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Ducati Diavel 1260 first ride review
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Ducati Diavel 1260 first ride review

Abhishek Wairagade

Ducati Diavel 1260 first ride review

35,000 examples and eight years later, Ducati has reinvented its idea of a power cruiser. Well, the Diavel never liked to be called a cruiser and with the 1260, Ducati is going the ‘so good to be bad’ way. The Diavel 1260 has been internally called as #MegaMonster and Ducati isn’t really disillusioned if you are wondering so. You may call it a super naked or even term it a power cruiser or even a bruiser if you are from the land of Big Apple. Choose your standpoint, any which way, you won’t be wrong. We have decided already and here’s all you need to know.

How’s it positioned?

Ducati suggests that the Diavel 1260 sits between the ‘sporty’ Monster 1200 and the ‘relaxed’ XDiavel. And before you call me names, it even handles like a Monster but more on that later. Let’s begin with the design element.

The Diavel has always been photogenic but the 1260 is so beautiful that you’ll want to sleep next to it, every single night, for the rest of your life. The headlamp doesn’t feature a bezel anymore unlike its predecessor and resembles XDiavel when viewed head on. Thankfully, Ducati hasn’t taken away those muscular shrouds encompassing the 17litre fuel tank and radiator. The radiator shrouds also get built-in LED ‘sweeping’ indicators seen on the new Audis (Ducati’s parent company). The trellis has been completely redesigned as well and now features the engine as a stressed element.

Talking about the Testastretta DVT 1262cc, L-twin motor that first debuted on the XDiavel and also seen on the Multistrada 1260, it makes 157bhp and 129Nm. But unlike on the other two, the Diavel 1260 gets it in the most aggressive map for obvious reasons. The engine has now been moved 60 per cent rearwards for optimal weight distribution which now stands at 50:50, says Ducati; which also means, the overall geometry has been altered. The ergos on the other hand remain the same with the exception of the handlebar which is now closer to the rider.

Is it fast?

The Diavel 1200 was able to hit 100kmph in less than 3 seconds. The 1260 is definitely quicker not only to 100kmph, but through-out the range. Imagine if you were hit by Thor’s hammer at its full potential. The sensation of power delivery is very similar on the 1260, especially after 6,500rpm. In the emancipated Sport mode, the power is relentless and it takes big b***s to keep the throttle wide open. The limiter comes in at about 9,500rpm but you’ll rarely need to get there, unless on a race track. Characteristic of a Ducati L-twin, it does struggle below 3,500rpm and expects you to hurry up and get to 6,500rpm, even in Touring mode. The torque curve is flatter than the predecessor which means, there’s less requirement of downshifts and thank god for that bi-directional quickshifter! The clutch is super heavy and if you are opting for the base variant, we suggest you spend extra bucks on the optional quickshifter.

Why would you call it a Monster?

It doesn’t really seem so visually, but I can stick my neck out my neck and say that it is agile. With a rear tyre wider than the Mahindra XUV500’s, you don’t really expect it to turn it at will but the Diavel 1260 is shockingly nimble. And the grip from the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III (specially developed for the Diavel 1260) is limitless, literally. The maximum lean angle stands at 41deg which is astonishing for a cruiser. Well, don’t get me wrong, it is no superbike but it’s very close to the Monster in terms of handling. The longer wheelbase and precise weight distribution makes it super stable in corners, thus boosting your confidence. The Ohlins at both ends seemed to be setup slightly on the firmer side, even for the Spanish roads but them being fully adjustable gives you peace of mind.

The S variant also gets Brembo M50s which are phenomenal and allow you to bring the devilish Ducati to a standstill without any dramas whatsoever. A much required feature.

Good to be bad?

The tagline for the Diavel 1260 says ‘So good to be bad’ and Ducati couldn’t have put it better. You cannot put a tag on the Diavel 1260 for it is too versatile to be stereotyped. It is a badass machine that will keep you happy in the company of HOGs and also double up as a sportbike killer when you tag along your buddies on weekend rides. It can be absolutely mental when you rev its nuts off but it can also be happy and cheerful on those intercontinental rides. You’ll be surprised to know that despite the premium price tag, the Diavel 1200 was one of the bestselling Ducatis in India a few years ago. The Diavel 1260 takes the game to the next level and thus, Ducati India is betting big on it. Of course, the pricing will be a tad bit higher than earlier but we suggest that you opt for the S variant when it comes to India, which will be as early as this month.

Read more about the Diavel 1260 in the July issue of evo India.