Photo: a massive breach of brand trust and honesty

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To say the least, Ducati’s Diavel is controversial. JT Nesbitt called it a massive breach of brand trust and honesty and later penned the McQueen/Hasselhoff conundrum. Back in December Wes wrote a story entitled Who’s buying the Diavel. The underlying idea behind these stories is that regardless of how good of a motorcycle the Diavel is, it was designed to attract a new type of customer, one that is drastically different from previous generations of Ducati owners. People like this guy.

That new customer is what JT would describe as “a low information buyer,” decidedly on the Hasselhoff side of the scale. This customer is attracted to shiny new things loaded with whiz-bang stuff and wild looks over usability, intelligent design and classic good looks. The prediction was made over a year ago and now that Diavels are showing up on the road, we’ve got the opportunity to see if it’s true.

While hanging out at the SoCal DMC benefit BBQ on Saturday, I stumbled across this mythical beast. Dressed like a cruiser rider from an alternate reality where Harley-Davidson has been replaced with Ducati, he’s wearing a Ducati-branded jacket and Ducati-branded road-racing boots, not for safety of course, but because they match the bike. By all appearances, both he and his friend walked into Del Amo Motorsports and bought their cruisers at the same time. How do I know that the rider isn’t wearing those boots to keep his ankles safe? The flat-black half-helmet that also matches the bike and exposed hands tell us that this rider is obviously not concerned with safety. Or at least lacks the information to make intelligent purchasing decisions. Looks like JT was right. Here’s your massive breach of brand trust and honesty.

Check out our Ducati Diavel tag page for all our Massive Breach content, including two overtly positive reviews.

  • Kirill

    I suddenly feel extremely smug about my decision to purchase an Aprilia instead of a Ducati

    • Sean Smith

      I feel bad for RR. Check out the last shot in the gallery for a very clear picture of where he falls on the McQueen/Hasselhoff scale.

      • Kirill

        Nothing is going to offset the Hoffness of that helmet (or I’m totally missing a joke, as seems to be the case quite often these days)

      • 85gripen

        RR is wearing an uber-expensive work of art (Ruby) on his head that isn’t necessarily the safest piece of equipment he could be wearing. I know I would look a lot cooler riding around with a Davida John Cooper Racing Series pudding basin helmet but I value my purdy face and higher brain function too much to risk it in L.A. traffic. ;-)

        • Sean Smith

          RR wears that helmet for fun a few times per year. His usual lid is an all black, debadged Arai RX7. He’s actually got two or three of those.

          • Kirill

            I stand corrected, it is possible of offset the Hoffness of that helmet. Debadged single-color helmets are awesome.

  • Ola

    To be fair, a lot of skinny hipster Ducatisti also wear Ducati-branded clothing. But at least they have the decency to get a Rossi helmet and some CF-knuckled gloves.

    Makers of stretched chrome swingarms…time to go single-sided.

  • ktaisa

    yamaha – got pianos and tons of other shits
    Honda – got bunch of shit cars
    Suzuki – got a couple shit cars

    ducati – a few nice bikes

    i dont like fat losers any more than the next guy but i want ducati to have cash to fund a badass racing team.

    how is ducati supposed to keep making profits?
    sell to old fat white men who have cash to burn

    it’s not like this guy is gonna steal your chicks cuz hes got a ducati. HOPEFULLY

    • Kirill

      Diavel: The Porsche Cayenne/Panamera of motorcycles.

      • http://overshadowed.com/ overunder

        Hating on the Diavel: HFL’s way of funding HFL.

        • Kirill

          Well, it is a ridiculous-looking bike made solely for the purpose of making money, so its not like you can blame a site/blog full of motorcycle purists for hating on it.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          We’ve actually been pretty balanced on it. Our reviews were both enormously positive.

          • Richard

            Agreed, it’s mostly the HFL community spreading the hate.

            • http://overshadowed.com/ overunder

              True, HFL has been pretty fair about it. The negatives just gets it’s volume turned up. I hated the Diavel on the same ground as how I hated what the Cayenne did to the Porsche brand. But unlike the Cayenne, when I saw the Diavel in person at Pro Italia, I actually though it wasn’t that bad. And really, when it comes down to it, I’d much rather have the fools ride the Diavel and leave the 848 and 1198 alone for the real riders.

              • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

                @ overunder: The low-information buyers buy a shitload of 848s and 1198′s too. Some are good riders. Many are not.

                To be fair the same is true of GSX-R 600′s, ninja zx-10R’s, etc, etc. It’s just that the big 4 buyer tends to be a bit less flush.

            • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

              HFL is a cruiser magazine is not a meme.

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      Also; Kawasaki: 90% sure they make forklifts and mining equipment.

      • Devin

        Kawasaki Heavy Industries and its subsidiaries make everything from powersports items, trains and ships. Also Aerospace according to the wiki. Their bike shop seems to stand alone though. This is less them branching out and more them having been around for a long time.

  • Roman

    Not down with the Diavel hatefest, but the “racing boots, exposed hands” look creates a whole new dimension of old man squidery.

    • Sean Smith

      It’s exactly the same thing you see Harley riders doing, only Ducati doesn’t have officially licensed, made-in-china engineer boots to match the Diavel yet.

    • Denzel

      Thank you Roman for “old man squidery”…

      • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

        “23 squidoo”

    • Kirill

      He looks absolutely ridiculous in every way.

    • Kevin

      Look at it this way: he’s more likely to come to appreciate safety gear in the Ducati community than in the Harley community. Give him some time. And don’t resent him his success or disparage his age, neither do anything to benefit the HFL community.

      • Roman

        In all honesty, I’m the last person to rag on people for how they dress. Sure I appreciate style, but mostly, to each his won.

