Character? How about Bat-man? The $19,995 Ducati Diavel Carbon’s a big pussycat of a motorcycle, but if you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t think so. I especially enjoy riding it around CW’s new home here in the master-planned (master-bland?) community of Irvine. It really must be a nice place to live, if you like nice.
There’s not a blade of grass out of place, but the truly nice thing about Irvine is there’s nary a pothole or even a rough stretch of pavement to be found, and many of its wide, smooth parkways are laid out in big curves and circles to break up the monotony and (we conjecture) thwart bank robberies. (It’s working: Wikipedia says the FBI reported in 2010 that Irvine had the lowest violent crime rate among cities in the U.S. with population of more than 100,000.)
Into that suburban Eden cackles the aptly named Diavel, whose stock exhaust system fully complies with all federal and state requirements in the same way that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. On the Confederate, you might actually feel a twinge of guilt for disturbing the peace along with a little anxiety re: the boredom level of the Irvine P.D. On the marginally more sedate but way less likely to strand you in Irvine Diavel, you’re Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack as you filter to the front at the red lights between the sealed Lexi and Priuses.
The thing idles like a quiet Funny Car, and you find yourself hoping the next light will turn red, too, just so you can blast off again, levering the torque back onto that fat beachball of a rear tire as the relatively lightweight, 498-pound-dry, 1198cc V-Twin uses its 133 horses to skim the front an inch or two off the deck…truly old-fashioned fun.
Old fashioned? Remember Groucho in The Cocoanuts?
“Why, you can get any kind of house you want here, you can even get stucco. Oh, boy, can you get stucco!” In fact, stucco is all you can get in Irvine—in several shades of association-approved beige (there are something like 250 HOAs in the city).
The Diavel is a hot-chili-oil gel-cap suppository up the rectum of all that is sedentary and conventional (Rectum? It nearly killed ’um!), and as more than one of us has observed, it’s going to get somebody arrested. Then again, maybe not: For one thing, when you’re riding it, you feel invincible, like the only thing you’re missing is the black cape. And for another, we’re in Irvine, where crime is against the law.