THE QUESTION IS THE XDIAVEL A PAIN?
Big Ducati’s battle between style and comfort
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