        It’s just living in a city, you can’t help but notice the young guns riding on stretched out Hayabusas wearing a full face helmets, shorts and flip flops. So this is like a bizarro version of that to me. Older guy in full race boots, but no gloves and a brain bucket. The world of motorcycles is a weird and wonderful place, I think we can all have a little fun with it…

    • Edward

      Old man squidery is pretty amazing though. On 84 in CT today I saw a guy on a big harley in boat shoes, khaki cargo shorts, and a Hawaiian shirt with no helmet on. He was going a solid 70, too. I was very sad to not have a camera.

      • Daniel

        Living in Florida, I see this multiple times per day. It really is amazing that people think that they are in control of their surroundings.

      • ErikT

        I was on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn this weekend and saw something similar….older guy on a sportster wearing shorts, flip-flops and doing 65 in heavy, fast-moving traffic.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

    I have yet to see a single Ducati Diablow on the road. I did see one at my dealer a couple weeks ago; it was parked on the sidewalk outside the dealer’s front door. In real life, it actually looks like a caricature of itself!!!! Up close, it’s much smaller than what its proportions suggest in photos (or from down the sidewalk).

    BTW, speaking of cruiser riders, I rode out to Quabbin Reservoir (from Boston) yesterday, and I saw maybe 5 sportbikes and a hundred bajillion cruisers. The weird thing is — 90% of the riders waved back to me! I always wave the peace sign from just below my handlebar grips whenever I ride past a 2-wheeler on the other side of the road — be it a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, a scooter rider, or a Harley rider. Usually, the latter group does not wave back (except when I’m riding on a Sunday morning to Bear Mountain, and the gay Harley riders riding two-up pass me; they always wave back — and often wave first — and they’re also friendly to me at stops).

    But for some reason yesterday, even the Harley riders waved back!!!!

    It must’ve been some feel-good moto-brotherhood run going on yesterday.

    Anyway, back to the ugly bike. Not having seen one on the road, I’m not sure what the New England version of the Diablow buyer looks like.

    • Myles

      I love how you have “motorcyclist” and “Harley rider” as two completely separate classes. +1

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      I’ve seen two. They were identical, riding together, and both purchased at the same time by a pair of guys. To their credit, I think they had a bit more gear, though they were leaving a gear shop. So that skews things.

      • Kirill

        There must have been one hell of a swordfight at the end of that ride

        • Tim

          That.is.awesome. You just won all the internets..

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

          En garde!

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      NE version of Diablow buyer? Likely grew up in Southie or Dot, made a bunch of money in Condo conversions, and now spends his time and money trying to placate his gold-digging wife and pretend he’s worldly (even though his idea of exotic travel is the Kelly’s roast beef on route 1). No Harley for him. Ducati, ‘brah.

  • Rob

    Who cares? If a guy who normally makes a fool of himself in an Ed Hardy shirt is making a fool of himself on a Diavel means survival of the company and extra R&D dollars for new superbikes and monsters, then I’m all for it.

    And if you’re pretentious enough to now not ride a Duc because there are these posers riding “your brand,” get a MV or Bimota. They have overpriced matching leathers also…

    • Noah

      Well said Rob, thanks.

    • Michael

      Spot on.

    • Denzel

      So I shouldn’t wear my custom Ed Hardy leathers to Starbucks anymore??

      • Kirill

        Nobody should wear Ed Hardy anything to anywhere unless its for the purpose of public self-immolation

        • Tom

          Kirill – your comments are the funniest shit I’ve seen all day!

      • 85gripen

        I was shocked and dismayed when my buddy pointed out to me on Saturday at Born Free that Yoshi Kosaka (of Garage Company) has a big-ass Ed Hardy sticker in the rear window of his truck. I was hoping he is just did it tongue in cheek but my buddy doesn’t think so.

        • HammSammich

          I’m pretty sure Yoshi could have a freakin’ Hello Kitty sticker in the back window of his truck and still be cool…

          • 85gripen

            What’s cool about Yoshi is I don’t think he gives a crap about being cool.

            • Sean Smith

              I’m pretty sure that his idea of Ed Hardy is much more closely related to Don ‘Ed’ Hardy the man and not Jersey Shore.

    • Chris

      +1 Exactly right.

    • Edward

      Agree.

    • slowtire

      +1

  • Coreyvwc

    As much as it pains me to do so, I will state a point in this rolex riders defense. Most of us that frequent this forum are rabid motorcycle enthusiasts who have in many ways lost touch with the basic idea behind doing anything on two wheels(myself included). Motorcycling is about having fun, no more, no less. Whether or not it’s your kind of fun, I’m sure this guy is riding around all day with a shit eating grin on his face. Yes, that same grin we all had once upon a time and still get on occasion. We can unanimously agree that he looks like a huge tool bag and he will probably get badly hurt riding that 160hp italian rocket ship but in the mean time, he’s having fun.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

      Who’s to say that he will “probably get badly hurt”? I read an interesting article in one of the rags (perhaps Motorcyclist?) that cited evidence/opinion that riders who wear lots of armor tend to crash more, because they are actually more likely to take risks than riders who wear less (or no) armor. And the majority of motorcycle crashes in the U.S. involve just one vehicle — the motorcycle — and the people riding it.

      • Kirill

        I’m going with correlation != causation here. Riders that wear gear tend to ride more and will thus crash more. However, they’re also more likely to walk away from said crashes thanks to said gear – as opposed to the rarely-riding weekend warrior in jeans and cowboy boots that has to be airlifted out.

      • Coreyvwc

        Look at him, then consider the fact that he is essentially riding the fastest accelerating motorcycle that normal humans can currently buy. The laws of probability are not stacked in his favor.

        • Richard

          It’s actually the fastest accelerating production vehicle. 2 wheels or 4.

        • boxofbits

          Exactly. I anticipate a spate of Diavel-related Darwin Awards.

