Saturday, February 12, 2011

Clash of the Titans, modern power cruisers!

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Power cruisers of today, Motorcycle Titans - big, powerful and with the torque meant to crush your neck.
They are expensive, thirsty, heavy, dangerous, hard to handle and not very practical… why would anyone want to have one ?
I’ll tell you why – it’s because logic and common sense have nothing in common with a passion for motorcycles. If you asked common sense and logic about these things, motorcycle industry would probably collapse. Motorcycles are here for the passion, the wind on your chest, excitement, joy and the desire for the ultimate freedom. You know, it’s not our intelligence that makes the world go around, all our intellect, logic and common sense are just the tools. The tools used by love, passion and curiosity to make us go further, higher, faster… you know - to boldly go where no man has gone before!

Yamaha V-Max vs Ducati Diavel

Just to make it clear, this is not about professional race track or drag bikes, or about bikes that are not in production. This is about bikes that are in production and distributed world wide, bikes that  you can actually order at your local dealer shop - if you can afford one, of course! Or even better – if you can handle one!

So, it’s all clear now! :)

We LOVE those expensive, thirsty, dangerous, hard to handle and impractical motorcycles!  We feel alive when we ride them!

So what are these Motorcycle Titans of today ? Two of the best you can buy, and I’d say the two most loved are new Ducati Diavel and Yamaha V-Max, introduced 2 years ago!
Actually, two quite different bikes, but at the same time very similar.
Yamaha (Star Motorcycle) V-Max is a legend! It’s a motorcycle with history and  with heroic ancestors! It was always among the world’s fastest bikes in the a straight line, famous for its thick black lines left on the asphalt! It’s not a bike for just anybody – it demands an experienced and safe hands, and certainly requires a deep respect of its power. If you don’t respect her power, she will bite you, and she bites like a pit bull. As much as I know, V-Max is the only power cruiser today with the V-4 engine. For a cruiser, even for a power cruiser, it’s got a super sporty engine – 1679cc (102-cubic-inch), fuel injected, liquid cooled V4 DOHC, with four valves per cylinder. The beast produces 200 HP (147.1 kW) and a monstrous torque of 166.80 Nm (17.0 kgf-m or 123.0 ft.lbs). Imagine slightly calmed down but oversized engine of Suzuki Hayabusa or Kawasaki Ninja 1400 (ZX14), but even better. V-Max is a true badass and an impressive motorcycle, a true Titan.
And now, the latest miracle from Ducati. Two years ago nobody would believe that Ducati was preparing to make a power cruiser. But what a power cruiser! It’s not even clear if Diavel is a power cruiser or something never seen before. Ok, but let’s call it a power cruiser. Well, some journalists already declared him as a Fireblade among cruisers, and there’s a good reason for this. Do you remember the time when first Honda Fireblade was released ? It was so much lighter, quicker and more agile than any sport bike seen before. It was razor sharp, and it still is today – but now with some serious competition. Ducati Diavel did the same thing among the cruisers. It is the cruiser with the best power to weight ratio and the most advanced technology available, superior brakes and sporty suspension. It’s a power cruiser with Ducati’s racing genes. The Hi-tech Diavel Testastretta 11° 1200cc V-Twin engine makes 162hp and colossal 94lb-ft (127.5Nm) of torque. Just like V-Max, it has 4 valves per cylinder with DOHC, fuel injection and water cooling. What makes him different and special comparing to other power cruisers is his mass. His dry weight is only 207kg (456lb), which is super light for this kind of bikes – just imagine how beautifully it behaves with that mass and his fantastic suspension. All the journalists who have ridden Ducati Diavel so far were impressed. There is even more; it has electronically controlled various driving modes, high quality ABS that can be turned off and traction control, that can also be turned off. All that makes him even more safe and stable, and also very flexible, and very capable.

 Some raw data comparison

Yamaha (Star) V-Max Ducati Diavel
Weight: (Curb) 310.0 kg (683.4 pounds) (Dry) 210kg (463lb), Carbon: 207kg (456lb)
Engine: 1679cc (102-cubic-inch) liquid-cooled 65° V-4, DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder 1198.4cc Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder, Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Transmission: 5 speed, multiplate slipper clutch, Final drive: shaft 6 speed, slipper clutch with self-servo action on drive, Final drive: chain
Power: 200 HP (147.1 kW) / 9000 rpm 162HP (119kW) / 9500rpm
Torque: 166.8 Nm (17.01 kg-m) / 6500 rpm 127.5Nm (94lb-ft) / 8000rpm
Brakes: Front: 2 x 320mm discs; radially mounted 6-piston calipers, Rear: 298mm disc, 2-piston. Front: 2 x 320mm discs, radially mounted calipers. Rear: 265mm disc, 2-piston. ABS as standard.
Tires: Bridgestone radial, Front: 120/70-R18, Rear: 200/50-R18 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, Front: 120/70 ZR 17, Rear: 240/45 ZR17
Seat height: 775 mm (30.5 in) 770 mm (30.3 in)
Power-to-weight: 0.645 HP/kg (considering curb weight) 0.771 HP/kg (considering dry weight)

