Ducati did what many were anticipating for years and surely expecting for the past few months when they unveiled their version of the “power cruiser” in Milan this week.
|ducati diavel – right|
Eleven months ago I posted a little piece about rumors from Ducati that they were going to release a power cruiser. Claudio Domenicali, the General Manager of Ducati Motor Holding, had 19 months earlier confirmed reports of the “Vyper,” a 1400cc, 170hp prototype said to be in running form.
|ducati vyper concept|
Four months later Ducati’s VP of Marketing backtracked on the anticipated cruiser by stating that entering a market that consisted of “buyers who are not your typical Ducati purchasers” might be four or five years down the road.
Then they realized profits were growing. Ducati market share doubled in the last three years, and by the end of 2010 they expect a sales growth of 6% compared to 2009. Those are not amazing numbers considering what manufacturers like Honda and Harley were doing in the early 2000’s, but those companies are now struggling behemoths while Ducati is perfectly content to be profitable in smaller increments.
|2011 ducati diavel – left|
But the new Diavel is not a power cruiser. As you can see, the original concept was quite a bit longer with a much lower seat height. This motorbike is too squat (62.6 inches), the seat too high (30.3 inches), the foot pegs too far back, and in general, the bike is too tall. The Diavel is simply another streetfighter and not some revolutionary design departure for a company that for the past two decades has built it’s reputation with cafe-style superbikes and naked streetfighters. The Diavel does not stray far into the realm of atypical Ducati purchasers.
This bike is Ducati dipping it’s big toe into the kiddie pool to see if the temperature is okay.
It’s also very plastic-looking.
|ducati diavel – left front|
Technologically, the new Ducati is powered by the liquid cooled 1200cc Testastretta v-twin superbike engine said to deliver 162hp and 94 ft/lbs of torque on a 456lb (207kg) body with a too-fat 240mm rear tire. Regardless, I bet it is fun to ride.
The bike has a 5.3-gallon fuel tank, a single-sided swingarm, a six speed transmission, and 28-degrees of rake with 5.12 inches of trail.
The Diavel has ABS, traction control and “Ducati Riding Modes.”
|diavel riding mode display|
Be careful. Your next bike is going to be a Gold Wing.
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