      • Sean Smith

        Motorcyclist, being the model of journalistic integrity. I know it’s a cheap shot, but it’s hard to take them seriously after that stunt. And even harder if they’re suggesting that proper riding gear makes you dangerous.

    • Sean Smith

      Motorcycling actually has another part too: Transportation. Before motorcycles were toys they were also another way to get around.

      • Coreyvwc

        Agreed, but I think it’s fair to say that the Diavel is a much more sensible transportation device than the new 1199 superbike could ever hope to be…

        • Sean Smith

          I’d argue that point. Neither is at all comfortable in stock form, the 1199 will be faster, more capable and designed with something much more closely related to transportation in mind (speed).

          The Diavel is designed to appeal to this guy and is designed to have a certain look more than anything else.

          Bolt a tall screen and a set of heli-bars to an 1199 and you’d have one hell of a piece of transportation.

        • rohorn

          I’ll bet the Diavel launches from a green light/stops at a red light a lot harder than anything else Ducati makes. What an 1199 does better between those two points means absolutely nothing to an awful lot of riders/buyers.

          Given the money for a Stoplight TT racer, I’d rather build a 320 lb UJSB powered digger framed rocket. But I can’t imagine myself being bored enough to do that.

    • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 stickfigure

      Last year some buddies and I were doing a fast dirt ride se->nw along the Sierras and ended up in Mariposa for a night. An older couple wearing standard Harley gear unloaded a full-dresser from a trailer in our hotel parking lot while the rest of us geared up. The guy was wobbly from the start – almost dropped bike (and wife) in the parking lot, then had her walk up the long ramp to the street separately.

      I’m willing to bet that this was his first bike. I really wish I’d shot video, it would almost certainly be a HfL feature.

      At any rate, I’m pretty sure this guy wasn’t having fun. I know his wife wasn’t. There’s something about the HD subculture that attracts underskilled riders to excessively large bikes… and they’ll never admit how much fun they aren’t having.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Men making up for small penises with large wallets is always funny.

      • HammSammich

        A couple of weeks ago, my son and I were tooling around the neighborhood on my bike, and a guy riding a Harley “FLX-whatever” came up beside us at a stop light…I had watched him in my mirrors wobble up behind us for about 50 ft. w/ his legs outstreched like outriggers. When the light changed, he turned right and started wobbling again, then locked the steering hard and slammed into the sidewalk. We pulled over to make sure he was okay, and despite the fact that he was only wearing a puddin’ bowl and fabric winter gloves, it was mostly his pride that was injured. I’d guess he was in his mid-40′s, and he explained to us that this was his first bike, but he was starting to regret the purchase.

        For him, motorcycling wasn’t fun…the dream of motorcycling freedom that he was sold, was really a heavily financed chrome-encrusted nightmare…

        • cadillacjack

          That last sentence is gold dude!

          • jp182

            Agreed, Wes you need to do a best comment of the week section and make cadillacjack the first quoter.

  • Pete

    Hey HFL,
    Your post prior to this one had a bunch of 30 somethings riding around in vintage jeans, half helmets, and no gloves and yet you berate this Ducati guy for doing the same? Just because they are riding amazing custom bikes and this guy is riding what is probably the stupidest bike in recent memory doesn’t make it any less of a contradiction. It just seems a little petty to be all judgey on this guy even though he probably does wear Ed Hardy shirts and probably is a douche.

    PS- I fall into the category of the previous post. I am a bearded 30 something who wears selvedge jeans, a vintage leather jacket and half helmet when riding, but I realize I look a little ridiculous and I am no where near protected.

    • 85gripen

      Technicality and beside the point I know, but those aren’t vintage jeans. They are EDWIN brand (high-end premium Japanese denim) jeans.
      http://www.edwin-europe.com/

      • DAVID

        super hip

    • Sean Smith

      Sean (the roomate) could probably be your doppelganger.

      The point here isn’t to call the Diavel a bad bike or make fun of it’s rider, but to show that JT was right all along and that Ducati is throwing away their old image in favor of this one.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Well, to phrase that better Sean, the point is to demonstrate that the old concept of Ducatisti is, for better or worse, being diluted in favor of expanded appeal in new demographics. The concept of an elite club of motorcycle intelligentsia is no more. If that ever existed in the first place.

        • http://overshadowed.com/ overunder

          It’s sad we all want Ducati to stay special and elite, but this sort of brand dilution is ultimately inevitable. I mean what major luxury brand (Italian or not) haven’t gone down this path by now? Everything under LVHM group, Ferrari, I mean really if they haven’t, they are trying to figure out how. Part of me am almost impressed Ducati held out for this long.

        • Pete

          Interesting point. Brand dilution is certainly an inevitable side effect of expansion, from the point of view of the existing support base. I assume Ducati is trying to forestall stagnation and make some extra dough for all the reasons previous commenters have mentioned (increased R&D for race team, new models, etc…).

      • Your_Mom

        Two data points do not qualify as market research. I.e., this does not prove that Mr. Nesbitt is correct.

        • Sean Smith

          I’m not angrily trying to prove JT’s righteousness, just pointing out that there is at least one person who fits, perfectly, with what he said.

  • todd

    Sadly “we” are the minority. Most motorcyclists relate to cruising more than anything. Putt, putting slowly, to nowhere to so they can sit and look at the bikes and each other.

    There are others: the adventure riders cruising for several hundred miles per day and hauling all there shit with them. Scooters

    People actually hauling ass on open roads with performance motorcycles wearing functional protective gear are RARE.

    For some reason I find this illogical and surprising. Yet as I look at my fellow motorcyclist on the roadway. This is my observation

    todd

    • Martin

      I’m a (modern) Vespa guy who used to ride to work every day where the temperature would allow for liquid water. When it was down to 35 degrees here in Seattle a few winters ago, the only other guys I saw on two wheels were scooterists and a few BMW guys.

