BIKES are a funny thing. They have the power to make everything seem right in the world. And then there are those special rides that make you feel like you’re uniting with your soulmate. The 2021 Ducati Diavel 1260 is one such bike.
Don’t get us wrong. This bike is not perfect. But from the time we tipped it into the first corner on the old road, it was as if all the planets in the universe had aligned and right at that moment, we knew we were in for one hell of a week.
Ironically, we picked the bike up during the last of the hot days in late January and the perfect weather would vanish almost overnight, leaving us with a wet test period. We weren’t about to let the rain stop us having some fun on the big Duc though.
And despite the fact that it looks like a heavy cruiser, thanks to its massive back wheel and unique frame shape, the Diavel’s handling is sports bike like.
It feels light and sticky and provides mountains of rider confidence to lean the bike over and allow the mid mounted foot pegs to kiss the tarmac.
The Diavel boasts a trellis frame with exposed steel tubes and is paired with an aluminium swingarm which allows for the housing of the striking and massive 240mm rear wheel. Despite its large muscular presence, it has a dry weight of jut 223kg.
It’s this combination that creates the amazing handling characteristics and lightweight feel of the bike when cornering. There is also a full suite of Ducati electronics to aid your riding experience, and all are easy and user friendly to use.
Controls are mounted via switch blocks on the left hand side of the handlebars and are easy to navigate even on the fly. They’re nice and large, ensuring you can control the settings, even if you have monkey fingers.
In particular, we found cruise control worked well for highway riding with its one touch operation. You’ll also find power modes, cornering ABS, traction and wheelie control, and a full LED lighting system.
There are three riding modes accessible via the handlebar controls and via a TFT display. Sport was our pick for unleashing the full potential of the Diavel 1260 and letting us experience and enjoy the full 159HP (119kW) and 129Nm of torque on offer.
Power comes from the 1262cc Testastretta DVT L-Twin engine which lies at the soul of the Diavel. It’s more than enough to let you know you are on a serious bit of kit and the delivery is excellent to say the least.
But raw numbers and performance statistics don’t do the Diavel justice. The riding experience is much more emotional and connected, even if it is missing the Ducati quick shifter we fell in love with on the Panigale V4 S.
The clutch is nice and light though, but that shifter would have taken this bike to the next level. The front brakes have plenty of stopping power too, with twin 320mm semi floating discs with radial Brembo monobloc four-piston M4.32 callipers and Bosch cornering ABS.
The back brakes are less impressive though. They didn’t have the best feel and were nowhere near as aggressive as the front setup. Maybe it was the positioning of the back brake pedal that we found ourselves having to reach lower for to get good pedal traction.
A single 265mm disc with twin-piston Brembo floating calliper featuring Bosch cornering ABS sits at the rear.
Suspension is goods and lends itself well to leaning into the corner and then shooting out like a rocket with supreme confidence. 50mm fully adjustable upside-down forks with 120mm of travel are fitted on the front.
On the rear, a mono-shock with preload and rebound adjustable setup features 130mm travel. The suspension is firm without being spine busting when you hit a bump. Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyres are fitted to the Diavel and they work extremely well.
With a seat height of 780mm, the big Ducati lends itself to riders of all heights and shapes. It easy to get your feet to the ground when pulling up and when paired with its relatively light kerb weight, it is easily manoeuvrable.
Ergonomically, the Ducati Diavel 1260 is supremely good, with excellent handlebar placement and an upright seating position. Our test bike was presented in Sandstone Grey and has a starting price of $30,290 ride away.
It comes with a 2-year unlimited kilometre warranty. It’s not a cruiser, or sports bike, or a naked bike. It’s just bloody good. Put simply, it’s a bit of everything, and a lot of substance, which is what makes the 2021 Ducati Daivel 1260 hard to go past.
Our test bike was provided by Ducati Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Ducati Diavel 1260, contact your local Ducati dealer. Pictures courtesy of Jessica Jenkin Photography.