The Diavel is a strange machine to say the least. It goes very fast, stops just as quickly and is already pumping out huge figures (162bhp). This all left me wondering how to improve upon its already epic performance.
I’ll be honest with you – I’ve little technical knowledge of what suspension really does in practice, how it does it and how you’d go about bettering the standard springs on your bike. But when Ohlins offered to let me loose on their upgraded Diavel so I could feel the difference for myself, I must say my interest was piqued. I just never expected it would make this much difference.
I took along a man with an eye for detail and who understands suspension set-up – MCN’s senior road tester Michael Neeves. We headed for Brands Hatch to run a standard Diavel back to back against the Ohlins-equipped bike. Now, £856 + VAT + four-hour fitting (average £200) is not a cheap improvement to any bike, but the difference it makes is phenomenal.
To quote Mr Neeves: “It’s 20-30% better on track and 40-50% better on the road”. The front end feels more planted due to the slight rise in ride height and even with stready riding the bike feels more at home when handling bumps on the roughest of roads. There is a definite feeling of something quality happening beneath you and the jackhammer firmness that has caused many grumbles on Ducati forums has now mellowed out.
That in my opinion is worth every penny, so if you have one or are going to get one, forget splashing the cash on a loud can for now and concentrate on the handling. It’ll make the Diavel do what it was designed for.
Ducati Diavel Carbon, £15,000
Fuel economy: 38.74mpg
Power (claimed): 162bhp
Torque (claimed): 94ftlb
Dry weight: 207kg