Visit Yamaha’s website and you’ll see them calling the V-Max the “Intelligent Monster”. Maybe Ducati took offence, and has therefore replied with the 2011 Diavel, the Italian firm’s first foray into the power cruiser market. Diavel is "devil" in Bolognese dialect.
It seems Ducati engineers were bored between redesign cycles and released pent-up frustration by putting pen to paper to design the broad-shouldered Diavel, a bike the firm’s literature describes has a stance of “readiness, dominance, and confidence bordering on superiority”.
Intelligent monster indeed. Two models will be available, the Diavel, and the Diavel Carbon with lighter wheels and carbon fibre bits.
Ducati already has a powerhouse engine with its 1,198cc Testastretta 11° V-twin, so it was a natural choice for a power cruiser. The engine is slightly retuned, producing 162 hp, down eight from the 1198, though torque is up one lb-ft to 94.
The trellis frame uses thin-walled, large-diameter tubing with two lateral aluminum sections that flow into the subframe, which itself is a techno-polymer component.
The aluminium single-sided swingarm extends wheelbase to a longish 1,590 mm (62.6 in) and supports a super-wide eight-inch wheel, onto which is mounted a 240-series tire.
A Marzocchi 50 mm, fully adjustable fork and a horizontally mounted, fully adjustable Sachs shock provide the suspension.
By power cruiser standards the Diavel is a flyweight, claiming 210 kg (463 lb) for the Diavel and 207 kg (456 lb) for the Carbon (dry). By comparison, the Harley Night Rod claims 292 kg (642 lb) dry and the V-Max 310 kg (683 lb) wet.
The Diavel also features all the go-fast goodies of Ducati’s superbikes, including ride-by-wire throttle control, Ducati traction control (DTC) and selectable ride modes (Sport, Touring and Urban) à la Multistrada 1200. ABS is also standard.
UPDATE – Canadian pricing is $18,995 for the standard Diavel (will be available in White and Red) and $20,995 for the Carbon (in either Black or Red). The standard one’s $4k less than the V-Max but almost two grand more than the Night Rod.
Here’s the specs: