2016 Ducati Diavel Carbon – Test Ride Review


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The Ducati Diavel made its first debut at the 2010 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. The Ducati Diavel is also the second cruiser to be offered by the company after the Ducati Indiana (1986-1990). After the 2011 Ducati Diavel, the second generation of the Ducati was unveiled at the 2014 84th Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland. To distinguish between the first and second gen Diavels’, the second generation gets a re-tuned Testastretta 11° engine, new exhaust, bar risers, new LED headlights and taillights and new radiator covers. The Ducati Diavel is offered in three models – standard Diavel, Diavel Carbon and the Diavel Titanium (only 500 units to be made).

Price of Ducati Diavel Carbon – Rs. 18.15 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom, Delhi)

Its Styling: The Ducati Diavel Carbon is one of the best looking power cruisers.  The Ducati Diavel Carbon, as the name suggests, gets its tank panels, pillion seat cover and front mudguard made in carbon fiber. On the front, the new LED headlights are visually stunning and they fill up the tunnels and roads at night with their bright white light. There is a short visor over the headlight which looks neatly done. The LED indicators get a solid strip design and are vertically mounted on the edge of the new radiator covers. These new lateral radiators add muscle to its broad shoulders, which then taper down across the engine and in to the belly fairing and oil cooler. Below the trellis frame of the bike, sits the Testastretta 11° L-twin or a V-twin engine (the Ducati calls its V-twin engine as an L-twin engine because, the V of the engine is leaned forward which makes the front cylinder almost parallel to the ground, hence the name L-twin and the 11° refers to the overlap angle of the engine valves). From the engine, come out the vertically stacked exhaust pipes treated with ceramic Zircotec and the dual silencers with outer brushed steel covers. The silencers are redesigned and get the slash-cut design. They have a very nice exhaust note which is very nice for an L-twin engine. The seat is redesigned and more comfortable and it makes the Diavel more accessible to most of the riders. The pillion rider seat gets a carbon-fiber cowl covering which can be removed by removing the Allen keys from the seat. The foot pegs of the pillion rider are engineered well as they are the foldable ones. On the bar risers of the handlebar, is the LCD display that conveys speed, rpm, time and coolant temperature. There is one more TFT screen on the tank which shows fuel gauge, side stand indicator, gear position and riding mode readouts. The Ducati Diavel gets a long, die-cast aluminium single-sided swingarm which holds the rear wide wheel and it also provides a wheelbase of 1590 mm between both the wheels. The forged 9-spoke Marchesini alloy wheels on the Ducati Daivel Carbon look charming and the rear wheel with those slash-cut silencers made me drool over them all the time. On the rear, this power cruiser gets the vertically stacked LED taillights with integrated turn indicators and they look clean and neat. When looked from the side, you will notice that the headlight array is behind the bike’s front axle while the tail ends before the bike’s rear axle. The rear also gets an innovative rear number plate mount which is mounted on the rear hub of the single sided aluminium swingarm. The Ducati Daivel Carbon does looks like a beast with those interesting, unique shapes, broad shoulders, muscular stance and a beautiful overall finish featured by the bountiful use of carbon fiber. This motorcycle does not at fail to grab the attention of a single eyeball.

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Its Switchgears and Instrument Cluster: The Ducati offers two instrument clusters on this powerful beast. The one is placed on the bar riser of the handlebar while the other is placed on the tank. On the handlebar is the LCD display screen which shows speed, rpm, coolant temperature and time. The second instrument cluster is the TFT screen. It shows a lot of information like the fuel gauge, side stand indicator, gear position, fuel consumption, odometer, dual trip meters, riding mode and power output, traction control level, distance to empty, air intake level and such many other options. The lower TFT screen data is all operated and controlled by the switchgears of the bike itself. You get three riding modes – Sport, Touring and Urban to choose from. To active any of these three modes, keep pressed the middle button on the turn indicator switch for 5 seconds and the riding mode is hence activated. The riding mode can be also activated while you are on the move but to activate it after its selection, you have to close the throttle and the riding mode immediately gets activated. Other options like both screens’ brightness adjustment, turning on/off the ABS, various modes of traction, lap timing and other such options can be accessed and activated by the switchgears on the left side of the handlebar. The Ducati Diavel Carbon features an all-time running LED headlights. To switch the headlight in to the high beam, you only need to tap the pass light switch vertically to activate it. On the right side of the handlebar is a very unique engine kill switch with an integrated start button. The same button helps you to lock and unlock the handlebar. All of this is controlled electronically and by a key which remains in your pocket and gives you a keyless go which in short means that the Ducati Diavel Carbon features a hands-free ignition. The key which remains in the pocket of the rider communicates with the bike within a distance of 6.5 ft. But I also noticed that as the key remained in my pocket and as the bike was started, my colleague could go on a ride without me even out of the key and bike’s communication range, and the bike did not shut down at all. That’s a part of the Ducati’s technology, we would say.

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Its Ergonomics: The Ducati Diavel Carbon gets a redesigned seat, which is more soft and comfortable for your both short and long journeys. The seat height is of just 770 mm which is low and good for a cruiser. The seat offers more room for you to sit and enjoy your ride. The higher handlebar is right in front of the rider and the 17 liters fuel tank slopes down between the thighs of the rider. The rider relatively sits upright and comfortable on the bike. The rider has to stretch a bit to reach the handlebar. The lack of wind protection on the bike makes the rider balance himself/herself from reaching to the handlebar before the maximum speed is achieved. You basically sit between the bike as the front and rear ends before the front and rear axles. The seating position and that big wide rear wheel did take me some time to get used to them. But when I got used to them, I could easily manoeuvre the bike and could also lean it in the corners at higher speeds. The low seat height supports your manoeuvrability in city. There is a pillion rider’s seat beneath that carbon-fiber cowl which can be removed by removing the Allen keys from the seat. The foot pegs of the pillion rider are the foldable ones. The pillion rider’s seat is too very soft and comfortable and to add more for the pillion’s comfort there is also a retractable grab rail which slides out of the rear seat by just pulling the knob beneath the seat.

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Its Engine and Performance: The heart of the Ducati Diavel Carbon is a high-performance 1198.4 cc, Testastretta 11° L-twin engine, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder. The mill is tuned to churn out 162 BHP @ 9250 rpm of maximum power and 130.5 Nm @ 8000 rpm of maximum torque. The engine is meshed with a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox and to a slipper clutch with hydraulic control. The company has not made the Diavel Carbon to only go on tours but they have also made it in a way in which you can twist your wrist to ride it aggressively.

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The Ducati Diavel Carbon looks like a cruiser but it performs like a superbike. The engine is smooth and has a linear output. The Ride-by-Wire throttle is an electronic interface between the Diavel’s twistgrip and engine and it is simply great as it improves itself and the ride quality according to the three different riding modes. The bike uses a Slipper clutch which feels light at the handlebar and is very responsive in the ideal stop-go traffic and during long journeys. Urban riding mode is more suitable for city riding which helps you gain more fuel efficiency from its 17 liters of fuel tank. The city mileage which we could achieve was of 13.8 km/l. Never mind it is still good for a L-twin 1200 cc massive machine. In the Sport mode we could achieve a mileage of 12.7 km/l and in the Touring mode we did get a fuel efficiency of 15 km/l. So the overall fuel efficiency which we managed to gain was of 13.83 km/l. The gearbox is sleek and the gear shifts happen smoothly. The engine makes less noise at higher speeds and there are very minimal vibrations. The 0-100 km/h sprint is achieved in less than 2.5 seconds and the top speed which this mean machine can achieve is of 272 km/h. These numbers really make this power-cruiser a scarily fast machine.

