Ducati Diavel 1260 Review
This isn’t just any other model year facelift, the Diavel 1260 S is a whole new motorcycle. While this is the Euro 4/ BS4 model, we expect it to be only slightly different than the Euro 5/BS6 version that will be launched soon. Nevertheless, we got to spend a decent amount of time with it. So, let’s cut this intro short and get right into the interesting bits.
The first Ducati Diavel was brought into the world in 2011 for a sole purpose- to chase the market share in the cruiser segment held securely by the Americans. As it turned out, the Diavel became a roaring success, pushing Ducati to release different versions and special editions of the motorcycle over the next years.
However, in 2018, the Italians felt the need to revamp the Diavel and introduced what you see here- the 2019 Diavel 1260 S. Now this isn’t just any other model year facelift, the Diavel 1260 is a whole new motorcycle. It is important to note that this model is Euro 4/ BS4-compliant, but we expect it to be only slightly different than the Euro 5/BS6 version that will be launched soon. Nevertheless, we got to spend a decent amount of time with it. So, let’s cut this intro short and get right into the interesting bits.
Offered in the aptly named ‘Total Black’ colour, the Ducati Diavel 1260 S is exactly what Batman would order. Even in its stealth attire, the Diavel has a massive road presence and manages to captivate attention unlike any other motorcycle- whether at standstill or in motion.
So, retaining the silhouette of the iconic design, the folks at Borgo Panigale have crafted the Diavel 1260 S to look sleeker and yet more aggressive than its predecessors. Its brawny front end features air intakes on either side and the large 17-litre tank flows neatly into a floating seat setup. But the motorcycle’s rear end is the real talk of the town. The single-sided swingarm and the stubby slash-cut exhausts are designed to show off the colossal 240mm Pirelli Rosso 3, built especially for the Diavel 1260.
As for quality, almost everything on the bike is top-notch- whether it is the paint, feel of the switchgear, or quality of materials. However, the only blemish in its otherwise perfect finish is the fitment of some plastic bits which could be much better considering this is a Rs 20 lakh plus motorcycle.
Ducati has two models of the Diavel 1260- the standard and the S. For starters, the two get different colour schemes that set them apart. But unlike the previous ‘S’ variants which were limited to cosmetic enhancements, the Diavel 1260 S also gets substantial additions to its package as compared to the standard model.
It comes equipped with fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension at both ends and Brembo M50 calipers at the front; both borrowed from Ducati’s fully-faired track machines. The fancy bits also include LED DRLs, the Ducati QuickShift Evo (DQS), and the Ducati Multimedia System integrated with the 3.5-inch colour TFT display that helps connect a smartphone via Bluetooth.
This display provides an exhaustive list of information like average fuel consumption, average speed, fuel range, as well as engine and ambient temperature. The rider can also change the display layout and have access to lap timer, DRL control, and tyre calibration among other things.
Apart from these, both variants are loaded to the brim with electronic aids like eight levels of traction control, wheelie control, cruise control, and three levels of launch control, that are all governed by a six-axis IMU. It also gets three ride modes- Urban, Touring, and Sport which can be further customised to adjust traction, wheelie control, and ABS intervention.
Now, the Ducati Diavel 1260 S is undoubtedly burly and intimidating to look at, after all, it does weigh 244kg. But once you saddle in the low 780mm seat and lift off the stand, you’d be surprised at how light the Diavel 1260 S feels- and this is despite it being 5kg heavier than the previous model. This is a result of a sharper rake angle, the handlebars being positioned closer to the rider, and obviously, the huge rear tyre. So, you are seated upright with enough room on the seat to move around. And your feet are in a nice and neutral position that lets the knees grip the tank, preparing you for all the drama that is to unfold.
Flip-up the kill switch and the little ignition button reveals itself. A light push to it and the 1262cc, Testastretta DVT L-Twin engine wakes up with a thundering rumble. This monster of a motor offers 157bhp of power and 129Nm of torque, and is extremely refined for Ducati standards. The variable valve timing or DVT, as Ducati terms it, not only offers smooth and precise throttle response and improves performance at higher revs, but it also increases low-end torque for a better low-speed ride.
Further making life easier in city conditions is the Urban mode which cuts down power to 100bhp and offers a smooth throttle response. Here, the wheelie control, traction control, and ABS are all working at full levels. The Touring mode also offers a smooth throttle but with full power.
But it is the Sport mode when the Lord of the Underworld is called upon and all hell breaks loose. With a crack of the throttle, all 157 horses are unleashed and the Diavel goes from zero to outlaw speeds in the blink of an eye. And while the adrenaline rushes and the g-forces threaten to throw you off, the scooped seat has your back quite literally.
Putting your soul back in the body are the powerful Brembo M50 brakes which offer a tonne of bite with little lever action. The setup lets you push the envelope by offering good feel and consistency even after prolonged use. While the Diavel 1260 S is explosive in a straight line, it is equally fun around corners thanks to the sharper rake and superbike-derived Ohlins suspension. It might not be as effortless as a Panigale but hanging off a bit allowed to attack corners aggressively. The suspension also provides a plush ride as it gobbles up small and large bumps without a hiccup.
The Ducati Diavel 1260 looks like a total badass from whichever angle you cast your eyes on it. And the 1262cc Testastretta engine has this deep, throaty, and loud sound. The riding position is comfortable for long distances and the Ohlins suspension improves the ride exponentially. In that sense, it checks all the boxes a majority of cruiser buyers tend to look for.
But classifying the Diavel 1260 as a cruiser is highly debatable. Its engine has a character unlike any cruiser in the market- it is tractable and usable with a beautifully explosive torque spread. Even the riding dynamics are much more involving and exhilarating. Overall, the Diavel 1260 is something that you can get out and ride every day and that’s the test of a good motorcycle.
As we mentioned earlier, the Diavel 1260 S is a BS4 model and was priced at Rs 19.25 lakh (ex-showroom). The BS6 model, however, is expected to be very similar apart from new colour schemes and a slight price increase. Nevertheless, the Ducati Diavel 1260 S proves to be an incredible piece of machinery offering a lot of bike for the price- in performance, aspirational value, and bucket loads of appeal.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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