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Ducati DIAVEL Custom Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

We’re absolutely blown away by the Diavel. It’s so light, fast and sophisticated, so good handling and fun, it completely turns on its head everything we thought so-called ‘cruisers were about until now. Or, to put it another way: the Diavel does to the cruiser bike class pretty much – if not more – what Ducati’s Multistrada did to the adventure bike class last year. It adds a degree of performance and sports ability to a class of bike where it simply didn’t exist before.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Testastretta 11º engine is essentially identical to that of the Multistrada 1200. Different exhaust and airbox, however, liberates 12 extra bhp to produce a peak bhp of 162 enough for it to be quicker even than the 1198 0-100kph. Fuelling is and delivery is perfect, switchable riding modes (engine maps) allows a choice between Urban (100bhp), Touring (soft 162bhp) or Sports (sharp 162bhp) maps, making it not just fiendishly potent, but practical and versatile, too.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

We can’t quite get our heads around how Ducati has managed it, considering the Diavel’s long, low cruiser gait and fat back tyre, but this bike steers and sweeps and scratches and stops almost – almost – as good as a super naked. It’s that good. It steers perfectly neutrally and holds its line without complaint or (amazingly) decking out – and boy we tried. Its ride is smooth and controlled, the suspension exuding strength and quality. And the brakes are simply awesome. Sports bikes WILL be humbled by the Diavel.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Tons of high tech as standard, including ABS, DTC (traction control) the riding modes system, TFT instruments, top spec brakes, not to mention a ‘car-style’ keyless ignition, novel LED head, tail and ‘strip’ indicator lights, footpegs with detachable rubbers, billet mirrors and a large diameter exhaust which includes not one but two lambda sensors, a catalytric converter and an power valve. High tech? The Diavel’s certainly got it…

Ducati Diavel (2011-current)

Detail Value
New price £14,995
Dealer used prices
£10,370 (2011) - £14,000 (2013)
Private used prices
£9,360 (2011) - £12,120 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1198 cc
Power 162 bhp
Top speed mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 3

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Too early to pronounce on reliability, although recent Ducatis are generally much improved with extended 15,000-mile service intervals, but quality certainly impresses: all the wiring and hosing is neatly hidden away; the raised badging is mouthwateringly tactile; all the surfaces are either glossy paint, saucy carbon fibre or mouthwateringly milled aluminium; the fold-away pillion pegs and retractable grab handle are exquisite, I could go on…

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

£13,000 for the standard version is a lot of money in anyone’s book, with the carbon versions substantially more, but we think it’s still good value, especially compared to competition such as Yamaha’s (currently £22K) VMax and Harley’s
£14K VRod Muscle. You get an awful lot of tech, quality and style from Ducati and, best of all, performance that simply blows away anything else in the class.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2011: Diavel launched

Other Versions

Diavel Carbon: £15,495
£2500 extra gets you carbon fibre body panels and mudguard in unpainted black plus a black nitride coating on the forks and forged Marchesini wheels with matching, machined disc carriers – all of which trims weight by 3kg (the wheels alone are 2.5kg lighter).

Diavel Carbon Red £15,895
As the Carbon but (as tested here) with red paintjob. Carbon models will be available first, but all models are expected to be in dealers before the end of the month.

Specifications

Top speed mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 162 bhp
Max torque 94 ft-lb
Weight 210 kg
Seat height 770 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 1198 cc
Engine specification 8v liquid-cooled V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload, compression and rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression and rebound
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs, Brembo 4-piston callipers, ABS
Rear brake 265mm disc, twin-piston calliper, ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR 17
Rear tyre size 240/45 ZR 17

See all Ducati DIAVEL motorcycles for sale

Ducati
DIAVEL

miles

£10,690

Ducati
DIAVEL

8322 miles

£9,450

Ducati
DIAVEL

3572 miles

£10,495

Ducati
DIAVEL

miles

£11,495

Ducati
DIAVEL

7594 miles

£12,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(10 reviews)

  • Just purchased one

    my748s

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Having had enough of killing my arms on my 748 i decided it was time to get something a bit more comfy and also something the wife could get on the back of, I test rode one the Thursday before last and returned to the dealer and ordered one, the bike handles very well for its size it pulls like a train and the wife had enough room to be comfy, i also ordered a tail tidy and venture shield, in the end we plumped for the carbon white,, its not a pretty thing in my opinion but it looks great from the side and the rear, i must admit i did think twice as the price is quite scarry but after picking it up friday i am well chuffed it rides so well for a big lump,

    20 October 2014

  • Booted out!

