When Yamaha launched their original Vmax power cruiser back in 1985, it turned the motorcycle world upside down. Try though you might, you really couldn’t pigeonhole the V-Max into a single category: it would run with the fastest sportbikes of the day in a straight line, but couldn’t keep up in the twisties. It cornered far better than the cruisers of the day, and left them for dead in a straight line. It was all-day comfortable, with sensible ergonomics and an upright riding position. Throw on a windshield and some soft luggage, and it was a reasonable tourer (as long as you didn’t spend much time in V-Boost). Change out the exhaust, the shocks and rework the forks, and the bike was enough fun in the canyons to keep all but the most hardcore riders amused.
The motorcycle marketplace has changed quite a bit in 25 years, and Yamaha’s re-introduction of the VMAX (new name, not a typo) in 2008 could hardly be called a success. The big displacement motorcycle market is hammered by the worldwide recession, and even long time market dominator Harley-Davidson isn’t moving inventory like they used to. Why, then, would any sane motorcycle manufacturer spend the time, energy and huge amounts of capital necessary to create an entirely new power cruiser? Because they’re Ducati, and no one ever accused the Italian company of being slaves to rationality.
The Ducati Diavel is a 162 horsepower instrument of death, coming soon to a Ducati dealership near you. It sports a massive 240×45-17 rear tire, something the designers felt critical to the Diavel’s “take-no-prisoners” power cruiser appearance. Brakes and suspension are high-end bits from Brembo, Marzocchi and Sachs, and the Diavel takes advantage of Ducati’s tri-map ride-by-wire throttle and eight position traction control system. Primary instruments (speedometer, tachometer, warning lights) are displayed on the handlebars, while a TFT screen in the tank displays information such as gear position and throttle map. The Diavel also uses a keyless ignition and security system, which automatically disarms when the rider approaches the bike. Think of it as the world’s most refined power cruiser, as only Ducati could build it.
Pricing is still pending, but expect the Diavel to be expensive, comma very. Does it make any sense to introduce a limited appeal power cruiser into a globally recessed powersports market, especially when it will sell at a price comparable to Harley’s V-Rod (which isn’t exactly flying out of dealer inventory)? Hell no, and I hope Ducati knows what they’re doing. Love it or hate it, I’d hate to see the Diavel drag Ducati down into financial ruin.
Source: Hell For Leather