Hwy 9 may have been devoid of flaming-headed clowns driving ice-cream trucks, but I did get into a little combat with a squid dragging his knees through as many corners as he could. Only thing I dragged were the pegs (and some of the brake pedal), and like all the magazine reviews have said, this bike in sport mode is capable of things it really shouldn't be capable of, as witnessed by the lack of difficulty I had sticking to the back of Mr. Racer Boy on his Gixxer. The Diavel is billet-solid in the turns, kicks you in the butt with a motor twisting out 162 hp and 90-some-odd ft.lb of torque and reels all that maddness in with brakes that could easily handle another 50hp. It's not the bike for me, but I have to say it was a blast to ride, reminding me of a particularly intense drive I had in a 600hp Z06 that burbled menacingly at stoplights and sounded like wails from hell under WOT. And although the stock-exhaust-rumblings the Diavel makes under acceleration could greatly be improved with some Termi Bazookas fitted, the off-throttle deceleration burbles and pops sounded as ominous as the bike looks. It's got the antagonistic demeanor of a 68 SS Camaro and the agility of a Carrera RS. I didn't think I'd have as much of a blast as I did on the beast, and definitely did not think it would be as capable of really hauling ass in the turns or on the stoppers. Think of it as the Lamborghini Aventador of bikes and the ride Batman would nab the keys of when he was really pissed off.
The Diavel won't anytime soon replace my Superbike addiction, but for any power-hungry rider who enjoys feeding off of the souls of unwary GSXRs or CBRs or anyone hell-bent on on vehicular Armageddon looking for the perfect bike to mount a pair of water-cooled machine guns to, look no further.
After the ride I was anxious to get back on the Panigale...after all...a much longer and much more uncomfortable ride awaited.