Best Cruiser 2011: Ducati Diavel

December 30, 2011
By Motorcycle USA Staff
In the age of teaser videos, “spy” photos and orchestrated leaks, it’s difficult for a motorcycle to live up to its hype. Not so with the Ducati Diavel. The long-rumored Italian “power cruiser” is a genre-bending bike to be sure. While it dons a cruiser-ish stance, fat rear tire and low-slung looks, there’s the insane sportbike engine power, top-class brakes and advanced electronics.
The 2012 Ducati Diavel looks ready to rumble at Barona Drag Strip.
The Ducati Diavel was one of the strangest rides to debut in 2011. It’s also one of the most fun to ride!

Motorcycle USA couldn’t get enough of the Diavel in 2011, testing it multiple times to figure out just what the hell the Italian devil really was. In our Performance Cruiser Shootout it completely decimated its supposed competition. Adding it to our Streetfighter Comparison it finally met its match against nimbler rivals. Even so, the Diavel proved its premium performance – smoking the likes of the Speed Triple and Z1000 in 0–60 and quarter-mile tests. We also had a ball thrashing the new Duc at a trackday too. Try that on a typical cruiser!

With its Testastretta engine spinning out 137 rear-wheel horsepower, the Diavel tosses cruiser conventions on their head. Wheel-lofting fun in the cruiser class? Yes, sir. And that Ducati Twin is rich in character too, with a blissful exhaust note. Amazingly, the adrenaline-jacking powerplant is easily tamed with advanced electronic aids. The Diavel bristles with technology: Three switchable riding modes, adjustable Ducati Traction Control, ABS which can be deactivated manually, top-shelf Brembo monobloc brakes, fully adjustable Marzocchi fork and Sachs shock, slipper clutch…

MotoUSA tabs the Diavel as cruiser of the year fully acknowledging its status as a bona fide cruiser is shaky, at best. That said, we praise it for shattering the performance expectations in a riding genre that hews firm to tradition, maybe a little too firm.

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