Ducati Diavel Carbon – An everyday bike?

Modified On Oct 30, 2018 By Rommel Albuquerque

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Italian superbikes are known to look stunning and are normally backed by some serious power. They may not have the level of refinement compared to their Japanese counterparts but there’s something about Italian motorcycles that make them stand out from the crowd. 

We recently got our hands on the Ducati Diavel Carbon and I decided to do a little experiment with it. I didn’t try to achieve its maximum speed nor did I try any stunts on it either. Why? Well for one, there’s no open road in Mumbai where you can even think of riding the Diavel at speeds above 150km/h. Secondly, it’s a massive cruising motorcycle. Not something you’d want to pop wheelies on. So what exactly did I experiment with? Well, I wanted to see if a 240kg, 1200cc Italian thoroughbred could be ridden everyday just like a regular motorcycle. 

So as I started off from the Ducati showroom, I was a bit skeptical initially. Simple reason being I weigh about 62kg and the bike weighs 234kg. But that feeling quickly passed as I started riding. Even though the Diavel Carbon is heavy, once you start moving you’ll barely feel the weight. Also, the fact that it has a low saddle height of just 770mm makes it easy for short riders to plant both feet firmly on the ground. Now that I got a handle on the weight, it was time to open up the throttle. This is the scary part if you are used to riding smaller motorcycles. I’ve ridden quite a few litre class motorcycles around the country and so I knew what was in store for me with a twist of the wrist. But let me put this in a better way: Your regular 150cc motorcycle puts out around 14bhp and 13Nm of power and torque respectively. The Diavel Carbon on the other hand, generates 162bhp and 130Nm. See the difference? It’s substantial!

So what does having so much of power and torque translate to when riding in the city? Well, it means you’ll mostly be stuck in first gear. Mainly because, you can ride comfortably at 60km/h in the first gear. Then when the road opens up a little, you slot it into 2nd gear and before you know it, you’ve crossed 100km/h. Annoyingly though, you will have to shift back down to first gear equally quickly because of the inevitable traffic. So yes, riding in the city can be a bit frustrating. 

Then you also have another known phenomenon that occurs in almost every litre class motorcycle in India – heating issues. Oh and I’m not talking about the motorcycle overheating which surprisingly wasn’t an issue on the Diavel. It’s the heat generated from the engine. As the temperature of the engine heats up, so does the air around it. This sizzling air then blankets your legs leaving you wondering what’s cooking in the engine. This phenomenon doesn’t affect only the rider. My wife who reluctantly sat pillion with me for a short spin said she felt her shoe was going to melt off. So a word of caution for all pillion riders. There were also times when I was stuck in traffic and inching along the bee’s line became a task in itself. The constant heat wave left me feeling like I was in a sauna. Though it was good for my skin, it left me dehydrated. 

Riding the Ducati Diavel Carbon in the city or on the highway is a lot of fun. Now you’d think because it’s such a big and heavy motorcycle and costs almost Rs. 20 lakhs on road in Mumbai, you’d have to ride it differently. Surprisingly not! In fact I rode along the streets of Andheri, Malad, Jogeshwari, Bandra (all of which are extremely crowded suburban areas) like I would on a normal 110cc or 150cc motorcycle. That’s because this motorcycle handles so well and is easy to manoeuvre. Except if you have to take a slow speed turn or a U turn. That’s where the wide handlebar and its ultra wide tyre play spoil sport. 

Now I know I’ve cribbed about being stuck in 1st gear for most of my city commute, but there is a silver lining. The Diavel Carbon looks drop dead gorgeous. So no matter where you are, you’ll have a ton of eyes ogling at you. I noticed everyone right from a street hawker to truck drivers to passengers in high end Bimmers and Audi’s stealing a passing glance. The Diavel Carbon’s design definitely helps lend it a commanding road presence. Riding it around the city will instantly transform you into a celebrity. You’ll also have your friends and colleagues wanting a picture with it. 

Besides looking stunning in black chrome and carbon fibre, the Diavel’s exhaust note lets you and everyone else around you know exactly what the engine is capable of. The pipes let out a loud growl that will set your heart racing and may even give an old person a heart attack. So if you do own one or land up buying one, keep an eye out before opening the throttle. 

After riding the Diavel Carbon for a few days in the city and on the highway, my experiment finally came to an end. So what’s my conclusion? Well for starters, if you have Rs. 20 lakhs lying around and you want an Italian motorcycle that will make a statement, then the Ducati Diavel Carbon fits the bill perfectly. But if you do plan to ride it every day in the city, then I’d suggest you start going to the gym and working out on your upper body strength. Simply because in a city like Mumbai, getting stuck in traffic at some point of your commute is a given. Being a powerful motorcycle, the clutch is heavy and taking a U turn with this beast is good exercise for your shoulders. You’ll also have to start drinking a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. But all these niggles don’t linger long because at the end of the day, you’re riding an Italian thoroughbred that has enough power and torque to make most of the cars on the road put their head down in reverence. 

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