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And the winner is... the Ducati DesertX takes the top gong – but only by the slimmest of margins.

The superb Ducati DesertX is the winner of AMCN’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year (MOTY) presented by Shannons Insurance. 

After an exhaustive test, the judges cast their votes, the scores were tallied and the DesertX came out on top… by a whisker! That’s right – there was only one point in it, but there’s no doubt the DesertX is a deserved winner.

Where last year’s MOTY winner, the Multistrada V4 S, reflected the skew in the Aussie motorcycling landscape towards everyday useable roadbikes over pure sportsbikes, this year’s winner reflects the continued and growing popularity of adventure bikes in Australia, of which there were three finalists in the 2022 MOTY line-up.

The DesertX is Ducati’s first serious crack at the world of off-road capable midsize adventure bikes, and it is a ripper of a machine, both on the road and in the dirt. 

Many will likely question how a dirt-capable bike such as the DesertX could take out AMCN’s MOTY award, but simply labelling it an off-road bike is selling it way short. The DesertX is powered by Ducati’s torque-rich 937cc desmo V-twin, which is well suited to both riding off the road and on it. While there are two off-road ride modes (Rally and Enduro), there are also four on-road ride modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Wet) which ensure the DesertX is more of an all-rounder than its Dakar-inspired styling might suggest. And it’s bloody great fun to ride over just about any surface.

It was Yamaha’s heavily revised 2022 MT-10 that was pipped at the post by the DesertX. For those after a character-laden big-bore nakedbike with loads of real-world useable performance, the MT-10 is hard to beat.

Coming home in third was the 2022 KTM RC 390, a small sportsbike that delivers huge fun as well as plenty of tech including cornering ABS and traction control. There’s no doubt the RC 390 was the surprise package out of the eight MOTY finalists, but it’s simply brilliant on twisty roads.

The other five bikes were all worthy MOTY finalists too: like the DesertX, the Husqvarna Norden 901 is equally as suited to on- and off-road duties; the CFMoto 800MT Touring delivers so much adventure bike for the money; the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT nails its sports-tourer brief; the Honda NT1100 DCT is a super-comfortable mile-eater; and the Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail is loads of fun on the blacktop and the dirt.

Whether you’re a road rider, a dirtbike rider or you love a bit of both, the DesertX won’t disappoint anyone who throws a leg over it, and it’s certainly worthy of the 2022 AMCN Motorcycle of the Year crown.