2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S
by Brian Robinson
Back in 2011 when Ducati brought the Diavel to the U.S. market, you knew it was going to be anything but your typical cruiser. Well, needless to say it was a cruiser as only Ducati could do it; and it was a big, hot, hit. Well, for 2019, there’s an all-new Diavel, and it looks like Brian Robinson is in for a devil of a time.
BRIAN ROBINSON: “Like any other job, here at MotorWeek, some days are better than others. And then there are times when Ducati drops off something like this!”
Back when we tested the original Diavel, It’s hard to say which was more difficult, trying to classify it, or trying to pronounce it. Either way, it was a wicked good time; and Ducati’s back for more with the 2019 Diavel 1260S.
No big changes in styling direction for this 2nd generation Diavel; as before, it looks like it emerged from some crazy Italian stylinator machine, with sportbike, and cartoon superhero settings cranked to the max. And out popped this menacingly handsome mound of machismo.
A 63-inch wheelbase certainly puts it in the power cruiser category; lines have been sharpened all around, and the overall design has been cleaned up a little, giving it a more purposeful, and dare we say more aggressive tone.
The fat 240 rear tire and minimal rear with under-tail mounted LED tail lights returns slightly updated. Perhaps their best achievement was eliminating the multiple feet of exhaust piping that cluttered up the side of the previous bike. Exhaust is now neatly packaged, with a huge automotive style muffler directly behind the engine, with stubby twin outlets. Looks great; sounds even better.
A 3.5-inch TFT gauge panel is small and packed full of info, yet somehow proves to be very readable at speed, and even switches from black on white to white on black automatically.
Riding position is excellent, feeling like it was custom built for my overweight 6-foot frame; and just enough seat comfort to get through a full day’s ride without getting distracted. Like a well set up European sport sedan, ride quality here is firm, but nothing ever seems to upset it.
Nestled in its minimal steel trellis frame is the heart of this beast; Ducati’s Testastretta 1,262cc twin borrowed from its xDiavel offshoot. Horsepower is 159, with a healthy 95 lb-ft. of torque output.
Power is immediate, and forcefully delivered whether you’re fully ready for it or not. Fortunately, there are riding modes to help you tame the beast if you so choose; Sport, Touring and Urban are your options. Sport mode is the most fun, naturally, but it’s hyper throttle response can be a little intimidating. Let’s just say it doesn’t like to putt around and enjoy the scenery, it likes to be ridden hard.
It takes some effort to get that fat 240 rear to fall into turns; but once you’re there, the bike feels rock solid and responds quickly to inputs.
This is the upgraded 1260S, which includes a fully adjustable Ohlins suspension, lighter wheels, upgraded brakes, a quick-shifter, full LED lighting, and even a multimedia system with full smartphone integration, for the additional couple grand.
That puts it at $22,995; the base 1260, just under the 20-grand threshold at $19,995.
There are a lot of things about the 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S that are hard to explain or answer; but its purpose is clear. Give older riders much like myself, who are either unable or unwilling to fold themselves in and around a sportbike, but still want that same experience in a much more comfortable package. As they say, the Devil…is…in the details.