      • ursus
  • Thom

    Ahhhhhhh Horse Shit !

    Like the Cayenne / Panamera with Porsche , if the damned Diavel keeps Ducati in the black , who the ( _____ ) gives a rats ( _____ )

    Face it . The more Ducati rakes in on the Diavel , the more they can spend on R&D for MotoGP and their sport M/C’s

    And seriously folks . What would you rather see some Fat Arsed SOB riding up to your favorite drinking hole on ?

    Another Freakin Harley , or a Diavel who’s profits will be fed into making your 1198 a better ride ?

    I’ll vote for the Diavel ! Making money isn’t a bad thing unless you sacrifice EVERYTHING you stand for to get there .

    • Sean Smith

      Ducati could have built any number of bikes. The could have built a smaller, more dirt capable multi, a new super-single, a sport-tourer, an MX or dual-sport, an updated streetfighter, or any number of other motorcycles, but instead they built the Diavel.

      Sure, it’s going to make them money, but there are plenty of other ways to make money as well. To toss their finely crafted brand away in favor of this one is what bothers me.

      Why build the Diavel and place it in competition with V-Rods and V-Maxs when they could have done literally anything else?

      • Thom

        Because my fine feathered friend ;

        IT’LL MAKE THEM A BOATLOAD OF MONEY !!!!!

        Period !!!!

        Whereas your other ideas might of just barely sold

        Take a lesson or two from musician Peter Gabriel . Every solo album he’s ever made has had at least one Mega Hit on it to support the rest of the Album which was full of creative and innovative music . Funniest part being even the Mega Hits had more than their fair share of innovation as well . Just like the Diavel .

        You did happen to notice the Diavel is kicking the crap out of all the other ” Power Cruisers ” haven’t you ?

      • Martin

        They could have made a smaller displacement retro cafe racer with authentic Italian design cool that’s practical for city folks to commute on. Imagine the mid-point between the Monster 696 and the Suzuki TU250X.

        I would buy one of those today, maybe two.

    • noone1569

      See, I think the issue is:

      1. Ducati makes a ton of cash on the Diavel and Diavel related accessories.
      2. The Suits in Italy see the lines crossing from red to black.
      3. The Suits decide the profit margins need to go up.
      4. The Suits then shift R&D monies from Desci style projects to Diavel style projects to maximize profit.
      5. Ducati, as I have said before in comments here, becomes the Italian Harley.

      • Thom

        noone1569

        Whilst I can see why you might think this to be the case ……. well mate …….. You’re wrong !

        Whens the last time other than NHRA you’ve seen H-D take racing seriously with even their Drag Racing efforts being run by an outside team ?

        • noone1569

          I hope so. I hope this is wrong. If not, it’d be a terrible forecast for the future of motorcycling.

          Ducati didn’t always race.
          Harley hasn’t always produced shitty, slow bikes.

          There was a time when HD backed racing efforts in a multitude of categories. Then, they decided the racing wasn’t as profitable as selling a lifestyle.

          Ducati backs racing in a few different categories. Now, they are seeing that producing the Diavel is making $$$, I’m sure a lot of that $$$ is from accesories . . and will probably be even more. . .

          I don’t like where this is going.

          • Sabathius

            I feel you noon1569

            Management’s job is to make PROFITS. The fear is that deep down Ducati’s management doesn’t care about what they are selling, as long as people are buying.

  • Maxwell

    Hate the look all you want. Call the riders ‘posers’, and laugh at them for their choice of gear. But ride the bike yourself and I doubt anyone would find it another boring cruiser. Truly an awesome machine.

    And as said before, theres plenty of Dbags that ride every brand. And who gives a shit what brand gear someone wears? Dianese would be considered a cool/good brand of gear by most, yet when its branded with Ducati as its made for that brand, then its uncool? Geez…

    • Sean Smith

      This isn’t about the bike, this is about how Ducati is changing their brand. I’ve ridden the bike and my only real complaint was the crappy stock seat. Alonzo Bodden bought one, opted for the optional tall touring seat and said it makes it 80% better.

  • Myles

    Diavel is a fast bike that’s designed for the street. 848/1198 is a fast bike that’s designed for the track.

    The guy who has never been to a track but rides a superbike (regardless of gear) is the jackass, not this guy who’s out riding with his buddy. Motorcycles are supposed to be fun, remember? I’m a lot more frustrated with the jackass I passed on the bridge going into Georgetown yesterday (848 evo, camo shorts, Dayaneeeeezeh gloves) than this old dude out for a good time.

    • Kurt

      +1

  • Tony

    I test rode one in Italy last week and I have to say it’s fun to ride.

  • Marc

    While I’m as much for throwing stones at dbags within our sport, let’s remember that to “civilians” there’s no difference between a poser on a Diavel and a dude wearing his hi-viz Aerostich on his Honda VFR with a headlight modulator. We all suck collectively to them, and they’re the ones we need to be wary of.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

      Good point.

    • Kurt

      Exactly right. And I ride a ’98 VFR and wear a hi-viz roadcrafter.

    • Martin

      For what it’s worth, my wife has sensory issues and absolutely detests anyone behind a headlight modulator. Practically causes seizures for her.

  • David Edwards

    So, let me get this straight: This guy’s a d-bag dick for riding in an open-face helmet with no gloves, yet the Frenchies in following story are having “good clean fun” while wearing the same attire–actually, less when they strip off to go roosting in the dirt.

    And then there’s the newbie chick who almost dominoes the whole lot?

    Methinks our inconsistency is showing…

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You’re missing the fact that this guy looks like he’d rather be driving a Lexus and we all want to be/have sex with the guy/girls in the Blitz video. Plus, they’re French.

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

        “Plus, they’re French.”

        Which makes them douches whether they ride bikes or not. ;-)

        • http://www.davidfolch.com david folch

          I knew it was the fault of the frenchies !

