MoreBikes has been out in Spain today riding the 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 at the world launch. Now the riding is over, here’s our first thoughts on the newest version of the muscle cruiser.
OK, so what would we tell you about the new Diavel, should we be meeting in a pub and you’d asked us ‘what’s it like?’. Well, that’s really easy to answer – it’s great. It’s spot on. It’s a beast, it’s fun, it’s easy to use and potently rampant on the road. It’s a real favourite of ours already, and we’ve only been riding it for 175 miles so far.
Before we get to the ‘why’ it works, here’s some mechanical details and comparisons with the original Diavel (because, despite what Ducati might say openly when asked, this really is the son of the original bike – forget the XDiavel, this is the bike that original Diavel fans should be interested in these days if they want a modern take on that first-gen muscles goodness).
What Ducati has done with this bike is take the XDiavel and move the engine further back, pull in the rake and trail, shorten the swing arm and shift the cooler to the front of the motor to clean things up – and help shift that big engine quite a bit further back. The factory has also cleaned up and made much more elegant, the exhaust. It’s still double can, but it juts out of the belly of the bike in a race, stubby sort of way.
Exhaust aside, the bigger, geometric changes equate to a riding experience that is familiar but still really quite different. Close your eyes and you know you’re on a Diavel, look at the new 17 litre tank and flared shoulders complimented by the single, tiny colour screen and idiot lights perched on top of the handlebars and you know you’re on a Diavel. Fire the lump into life and you would bet your life that a Diavel was under your backside.
So Ducati has at least got this right. Almost everything on the new bike is new. Aside from front mudguard, handlebars and rear mudguard holder, it’s a freshly-created Diavel for 2019.
In another level of Paul Daniels slight-of-hand-ness, the new bike is 5kg heavier than the old model at a now 288kg wet and the wheelbase is longer (20-odd mm) but feels lighter and more nimble on the mover. This is down to the shifting of that engine and the pulling in of the steering. It’s racetrack thinking used to just make life easier on the road.
On the road, this thing is a peach. The motor has a virtually flat torque curve. In reality this means that no matter where you are in the rev range you can crack the throttle and the bike surges forward – in fact you can pop the bike into a gear higher than you think and just lazily ride that torque if you want to. It’s that good and means that you’ve got lots of the 95lb-ft on tap whenever you want it.
There are three riding modes; Sport, Urban and Touring with each giving you full power with various levels of delivery finesse combined with the factory-set traction/wheelie/abs levels as wanted. You can go into the bike’s digital brain and set each element of each riding modes to suit your style and need further. You can also do this by an app on your smart phone.
But back to the riding experience. That motor surges, get it into the top end of the revs and it just rooooommmmmpppssss away with an animalistic growl that undresses the 1,262cc DVT Testastretta’s track DNA and begs you to keep going.
Low down, pottering through towns is smooth and thinking-free.
Niggles? There are a couple; the mirrors show you a lot of what’s behind but get over 3,500rpm and they turn the view into a silly, vibrating mush of colours and the colour screen is fine but a bit too small for me. I’d happily have a bigger screen for more info availability. And some heated grips as standard should really be on this bike, not just available as an aftermarket option.
But hey, I’m splitting hairs here. This new Ducati Diavel is pretty bloody excellent. It’s a real road riding motorcycle at its best on fast sweepers and tight turns. Crack the throttle and it feels raw and urgent – hiding the cleverness and the billion-gizmos that are keeping you upright as you launch towards the next corner. Plus it has that 240 section Pirelli rear tyre that grips and turns into corners like you wouldn’t believe unless you’d ridden on it.
Price-wise you’ll pay £16,795 for the standard 1260 which only comes in grey, it’s £19,985 for the S model that gets M50 Brembos up front, 48mm forks and a host of other things which you really do want.
We’ve got the PCP details from Ducati just now and they are:
1260: Initial payment of £3,780.10 (22%) and then £189 for 37 months with a final payment of £8,645.
1260S: Initial payment of £4,139.06 (21%) and then £229 for 37 months with a final payment of £10,411.00.
You can read the full road test review of the 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 in the next issue of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure magazine. For more information on how to get hold of a copy, click HERE.