“Blows away class stereotypes by being light, fast, fine handling and sophisticated – awesome.” Motor Cycle News review of the Ducati Diavel, 29th October 2018.
So impressed were the chaps at MCN when the Diavel was released in 2011 that it carried off their ‘Machine of the Year’ award. Then editor, Marc Potter, was blown away when he rode it writing, "There was no hesitation here because I've never known a bike exceed expectations by such a huge margin. It has massive presence as a cruiser and should clearly appeal in an entirely new market for Ducati, yet the performance is epic and the feel of the bike is fabulous." Perhaps you, like us, are not fully paid up members of the modern superbike fan club (though the Berlinetta stable does contain a pair of beautiful circa 1970 Ducati café racers), so you might be wondering what all the commotion was about? In essence the Boys from Bologna attacked the Cruiser Market with a weapon that could dynamically knock pretty much every Sports Bike into a ‘cappello armato’. And that Market was duly dumfounded; how could the long and low, out and out cruiser, fat back tyre and all, shimmy through the twisty stuff and stop on a lira (remember them?) as well as a “super naked”? (Got to love bike terminology haven’t you). Whatever black magic Ducati employed the verdict from MCN was, “Sports bikes WILL be humbled by the Diavel.”
Chassis miracles aside, as with certain other Italian thoroughbreds, at the heart of every Ducati is its engine and the Diavel is no exception. The Testastretta 11 (referencing the degrees of valve overlap) engine is pretty much identical to that of the Multistrada; a liquid cooled, 1198cc ‘L’ twin (or 90 degree ‘V’ if you prefer), four valves per cylinder, ‘desmo’ work of art. Tweaks to the air-box and exhaust contribute a handy extra twelve BHP to up the total to over one hundred and sixty. Switchable engine maps give the rider a choice of three different modes to suit the mood of the moment from urbane Urban via tractable Touring to sporty Sports though car guys should be bear in mind that even its most ‘sensible’ mode equates to over 430 BHP/tonne and close to 700 with the wick turned up…
The Diavel came very well specified as standard with traction control for speeding up, ABS for slowing down, LED lighting and keyless ignition all included. Add in 15,000 mile service intervals, exquisite materials such as carbon fibre and brushed aluminium put together with genuine care and attention and the whole package looks extremely attractive indeed.
The painted parts, such as they are – vestigial front mudguard, 3.7 gallon tank, frame and seat cowl – are finished in highly appropriate red with the rest of the Ducati being either carbon fibre, brushed aluminium or black engine enamel. The black vinyl and fabric ‘comfort’ seat has the Diavel logo embroidered into it in Italian tri-colours. Sporting funky details such as the horizontally split LED front light and separate number plate mount doubling as an extra rear mudguard, the Diavel has a plethora of interesting styling detail to entertain you both on and off the machine. Faults are very hard to come by with the owner, who paints bikes and helmets to the highest of standards for a living, having to point out a microscopic blemish in the tank’s paintwork; we have tried unsuccessfully to show this in the photo gallery but have a good look anyway to reassure yourself regarding the bike’s condition.
The Ducati Diavel branded wheels are also in excellent condition and are shod with correct profile Michelin tyres with plenty of tread remaining both front and rear. A beefy set of Brembo brakes not only look fantastic but do a fine job (we understand) of reigning in what ‘Cycle World’ described as the “owner of the quickest 0-60 mph time of any production motorcycle Cycle World has ever tested".
An aftermarket GPR carbon fibre finish sports exhaust is fitted; not too boy-racer (even for us old fogies) but giving an additional degree of ‘clarity’ to the engine note. Beautiful yet practical rear view mirrors sit atop lovely sculpted stalks to inform you of where you have just been while a digital speedo/rev counter and full set of warning lights keep you up to date with the current situation. The readouts show 15,343 miles covered in total, the riding mode selected and a lifetime average of 36.7 MPG. The optional Ducati Zumo removable satellite navigation system is in place but requires a new lead to connect it to the bike’s electrical system. Also an option when new is the neat minimalist Perspex screen/wind deflector/bug catcher. The large capacity ‘twin’ is renowned for its tendency to ‘hunt’ slightly at low revs. though there is a tried and tested modification to the fuelling which alleviates this and this upgrade has been fitted to the bike.
Supplied new to a Mr Richard Brown by Ducati Aylesbury on 19th August 2011 the Diavel has just celebrated its eighth birthday. Sobering to say but a fact of life, the original Sales Invoice on file shows Mr Brown paid some £14,161.88 including options and yet the bike can now be bought for well under half that figure.
Initially the Diavel was looked after by Ducati Dealers ‘On Yer Bike’ in Westcott with services at 781, 4280 and 7741 miles shown in the stamped Service Book and backed up by detailed invoices. It was then entrusted to respected bike specialists ‘Nova Classics’ with further multiple bills on file showing a major cam belt service at 14,100 miles in August 2017 and most recently an oil and filter service at 15,260 in March of this year. On top of this routine maintenance, a new uprated ‘race’ specification rear bottom swivel bearing - a known weak spot on the Diavel - was installed just ten weeks ago with the swinging arm being powder coated at the same time while a new chain, sprocket and all the associated nuts and bolts were fitted shortly after, though the owner admits this probably didn’t need doing. With bills totalling well over £1,200 covering the last couple of years alone plus additional work carried out by the owner himself, this is certainly a very looked after machine. The Ducati’s MOT is valid until June 2020. A service light is illuminated though the work has duly been carried out and it just needs the specialist bit of kit to turn it off.
A part used rear tyre comes with the bike which, in case of a puncture, might allow you to continue to use the Ducati, perhaps seeing a season out without immediate expenditure. Both the original exhaust and seat are also included in the sale. The master ‘Red Key’ is present along with all the books and the current V5C.
Why sell your motorcycle with Berlinetta Classic Car Auctions? Why not, we do have a 100% sale rate with bikes after all. Yes, it is not our main area of expertise and when the owner of this machine mentioned there was such a thing as a Ducati Diavel Diesel we did initially think 'smelly oil burner' until he pointed out it was a tie in with a well-known brand of denim clothing! However, at the end of the day, beautiful engineering is a constant regardless of the wheel count and considering the level of performance on offer we think this Ducati offers simply stunning value for money.