As most on here know I’ve been toying with the idea of switching from sports bikes to a Diavel since 2014 when I first test rode one. At the time I said it was a brilliant bike but after a few hours it was uncomfortable on my coccyx. However the yearning (if I can call it that) for one hasn’t diminished over the past 5 years. When Ducati launched the new one last year I decided to put a deposit down on one (1260S) but with the proviso that if I didn’t like it when it actually rocked up that I could cancel. Added to that is the fact that we’ve since moved house and my garage space has shrunk and I need it to fit in the garage with my other bike and other stuff I’ve got in it. The dealer agreed. Anyway after a few false starts (moving house, shit weather, personal commitments etc) I finally had a full day with the base model today. I managed to cover over 260 miles during the day and purposely covered motorways, A roads, B roads, potholed roads, steep roads, shitty roads etc etc. I also took it home to check I could get it comfortably in the garage, which thankfully I could So how did it perform? Was it as good as I remembered or was I wearing rose tinted glasses? I am pleased to report that it was better than I remembered. Firstly Ducati have magically moved the CoG so it’s a helluva lot easier to move around at a standstill. I couldn’t move the old one unless I was sat on it and paddled around. The new one, even at 244kg fully fuelled, was easy to push around as well as a doddle sitting on it. So that was a big plus in my book. Secondly this bike is a hooligan bike. It goes like stink and pulls like a train in every gear. It is certainly more than capable of embarrassing many a sports bike. Handling wise it is fantastic. Looking at it you would think it shouldn’t do what it can. It is so light on the move and it goes round corners like a dream. I did a bit of roundabout surfing and reckon that if I’d got my leathers on I’d have been able to get my knee down. Or pretty close at least The fat rear tyre does not inhibit handling at all. The brakes were sharp as hell too and did get used on a couple of occasions as unfortunately some drivers are idiots that really shouldn’t be allowed to drive. And cornering ABS is good too (I’m used to this as my Scrambler 1100 sport has it too). Comfort wise they’ve also sorted the seat. I spent 7 hours solid on the bike and it was very comfortable indeed. So that was that box ticked too. Unfortunately this was just the base model so I couldn’t test the quickshifter/auto blipper which the S has. Oh and cruise control is great too. The one little niggle I had, which I’ve been told I’ll get used to, is that I occasionally switched the high beam on as the switch kind of overhangs the grip. So how many out of 10? From memory I gave the old one a 9 out of 10. This one is definitely better so I’d give it a 9.5 (nothing should ever get 10 in my book as you can always improve things). I was definitely impressed, and together with the deal I got for my Panigale I have pushed the button and will get my bike next week (4 S’s were delivered this afternoon, including my tentatively ordered one). I’ve also picked my reg number and the bike will be PDI’d over the next few days. I just need to arrange insurance tomorrow and sell a kidney to pay for it and it’s job jobbed.