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ADV NewsDucati Finally Reveals The DesertX, Its Dakar-Inspired Adventure Bike

Ducati Finally Reveals The DesertX, Its Dakar-Inspired Adventure Bike

Everything you need to know about Ducati’s most dirt-worthy model yet!

Published on 12.09.2021
Note: Make sure to turn on English subtitles.

Ducati has finally lifted the cover off the all-new DesertX during the sixth and final episode of their World Première 2022 series hosted over the last few months. The much-anticipated machine is Ducati’s contemporary interpretation of the iconic Rally Bikes that competed during the golden age of the Paris-Dakar and is their most dirt-worthy model released yet. Notably, the final design revealed today is surprisingly close to the concept that grabbed so much attention when it debuted in 2019.

2022 Ducati DesertX

At the heart of the DesertX is an updated 937 cc liquid-cooled Testastretta 11° Desmodromic valvetrain engine delivering 110 hp at 9,250 rpm and a maximum torque of 68 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. This powerplant features all the improvements already seen on the 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 3.7 lb (1.7 kg) compared to the previous version.

2022 Ducati DesertX
2022 Ducati DesertX

The DesertX receives its own unique chassis with a steel trellis frame sporting 9.1 inches of suspension travel in front and 8.7 inches in the rear, along with a 21”/18” tubeless spoked wheel combo shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires. It also receives a sturdy 46mm fork with a dirt-friendly rake of 27.6° and a long 63.3-inch wheelbase, all of which should give it a planted feel during aggressive off-road riding. And there’s ample ground clearance too with 9.8 inches on tap.

2022 Ducati DesertX


Proper range to face longer journeys is enabled by a 5.54 U.S. gallons (21 l) fuel tank, and the ability to mount a rear tank (available as an accessory) for an additional 2.1 gallons (8 l) of fuel and a total of 7.7 gallons (29 l). 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 DesertX also has a great load capacity at 528 pounds to accommodate luggage and a passenger on longer trips.

2022 Ducati DesertX
2022 Ducati DesertX

The gearbox has different dedicated ratios with respect to those of the Multistrada V2. The ratios have been shortened overall on all gears up to fifth, to ensure the best off-road behavior. First and second gears, in particular, are much shorter, in order to facilitate the low-speed driving during off-road use. Sixth gear has been kept properly long though to facilitate highway cruising at low engine speeds for reduced fuel consumption and increased comfort.

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 30mm pistons, axial pump with adjustable levers and double 320mm discs with aluminum flanges. At the rear, on the other hand, a single 265 mm disc with a twin-piston floating caliper, again by Brembo. 

2022 Ducati DesertX

Ducati’s state-of-the-art electronic rider aids include 6 Riding Modes working 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.

2022 Ducati DesertX

With Enduro Riding Mode, the reduced power and specially designed control settings allow the rider to tackle more demanding dirt roads with greater safety while also making it easier for less experienced off-road riders. The Rally Riding Mode, on the other hand, with full engine power and reduced electronic controls, is designed for more experienced riders who want to make the most of DesertX’s off-road performance.

Each Ride Mode also works with the the Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to adjust 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 adapt to the situation and rider’s 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.

2022 Ducati DesertX

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

2022 Ducati DesertX

The rider is offered the opportunity to choose between two Information display Modes: Standard and Rally. The Standard option provides 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 one to manually adjust the odometer indication, using the buttons on the left switch cube.

2022 Ducati DesertX
2022 Ducati DesertX

Premium technological features are also represented by the lighting system, which is full LED. The unique double front headlight has two twin-function poly-ellipsoidal modules with Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and has been designed to ensure excellent visibility, particularly important for a motorcycle designed for traveling in a range of conditions. The rear light is equipped with the Ducati Brake Light, a system that in the event of sudden braking, automatically activates the flashing of the brake light to alert following vehicles, further improving rider safety.

2022 Ducati DesertX

All of the DesertX’s equipment results in a wet weight of 492 pounds and a seat height of 34.4 inches. The combination of a particularly narrow inner leg curve and initial suspension compliance ensures an easy reach to the ground. The saddle height can still be reduced further by means of a low accessory saddle and suspension lowering kit.

The DesertX in Star White Silk livery will start arriving in North American dealerships in June of 2022. Starting pricing for the United States will be an MSRP of $16,795. Canadian pricing will start at MSRP $19,295 CAD and pricing for Mexico will start at MSRP $382,500 MEX.

