I’m ever so slightly in awe and a little bit in love with the Ducati Diavel 1260S, having taken delivery a couple of weeks ago. I’ve commuted to work and ridden around 200 miles on a combination of town roads and motorway. I feel like I’m getting to know what I’ve now lovingly named "The Beast" a little better.
I must admit, I was slightly intimidated that first ride home: nerves, excitement, and a sharp biting point for the clutch made me stall. Deep breath, restart and I was away. I’ve ridden a combination of my Yamaha Xmax scooter and the triple-cylinder Yamaha Tracer 900GT, for the last twelve months, so the power delivery of the Diavel, weight and riding position feel decidedly different. Not bad, just different, and I definitely need to recalibrate my brain to consider the engine braking. I’d expected it in low gears and it’s not too fierce, but ease off the throttle at the top end of the box, it is switch like.
How many settings?!
The TFT dash looks fabulous, with a push of the ignition button I’m welcomed with the stylish Ducati logo, before it shows the full screen of the dash. I’ve got an ideal display for road riding - it shows riding mode, clock, rev counter, mph and fuel gauge. There are various displays to choose from depending on what type of ride I’m on.
With three riding modes to choose from, you’d think it would be simple to decide which to opt for, depending on the weather conditions and what I’m doing with the bike. Set to Touring mode, I thought that was all I’ve got to consider but as I scroll through the various menus, I realise each riding mode has five settings (ABS control, wheelie control, quick shifter, engine and traction control) and each of these with a choice of options, meaning there are a mind-boggling 1458 combinations for each mode! How on earth will ever know which best suits me? For now, I’ll stick with the factory settings and see how I get on.
To key or not to key, that is the question
I’m a fan of keyless technology - my car's got it, my scooter's got it and the Diavel sort of has it but not the whole hog. It’s a strange halfway house, it’s got keyless ignition but I need the key to fuel up. Be one thing or the other! If it’s fully keyless, then great, the key gets stowed in a pocket, have a button to open the fuel cap and you’re sorted. Or have a key in the dash, that opens the fuel tank but don’t be this strange mix. I suppose if that’s the only real issue so far, then I’ve not got much to complain about...
Published 19 March 2019
From a weekend tour from Devil’s Bridge to Devil’s Punchbowl, to daily commutes and touring to Italy – I’m determined to see if there’s an angel lurking within Ducati’s 'Devil'.
With the help of the #ride5000miles Facebook group I’m also planning the best way to meet my 2019 mileage target.
Apart from all my Devil-named destinations, I’m determined to take it back to Bologna, too. It's 12 years since I last visited the Ducati factory and what better bike to return on?
Santa Pod is also calling to me, so I’m planning a Run What Ya Brung event to experience the thrills of the drag strip – and will also thunder along to a DGR ride dressed in my best bib and tucker, too. Why should the boys have all the fun?
Read the full Ducati Diavel 1260S review here
- Key stats: • £19,895 • 159bhp • 95ftlb • 780mm seat • 244kg (kerb)
- Rider: Alison Silcox (49, 5ft 10in, 81kg)