New Ducati Diavel rolls into Singapore (updated)

The redesigned Diavel is now in town, with muscular looks to go with its 160 hp engine. But there are brains to go with the brawn now.

Updated with official pics from Ducati Singapore, more details

SINGAPORE  The devil can apparently take on many forms, but how many look as good as this one? The new Ducati Diavel officially went on sale in Singapore today at a launch event at Suntec City.

The new Diavel (a Bolognese dialect word for “devil”) is a ground-up redesign of Ducati’s muscle bike-cruiser mashup.

Ducati’s line-up actually has two models – the XDiavel, which is aimed at the power-cruiser market and competes against bikes like the Yamaha V-Max or Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout 114.

The Diavel seen here, edges more towards street/naked performance bikes in a low-slung package, so is competing with anything from a traditional supernaked such as BMW’s S 1000 R or Honda CB 1000 R to the aforementioned power cruisers above.

The most obvious difference between the Diavel and XDiavel, besides the more pared-down styling of the XDiavel, is the fact that the Diavel has mid-mounted rather than forward-mounted controls, the latter being a classic cruiser touch.

It has sharper lines than before but stays true to the last model’s muscular stance, with a chopped-off exhaust and tapering saddle helping to give it a wasp-like tail.

As for the fat rear tyre that gives it much of its visual badassery, it’s still there in the form of a 240/45R17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso III that was tailor-made for the new Diavel. Up front is a 120/70R17 tyre.

For now the Diavel comes in two flavours, the 1260 and the upgraded 1260 S, priced at S$59,900 and S$69,000 respectively, with Certificate Of Entitlement but sans insurance.

The “1260” part tells you that the Diavel is hauled along by the latest Testastretta L-twin; the 1,262cc edition with DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) that’s good for a scary 160 horsepower at 9,500 rpm, and an arm-wrenching 129 Newton-metres of peak torque at 7,500 rpm. This is obviously a bike you don’t want to mess with at the lights, whatever you’re riding.

The twin-cylinder engine is painted in black and looks like a hefty, solid mass of metal, which is apt because it forms most of the bike’s structure. There’s a small trellis frame that bolts the steering head to the engine, with a steeper 27-degree front rake angle for less cruiser-like handling than before, and a slender single-sided swingarm that also connects to the engine directly.

Ducati increased the rear suspension travel, which should allow for a softer setup that in turn should make the Diavel ride more smoothly over bad tarmac.

The “S” trim involves a few key component differences. The standard Diavel has 50mm Marzocchi front forks and a rear shock that’s only adjustable for preload and rebound, but the 1260 S has fully-adjustable 48mm Öhlins forks and an Öhlins rear shock absorber.

There’s also an up-down quickshifter for the 1260 S, and more racy stuff in the form of the Ducati Link app that allows you to record routes, download blackbox riding data, customise riding modes via Bluetooth.

Both Diavels ante up on digital tech in other ways. They get the latest “Evo” suite of Ducati electronic rider aids, meaning three riding modes (Sport, Touring and the 100hp-limited Urban) and eight levels of traction control. There’s also launch control and wheelie control. Because 160hp.

Ducati fan Allan Wu introduces the Diavel

Handily, the Brembo brakes come with Bosch’s latest ABS Cornering EVO system, which should help prevent you from going down if you panic and squeeze the brake lever while leaned over for a corner.

The rider aids mean that for a bike that’s potentially scarily muscular, the Ducati has brains, as well. Tempted? You should be. What else should one expect from the devil?

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Leow Ju-Len
Leow Ju-Len is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 23 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.