The detail’s in the Diavel
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.”