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Ducati takes a serious stab at the off-road bias adventure scene with the release of its new DesertX adventure rig

Ducati has used the sixth episode of the Ducati World Première 2022 to finally unveil its new DesertX adventure machine. The DesertX was first shown as a concept back in 2019 and like MV’s new 5.5 and 9.5 adventure rigs gives a firm nod to the Lucky Strike sponsored Cagiva Elefants that competed in the Paris to Dakar during the 80s.

Main standard equipment

o 937 cc Testastretta 11° engine, 81kW (110 hp) at 9,250 rpm and 92 Nm at 6,500 rpm *

o Exhaust with single silencer

o Tubular steel trellis frame with cast aluminium double-sided swingarm

o 21-litre fuel tank capacity

o Tubeless spoke rims with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres in sizes 90/90-21 at the front and 150/70 R18 at the rear

o KYB 46 mm fully adjustable front fork with 230 mm travel

o KYB fully adjustable shock absorber with 220mm travel

o 6 customizable Riding Modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro, Rally)

o 4 power modes on 3 power levels

o Bosch ABS Cornering 3 levels

o DTC 8 levels

o Ducati Wheelie Control

o Engine Brake Control

o 5” TFT colour instrumentation

o Ducati Brake Light

o Ducati Quick Shift Up & Down (DQS)

o Ducati Cruise Control

o Full LED lighting system

Ducati DesertX

The DesertX project was born in 2019 when Ducati presented the eponymous concept to the public, generating a strong and positive reaction from motorcyclists around the world. This important feedback gave the Bologna-based manufacturer the decisive push to transform that

concept into the companies latest creation.

The chassis layout of the new Ducati DesertX includes a new steel trellis frame, which works in combination with long-travel suspension and tips the scales at a claimed 202 kg (dry weight).

DesertX is fitted with a fully adjustable 46 mm diameter upside-down Kayaba fork with 230 mm travel and a fully adjustable Kayaba monoshock married to an aluminium swingarm and allows a rear wheel travel of 220 mm. In addition, the new DesertX has a generous 250 mm ground clearance.

Ducati DesertX

Tubless 21” at the front and 18” at the rear tyre sizes and OEM Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR, 90/90-21 and 150/70 R18 make it clear that Ducati sees the DesertX as a serious off-road machine.

Like all Ducati motorcycles, the braking system of this new bike benefits from cornering ABS. The front features Brembo M50 monobloc radial calipers with four 30 mm diameter pistons, axial pump with adjustable levers and double 320 mm discs with aluminium flanges. At the rear there is a single 265 mm diameter disc on which works a twin-piston floating caliper, always by Brembo.

Ducati claims that the saddle-footrest-handlebar triangulation provides an excellent stand-up riding position while also offering a good level of comfort while road riding. Seat height comes in at 875 mm high, however, the combination of a narrow inner leg curve and initial suspension compliance should ensure good contact with the ground. The saddle height can be lowered further via optional accessory kits.

The DesertX has a 21-litre tank capacity with an optional secondary tank kit available that adds an additional eight litres of fuel. Fuel transfer from the rear to the front tank is enabled when the fuel level in the main tank falls below a certain level and can be activated from the dashboard.

The 937 cc liquid-cooled Testastretta 11° Desmodromic valvetrain engine is the heart of the new DesertX and delivers 81kW (110 hp) of power at 9,250 rpm and 92 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, figures just shy of the V2 Multistrada which shares the same powerplant.

The Testastretta in the DesertX features the improvements already seen on the Monster and Multistrada V2, including the light and compact 8-disc clutch and the gearbox equipped with a geardrum mounted on bearings to reduce friction and improve precision and smoothness while shifting. This contributes also to a reduction of the total weight of the engine of 1.7 kg compared to the previous version.

Ducati DesertX

The DesertX’s gearbox runs dedicated ratios with respect to those of the Multistrada V2 with the ratios shortened overall on all gears up to fifth for off-road use, with sixth gear acting as an overdrive for better fuel consumption figures.

Six riding modes work in combination with 4 Power Modes – Full, High, Medium, Low – that modify the power and responsiveness of the Testastretta engine. The main new features are specific settings for the Enduro Riding Mode and the introduction of the new Rally Riding Mode, in addition to Sport, Touring, Urban and Wet.

Enduro Riding Mode, thanks to the reduced power and the specially designed control settings, allows the rider to tackle the most demanding dirt roads with greater safety and makes it easier for less experienced users to ride off-road, while Rally Riding Mode, unleashes the DesertX’s whole 81kW of power and reduces electronic intervention.

Each Riding Mode, also thanks to the presence of the Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), can change the character of the bike according to the rider’s input, by acting on the intervention levels of the various electronic controls: Engine Brake Control (EBC), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up & Down and ABS Cornering. ABS Cornering, in particular, can be set on 3 levels to be able to adapt to whatever situation and rider skill. In the Riding Modes dedicated to off-road (Enduro and Rally), ABS Cornering can also be completely deactivated via the switch cube with a specific button.

The dashboard of the DesertX, vertically oriented and positioned to offer clear information also in stand-up riding, features a high resolution 5” full-TFT colour display. The instrumentation is predisposed to integrate the Ducati Multimedia System which allows the rider to connect the phone, thus activating new functions such as music and incoming/outgoing calls or Turn-by-Turn navigation** (optional), which displays directions directly on the dashboard.

The rider is offered the opportunity to choose between two as-standard Info Modes: Standard and Rally. The Standard option provides for all the road information: tachometer and speedometer are clearly visible, as well as the engaged gear, fuel level and other useful journey information. The trip master function is part of the Rally Info Mode. This simulates the operation of the trip master used in rally motorcycles and allows you to manually adjust the odometer indication, using the buttons on the left switch block.

The double front headlight has two twin-function poly-ellipsoidal modules with Daytime Running Light (DRL) while the rear light is equipped with the Ducati Brake Light, a particular system that, in the event of sudden braking, automatically activates the flashing of the rear light to alert the following vehicles.

A long list of dedicated parts and accessories will be available from ehausts and aluminium luggage to matching off-road riding gear and casual wear.

DesertX is expected to arrive in Australia and New Zealand in the third quarter of 2022, with a recommended ride away price in Australia of $24,200 and $24,995 in New Zealand.