Comparing the dry specifications data leads to nowhere. They are both powerful, big and special, but these are not really bikes for the race track. So we cannot reduce everything on numbers. Despite many similarities, we must admit they represent different philosophies, and that means everybody will pick his own favorite according to personal preferences and philosophy. They are both fantastic and I do not dare to call any of them a better bike. If you’re dirty rich,  if you share my opinion and you like them both – just get both of them! :)
Diavel is much more sporty and hi-tech, while V-Max impresses me with insane power and torque. Diavel is actually trying to be compact and light, and V-Max doesn’t care much about that. V-Max’s brutal power is there to freak your ass up every time you twist on it, while Diavel  wants to make you more agile and confident. Riding each one must be impressive.
There are no other bikes on the market that can be easily compared to them. If we made a decision not compare these two, then they both would become really lonely. :) So we had to make them buddies, no matter how different – they’re both ultimate power cruisers of today. Aw they will be compared and tested together, in the near future, just watch for it! :)
Meantime, let everybody choose his/her own favorite. The lucky ones will be those with these beasts in the garage. The force is definitely with them! :)

Revive you eyes and ears!
 ducati_diavel_2 ducati_diavel_3 ducati_diavel_4 yamaha_vmax_4 yamaha_vmax_2yamaha_vmax_1 

Now turn on your speakers… or put on the headphones! :)

V-Max on board action…

… and some Diavel on board action!
If you’re like me, then you really enjoyed all this.

There’s some more!

Well, I felt it would be unfair not to mention some other motorcycles that would be glad to be ridden with Diavel and V-Max. Comparable or not, they’re all special badass cruisers.

I believe the closest one to Diavel and V-Max is Triumph Rocket III. Rocket III is fantastic and very muscular bike proud on his unique engine: three cylinders in row, 2300cc producing 146bhp / 109 kW at 5750rpm and torque (watch out) 221Nm / 163 ft.lbs at 2750rpm. Its 367 kg (807 lbs) makes him pretty heavy. It is a fantastic bike and I am a great fan of Triumph and their triple-cylinder engines… mouthwatering. Comparing to Diavel and V-Max it’s showing up its age a little. Somehow, I have the feeling that guys from Triumph are a little bit provoked by Diavel and V-Max and that they will reply in some way, soon. Well, Triumph, you never disappointed me so far, don’t start now. Give as your new vision of an ultimate modern power cruiser! I hope someone will help me with this, I doubt they would listen to me alone. ;)
triumph_rocket_III_2 triumph_rocket_III_1

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 is another huge power cruiser. It’s not available on European market anymore, and something tells he will retire soon. I hope Kawasaki is preparing a new modern replacement. Vulcan 2000 is famous for one thing – it’s got the largest V-Twin engine of all the motorcycles currently in mass production. Huge V-Twin offers massive torque (2053cc / 125ci - 141 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm) but I’d say everything on Vulcan 2000 is massive, maybe even too massive ( 340.2 kg (750.0 pounds) ) considering significant lack of horse powers comparing to any of the bikes above. But again, I think its time has passed, let’s just hope Kawasaki will surprise us with something really good for this segment. It still hangs on US market, but in a sort of a touring version, which is even heavier.
 kawasaki_vulcan_3 kawasaki_vulcan_1

Boss Hoss is motorcycle I just could not skip, but honestly, I don’t know what to do with this thing. It doesn’t fit into any category… I’m not even sure if it fits in small car’s garage. But then, I believe that was the idea. Boss Hoss Cycles made a decision to produce largest ever motorcycle available on the market. Because of its engine size and power, these bikes had to be mentioned here, Boss Hoss belongs among the Titans. If you’re not already familiar with Boss Hoss bikes, then I suggest you to seat down now. These monsters are equipped with liquid cooled V8 engines with capacity of 376 ci.i (6200cc). No it’s not a mistake, actually, they used to make even bigger ones. This engine is oversized even for a car. According to this data, it’s a huge sport car engine, but it could power a truck as well. Scary shit! The engine actually is a car engine, made by GM. 445HP @ 5750 rpm and given torque of 445 Ft. Lbs. @ 475 are too dangerous on a bike. For most of people it’s definitely not a good idea to get on one. Besides of a monster engine, this bike, in my opinion, is oversized and too heavy for general use. Weights over 500kg, which is almost comparable with a small car. It can be ridden on regular roads (well, in most of countries I guess), but the question is who is controlled by who, and where will that take you. If you are a pro and/or want to pull some drag races, then go ahead. Conclusion – incredible, incomparable, but not for me, not for the most of people, and in most cases – not for the street.
boss_hoss_3  boss_hoss_2

That’s all folks!
That’s it for today. I was going to write about something else, but I was so excited about the new Ducati Diavel last week, that I just couldn’t resist to make this post. I’ll take a break and then come back to writing… it’s a good idea to do some extra writing while I’m stuck with this damn flu. See you! :)


  1. I love the look of the Diavel. Really want to test ride one.

  2. Me too, man, but I doubt I will get a chance to ride anytime soon. Some moto fairs are coming near me soon, so I will what can I do... at least I will make some nice photos and videos of my own.

  3. I love the Diavel too, small bike for a short lady like me! No saddle bags though, major setback for ladies that like to bring gear.

  4. Out of the clash between the titans i love the Yamaha V-Max motorcycle...Really it looks fabulous in the pics and also a powerful one too...