It’s that time of year again when the winners of the Red Dot Design awards are announced. And, for the third time in history, Ducati takes home “Best of the Best,” this time with the 2019 Diavel 1260. Previously, Ducati earned the prestigious award in 2013 for the 1199 Panigale and in 2016 for the XDiavel S.
This year, a jury of 40 experts evaluated over 5,500 products across 34 categories. Judges ranked entrants based on how much they add value to their segments, are pleasing to look at, whether or not they’re functional and if they bring any emotional draw to the table beyond their intended purpose. The criteria can get a bit abstract and subjective, but when it comes to evocative design, Ducati’s track record is undoubtedly among the best.
The Diavel always stood out from the rest of the Ducati lineup as a muscle cruiser. While every other Ducati makes a point to make cornering performance a top priority, the Diavel is more of a straight-line bruiser. The new Diavel 1260 uses Ducati’s powerhouse Testastretta DVT 1262 L-Twin engine which is good for 159 horsepower and will help the cruiser hit 169 mph. Regardless of the style of motorcycle that sits on top of that mill, you’re looking at a serious amount of thrust.
When the Diavel first broke cover back in 2010, it was even more cruiser-focused and clearly aimed at the American market. The handlebars and foot pegs were even more forward set then they are now, almost making it a completely different motorcycle. Since then, however, in the interest of not just comfort, but handling performance as well, the Ducati designers and engineers changed the ergonomics to a less stretched out riding position, more akin to a standard set up.
Between the evolution of the riding position, increased performance and frankly unique overall design for the segment, it becomes a little more clear how the Red Dot judges came to their conclusion this year.