With a combination of a new steel trellis frame, long-travel suspension, a 19” front wheel, their 937cc twin engine and a bucketload of tech, Ducati’s DesertX looks set to be seriously impressive.
There’s no denying that adventure bikes have taken the world by storm over the past ten years, selling by the bucketload in high, mid and low-capacity machinery thanks to their comfort and incredible capabilities, both on and off-road. And after what feels like a lifetime of being teased, Ducati have finally brought their weapon to the party: meet the new DesertX.
Unlike the Multistrada (which translates from Italian as ‘Many Roads’) range, the DesertX has far more focus for riders looking to do more serious off-road riding. It’s fair to say as well that with one glance over the spec sheet, it looks like they really do mean business. This isn’t meant to be just some off-road posing machine, as they’ve actually designed a whole new steel trellis frame to tackle both dirt and asphalt.
A new seating position and ergonomics setup, which has been optimised for long road and off-road jaunts, includes a newly developed seat and riding position. This is all complemented by long-travel suspension which is utilised with Pirelli Scorpion Rally rubber, and for the first time on a Ducati those tyres will be fitted to a 21” front wheel and 18” rear wheel.
All of this combined should work a treat alongside that shed load of ground clearance (250mm to be exact) to create a machine that’s ready to tackle whatever you can throw its way; especially when you consider that’s been fitted with some hefty Brembo Monobloc callipers too, resulting in a machine that tips the scale 202kg dry.
At the heart of the new DesertX is Ducati’s trusty 937cc Testastretta engine; the same base that you’d find on other machines in the range, such as the Monster and the Multistrada V2.
It pumps out an impressive 110bhp at 9,250rpm and 92 Nm torque at 6,500rpm, and for the DesertX Ducati have given the Desmo engine its own dedicated gear ratios, which are shortened up to fifth gear for better manners on the dirty stuff, but sixth gear remains the same to keep a good level of on-road manners too. Oh, and impressively the fuel tank is a mighty 21 litres for good measure.
This is completed with a hefty, advanced suite of electronics which is powered by a Bosch IMU, meaning you get adjustable Engine Brake Control, Wheelie Control, Traction Control, up and down Quickshifter and Cornering ABS. There are also six riding modes on offer that alter settings and power including an Enduro and a Rally Riding Mode, which is all shown through a 5” TFT dash setup.
The DesertX will be available from May 2022 and although there’s no word on price just yet, expect it to be sitting at the premium end of the adventure segment. If it goes as well as it looks though, there could be a new contender for the adventure crown. We can’t wait to swing a leg over one.