    Ricklehurst

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Obviously I took too long writing the review underneath! P.S: The mph figure mentioned should have read 100.

    23 August 2013

  • Nice, but not the bike for me.

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Took one on loan for the day while my 1100 Monster was being serviced, covering about 50 miles. First thing to strike me was how surprisingly smooth & easy to ride it was. It turned in to corners eagerly & exceeded expectations all round in terms of handling. Engine wise, I have to say I was a teensy bit disappointed: Sure, it's plenty fast, but not breathtakingly so & you have to rev to get at the power, which tends to mean changing down. I can honestly say that my Monster feels like it has more grunt, plus the power is much more readily accessible & delivered in a more pleasing way. Obviously the Diavel would streak away at much over mph but who wants to do that regularly on a naked? Maybe the Strada version with the screen would be the one to go for. I found the riding modes utterly pointless: The bike is smooth & well mannered enough not to need any cap on peak power, & switching between modes is far too complicated to be realistic on the move without being dangerously distracting. I loved a lot about the Diavel but the best thing was that it convinced me that I don't need to change my own bike any time soon. If I was rich I'd have one in my garage in the lovely new blue with white wheels & stripes) but to anyone who isn't, I would say get a Monster Evo instead & with the change buy a used Fireblade! :-)

    23 August 2013

  • LOVE IT

    daldry2504

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Had the Diavel for two months and done 1000 miles and every one of them has been fun!!!!! Riding position is spot on for me (5'8) no aches or pains from the standard seat, only thing i changed is the exhaust to the Termagini full system fitted for £2500 and they sound amazing even though they are expensive. The power and speed of this bike is amazing and breathtaking it goes around corners as well. in my eyes 10 out of 10!!!!

    29 April 2013

  • try one!

    CosherB

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    had a test ride today of the Diavel. if you're in the market for a big bike that isn't a 'superbike' or a tourer, get yourself down to your Ducati dealer and try one of these - it's an absolute hoot to ride. i think chriswren has rather missed the point of this bike, it's all about good fun, not the nth degree in absolute engineering for the last millisecond around a track. having said that, the attention to detail on the Diavel is superb, with build quality to match. you can guess that i liked it! lol

    11 April 2012

  • Fantastic

    grumpy ol git

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Great bike Great mag. Seems your Mag is not posting my postings. Looks like were in censorship mode because i was criticle of your Biased testing.

    18 February 2012

  • Fun Fun Fun

    Ladge67

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    It sums up the Diaval, a smile on my face everytime I ride ... unless it's raining (don't like rain!). I'm just approaching the first 600 mile service and am blown away by this bike, the 3 riding modes are brilliant, the ride is very comfortable, have done 3 hours in the saddle without stopping. The noise .. oh the noise .. like a grizzly bear with toothache!! £13k is a lot but the kit on the bike is justified, the brakes are amazing. Can't wait now to take the rev's to the max .. in sport mode !!

    15 September 2011

  • Better the Diavel you know

    bayntuns

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I'm at that age where riding with my arse in the air for too long requires the use of more drugs than should be legal to ride with. On the other hand at 50 I am still way too young for a Harley, and anyway there are too many tractors round here already. The Diavel is the perfect bike for me, most of the time. It’s comfortable enough to tour on, even with the poor tank range, but I haven’t worked out a luggage solution yet – but no doubt someone will soon. I have no idea how to program all the features, but the three default modes seem good enough to me. It handles way better than it has any right to with its length and rear tyre, and attracts comments wherever you park it. My head tells me I should have bought something more practical; my heart tells me it’s perfect. I guess that is the point, if you try and rationalise a Diavel it makes no sense, but it’s Italian, and you don’t buy Italian machinery with your head. It does mean I need to save up for something sensible for commuting and longer distance touring but I’ll buy that with my head, in the meantime the Diavel is the perfect Italian mistress.

