Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Have a Diavelishly Good Christmas

Here's wishing you all a Diavelishly good Christmas. The weather in SoCal is cooperating with temperatures in the mid-70's, so why not take the bike out for a mini-run?

Christmas decorations designed to be seen lighted, don't ever look quite right in the daytime, do they? The Diavel prefers this particular photo (left) if only to illustrate the diavelishness possible during the Christmas festivities.

This is how it went down. I drove around and most of the inflatable Santas and elves were deflated on lawns, so there weren't any good Christmas scenes to take photos of the bike with for the sake of the blog.

Looking north, toward the fire pit.

THEN it occurred to me that when I took the scooter back, before I parked it in the garage, I'd drive it around back and take some snapshots in the back yard. I have a pool fence, which ruins the view of the pool and spa, but it's likely that the grandkids will want to go swimming when they come over on Christmas after they open their presents and before supper. So I didn't take it down even for glory shots of the bike. And that says something about me being lazy or not vein enough or something - not sure what.

Yes the patio is wet. It rained last night and the deck hasn't dried out completely. We've been lucky in SoCal for the most part. It waits until night if it's going to rain. Luck, or maybe we're paying the 'weather tax' here?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Jet Bike

Log Item: This is the sort of jet bike that I have in mind. Sadly, the production units would seem to be unavailable at the moment and I'll have to content myself with the Diavel, which is the next best thing. However, when the Ducati jet bikes finally are realized, I urge people to drive more responsibly than they did in the video.

This Harley Davidson jet-powered bike might be a good interim
machine but it falls far short of the ideal.

Kawasaki's entry (right) into the jet bike market should be pushing Ducati - but I'm not feeling the love from Italy at the moment.

The need for more horsepower and the flexibility to pop over cars and trucks that pose a barrier on the highway is an important concept. It's embodied in the jet bike.

It's obvious (below) that the Suzuki jet bike has taken the concept and run with it. 

It gives a whole new meaning to the term, "rice rocket".

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The X-Diavel is Coming

Log Item: The X-Diavel is coming in 2016, which has me reaching toward my wallet simply as a reflex action. The only reaction I have to the up-engineered Diavel is, "sick".

The power plant, a 1,262cc version of the Testastretta engine, offers a longer stroke (71.5mm vs 67.9mm in the 1200) with the same 106mm bore. Ducati’s variable valve timing scheme and ride-by-wire electronics is the same. The torque is now 94.8 pound-feet at 5,000 rpm. So it's not all THAT different. How much power do you really need?

I'm not the sort of guy who rolls scooters over for the next year's model, but this one is clearly an eye catcher.

Speaking of eye catching, check out the Diavel drag bike (right). The front end has been lowered significantly through a suspension modification. It's a straight-line bike for a flat track, so you can run it with clip-ons (cafe-style handle bars) and limited front-end travel.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Old NFO meets the Devil

Log Item: Fellow blogger and famous author, Old NFO* joined me for lunch today as he transited through the Orange County, California Area on his way to do bigger and better things.

He received his official "I met the Devil and lived to tell about it" ball cap, which he wore proudly.

He took one look at the Devil and said, "What a Beast!" Most ladies take exception when referred to as a "beast" or a "monster", but the Devil takes it as her due.

We had a fun lunch and are looking forward to the next lunch in Texas, somewhere east of Amarillo. Will I rent a Harley to ride out to his dude ranch and gun range (From Denton, TX)? Maybe. I think that I should first look into renting a Ducati, if indeed they'd consent to parting with a locally rented Diavel for a day or two.

When he saw the Devil in her glory, his first comment was, "Oh, I see where you can mount the M-4". It makes perfect sense when you see the rig in person, but it's tough to explain on the blog. He commented that the California Highway Patrol and many municipal agencies have M-4 rifles or short stroke shotguns on their motorcycles, which is a fact. Jihadis avoid armed citizens.
*NFO=Naval Flight Officer. Old NFO and I are both retired officers from the World's Finest Navy. He was a brown shoe type, I was in the camo navy, but we all bleed navy    blue. He's retiring again from his post-retirement career. I still dabble with things but on the whole am a useless lay-about, surf and scooter bum, firearms enthusiast and adventure junky.
Maintenance Item: It's time to lube the chain again in about 50 miles, which means before I take the Devil out again. I try to keep it right at about 600 miles between lube and tension check.

Log Item: Driving out to meet Old NFO today, I had the Devil up in the carpool lane, had just shifted into 6th gear at about 95 mph and the scooter was at about 4K rpm with a red line at 12K rpm, which is to say that it was idling, and my love of the power and speed is - intoxicating. It's a lot like skydiving in that way. The speed is real, but it doesn't feel quite real. Maybe you have to be a motor head to appreciate that. But all you really want is more speed. 

When you're running the Devil, everyone wants to race you. Even cars...hahaha. Slow sleds. Sometimes guys on tractors (Harley D's) want to race as well. I usually don't unless I feel that they need a lesson in humility. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Basic Question

Is it OK to sit on another man's motorcycle?

Not ever.

We had a bit of a problem with a moron who was getting his fingerprints on the Diavel while I was in the store at the gas station. I don't have photos, but you get the point.

Women can ride on the back, but they need an invitation.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Devil Sex

Log Item: I received a very nice e-mail from Bob Weaver, a new reader on "THE DIAVEL MADE ME DO IT". It made me think that while I extol the virtues of the Ducati Diavel (and point out its few weaknesses), I haven't posted photos of the total sex that oozes from the machine.

You sit well back from the handlebars, and there is a long fuel tank cover (the actual tank is under the cover) that you reach over. It's not at all a cafe bike or a classic sport bike. It is a performance cruiser without the cumbersome nature of traditional cruising machines.

And in this, it reminds me a bit of Bob's beloved KZ900 K-4, because of that general feel of the bike when you're sitting in the driver's seat. Naturally the seat is much more comfortable than the old 900 stock seat - times have changed. Riders demand comfort.

The instrument clusters and idiot lights are very easy to see and are very driver friendly. You can toggle between various items while riding and I don't find it particularly distracting. What you need is displayed, items such as distance to empty and air temp. are toggle items. Oil temp. is not a toggle item and the principal display keeps you informed of that at all times. 

The scooter has an oil cooler and the engine is water cooled. Ducati added the cooling elements with real panache. Gone are the old bolt-on intercoolers and flat, bulky radiators. They've made them part of the machine.

You would expect no less from Ducati.

I am not trying to sell Ducati machines, however because this is a blog that is dedicated to adventures on a Ducati Diavel, I have to tell you that six months after buying it, I only love it even more.

I am not one of those "look at me" types where I need a machine for validation. I wanted the machine to ride - my style of riding - for shorter jaunts of 0-5 or 6 hours. I'm not going across country packing a suitcase and gear. I ride for the joy of the meld of man and machine. I like to feel the power but I also love the feel of the machine, which handles impeccably. (Ducati reputation)