Within moments of parking these bikes, crowds amassed. Never mind the Porsche GT2 RS a few metres away…
Monte Carlo, Monaco: Everywhere you look, wealth abounds.
The parking spaces in front of the Hotel de Paris and Casino Monte Carlo, Monaco, are filled with vehicles no less than $200K. Or should I say 200,000 Euros?
I’m feeling a lot out of place.
Ferraris, Maseratis, Bentleys, Porsches, Bugattis (yes, all plural) and other exotic vehicles seem to be a dime a dozen, as it were!
Even the taxis are premium makes and models.
The occasional “affordable” vehicle (like a 3 Series BMW or an Audi A5) manifests itself, but they already know they won’t be getting the premiere parking spots in town.
So how do you get noticed in an area where such opulent sheet metal resides? A place where spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a vehicle is the unwritten rule, and even that might not be enough for a second glance.
The answer is simple: the 2015 Ducati Diavel.
You can hear them coming from a mile away (sorry, 1.60934 kilometres if we are to be Continentally Correct). The devilish Ducati, even with the stock exhaust – which is new for the 2015 model year – could easily conjure sinister thoughts.
You’ll look around and try and figure out where the sound is coming from and why that it isn’t familiar. The low-note grumble and throaty belligerence characterizes the twin pipes that are both aggressive yet sublimely pleasing to the ears. Now imagine amplifying that sound by more than 30.
A flock of Carbon White-trimmed Diavels set out to congregate in the main plaza of Monte Carlo. That’s where our press briefing would take place.
On the way to the gathering point, the adventure took us through a section of the F1 Grand Prix track. Hairpins, winding roads and silky smooth tarmac paved the way for us.
A reflective feeling overrides my senses while manipulating the same roads as some of motorsports’ greatest driver. It’s surreal.
For a moment, I feel like a champion. Though, that moment lasted longer than I anticipated.
The Bologna-based brand’s revised sport cruiser is one that commands attention. Even if you don’t want to look, its black hole-like nature won’t let your gaze escape. Besides, you’ve already been hooked by its exhaust note and the mellifluous sound from its 1,198 cc engine, so it’s too late to even attempt to look away.
Within moments of parking these bikes, crowds amassed. Never mind the Porsche GT2 RS a few metres away. Never mind the Ferrari California with pristine paint and glimmering rims. The Ducatis are stealing all the attention and for good reason.
Styling-wise, they have matured since its introduction in 2012. Though it is immediately recognizable, it has been tweaked. There’s now full LED illumination, a new headlamp cover and mounting and more,
Giving the strong road presence that it has is its commanding and bulbous body, matched with a 240 rear tire; a tire that was specifically made in conjunction with Pirelli for the Diavel.
Though it might look like a handful, it’s not. And if a “handful” was measured in weight, you’re only looking at, or handling, 205 kg (452 lbs.)
Speaking of hands, its handling is quite superb. Taking on the twisty roads won’t leave you scraping pegs like other cruisers. And with 3 modes (sport, touring and urban) to channel the 162 horsepower (100 hp if you’re in urban mode) from Ducati’s new Testastretta 11° DS engine, it won’t take off on you without your consent.
With crowds taking photos of this beautiful beast, and asking to take a photo with it, I couldn’t see any other vehicles generating such fervor. It generates even more zeal when on the open road. But for now, the temporary celebrity status that these bikes bring are a welcome change from the norm.
And knowing that an item that costs at least ten times less than the vehicular ornamentation perfectly placed in Monte Carlo – the Diavel Carbon White model has an MSRP of $21,995) could be considered cheap thrills, right?
I guess it’s all relative.