Unravelling the Ducati Diavel

Concept sketches that allude to the bike's origins

When I first saw the Diavel spy shots, I was convinced Ducati had put a big foot wrong. No-one really saw the new Multistrada coming but it was was an instant hit in the Adventure Sports market and is one seriously accomplished machine. I wondered if Ducati had taken their confidence a bit far into arrogance territory with the Diavel.

A cruiser with a Ducati badge on the side? I just didn't get it and thought that Ducati believed they could take on anyone in any market and beat them. But I was willing to cut Ducati some slack because, well, it's Ducati - and they are a bit different.

Seeing the bike in the flesh for the first time at the NEC Bike Show, I thought I'd understand it then but I still didn't. Sure, the bike got loads of attention from the public but then, if you pulled a white sheet off a man with two-heads, people would proably gawp at him too.

Not sure they'd want to take him home though.

When Ducati launched the Diavel in Spain, I was there to cover it for Visordown. In the press presentation, Ducati showed us loads of slides of loosely associated concepts; 4 door supercars, 4x4s with 500bhp, helicopter gunships that spray perfume at their targets. Er, no, they didn't show us that last one.

But their concept was clear; the boundaries are changing. That and, presumably, Ducati had realised their traditional demographic weren't as up for a 180mph superbike as they were 10 years ago.

Just like the playboy with the Ferrari is still the playboy at heart and still wants his Ferrari. He's just got to find another couple of seats in the back for the kids or golf clubs or whatever it is playboys with Ferraris carry around with them. ASDA shopping - that's the one.

Take a look at the 'concept' sketches above. These are what I saw when the penny finally dropped.

Allegedly they're concept sketches that formed part of the Diavel process but more likely they've been knocked up well after the first Diavel rolled off the production line. However, they demonstrate the concept very well.

So here's that Diavel concept in full: Take the lines and performance components of a sportsbike, the engine and riding position of a Naked and the low-slung Cruiser style and you end up with the Diavel.

I know it sounds simple but believe me, before I heard that I couldn't work out what the Diavel was about and who would possibly want one.

So that clears that one up then. If you want to read my Ducati Diavel road test, click here.