look of the bike justice when throttling hard through the slick six-speeder, and things get even more beastly as you stomp down on the lever, snarling as you downshifting through the cogs like the thing is on fire.
Sadly, it's pricing means that the Diavel isn't a motorcycle for everyone to own. It's the kind of motorcycle that'll attract middle-aged Casanovas with prospering businesses or the young 'enthusiasts' with a bottomless pit for a trust fund. On its re-entry to India, Ducati has taken the scenic route, through Thailand - a country which India has a certain trade agreement which allows Ducati to import motorcycles at a concession, thereby letting it price its models competitively. The result will leave you having to pay Rs 14.22 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the Standard Diavel, Rs 17.43 lakh for the Diavel Carbon, like the one we're riding here, and Rs 17.91 lakh for the Diavel White (just the change in paint over the red).
Not too bad for possibly the best looking power cruiser in the country. Oh, and in case that didn't spell 'exclusivity' for you, and you've got some lakhs of rupees laying stagnant at the bank, there's a more expensive variant labelled the Diavel Titanium - which basically one of 500 motorcycles the company has produced back home Italy, which will rid your bank account of a gut wrenching Rs 38.06 lakh.
Specs1198.4cc, Testastretta 11Â° dual spark, L-Twin, 162bhp, 130.5Nm, 6M, 234kg, fuel tank\:17 litres
PriceDucati Diavel\: Rs 14.22 lakhDucati Diavel Carbon\: Rs 17.43 lakhDucati Diavel Carbon White\: Rs 17.91 lakh(Prices, ex-showroom, Delhi)
VerdictThe smart and attractively-designed. tech-packaged Italian has exclusivity and art splashed all over it. Although cheaper than before, the best looking power cruiser still comes at a high price.