2011 Motorcycle of the Year | Best Cruiser

Ducati Diavel
The Game Changer

Offering more straight-line performance than almost any other motorcycle regardless of category, Ducati’s Diavel proves “performance cruiser” doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. Marrying the magnificent Testastretta superbike engine to what looks like a stretched-and-slammed streetfighter chassis, the Diavel will make even the most cruiser-averse enthusiast question his allegiance. The raked fork and 240mm-wide rear tire scream “chopper,” but the single-sided swingarm and Brembo brakes—not to mention, race-grade traction control and ABS—come straight from the World Superbike starting grid. Thanks to Ducati’s race-bred engineering, the disparate Diavel works better than you would imagine both in a straight line and around bends. Topped with a high-tech TFT (thin-film-transistor) display and clever details like a “hidden” passenger grab rail and footrests, it’s also one of the most elegant and sophisticated bikes available today. Unexpected, unique and ridiculously fast, the genre-bending Diavel is everything we’ve ever wanted a performance cruiser to be.

Alternative Take

Triumph Thunderbird Storm
Leaving Americana to American manufacturers, the Brits borrowed bug-eye headlights from the iconic Speed Triple streetfighter to create a one-of-a-kind cruiser that's tough and 100 percent Triumph. Powered by an equally unique, liquid-cooled, 1699cc parallel-twin, the T-Bird Storm has twice the attitude, style and performance of any me-too V-twin cruiser.