At cruising speeds, the torque-laden Diavel settles in around 4000 rpm. It isn’t until 6000 rpm, though, that the bike really comes to life. From said rpm to 10,000 rpm, the bike offers an unimaginable amount of power and the better half of the tachometer is eaten up within moments. In mere seconds, the bike reaches its 10,000-rpm rev limiter and screams for the next shift.
Few things are as addictive as the power that the Diavel possesses. In Sport mode, the bike puts out roughly 162 horsepower at the crankshaft and is as intoxicating as almost any literbike on the market. The power in Sport mode is so addictive in fact, you rarely want to switch riding modes. To be completely honest though, the brute and direct power of Sport mode is more fun than it is necessary. In Touring mode, you still get to use the full 162 horsepower, but the revised mapping means that as you open the throttle, the throttle body butterflies, which are controlled by the Ride-by-Wire system, won’t open at a true 1:1 ratio. As such, if you open the throttle at say 50 percent, the throttle bodies may open to around 40 percent. The result is a smoother throttle response that is more palatable around town. In Urban mode, the Diavel is still plenty fun to ride despite the lackluster power delivery. And while it may not have the addictive hit that the Sport and Touring modes offer, it’s so smooth that you soon become enamored with it and decide to leave it be for some time.
On the Diavel, the DTC system is almost a necessary evil, because while the wide rear tire does offer exceptional grip, the powerful Testastretta 11 engine will spin the tire with ease. In any setting beyond level four however, the DTC cuts in rather prematurely and is fairly abrupt. Nevertheless, when the roads are damp and dirty, the first few levels of TC provide a nice safety netone that almost sets your mind at ease.
Cycling through the riding modes is done via the tank-mounted TFT displaya task that can be done on the fly. However, being that the display is mounted down on the tank, you often find yourself taking your eyes off the road and focusing more attention on the screen as you look to find the next modesomething that could be quite dangerous on even the least congested roads. When the bike is at a stop, you can also navigate through the screen and customize each riding mode with different levels of traction control and different engine map settings. All told, the display is easy to navigate through and changes can be made in a matter of seconds.
When things do get hairball, the Diavel can be stopped on a dime thanks to the Brembo monobloc calipers and dual 320mm semi-floating discs up front and the two-piston floating caliper and 265mm disc out back. On aggressive stops, the front brakes provide an extremely linear feel and are strong, but not strong enough to lift the rear wheel and make things exciting. The Diavel also features a Bosch ABS system thatlike the TCprovides a safety net and eases your mind under hard braking. Thankfully, the system is not too intrusiveas some units on other bikes areand under extreme braking, the system works flawless and is almost unnoticeable.
After a full day of riding, the Diavel test unit got a mere 26 miles per gallon. However, this number is most likely unrepresentative of the Diavel’s true capabilities in the way of fuel economy since our test unit was flogged for the majority of the day.