Ducati Diavel for Bentley motorcycle

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A close look at the new Ducati Diavel for Bentley, the epitome of British understatement

4 April 2024 • Written by Simon de Burton

Ducati has teamed up with Bentley to create a triumph on two wheels. The Diavel is in the detail, says Simon de Burton...

It will be 101 years ago this April that journalist HD Teague described the just-launched Brough-Superior SS80 as “the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles”, demonstrating its effortless performance and top-quality engineering. Almost a century later, the Brough-Superior name did end up being associated with a prestigious car marque – but it wasn’t Rolls-Royce. It was Aston Martin.

The now-France-based bike builder teamed up with Aston back in 2019 to create a suitably high-end motorcycle called the AMB 001, which was joined last year by a “Pro” version. The standard model costs around £96,000, with the higher-specification Pro being almost 40 per cent more.

The collaboration has led to the creation of a capsule collection, which includes a jet helmet and technical jacket to match the bike

But the chances are that neither type will clock-up much mileage because such machines will most likely be used only on high days and holidays, or they will be kept as static additions to extensive collections of cars and motorcycles.

The idea of expensive motorcycles being used as ornaments and status symbols is nothing new – people have been displaying some of the best-looking examples on the walls of offices, drawing rooms and man caves for decades – but collaborations between car makers and bike builders are a recent phenomenon that seems to be catching on. And you can see the latest example here in the new Ducati Diavel for Bentley, a limited-edition version of the Italian marque’s bruising, 1150cc v-twin cruiser which has been luxxed-up to make it worthy of carrying the co-signature of the “Flying B”.

On reflection, it’s an obvious match – not because the two brands have enjoyed parallel histories, simply because they both belong to the Volkswagen Group (hence, too, a similar partnership between Ducati and Lamborghini that was launched in 2021). But while the Ducati Streetfighter V4 for Lamborghini aimed to encapsulate the raging performance of the famously brash Italian sports cars, the Bentley bike is all about refinement and British understatement.

To that end, the Diavel for Bentley will be made in 500 examples inspired by elements of the 18-unit Batur coupe, including matching forged wheel rims and side intakes based on the car’s radiator grille. The bike bristles with unique carbon fibre components and gets a special exhaust system, as well as bespoke dashboard and rear light animations that mark it out as a “Bentley special”. An Alcantara seat, meanwhile, is adorned with the same quilting and Bentley logos as found in the Batur, and the bodywork is finished in a rich coat of Scarab Green metallic paint.

And for those who demand a bike that’s even more exclusive, there are also 50 available models of the Diavel for Bentley Mulliner – which takes its name from the car marque’s coachbuilding division, known for its lavish one-off creations. On offer only to existing Bentley customers, the Mulliner models get bespoke colours for the seat, brake calipers, wheel rims and bodywork and can be configured with the help of Ducati’s stylists at the marque’s Bologna design studio.

Both the Mulliner and the standard bike will have an edition plate set into one of the Bologna engine covers and be delivered in a personalised wooden container together with an authenticity certificate, pillion seat and tailored dust cover.

In either case, when someone asks: “Did you get here in the Bentley?” you can look forward to responding, “No – I got here on it.” ducati.com; bentleymotors.com

Ducati Diavel for Bentley
1,158cc, liquid-cooled V4
Power: 168hp at 10,750rpm
Acceleration: 0 to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds
Torque: 126Nm at 7,500rpm
Top speed: 270km/h
Price: £58,000; Mulliner version £71,000

First published in the March 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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