Review: Ducati Diavel 1260

Without a doubt, the Ducati Diavel 1260 is the most polarizing motorcycle that I ever rode. Never before I got so many reactions to the design of a test bike. “Ugliest Ducati ever,” I heard. But the haters were easily outnumbered by the fans. I saw a lot of love for the Diavel. One driver even payed more attention to my bike than to the road.

The Diavel’s distinct design is a real eye-catcher. A long and low body, with a muscular front and a striking rear: no fender, just a license plate holder which fortunately prevents a wet back during rain rides. Thanks to the single-sided swing arm on the left and the short exhaust, you have a good view of the impressive rear wheel.

On photo the Diavel couldn’t really convince me, but in real life its design won my heart easily. The finish is outstanding. Even if its looks aren’t for you, you can’t deny that the designers from Bologna put a lot of love into them. Just look at fine details such as the panels in brushed steel, the beautiful indicator lights on the front or the backlit buttons on the handlebars (just a pity that Continue reading

Review: Ducati Scramber 1100 Special

Intermot 2014. Ducati unveils its 800 cc Scrambler in four variations. Soon followed by three extra variations and a 400 cc version. Their lifestyle-oriented approach apparently caught on, because at EICMA 2017 Ducati introduced the Scrambler 1100.

A move that gives the Italians a head start over the British, because Triumph’s bigger Scrambler will see daylight in 2019. So for now, the only direct competitor of the Scrambler 1100 is the BMW R nineT Scrambler.

The Scrambler 1100’s design doesn’t differ that much from the 800, which – with its compact, narrow built – seems to be a noobie bike, although it doesn’t ride like that at all. The 1100 appears more mature, because everything is just a bit bigger. It comes in three variations: “regular“, the stylish Special and the racy Sport. Together with the equipment level, the price rises: $12,995, $14,295 and $14,995. I got my hands on a Special.

Sexy and graceful

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special clearly targets those who prefer scramblers with a classic appearance. The spoke wheels, the aluminum fenders and the brown leather seat combined with the gray tank create a timeless look. The finishing is as expected from a Ducati bike: done with care and eye for detail. Even the brake cable curves gracefully.

The gorgeous headlight and the Born Free inscription on the fuel cap are eye-catchers we already saw on the 800 cc Scrambler. There’s also the typical Ducatian, beautifully bending exhaust piping, an elegant display and that sexy rear, thanks to the dual exhausts and the stylish mudguard. Don’t take the word mudguard to literal: it’s so short it won’t guard you from much mud.

Balancing act

In comparison with the design, the engine Continue reading

Review: Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Touring

The first thing I notice when standing next to the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Touring is what an impressive bike this is, with its tall shoulders, slim waist and broad hips. It’s almost intimidating. Some say it’s the prettiest Ducati ever built. I wanted to know if it’s also the best Ducati ever built. So I took it on a 3 day blast to the Eifel region in Germany.

Getting a taste of it

A first walkaround shows plenty of typical Multistrada elements: the pointy lights, the air inlets that look like nostrils in a beak, the beautiful LED rear light, the sophisticated single sided swing arm.

The grey color of my test bike almost looks, well, boring. I like the red version much more and the Pikes Peak version really makes me drool.

On top of the standard 1260, the S version comes with Skyhook Evo suspension, a quickshifter, a TFT display, LED lights and cornering lights. Albeit for an extra, obviously. US price: $ 20.995, Italian price: € 20.390. And if you want the Touring suffix (consisting of the Touring and Urban pack), you’re looking at an even larger extra.

That Dash

When I switch on the Multi a deep red Ducati logo appears on the 5” TFT screen. The crystal clear dash shows a lot of information. Current speed and chosen gear are indicated in big numbers while the rpm’s are shown on top of the dash. All clear so far. The rest of the information is shown only in the bottom third and it takes some getting used to to find what you are looking for immediately. You can find trip data, temperature, mileage, the menu entry, fuel level and all suspension settings. And more.

When hitting the start button, the first split second nothing seems to happen. Then the fat Testastretta DVT twin shakes itself awake. This shaking will always be present, be it more or less depending on the situation.

A modest deep sound rolls out of the double exhaust pipes when I start riding. Already after the few first meters Continue reading