Our local Ducati Dealer, GP CYCLES,joined in a world wide celebration 3.25.11 and unveiled the Diavel(at the very appropriate and fun,Club Boudoir S&M Club)to a somewhat skeptical throng of Ducati's hardcore fan base. Reaction was mixed,some just couldn't fathom why the Company could come up with such a monstrosity ,let alone produce it. Others were going to wait until they rode it at the next days Demo Ride event. There were a few ,like me ,who have loved this freight train from first laying eyes on it. I am not a Cruiser fan but this muscle bike fires up my reptilian response. The top of the line carbon version they ripped the cover off on Friday night, was pawed and poked and oh'ed and ah'ed, sat upon by a myriad of body sizes and shapes and most agreed that it felt great and they were mostly all warming to it's "Check these Guns" Cage Match styling.
My Demo ride started with a 165H.P. blast up the I-5 entry ramp that is directly across from GP's front door. You sit deep in this bike,not on top of it, with the bars at a natural position that suited my 6'1" frame to a tee. I goosed it through sparse traffic to 8 East and eased on the front brakes to get whoaed down for the tight little wiggle that gets you onto 8. This thing has got BRAKES. Using what I consider to be fantastic rear view mirrors I could see no traffic behind me so I tucked and booked across four lanes into an empty fast lane. Now I'm looking for the speedo which like other Cruisers is way down on the tank,dumb. Everything is down there which takes your eye off the ball. The 163 South exit came up really quickly and I got bottled up with traffic until onto the up hill, down dale highway that goes right into Downtown San Diego. The big Diavel sliced through traffic like O.J. with a Ginsu Knife. This things got some Beans and sounds delightful with it's stock pipes. I reach downtown in nothing flat and go around the block for the return blast up 163 to 8. I get a red light at the entry to 163 and pull up next to a Cop Car. He turns right and I've got the whole thing to myself. The bike is confidence inspiring,it goes where you point it,handles the changes in pavement well, never got out of shape ,it did dive under aggressive braking but give it some adjustment to the front end and I know it would be perfect. The interchange from 163 to 8 west is like turn two at Willow Springs, a perfect wide smooth corner where you can really enjoy leaning it over and cranking it on. I quickly moved my right boot to tippy-toe on the peg otherwise it would be ground down like Road Racer's boots of Yaw. To me, this means somewhat limited ground clearance. I could have easily ground the pegs but didn't want to do it to a brand new bike. When I got back ,I checked the knubs ,fresh not one nick. Rocketed west on 8 making the most of my limited time on this beast, threw it into the 5 south circle ,moved my boot to tip toe again and leant it over all the way around and wicked it through the gears one last time and got off at Sassafras and idled into the Dealership, exhilarated. I love it.I like the size and look, the ergonomics,the power and handling. I think it is a very easy bike to ride which makes it very enjoyable. It has unflustered, easy, gobs of juice. I never noticed the big 240 tire. Not all Americans want to ride like "The Doctor" but we want to have big fun on our bikes. This one gives it to you in heaps.