When you’re struggling to decide between going fast and looking good, look the devil in the eye.
This 2019 Ducati Diavel is a cruiser in the loosest possible sense. Sure, your feet are in front of you, you sit fairly upright and your arms hang in front of you like you’re closing the boot of your car, but be under no illusions. This bike is not a cruiser.
Of course you can ride it slowly, like a cruiser, but the same could be said of any bike. The Ducati Diavel needs to sit in its own sector of the bike market, we’re going to call it ‘the bonkers fast sector for bikes that Batman would ride’. Simply put, this 159bhp boulevard basher is so fast it would make a supercar blush.
It’s not just down to the massive power and torque available from the 1262cc L-Twin motor, the reason why this bike is so fast is also down to the long wheelbase and the fact that it carries its weight low down. When you couple these attributes to the electronic safety systems (cornering ABS, traction control, wheelie control, launch control and all the other best kinds of control), the result is a rocket ship of a bike that could beat an email in a drag race.
Far from being a one trick pony, the Ohlins suspension and Pirelli tyres do a great job of getting the Diavel around corners as well. The S version that we rode also comes equipped with super bike spec Brembo brakes. Not only do they haul this 250kg bike to a standstill with ease, they also do it with stacks of consistent feel, regardless of how hard you push them.
Our ride was on the famous Ronda road outside Marbella. It’s one of the best riding roads in Europe and is usually where you’d find local sports bikers getting a bit of a fix. Initially it was raining, so we dropped the bike into Urban mode, this dropped the power, increased the ABS and the traction control and allowed us to make safe progress up the twisting roads into the mountains. As the conditions improved, we worked through Touring mode and into Sport. Sport delivers the full ferocity of that motor, along with less restrictive traction and braking support. You can of course push a few a buttons and change the set up of each mode to suit your tastes, but as it is out of the box is pretty much perfect.
The Diavel is a very exciting bike to ride, that huge 240 section rear tyre doesn’t hold you back too much in the corners. Even if you think it does, each time you get to a straight piece of road you’ll fall in love with this bike time and time again as it fires you at the horizon like a bullet from a gun.
Reassuringly expensive at £19,785. The 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S is one of the most exciting bikes we’ve ridden all year. Bad attitude and great road manners in equal measure, we love it.