Ducati DesertX retro adventure bike revealed

Published On Dec 09, 2021 09:08:00 PM

Ducati’s latest fuses retro styling with legitimate off-road credentials.

As the final chapter of the Ducati World Premiere 2022, the Italian brand has unveiled arguably the most exciting bike of the lot, the eagerly-anticipated DesertX.

  • Gets the 937cc V-twin motor from the Multistrada V2
  • 21-inch/18-inch wire-spoke wheel combo
  • Long travel suspension and 250mm ground clearance

If there’s two things that are hugely popular in motorcycling these days, it’s retro motorcycles and adventure bikes. In something of a stroke of genius, Ducati has beautifully alloyed the two to create a retro-styled adventure bike called the DesertX.

The twin-pod LED headlights hark back to the Dakar bikes of old, and in a world full of gargantuan, hefty adventure bikes, the DesertX cuts a rather slender figure. While it does look novel, under the beautifully formed surface, it’s not quite as new as you might think.

The 937cc Testastretta V-twin engine is exactly the same one that does duty in the Multistrada and a host of other Ducati models. Output, at 110hp and 92Nm, is a wee bit lower than the Multi’s 113hp and 96Nm, but this should translate into friendlier power delivery, and the DesertX also features shorter gearing to aid off-road performance.

But while the Multistrada is a fairly road-focused adventure tourer, the DesertX marks itself out as a hardcore off-roader, with a 21-inch/18-inch wire-spoke wheel setup; not even Multistrada 1260 Enduro gets that treatment. The rest of the off-road-centric numbers are similarly massive and impressive: 230mm and 220mm of suspension travel at the front and rear respectively, and 250mm of ground clearance.

But another number that’s perhaps a little undesirably large is the vertigo-inducing 875mm seat height (and you thought the 390 Adventure was tall? Ha!) Of course, Ducati being Ducati, there’s likely to offer an accessory lower seat (though one hasn’t been listed yet), but even that will probably only bring seat height down to the 840-850mm region.

Also in true Ducati fashion, the electronics suite matches the scale of the suspension travel and ground clearance, with a total of SIX riding modes on offer(!) including Enduro and Rally modes dedicated to off-road use. You also get four power modes, and a Bosch IMU to assist the electronics do their job irrespective of the bike’s orientation.

Everything is controlled via a slick-looking 5-inch TFT dash with optional Bluetooth connectivity. Other optional extras include a raft of aluminium luggage options, heated grips, fog lamps and even an 8 litre auxiliary fuel tank. With the standard 21 litre fuel tank (and all other fluids) topped up, the DesertX tips the scales at 223kg.

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