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ADV NewsWatch: 2022 Ducati DesertX Tested

Watch: 2022 Ducati DesertX Tested

We've got the scoop on Italy's latest rally-inspired Adventure Bike.

Published on 11.23.2022

Ducati has produced its fair share of drool-worthy machines over the years and the DesertX concept was no different when it was first released to the public in 2019. However, under that scintillating exterior was a not so off-road capable Scrambler platform. Seeing the fantastic response the concept received, the brand decided it was worthy of a completely new chassis to match its rally-inspired look.

For the first time in Ducati’s history this new bike would be designed as an off-road bike first, then be outfitted with all the usual street equipment. Armed with a dirt-friendly 21″/18″ wheelset, long-travel (9.1″ in front 8.7″ in the rear) KYB suspension and an off-road biased frame geometry and ergos, Ducati set the DesertX on a course to take on the top dirt-focused bikes in the adventure segment. 

2022 Ducati DesertX ride review

At the heart of the package is a 937cc Testastretta V-Twin with Desmo valvetrain, pulled from the Multistrada V2, pumping out 110 horses and 68 ft-lbs of torque. First and second gear get lower gearing for more grunt on the trail, and it receives a 5.54-gallon fuel tank with the option to expand the capacity with a 2.1-gallon rear tank. It also receives a full suite of the latest and greatest rider aids like cruise control, a quick shifter, 6 individually-customizable ride modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro, Rally), and lean angle sensing 4-mode ABS (including off) all managed through a vertically-oriented 5″ color TFT screen.

2022 Ducati DesertX ride review

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Ducati put quite the package together of design, specs and features with the DesertX, and assembled the machine with a wet weight of 492 pounds. But with so many iterations of the Multistrada over the years leaving much to be desired about their off-road capability, there was plenty of justification for being skeptical about this latest adventure bike from Ducati. We went into this test with an open mind though, wondering if this time it could truly be a transformative machine for the Italian manufacturer.

After putting the DesertX through its paces in the Colorado Rockies, we give a rundown of its performance on a range of different riding terrain. We also put in some road miles to explore its long-haul comfort and its sporty side.

2022 Ducati DesertX test

Is this new Adventure Bike from Ducati a serious contender in the off-road focused ADV class or just another dressed up sport touring bike? Does it still perform in the twisties like you’d expect from a Ducati? Check out our video review for answers to all your burning questions and more!

Thanks for checking out the video and leave us your thoughts and questions in the comments below. For those of you who prefer to read, you can also check out our full review article of the 2022 Ducati DesertX here.

Photography by Gregor Halenda, Scott Rounds

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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5 thoughts on “Watch: 2022 Ducati DesertX Tested

  1. Nice vid Rob. As a KTM 790 Adventure R owner I must admit that the middleweight/light heavyweight ADV class is my sweet spot so the more options in the class the better. I like this Duc but for me it is too expensive and a bit too heavy. The $13,600 I paid for the KTM seems a fantastic deal now. I’m also nearing 20,000 miles on it with zero reliability issues. Perhaps a few years from now if I don’t need my ADV to be a big dual sport any more, a clean used DesertX around $10 G’s may end up in the garage.

    • Thanks! Yes, KTM has been king at brining top level performance at a decent price point. That Desert X styling though… those Italians really know how to make a guy open up his pocket book. LOL!

  2. for sure an excellent video… Fort9 also has a amusing “eval” on the DX
    …. sad fact is that the DX will be close to $23k OTD with an accessory or two in addition the the usual F.U Fees charged by the dealership….and an even greater deal breaker is that according to the Ducati Owners Manual. EVERYTHING requires a trip to the dealer… check the oil lever: go to the dealer.. chain slack ?.. go to the dealer , tire pressure : go to the dealer. complete BS.. luckily the internet will remedy Ducati’s thievery.. T7 here I come .

    • Much appreciated! Well that’s one thing Yamaha really nailed with the T7. There’s a lot of folks out there that want a no hassle, simple, reduced feature set adventure bike that is still very capable. Let’s hope they keep it that way because there’s always going to be a place for a bike like that.

  3. Hey AdvPulse Editor in Chief – can we please get the photos on your site (some great shoots!) at 4K resolution – atm you high res pop ups are smaller than HD1080? I would like to use these as desktop backgrounds – thanks !

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