    25 August 2011

  • For £15.5K it should be sorted

    chriswren

    Average rating rating is 4

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    The suspension needs work, the front is wooden and the bike likes to bounce over bumps instead of absorbing them. A lot of guys are swapping out the suspension for Ohlins that is sorting it properly or getting professional consultantion for decent settings (which helps but is not a real fix). The seat is too soft for long rides, I know this sounds mad but you end up with your trousers splitting your nads (might be OK if you are a 10 stone Italian but not if your 15 stone of Enlgish beef). The brakes are good, the stearing is pretty good (will be better once the front suspension is sorted) for this type of bike and it spools up pretty quickly but this is not a sports bike regardless of what the reviews say and although you might take a sports bike at the lights, your not going to leave them around the twisties or high speed filtering on the M25. It is good for taking your partner out for a spin, she is going to love sitting on the back of this instead of being perched 4ft off the ground on 2x2 inch square as you try to tuck behind the screen on your sports bike. This bike just doesn't make sense if you can only afford one bike, it is to much of a compromise just to look cool. You could tour on it but there is no decent luggage or places to strap stuff to, this is not a tourer and the range is just over a 100 miles. Oh by the way, the split screen idea is rubbish, when your riding you can't see the bottom screen which is where the gear selection is and why if it has all these features can't it tell you how many miles left you have in the tank??!? Saying all of the above, I still gave it 4/5 as it looks sex which is what this bike is about and the build quality is awesome. It gets noticed by boys and girls and it throbs between the legs. I don't regret buying it but I now need to save up for the Ohlins and also to swap most of the standards parts for everything from the Diavel section of http://www.rizoma.com

    01 August 2011

  • Oh Yes

    grumpy ol git

    Average rating rating is 4

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    At last a Ducati you can ride some distance on and you can see pass your Elbows. Just had 1st 600ml service done and have enjoyed every mile. Just demo one, its Brill. Have had the new V. Max when it was 15000 Quid. A damned heavy bike. Plus 100klg. Thats why the Diavel will see one off plus out corner it. And you get lots of electrical goodies to play with. Will it Tour?? Am about to find out, Am off to Germany Swiss then Stelvio Pass Italy this Friday. Had a few probs finding suitable luggage. Tank bags a problem as it covers up the dam Instruments. Still will give it a try. So might change my opinion on return. Chow..

    31 May 2011

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brettrodgers421

brettrodgers421says

Carbon Disc Wheels

<a href="http://williamscycling.com/williams_disc_road.html">carbon disc wheels</a> on these things are so good to have! My bro got some put on his and it looks beautiful. Its so slick and runs like a champ.

27 January 2012 19:19

chriswren

User's Badge

chriswrensays

Makes as much sense as strapping a car engine to a scooter...........   looks good and rides OK, you will have fun on it but it is no replacment for a supersports.

For £15k it should have the problems it does have (see review) and the range needs to be more than a 100 miles.

Not for single bike families.

 

02 August 2011 09:42

grumpy ol git

User's Badge

grumpy ol gitsays

will it tour

Answer yep. But when i got to Stelvio Italy the whole of the number plate system fell off down the mountain side,yep no kidding. And to cut a long story short. When i got home there was a letter  from Ducati telling me there is a recall No 833. And guess what its for. Yep, some bikes have suffered with loose bolts and youve guessed already. Its the two bolts that hold the ironwork that hold the rear mudgaurd and numberplate on. when it came loose it Buggered my rear wheel. One bolt sheered off and is still in the swingarm. By good chance it never went into the tyer or jam the rear wheel. So far been at dealers for four weeks and at least another week to go. Looks realy nice on a Workbench. All down to two Spacers made of soft metal. New recall bit has pro[per steel spacers. Phoned editor of Motorcycle News as thought that as they have a Journo riding around on one they might bother to publish a warning to any other rider of the Diavel. Had a good look this week but Oh No. Still if Ducati has been good enough to supply you with three long termers. Does, dont upset the apple cart apply. Surely Not

07 July 2011 23:36

r1stevie

User's Badge

r1steviesays

the devil

ive sold the softail im gona sell the fireblade  this bike is just stunning its as much as a shock when honda done the first fireblade a 250 rear end stunning details handles like a big sports bike  just hope ducati do a luggage rack option so i can do a bit of touring  if youve not tried one you will be shocked

in a word bike of the year

 

11 March 2011 09:20

Paulvt1

User's Badge

Paulvt1says

Had a go yesterday. Bloody impressive. Handling is very good despite the daft rear tyre. Fast, light and goes like stink.

08 March 2011 10:49

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