2022 Ducati DesertX

Ducati DesertX Specs

Engine Type:Ducati Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinders, Desmodromic valvetrain, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid cooled
Displacement:937 cc
Bore x Stroke:94 x 67.5 mm
Compression Ratio:13.3:1
Power:110 hp (81 kW) @ 9,250 rpm
Torque:92 Nm (68 lb-ft, 9.4 kgm) @ 6,500 rpm
Fuel Injection:Bosch electronic fuel injection system, Ø53 mm throttle bodies with ride-by-wire system
Exhaust:Stainless steel single muffler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox:6 speeds
Primary drive:Straight cut gears, ratio 1.85 : 1
Ratio:1=38/14, 2=31/17, 28=28/20, 4=26/22, 5=24/23, 6=23/25
Final drive:Chain, front sprocket Z15, rear sprocket Z49
Clutch:Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control
Frame:Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Suspension:KYB Ø 46 mm upside-down fork, fully adjustable
Front Wheel:Cross-spoked, tubeless, 2.15″x21″
Front Tire:Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR 90/90 – 21 M/C 54V M+S TL (A)
Rear Suspension:KYB monoshock, fully adjustable, remote preload adjustment, aluminium double-sided swingarm
Rear Wheel:Cross-spoked, tubeless, 4.5″x18″
Rear Tire:Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR 150/70 R18 M/C 70V M+S TL
Wheel Travel (Front/Rear):230 mm (9.06 in) – 220 mm (8.66 in)
Front Brake:2 x Ø 320 mm aluminum flange semi-floating discs, Radial mount Brembo monobloc 4-pistons calipers, Bosch Cornering ABS
Rear Brake:Ø 265 mm disc, Brembo floating 2 pistons caliper, Bosch Cornering ABS
Instrumentation:5″ TFT color display
Dry Weight:202 kg (445 lb)
Kerb Weight:223 kg (492 lb)
Load Capacity:240 kg (529 lb)
Seat Height:875 mm (34.4 in)
Wheelbase:1608 mm (63.3 in)
Ground Clearance: 250 mm (9.8 in)
Trail:122 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity:21 l (5.54 US gal), expandable to 29 l (7.7 US gal) with optional rear tank
Number of Seats:2
Safety Equipment:Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control)
Standard Equipment:Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Engine Brake Control (EBC), Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS), Cruise control, full LED lighting system, DRL, Ducati brake light (DBL), USB power socket, 12V socket, self canceling turn indicators, Steering damper
Equipment Ready For:Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), Anti-theft system, Turn by turn navigation via app, fog lights, heated grips, auxiliary fuel tank
Warranty:48 months, unlimited mileage
Maintenance Service Intervals:15,000 km (9,000 miles) / 24 months
Valve Clearance Check (Desmoservice):30,000 km (18,000 miles)
Emissions Standard:Euro 5
CO2 Emissions:133 g/km
Fuel Consumption:5.6 l/100 km (42 mpg)
MSRP:$16,795 USD; $19,295 CAD; $382,500 MEX

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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December 9, 2021 1:40 pm

Hot damn. That looks great. Might be a tad heavier than I wanted, but the Elefant 900AC weights 450 wet, without an the ABS doodads and IMUs and EFI, etc.

No worse than an Africa Twin though.

James Griczin
James Griczin
December 9, 2021 7:28 pm


Guy Caron
Guy Caron
December 10, 2021 12:36 pm

Anybody looking for a well set-up Multistrada Enduro 1200? 2016 model, a lot of useful farkles, only 70 000km.
Might also let go of my new-in-september Ténéré 700 too as this DesertX would be perfect at replacing both…

Joe John
Joe John
December 10, 2021 4:13 pm

Cool, another middle weight dual sport I can’t afford.

December 10, 2021 9:09 pm

I don’t know how they pulled it off but this bike looks brilliant, gorgeous, and looks like its going to rip! From every angle the bike looks great and there are very thoughtful features throughout the bike. I cant wait to see it in person, I think this is what every one expected the Norden 901 concept would translate to, except Ducati actually pulled it off!

December 10, 2021 9:55 pm

Very nice. Too heavy and costly for me but so it the Triumph 1200 Scrambler XT. Still way cool though.

December 10, 2021 9:59 pm

Flashback. Reading the article I had to check the specs, seemed like deja vu to my 2010 R1200GS. 105hp vs 110hp. Hmm, almost the same horse power and exact same weight. One less inch of travel on the front but rear travel is identical. Same seat height and ground clearance. Back to the future?

It’s a smarter GS than the new BMW Urban or Scrambler, and looks great. I’ve owned six Duc’s including a Multi but for adventure riding it’s hard to beat zee Germans. Especially when a 10 year old GS is $7k and goes for 100k miles.

Carter Ledbetter
Carter Ledbetter
December 13, 2021 4:12 pm
Reply to  DucsandGus

EXACTLY. My question – Luggage? Hard/Soft bags? Mount points, not to mess w/ the second fuel tank? How stable on the road vs a GS-A? I’m looking for a upgrade from my 2010 GS-A, but want to make sure it’s real. /cross fingers

December 11, 2021 8:42 am

Eagerly waiting to read the first comparisdons to the KTM 890 Adv R and the Norden 901. I might upgrade from my 790 Adv R next year, which by then will most likely be up to 60.000km.

Roy Cernik
Roy Cernik
December 11, 2021 7:11 pm

Fat, expensive and Italian.
I’ll pass.

December 13, 2021 6:22 pm

This is just the thing you DON’T want to ride across the ‘Stans on. If it takes more than a hammer and duct tape to keep it running, it’s just another Range Rover on two wheels.

Enduro Champ Antoine Meo Takes On MX Track On Ducati DesertX - blog
April 29, 2022 4:48 am

[…] last saw Meo riding the DesertX in the dunes of the UAE in the Ducati World Premiere 2022 promo video revealing the bike. This was apparently his first time riding the new machine. Clearly, […]


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