    • Kurt

      Since when is motorcycling such an exclusionary pursuit? If one is not the “right kind” of rider one is a douchebag? What happened to “it doesn’t matter what you ride, only that you ride?” Jeez. Who gives a shit what, why, or how this guy enjoys riding.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        Have you never seen a Ducati club? It’s not motorcycling that’s exclusive, it’s supposed to be the Ducati brand that’s exclusive. That’s what they sell, that’s why they can charge a premium for objectively lower performance than the japanese.

  • matt

    so much rather have douche-cash flowing into ducati than HD, at least we get a superbike and motoGP dividend from that. With an HD purchase we get nothing of value. Also very happy to split that douche-cash pie with aprilia when then release their diablo killer in a year or so.

    Also – the diablo confuses typical HD riders, at least the dopey ones. They can shrug off the yamaha and honda cruisers as jap bike wannabes, but the diablo? harder to process.

    • Alex

      dee-ah-vehl

      “diavel”

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    so can we expect to see Ducati-themed chaps and vests sometime soon?

  • Mitchell

    Rode one at Pro Italia while my 1198sp was in for service. Probably the most alien thing I’ve ever sat on. Absolute crap.

  • willmeyer

    As a long-time reader of yours and of HFL, and a true fan, I gotta tell you that these types of pieces just aren’t very interesting, and at the end of the day I’m not sure why they are so common on here when most of the rest of the content is so rich. Every hobby has its spectrum of practitioners, each with their own issues. Would be awesome to get over the squid/hipster/cruiser-dude/cordura-guy/etc subgenre commentary and get back to the stuff we love about the thing. Hating on groups of fellow riders, even though yes in some case we may not all have a lot in common otherwise, gets kinda old.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I fail to see any hate here other than what you’re projecting onto a fairly dry piece yourself. We cover bike culture. The transition of Ducati riders from one culture to another fits into that very nicely. Plus, this is funny.

      • willmeyer

        “Fairly dry” would be a better description than “funny”.

        This, for example, is funny: http://xkcd.com/386/

  • Paul

    I may be low on the information scale, but I put 1500 miles on a diavel. The engine was addictive (just like kevin ash – a guy higher up on the scale – said). Made me wake up early just to ride. Corners fine, but no one will buy it for the cornering. Plenty comfortable too (with touring seat). For me, it was awesome. So im happy if ducati wants to build different things. The multi was a bit of a leap/massive breach too and it has a lot going for it. To me the better every day bike is a monster, but then again, everyone can ride what he or she wants to ride, right?

  • Kyle

    So, can a harley rider be a squid? how about a diavel rider?

  • JonB

    I must be getting old but I think it is crazy to be blind to the fact that those two dudes in the photos bought two new motorcycles. Thats two sales, two dudes on bikes, a shop staying open, kids behind the counter still employed.

    Dumb motorcycle or not—positive outcome.

    I love that Depth of Speed : Pangea Video right now. Dude says something about Moto Monday and how its about not having boundaries and how he likes a R6 as much as he likes a 60s Triumph. I feel the same way. I wouldn’t say no to an old bobber, or camping on the coast with a Harley anymore than I would say no to another track day at Sears on my ex SM610. Maybe I’ve been living in Oakland too long and watching too many different kinds of people get along.

    Anybody with an opposite point of view is retarded, or immature. Why can’t people just be stoked and kick it?

  • stephen

    As a owner of a Ducati from the sport classic line. I would say the expanding fuel tank is a breach of brand trust. For Ducati to be a “Premium” to have such a huge issue with plastic fuel tanks to be worse than the Dival. If the Dival brings in more money for Ducati then maybe they can spend some more money in R&D.

    • Tony

      Second that. I have an SC1000S with an expanded tank.

    • Sean Smith

      Ha, never said this was the first time they did that. It’s really too bad they messed up that many tanks.

    • stephen

      Going down to the dealer this week to see if I can get a 4th tank. Im not under warranty anymore so Ill see if I can work something out; or I will have to wait to see the outcome of the class action lawsuit.

      • Greg

        ‘fraid that’s not just a Ducati “brand issue” My Aprilia and Triumph both suffer as well. Blame Acerbis as they made all the damned things. I am looking at tank number 3 for my Daytona….

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    I don’t know, I’d lay even odds that this guy really does believe in “intelligent design”.

    That aside, after many years in the industry I’ve found it’s impossible to truly categorize most riders. It may be that many people who choose to ride do so because they are unconventional in the first place. Riding is an inherently illogical decision. You’ll find plenty of riders who do fit a stereotype, but you’ll find at least an equal number who don’t. And when you add a segment twisting bike like the Diavel to the mix, exactly who do we expect this customer to be anyway? He could wear the exact opposite. He could wear an Arai RX7 and flip flops. You just don’t know. If the bike lasts long enough, it will develop it’s own stereotypical rider and he’ll still be a minority among Diavel riders.

    My guess is that this particular guy is motivated by bragging rights. He’s paid the most and has the fastest, most powerful bike and premium gear. But he didn’t buy it to be anonymous. He’s got the half-helmet because he wants – no, he *needs* – to be seen.

    • Sean Smith

      High-five for an “intelligent design” joke!

  • Tommy

    I dont know, I see a lot of douchebags on ducatis, and this dude seems like kind of a douche as well. Not too much better than the ducati t-shirt wearing, messenger bag slinging douche riding up and down melrose.

    Ducatis look good, so they are going to attract a lot of people more concerned about looking good than riding good.

  • tonup

    How are any other than middle-aged douches supposed to afford the Diavel?

    I would love to have it, but i’m sticking with my Scrambler.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    What the fuck are all the commenters smokin? It’s really not an ugly bike for what it is. I just saw one in person in Somerville, MA and it looked fucking cool.

