The de­tail’s in the Di­avel

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Two Wheels - CRAIG DUFF

THE home team usu­ally has the ad­van­tage and Du­cati took the early points at this year’s EICMA mo­tor­bike show in Milan.

The stun­ning XDi­avel cruiser was a stand­out among sev­eral ma­jor launches for the Ital­ian maker, match­ing a rub­ber­neck­ing de­sign with neck-snap­ping power from the lat­est it­er­a­tion of its Tes­tas­tretta twin-cylin­der en­gine.

The 2016 bike has had the stroke ex­tended to cre­ate a 1262cc en­gine good for 115kW/ 129Nm while also meet­ing Euro4 emis­sion stan­dards.

In­tel­li­gent and hi-tech fea­tures abound on the XDi­avel, from the back­lit switch­blocks on the han­dle­bars to the ab­sence of wa­ter and oil-cool­ing hoses, which are now fully en­closed within the en­gine.

The XDi­avel is also the first Du­cati to be belt-driven, an in­di­ca­tion of how se­ri­ous the com­pany is in chas­ing the cruiser mar­ket.

For ev­i­dence of its com­mit­ment to the ad­ven­ture bike , there was the 1200cc Mul­tistrada En­duro, run­ning a 19-inch front wheel and with sus­pen­sion travel in­creased from 170mm to 200mm.

At the rear, Du­cati ditches the sin­gle swingarm in favour of a beefier dou­ble-sided job, cou­pled with the semi-ac­tive Sachs Sky­hook sus­pen­sion.

The Mul­tistrada is the first Du­cati de­signed with off-road in­tent and fol­lows the BMW ex­am­ple of hav­ing many op­tional ac­ces­sories.

Round­ing out the new mod­els was the Scram­bler Sixty2 with the low­est ca­pac­ity en­gine ever fit­ted to a Du­cati — 399cc and good for 31kW/34Nm. It is in­tended to ap­peal to novice riders who might be put off by the power of the com­pany’s larger des­mod­romic ma­chin­ery.

BMW matched its ri­val’s move to smaller ca­pac­ity bikes with the launch of the ur­ban road­ster-styled G310 R. Out­puts of 28kW/28Nm mean it won’t rip riders’ arms off but with a dry weight of just 159kg, it should be more than nippy enough for city work.

The re­sult of BMW’s part­ner­ship with the TVS Group in In­dia, the lit­tlie is ex­pected mid-next year and ini­tial im­pres­sions in­di­cate build qual­ity from the sub­con­ti­nent should be OK. Price has not yet been es­tab­lished.

The RNineT Scram­bler also made its pub­lic de­but at the world’s big­gest bike show. It didn’t dis­ap­point. As with the orig­i­nal, the fo­cus is on rider en­joy­ment and cus­tomi­sa­tion, so BMW fits ABS as the only con­ces­sion to safety soft­ware.

BMW Mo­tor­rad boss Stephan Schaller says: “It has been re­duced to the rid­ing es­sen­tials and the cus­tomer can de­cide where they want to go from there.”

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