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Staff bikes: Ducati Diavel - No pain, no gain

By Ian Jubb -

First rides & tests

 13 October 2011 16:18

As with all my motorcycle adventures, it started with poor timing and a torrential downpour.

The panic to make the 8.15pm Brittany Ferries sailing from Portsmouth to St Malo meant I had to average more than 60mph over the 195-mile journey, which meant some swift progress on damp roads.

This was the first truly wet journey on the bike which I've owned since May, and the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres were as grippy as they needed to be.

I arrived at the port with 10 minutes to spare and the Diavel was strapped down as the doors closed. Time to relax in my cabin and dry out.

The overnight ferry docked at 6am and I was off again, this time into France with glorious sunshine and dry roads.

My mate's house is only 100 miles from St Malo but they were the best 100 miles I've had on the Ducati - smooth, clean twisties meant I used 15 litres of fuel.

Seven days passed in a flash of coastal day trips, runs to local cafes and the like. And before I knew it, I was on my way home, thankfully in the dry.

After returning I fitted a full Termignoni exhaust system. This involved four hours of labour costs to fit the pipes and reprogram the ECU. Not a cheap option but one hell of an upgrade in the noise department, it now makes 105db.

Although sadly it looks like noise may be the only improvement. After running the bike on the dyno six times there appears to be no significant increase in either power or torque.

It's left the Diavel with 145bhp and 89ftlb torque at the rear wheel, which when compared to Ducati's 162bhp and 92ftlb crank figures, doesn't seem to be £2300 well spent.

DIAVEL11 BLOG11