    Everyone here wants to hump a KLR all day long, but mention the Diavel and they shudder. I mean, by all accounts, this bike rides awesome. Doesn’t that count for something?

    If you hate the bike, fine. Calling it ugly over and over again is just silly though.

    And I’m no Ducati guy either, I ride a fucking Triumph!

    • Kirill

      KLRs are practical ugly, its different.

    • Myles

      KLR is lowbrow – which is cool.

      There are RULES to follow dude, learn them:

      http://www.gq.com/news-politics/mens-lives/201106/middlebrow-culture

      Scroll down about midway til you find the bastardized venn diagram.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        This is me trying to fix the problem. And failing.

        The coding on here is interesting. If I enter a bold tag without closing it, then edit comment, it’s closed for me. If I enter the closing tag only, then edit comment, that code is gone. Myles seems to have discovered some loophole from hell.

        • Myles

          I’m actually the leader of Anti-Sec. I already sent the HFL team a ransom note, I need a new zx10r delivered to by home address by day’s end or the whole site goes down.

          DOWN!

          • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

            You mean you’re not in it for the lulz?! Dear god.

            At least Wes gave in. I mean, the site’s working. How’s that ZX10R?

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      Its not the bike, its the rider.

  • Charlie

    I hated the pictures but I saw one in all black and it looked real good. It was comfortable and light. I don’t know what it is…but I would love to ride it. Based on all the reviews, it sounds like I would like it even more. Diavel, new MTS, new 1100 Evo Monster…what are people complaining about? Great products. I’ll take a Hyper 796 for commuting while were at it

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Yeah, it looks a lot better in black and with Termis. That’s not to say I like how it looks either way, but it’s certainly an improvement.

  • Paul B

    Jesus you guys need to get over it. Who gives a shit what someone wears while they ride what they want to ride. I guess it would be better if he was wearing one piece leathers with a aero hump on his back. Because, you know, we all have a need to go 160 mph everyday.

    • ErikT

      +1

      • Justyn

        +2

  • Will

    The problem is 90% of the riding population looks like low information buyers next to JT. And to me (admittedly not that knowledgable regarding Ducs), this is exactly what Ducati has always been: quality but expensive machines that cater to people with lots of money who like to have lots of expensive matching gear. The Diavel is still elite and unique in it’s class, just like Ducati’s other bikes. Expensive, hardcore racing bikes is a niche that can’t last forever. I still think that this is only a breach of brand trust if Ducati’s other bikes suffered. This is the expansion of a brand, not a total overhaul or anything.

    I don’t get the “Yep, we were right, only idiots ride this” rhetoric. If this is a company you like, be glad that they are expanding and becoming more stable as a brand. I’ll probably never buy a Street Triple, but I’m glad that Triumph has a robust offering of bikes. I guess this was meant to be funny, but it comes off as mean spirited trying to disguise itself as funny.

  • DAVID

    the motto of HFL should be ‘haters will hate, and we are the haters’

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      C’mon, David. It’d be awfully arrogant to declare themselves THE haters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

    Good news! Chronoshark has a Ducati watch on sale today for the low price of $219! Check out those details, like the “tire tread” premium rubber strap, Ducati logo on the dial and crown, and so much more.

    It’s like spam, but relevant. Did you know the regular MSRP on that quartz masterpiece is $950? Incredible! It’d match both the bike and jacket. Can’t put a price on that.

    (For what it’s worth, they also have a deal on the lovely Seiko 5 military-style automatics. Great little watches.)

    • noone1569

      Lulz, came in here to make fun of a diavel and bought another seiko. . .uhg.

      • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

        Can’t fault you for that. I have one of those Seiko 5s and I can’t fault it. It was my first quality automatic.

  • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

    Can somebody please define “brand trust” or “brand identity” without making it sound like plain nostalgia? If you feel like you can’t blindly buy a Ducati based on the brand name alone anymore, then you actually have much bigger problems. Ok, it seems like most readers here are informed consumers, so maybe that’s not what’s going on. Seeing this attitude from such an intelligent group leaves me even more confused.

    More than making money for Duc, I hope the Diavel makes Harley sweat enough to remove head from ass. Lofty goal.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Until now, Ducati hasn’t sold motorcycles, they’ve sold an image. An image of uncompromised performance, design elegance and two-wheeled sophistication. Now, they also sell a cruiser. Until now, guys like this have not been attracted to or included in the Ducati brand. Now they are.

      • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

        It’s an image of those things, as opposed to an actuality. I’m glad you said that. HD sells an image too.

        Brand identity is valuable, evocative and gets people riding. Still, I think the Japanese have the best philosophy. Each Japanese make has a wide range of models and doesn’t let cruiser culture water down their sportbikes. With Ducati the firewall looks breached, but I doubt it. Their racing machines will still be sophisticated, tarnished image or not.

        I ride an ER6N and I don’t give a damn what else Kawasaki makes. As long as a bike looks nice and does what I want it to do, I approve. I actually desire a lack of brand identity. Kill ‘em all.

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

        Ducati also sold motorcycles in the past. Case in point, my Multistrada 1100. It’s not fast, it’s not sexy, it doesn’t have any bit of elegance or sophistication to it. In fact, it looks like a wrecked train. I don’t think anyone bought it for the Ducati image. I think buyers of that particular model wanted something practical, with an air/oil-cooled v-twin that actually ran decently, and with a ride that’s all-day comfortable, even on shitty roads.

        My dealer wants me to trade it in for a Diablow or a new MTS 1200. He says the used market for the first-gen Multistradas is crazy right now because lots of buyers who would normally stay away from Ducati are coming in to pick up a used Multistrada, knowing that it’s a practical bike at a (now) practical price.

      • Will

        “uncompromised performance, design elegance and two-wheeled sophistication”

        Besides just being a cruiser, how does the Diavel go against any of those descriptions of the brand?

