It seemed highly appropriate to be test-riding the new Ducati XDiavel along the famous Skyline Boulevard, located in the hills south of San Francisco.
For Ducati’s North American HQ is located immediately to the east in the valley below, an oasis of real-time hedonism surrounded by several Apple R&D centres attempting to replicate similar excitement in the virtual world. Picking up the XDiavel in Cupertino, California was therefore like finding the first feet-forward Ducati at the epicentre of its target market. The cashed-up geeks of ‘silicon valley’ are precisely who Ducati has in mind as the buyers of this bike.
These folk are young and wide-minded, and not as prone therefore to the ancient American myth that patriotism dictates that your next cruiser must be a Harley, Victory, or Indian.
So the XDiavel is a cruiser made in Italy, tailored primarily to the tastes of US consumers, and is therefore a feet-forward motorcycle as we’ve never known one before. It has all the right design cues – a 755mm-high seat that’s as low as the cushions on your couch, pegs that stretch the legs forward, fork legs raked out to extend the wheelbase, a fat rear tyre, belt drive, and wide upright handlebars.