The Ducati DesertX was unveiled during the sixth and final episode of the company’s World Première 2022 series. The highly anticipated model is Ducati’s interpretation of the rally bikes that competed in the golden age of the Dakar Rally.
The inspiration for the styling is evident with the twin-pod LED headlights and relatively slim proportions. However, under all that new bodywork is a motorcycle that we’re pretty familiar with. At the heart of the new DesertX is the same 937cc Testastretta V-twin engine that powers multiple models in the Italian marquee’s lineup — like the Multistrada V2. That said, peak output figures at 110hp at 9,250rpm and 68lb-ft of torque at 6,500rpm are slightly lower than on the Multistrada. The DesertX also features shorter gearing, which should translate to better performance earlier on in the rev band — vital while off-roading.
While the Multistrada is a road-biased adventure tourer, the DesertX has been designed with the dirt in mind. Autocar India reports that the bike features a 21-inch/18-inch wire-spoke wheel setup that not even the Multistrada 1260 Enduro gets. Given its intentions, the DesertX also boasts of some seriously impressive off-road-centric figures; 230mm and 220mm of suspension travel at the front and rear, respectively, and 250mm of ground clearance.
Consequently, this is a tall motorcycle. A seat height that’s 875mm off the ground is going to deter less experienced riders from hopping on. There’s also the weight — with the 21-liter fuel tank topped up, the DesertX tips the scales at 223kg.
Like with every Ducati, this one features a host of electronics. There’s a total of six riding modes, including Enduro and Rally modes dedicated to off-road use. Riders also can choose from four power modes via a 5-inch TFT dash with optional Bluetooth connectivity.
You also have the option to choose from a wide range of add-on accessories that include panniers, heated grips, fog lamps, and even an 8-liter auxiliary fuel tank.
The DesertX will be available in North American dealerships from May 2022, with prices starting at $16,795.