Staff bikes: Ducati Diavel - A do-anything bike with mega attitude

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The weather gods have been smiling upon us, which has meant that the Diavel has hardly stopped running over the last two months, whether it be commuting or a full-on 200-mile round trip to find some good corners and meet up with fellow Ducati riders and admirers. It’s been a dream come true. I’ve a bold statement to make: I’m really struggling to find fault with it.

The first thing I am obliged to mention is that I’ve won over none other than Neil Hodgson, who I lent the keys to on a road test. The ex-WSB champion and MCN tester donned his leathers to take the beast out on a rare sunny day at Bruntingthorpe, seeing dry Tarmac and an empty runway as the perfect opportunity to “give it some welly.” One lap saw Neil pulling in to ask “how do we turn the traction control off?”

I’ll be honest, this isn’t something that has ever crossed my mind. I like the idea of 162bhp having an electronic big brother ready to slap it down when I get over excited with the gas. But I obliged and big wheelies followed some quicker laps which returned a pleasantly surprised Hodgson grinning from ear to ear.

Only two niggles so far. One is the swingarm – my heel rubs against it, which has left a faint scuff mark. I imagine Ducati will notice this for later models and do as BMW did with the S1000RR and add a small rubber sticker or protector of some sort. The second gripe is actually with my cursedly huge hands! My fingers switch the headlight on to main beam, after say, thanking a car driver for pulling out of the way. The switch is pull in for a flash and push down for on which is a nice idea but often means I drive a few miles with a blazing headlight before noticing. Not ideal.

Another thing that’s surfaced is the fact that the rear tyre is squaring off after 2200 miles. Not great. God only knows how quick it would wear the whopping 240-section Pirelli wasn’t dual compound. The call to Pirelli was an interesting one. Expecting to hear “That’ll be £280 for the rear Mr Jubb”, I was pleasantly surprised when it came in at £175+VAT – that’s comparable to any litre sports bikes out there.


Ian Jubb

By Ian Jubb