Ducati’s Diavel also fit all of our riders very well. Our smallest rider would have preferred less of a reach to the flat bar, but that was her only complaint. The seat, which was one of our sourest notes last time we tested the Diavel, was universally praised here. Before it was an overly firm, sportbike-inspired, forward-sloping piece, which has been replaced by a flatter, bucketed one that offers support while still allowing movement and weight shifting.
By our reckoning, the Diavel takes the class because it has performance across the spectrum. It handles extremely well, has plenty of cornering clearance, super-stout and confidence-inspiring brakes, and suspension calibration that keeps the chassis under control. Always. Yes, it can be harsh over certain kinds of surfaces, especially the poorly laid concrete California calls freeways. And it doesn’t hew to the traditional low-long-easygoing cruiser form. We can live with that-—and make it our own little deal with the devil.