Big Du­cati’s bat­tle be­tween style and com­fort

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

It’s sur­pris­ing how much you can en­dure in the name of fash­ion. Be it too-tight jeans, six-inch heels, or a fetch­ing new nose pierc­ing, fash­ion­istas put them­selves through a lot. So with a bike that looks as rock and roll as the Xdiavel it’s nat­u­ral that peo­ple want to know if it’s com­fort­able. With that chopped tail, feet-for­ward pegs and arm-stretch­ing per­for­mance it’s log­i­cal that ‘how comfy is it?’ is the very first ques­tion peo­ple ask me about the Ital­ian su­per-cruiser.

Thank­fully when it comes to com­fort, the Xdiavel shares lit­tle in com­mon with a pair of stilet­tos. For ev­ery­day town rid­ing, the Xdiavel trans­ports me around the city streets with ef­fort­less ease; my pos­ture is some­what slouched but it’s re­laxed with no pres­sure or ten­sion in my lower back, back­side or wrists. I think of it much like an arm­chair which, es­pe­cially with its new raised com­fort seat fit­ted (£170), is ex­actly what it feels like.

The smile only dis­ap­pears once min­utes in the sad­dle be­come hours. When do­ing full-tank stints of around 180 miles in one sit­ting my bum starts to get sore and I find my­self shift­ing my weight in the sad­dle to find com­fort. Once, on a trip up to An­gle­sey this sum­mer, I even re­sorted to putting my feet on the pil­lion pegs in or­der to find some pos­te­rior peace. On the whole, how­ever, it’s not too bad and I’ve yet to have any lower back pain at all, de­spite 500-mile days on board.

Wind pro­tec­tion as stan­dard is bet­ter than you might imag­ine as the Xdiavel’s bul­bous tank does a great job of de­flect­ing wind­blast at all le­gal speeds. So much so that I’ve not no­ticed much dif­fer­ence from the op­tional ac­ces­sory Road­ster Wind­shield kit (£212.46) that I’ve re­cently fit­ted, ex­cept when go­ing faster than I per­haps should.

One com­fort-en­hanc­ing ex­tra that I have found quite use­ful is the op­tional rear­ward han­dle­bars (£101.70). Be­fore I had them fit­ted I didn’t par­tic­u­larly find the Xdiavel’s stan­dard bars that much of a stretch, but angling them back frac­tion­ally has given me the feel­ing of even greater con­trol and I find I can nip in and out of traf­fic and tight spa­ces much more eas­ily than be­fore.

The X’s only real com­fort bug­bear for me is the stiffly sprung rear shock that pile-drives your spine over bumps and pot­holes, and the strange ran­dom bouts of whitefin­ger that some­times at­tack me.

So, although the Xdiavel may look as com­fort­able as a pair of one-size­too-small un­der­pants, it’s ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ingly cos­set­ing.

New bars and a lower seat are a bonus but the shock is still too stiff

£212 screen is great if you up the pace

Fine but not so good for 180mile stints

THE RIDER Emma Franklin, 125GP racer with a love of sports and per­for­mance HEIGHT 5ft 7in WEIGHT 60kg

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