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Its Riding Dynamics: The Ducati Diavel Carbon weighs 234 kgs (kerb weight).  The tubular steel trellis frame of this bike is what impresses much more because it handles well this power-cruiser’s steering geometry and the huge rear tyre. The bike feels light and easy to manoeuvre in city and on highway. Lane changes happen easily too. The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres on both front (120/70 ZR17) and rear (240/45 ZR17) provide enough of grip at high speeds and on high speed corners too.  The front tyre and the massive rear tyre keep the bike stable all the way and the suspension setups really hold the bike very well around the corners. The telescopic forks and the Sachs monoshock suspensions are manually adjustable but the factory settings are perfect for all the riding modes and conditions of the roads. The single sided swingarm provides you lean angles of up to 41° which is really good for a cruiser which has a low ground clearance of 130 mm. The three modes being Sport, Touring and Urban provide different horse powers for more relaxed performance. In the Sport mode, 162 High BHP is offered, which gives you the access to all 162 BHP of power with very little involvement of the traction control system of the bike. In the Touring mode, 162 Low BHP is on offer in which the power delivery is smoothened with an involvement of the traction control. The Urban mode is a more rider-friendly and it is limited to 100 BHP. In this mode the power delivery is moderate but there is an increase in the traction control system. The bike feels sophisticated in the urban mode and city cruising in  this mode becomes much easier. All the modes work really well and to get this power-cruiser to a perfect stop in any of the three modes, there are dual 320 mm semi-floating Brembo discs at the front and single 265 mm disc at the rear. These discs are associated with 2-piston callipers each with ABS as standard. The Ducati Daivel Carbon has an outstanding braking performance. Let the road be filled with water or be slippery or be of mud or be of loose gravel, the ABS and the DTC (Ducati Traction Control) on the bike keeps this cruiser calm all the way.

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Its Verdict/Conclusion: The Ducati Diavel Carbon carries an intoxicating design. I kept on admiring the bike and its carbon-fiber parts. The company has made a gem out of carbon-fiber. The 1200 cc Testastretta 11° L-twin engine performs more like a sportsbike. The generously padded dual seat has helped the company to make this power-cruiser to be practical at the same time. It is comfortable enough for city commuting and long distance touring.  The bike has its own charm; you keep on admiring its styling, its exposed trellis frame, its forged 9-spoke Marchesini alloy wheels and the beautiful 2-into-1-into-2 silencers. The Testastretta engine provides brilliant performance and the chassis too provide great ride and handling quality. The rear wide tyre offers maximum grip and also takes the entire bike’s power proudly. It gets a hands-free ignition and most of the electronics and features which are hardly present on any motorcycle. All the modes are fantastic; you only need to twist-your-wrist to unleash this beast. This Ducati Diavel Carbon costs Rs. 18.15 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) which is not at all cheap but the technology, style and the prestige which it offers at this price tag is simply outstanding and more than it. We would like to call this machine as a premium naked sportsbike than a cruiser only.

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2016 Ducati Diavel Carbon Technical Data:
* Engine: Testastretta 11° L-Twin, 4 Desmodromically actuated valves per cylinder, liquid cooled
* Max. Power: 162 BHP @ 9250 RPM
* Max. Torque: 130.5 Nm @ 8000 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed straight cut manual gearbox
* 0-100 km/h: in less than 2.5 seconds
* Top speed: 272 km/h
* Fuel Consumption: Sport – 12.7 km/l, Touring – 15 km/l, Urban – 13.8 km/l, Overall – 13.83 km/l.
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Tubular Steel Trellis Frame
* Suspension: Marzocchi fully adjustable 50 mm USD fork with DLC-treatment (Front), fully adjustable rear monoshock with progressive linkage (Rear)
* Tyres: 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II (Front), 240/45 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II (Rear)
* Brakes: Dual 320 mm semi-floating Brembo discs with 4-piston callipers with ABS (Front), single 265 mm disc with 2-piston callipers with ABS (Rear)

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2016 Ducati Diavel Carbon Dimensions:
* Overall Length: 2235 mm
* Overall Width: 860 mm
* Overall Height: 1192 mm
* Wheelbase: 1580 mm
* Ground Clearance: 130 mm
* Seat Height: 770 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 liters
* Kerb weight: 234 kgs

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