When the original Diavel was released, Ducati were not forthcoming with the category the bike was to come under, was it a custom, muscle, cruiser or a whole new category unknown to the biking world. Everyone decided it was all of the above. The new Xdiavel is a complete re-work of the original, sporting a 1262cc, 6 speed Ducati Testastretta DVT engine producing 156hp and nestled into a Trellis Frame, belt drive and yes, Ducati have finally committed to telling us what the new Xdiavel is… it’s a cruiser…
Yamaha has rolled out a masterpiece naked bike. The new flagship model of the MT section, the MT-10 is a naked R1, with all the street smarts of the MT-09 but with a bit more of everything.
Using the 998cc, 4 cylinder “cp4” Crossplane engine on a short wheel base chassis give plenty of torque. It also has a Aluminium Deltabox main frame, 17ltr fuel tank, Multi function LCD instruments and assist and slipper (A&S) clutch. You can get this bike in Black, Black and Green or Black and Blue. No price yet, but I think it will fall between the R1 and MT-09.
Just off the back of harley’s release of the Street 750, Kawasaki showcase the Vulcan S, This mean looking cruiser is powered by the same 649cc parallel-twin engine that is found in the Er6 range and the Versys 650. Also sporting a six speed gear box 14ltr tank and has a top speed of 115mph. The Styling of this bike is just as nice as most of the Kawasaki range, pictured in green, the Uk website here has it in black, white and … purple?…, the only drawback for this bike is that you can get the Harley Davidson Street 750 for a few hundred quid less than the asking price of £5,949, but, maybe your just not that into harley.
The end of a (not so) wee run. Woke up to the sound of silence, typical, this was the last day. I’d had fun in the highlands, and seen places I’d wanted to see. Today wasn’t just heading home though, we had tickets to go on the “funicular railway” at the Cairngorm Mountains. So, it was load up the bikes and head South, through Inverness and into the Cairngorms, which has some spectacular roads… but we would miss them… as we where heading down the A9 to Aviemore. By the time we got to the funicular railway, the clouds had come to meet us, and we couldn’t see the beautiful sights on the way up to the top. In the restaurant at the top the view was minimal, well, it looked like they had frosted glass instead of windows, but an overpriced coffee and a look round the gift shop later, it was enough to want to get back on the bikes.
The journey was now at it’s end, the weather started to break, by the time we hit Perth, it was sunny and warm, and by the time we hit Glasgow, it was sunny, warm and rush hour. Time to practice some filtering… Now the most difficult part of the journey was here, planning where to go next year. Here’s the map.
Day three started the same as day two, with the rain hitting off the roof of the caravan, but it didn’t last, and when I looked up at the sky, I could see a strange blue colour behind the grey that had followed us around the day before. Today we were heading for John O’Groats, which is as fan North East as you can go on the mainland of Britain. The road was up the east coast with amazing views and some sharp hair-pin bends. We stopped off in Wick for some coffee and then headed up to John O’Groats.
After taking in the sights, we were back on the road to Thurso, still finding it hard to keep an eye on the road with the beautiful scenery, large cliffs and beaches that look like they belong in a Spanish sea-side resort. Once I managed to get my eyes back on the road again we had reached Thurso, Time was once again against us so we headed back down the A9. Here’s the map.
Day two started with me waking up to the sound of heavy rain hitting off the caravan roof, not the best sound to wake up to when you have a day of motorbiking ahead of you. A quick look at the weather report suggested that we change the trip from the North East to the North West, as the rain seemed to be hanging around the North East for the day. So we set out to head for Durness, passing Bonar Bridge and up to Lairg, only having a slight drizzle to deal with. Passing Loch Naver and Loch Loyal on our way to Tongue, the heavens opened up, and it was that “fine” rain that soaks everything, by the time we stopped at Tongue, a decision was made to have a hot lunch in the Tongue hotel and hopefully dry off slightly before we hit the road again.
Fed and watered, we got back on the bikes and headed to Durness. A few minutes on the road and we stopped on the road at Kyle of Tongue. The weather seemed to have took pity on us as it had stopped raining.
Further along the road we stopped at a nice beach, and Smoo Caves.
After passing through Durness, we headed south and stopped for a coffee in some scenic locations.
The day was getting on, so we headed south, down the side of Loch Shin, on to Lairg, then back to the caravan, for some more coffee and to dry out some clothing for tomorrows adventure. Heres the map.
The journey starts from Paisley and we head north to Loch Lomond, the weather is overcast, which is a lot better than the predicted showers that BBC Weather app has informed us. Just as we hit the Erskine bridge, I remember that I have left the maps sitting in the kitchen, annoying, as I had carefully put “x’s” at every potential petrol station. I thought was fully prepared before I set off. The only traffic was up the side of Loch Lomond, after Tarbet, but apart from that, it was great all the way up, just past Fort William where we stopped for some petrol. After the re-fuel, we stopped at a place called “Letter Finlay” which is on the banks of Loch Lochy.
From the lay-by where we had some lunch, we continued heading north up the side of Loch Ness, and then managed to miss the rush hour in Inverness. Further north we crossed the beautiful Moray Firth, Cromarty Firth and Dornoch Firth, before we arrived safely at the Caravan Park “Grannie’s Heilan Hame”. Time for a cold refreshment and sit with the feet up before two days in the Highlands. Here is the map.
The other Italian bike maker are not to be sniffed at, they have a style all to themselves, even “Ducati” have tried to copy their style, and they know a thing or to about that.
Moto Guzzi have an entry level model called the V7 II, it comes in 3 variations, this one is the Special. Old in style but not in features, Dual channel ABS, New 6 speed Gear box and improved ergonomics. The V7 still uses the iconic 90° V-twin 4-stroke engine from the original V7, and comes in a variation of classic colours, not bad for a price tag of £7635.
Moto Guzzi know how to make classic style bikes, plus you get to have one of the best badges you can have on a motorbike.
The new entry level harley is coming to the market, The Street 750 will be available from £5,795, for that you get an entry level customisable cruiser with a 750cc liquid-cooled engine, it come in black, and a massive catalog of added extras… the true harley way.
This bike is aimed at the younger harley user, and is the bike used in the new Captain America The Winter Soldier move, which should give it the hype harley need to make it a good seller.
As this is harley’s cheapest bike, (the 883 Iron being the cheapest until now) it’s a good bike to get you onto the custom market, the price also makes it the cheapest cruiser on the market, compared to the entry level custom bikes from other top manufactures. The other bikes are available for around the same price are:
Honda 750 C2B Shadow Black Spirit at £7,699
Kawasaki Vulcan S at £6,049
Suzuki Intruder M800 at £6,999
Yamaha XV950 at £7,199
Not only do Harley offer the cheapest option, but you also get the Harley name.