        • HammSammich

          Seriously? So far as I can tell, the Diavel is actually an exercise in performance compromise for the sake of aesthetics and ergonomics.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

          You could apply that same sort of question to a Ducati trike. “Besides just having three wheels, how does the Ducati X3 go against any of those descriptions of the brand?”

          Here are some more fun questions:

          “Besides just being a mostly-decayed zombie, how does that chick not qualify as hot?”

          “Besides his age, green skin, turtle shell, ninja skills, his Master Splinter, his mortal enemy Shredder, and three brothers, what makes you say he’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?”

          • HammSammich

            Any argument that invokes TMNT earns bonus points in my book. Also, you forgot, “love for pizza with bizarre toppings.” ;)

          • Will

            I guess I should clarify a little. What I meant was that in the cruiser class, the Diavel is is the best performer, arguably more elegant than a Victory or HD (obviously this is subjective), and certainly more sophisticated. Given that, I don’t understand how this is a breech of brand loyalty. They still offer their other bikes as well…

            • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

              Will – I was just busting your balls. I get what you were saying. Personally, I take more issue with the definition of Ducati’s brand image in light of some of the models they’ve carried for years than anything else.

              That said, specific to your point, it could easily be said that “best performer in a class that inherently compromises performance does not equal uncompromising performance.”

              • Will

                Hey, no worries man. I see your point too and I always enjoy a good TMNT reference. I guess this is just one of those agree to disagree things.

  • Peter88

    Somewhere above I was called a jackass because I have a sportbike and have never been to a track! I take my riding seriously so that hurt! However, as we age, and all of us here will age, the sportbike will not be such a nice companion when cummuting, touring, getting groceries, riding the mountains or blasting down the highway. What does that aging rider get next? An anemic Harley? A K1300S? An adventure tourer? Ducati has created a bike that will appeal to former sportbike riders that are now in their 50s or 60s and the daily riding of a sportbike isn’t as comfortable as it used to be. I applaud what they’ve done.

    • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

      I’m not a Ducati marketing/branding expert, but I would think that former Ducati sportbike riders would lean more to the MTS 1200 than the Diavel. From reading what I have about Ducati’s various press exercises, Ducati are trying to attract new, non-Ducati riders with the Diavel.

      In the Boston area — and perhaps this was intentionally planned or perhaps it was coincidence — the two longtime Ducati dealerships did not participate in the launch of the Diavel. Instead, a dealer that did not sell Ducatis (or any Italian bikes for that matter) up until the Diavel launch, hosted the Diavel introduction to New England.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

    Dear lord. Someone forgot to close their Bold tag. By someone, I mean Myles. Sure, I could have responded directly, but this is my own personal breach of comment trust.

    • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

      Italic, too. I like it.

    • Myles

      I think I broke it? Can’t edit my comment. If HFL can’t even build a website I sure don’t trust their whole protective gear science project.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk UrbanRider

    My partner just interviewed Andrea Bonomi, CEO of the private equity firm who own Ducati.

    From her point of view as a financial journalist, this guy saved Ducati.

    Motorcycle companies are businesses not hobbies, screw brand loyalty, this industry needs more businessmen in it in my opinion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      The industry, as a whole, needs to strike a proper between business and passion.

      For example, I look at several Hondas released in the last few years and wonder where the passion went. There is a balance to be found, it’s just not common.

    • runrun

      exactly. +1 urbanrider. when i say “you” below i don’t mean you.

      isn’t it funny how the crying only starts when ducati, who craft and sell an image at least as well as h-d, change direction? apparently it’s fine to sell an image, as long as it’s of exotic speed and ultimate sophistication, but when the marketing image moves, that’s a betrayal of existing fans and customers?

      did the ducati you bought and used to love change? does it no longer accelerate or corner or whatever like it used to now that there’s also a ducati diavel? no and no. maybe it stopped helping you project the image you hoped it would, but whose issue is that?

      mainly yours. it’s just a bike.

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

        Yes, my Ducati Multistrada changed the day Ducati released the Diavel.

        It’s no longer the second ugliest motorcycle ever produced. It’s now the third.

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

          A round of applause for this man.

        • runrun

          ha! excellent. what’s the ugliest? honda rune?

  • nymoto

    Steve Carell’s character in anchorman (Brick Tamland)
    Said it best “I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT ” – “LOUD NOISES”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U7Lqwl3Vzk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Guy rides bikes, he wants the “best” cruiser, buys a Ducati – Ducati thinks they make the best of everything, now in the cruiser market. Thats Ducati’s brand
    /image/marquee “The Best”
    Sounds fine by me – but who really gives a shit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      I LOVE LAMP!

      • HammSammich

        Brick Tamland: Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart.

        Ron Burgundy: I saw that. Brick killed a guy. Did you throw a trident?

        Brick Tamland: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

  • Devin

    If they really did hit this out of the park and make “the best” power cruiser, doesn’t that just increase their brand trust in a “everything we produce is top notch stuff” sort of way.

    • Sean Smith

      They were selling an image of lean performance and the Diavel has a tire optimized for looks and ergonomics optimized for cruising.

  • nymoto

    This just got awesome.

    • Justyn

      I’m 32, and I started riding a year ago (a dream of mine since I was barely 16), and a year ago, my moto knowledge was squat, all I knew is that I wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle.

      Deep down I wanted a sportbike, however at the time I really didn’t know where the hobby was going to take me, so I figured I’d start with something more cruiser-oriented, so I bought a Harley “Forty Eight” Sportster (basically because it was the only Harley I actually liked the look of). Rode it non-stop for first four months, but quickly realized, based on the bike, the dealership service personnel, and the culture, that I’m clearly not a Harley dude (I always wondered why they looked at me like I was an alien when I brought the bike in for service — guess it was my head to toe riding gear and full face Shoei).

