Making 162bhp, 94lb/ft of torque and weighing just 210kg/463lbs (dry), the Ducati Diavel is set to redefine what a cruiser can be. Seen here in rear 3/4 and side profile for the first time, these shots reveal a bike that’s more muscular Monster than it is a raked-out, chromed-out American cruiser. Ducati appears serious about riding the Diavel fast too, not only is it equipped with a three-mode ride-by-wire throttle, but also a slipper clutch. And yeah, that is a 240-section rear.
Update: a full gallery of high-res press shots, a video and all the official info and specs.
In addition to the plain-old Diavel, there’s also the Ducati Diavel Carbon, which adds carbon fiber bodywork and forged Marchesini wheels to drop the weight to 207kg/456lbs.
Speaking of that controversially huge and presumably handling-destroying back tire, Ducati says, “A massive 240 section rear tyre was a perfect example of how Diavel designers used a no-compromise attitude when applying their wish list of features. The sheer width of rubber communicates so much power and style that the R&D team vowed to find a way to make it handle - even if they knew the image would send a seismic shock through the industry.”
The name itself supposedly came from the expletive uttered by a Bolognese engineer when he first saw that tire, “Ignurànt comm’ al diavel!” The name is the local dialect for “devil.”
In keeping with cruiser tradition, the Diavel has an exceptionally low seat height: just 30.3 inches. Passenger pegs fold where they bolt to the chassis to hide themselves when not deployed and the bike will come with a seat cover for the pillion mount to continue the single-seat illusion.
Under that tail are two large vertical strips of LED taillights, mirrored at the front by vertical LED turn signals mounted on the radiator shrouds. The headlight is similar in looks to the Monster's, but here is more rakish, in keeping with the rest of the Diavel’s looks.
The license plate mount is another neat design touch. Bolted to the rear hub, a trellis frame wraps around the rear tire from the left to hold the numberplate in the traditional location.
Up front, the Diavel is equipped with massive 50mm Marzocchi USD forks that are fully adjustable and feature conservative, if not cruiser-like rake and trail numbers: 28° and 130mm respectively. There’s an impressive 70° of steering lock available, meaning the Diavel should be maneuverable at low speeds. The fully-adjustable Sachs rear shock is mounted horizontally underneath the engine. Brakes are Brembo Monoblocks clamping superbike-sized 320mm front discs.
That suspension holds a normal 3.7x17” front wheel equipped with a 120/70-17 Pirelli, but Ducati worked with the tire maker to create a sport-profile rear especially for the massive 8x17” rear wheel and 240x45-17 tire. That dual compound tire uses a hard center area for maximum upright mileage and sticky sides for good cornering grip. Ducati claims it's this tire’s profile and compound that makes the huge rear feasible without utterly destroying the handling, but doesn’t go into much detail.
While it should handle like a real motorcycle, Ducati has employed one distinctly cruiser-like touch: tank-mounted instrumentation. There’s actually two instrument clusters: the one on the bars displays speed, RPMs and warning lights, the tank-mount is a full-color TFT and shows secondary functions like gear position, riding mode and traction control settings.
Like the Ducati Multistrada 1200, which shares a similar version of the Testastretta 11° v-twin, the Diavel is equipped with a hands-free ignition. Keep the key in your pocket and the bike will be armed when you approach within 6.5 feet.
The ride-by-wire throttle is equipped with three riding modes: full power and aggressive delivery for sports riding; full power with progressive delivery for touring; and 100bhp and easy delivery for city riding.
Like other Ducatis, now including the 2011 Ducati 1198, the Diavel is equipped with eight-position, rider-switchable traction control.
Need more proof that the Diavel is Ducati's way of targeting Boomer's who're aging out of sportsbikes? This video was taken by Motorbiker.org's Mike Werner and shows the model's hair metal-tastic press unveil, all set to Billy Idol's "Shock to the system" which is what countless dozens of pacemakers are doing right now to the hearts of grey hairs suddenly envisioning riding one of these into the sunset.
Want to see other EICMA bikes before anyone else? Check out our EICMA tag page for exclusive photos of motorcycles like the 2011 KTM RC8 R and MV Agusta F3.