      Went out and bought a used SV650, and instantly fell in love with the sportbike genre. Rode that for a few months and bought a new CBR600RR. I really liked having a cruiser in my stable along with my CBR, but I wanted something sportier than the Sportster. This led me to a V-rod, which was decent, but still not my cup of tea.

      Started following the development of the Diavel and realized that this could be the perfect bike for me, and a great compliment to my CBR. Fast forward to three months ago — saw my first Diavel in person, took a test ride, and I was sold.

      It’s a fantastic bike, and I could care less what brand it is, or how I look on it, that’s not why I ride. I’ve done well over 25K in the last year, and I try to ride the Duc as much as possible (I’m already pushing 5K on the odometer). I still can’t wipe the grin off my face every time I get off of it. I may even take it to the track one of these days. ;)

      • Kirill

        Lets try that one more time, this time with paragraphs.

        • Justyn

          I didn’t realize HFL readers were so grammatically-sensitive. :/

          • Kirill

            Its not grammar sensitivity, walls of text are just brutally painful to read.

            That said, you’re obviously in the minority of Diavel buyers – you bought the bike because you genuinely like it and not because of some image so enjoy and ride safe since its the bike for you.

        • Sean Smith

          Did somebody call the paragraph police?

          • Kirill

            Nah it just happened to be stopping by and saw something suspicious

          • Justyn

            Apparently. “Don’t tase me, bro!”

            • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

              LOL.

            • Sean Smith

              It’s alright, the paragraph police are helpful and friendly. We come by and quietly fix your formatting so other commenters can read what you have to say ;)

      • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1100]

        Personally, I think Justyn’s comment above is the perfect way to end this thread.

        We started with a photo of one guy on a Diavel; made a bunch of assumptions about him; extended those assumptions into broad generalizations; poked some fun at him, our fellow riders, and ourselves; and then Justyn comes out of nowhere — also just one guy on a Diavel — and breaks up the party.

        G’night everyone.

  • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

    wow. that touched a nerve. damn, I forgot about that shindig. was it fun otherwise?

  • Kerry

    You know…If ducati was really serious about making money, they should maybe restore the good will they have lost by sticking all their current plastic tank customers with a constant expensive repair. After getting screwed with an ever distorting gas tank mounted to my sport classic, and then screwed again by ducati only offering me 5 year warranty in which they replace the defective piece with more defective pieces, I can positively say I WILL never buy another ducati ever again unless they do right by me and pay for a gas tank that doesn’t turn to jelly when you put fuel in it. I actually now actively tell people not to buy ducati motorcycles where and when ever I can.

    Hey ducati, if you are listening: quality products = money, not silly motorcycles that target the HD crowd.

  • Alonzo

    Everyone hates the Diavel. It has quickly become the LeBron James of motorcycling. Everyone hates it and it’s the best player in the game.
     
    Sportbike riders say it’s blasphemy for a Ducati to have a fat tire or be comfortable. Cruiser riders say it’s blasphemy to go fast or be able to stop. Those in between have no idea what Ducati has done. I even read some hate from Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. Really? Cruiser magazine? You guys think a sportster is a sport bike.
    Well, let me tell you what I think they’ve done. They’ve built a sportbike for guys with bad knees. They’ve made a fat tire bike that handles. They’ve made an engine you could only dream of. Ducati built a MOTORCYCLE.
     
    That’s what it is, a motorcycle. While you’re trying to decide if it’s a cruiser or sport bike or a sin against creation, we owners will be out riding, fast.
     
    Honestly this bike is the first out of my garage and may replace everything in my garage. When I bought the Diavel, I owned a Hayabusa, 2005 Multistrada converted to a street fighter, a BMW Megamoto motard, a custom 1098 streetfighter and a Triumph Rocket 3.
     
    The Busa and the Multistrada are gone and the Megamoto is nervous. The 1098 is out posing for magazines and the Rocket is too big to take any threat seriously.
    Let me explain to you what the Diavel is in guy terms. Sorry ladies but guys will understand.
     
    The 1198 is the supermodel. She’s hot, sexy, high maintenance, more than you’ll ever master. You’ll never make her happy. You know it and she knows it. You think you’re riding her but she’s waiting for an expert to come along and he’s better than you. She’ll leave you and you’ll have a great story to tell as you lie about how it used to be.
     
    The Monster, she’s the hot girl next door. She’s Jennifer Anniston when you wanted Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry.  She looks great but there are limits. A better everyday ride than a 1098 and she’ll do a bit of everything but nothing extraordinary. You’ll be happy enough onboard but your eyes will always wander
     
    Now the Diavel. She’s that chick that’s not perfect. She’s carrying a few extra pounds but somehow she’s still sexy. Those extra pounds seem to be in all the right places and that ass, that sweet 240 tire wearing ass, yeah, that works. She’s better than you, but makes you feel better about yourself. You find whenever you’re with her you’re smiling. Oh and she’s nasty, oh yeah she’s nasty; she’ll do anything you want, anywhere you want and comeback for more. Bedroom, backseat, movie theater; doesn’t matter to her. She’ll actually teach you a few things and with a straight face, tell you she’s never done that before, you’re her first. Yeah right, her first. She’s packing 1198 power, she’s done this before.
    She’s still a good girl though. You can ride her all day long. She’ll even let you bring another girl along. Try that on your 1098. The Monster can carry another woman but none of you will be happy about it.
     
    The Diavel is the woman who’s smiling because she knows. Her man is always smiling because he knows, trust me, he knows.
     
    I had that woman once; let her get away because I didn’t know.
    Now I know.
     
    Anyone want to buy a Megamoto?

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

      Wow and damn in equal measure.

    • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

      Great stuff, Alonzo.

  • Alonzo

    Sorry about rambling but it’s a great bike but it’s a great bike Alonzo Bodden

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