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ADV NewsDucati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally

Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally

The brand from Bologna is ready to race two of their adventure bikes in Baja.

Published on 04.26.2024

Since the launch of the standard DesertX, Ducati has been showcasing the upper limits of the 937cc adventure machine resulting in impressive achievements along the way like snatching a historic win in the infamous Erzbergrodeo Iron Prolog last year. 

But Ducati is not one to rest on its laurels. Now, the Bologna-based manufacturer has confirmed they will be putting the newly-launched Rally variant to the test at the demanding NORRA Mexican 1000. Piloting a pair of DesertX Rally bikes in the prestigious Pro Rally Class will be two experienced and passionate American riders selected by Ducati: Pro rider Alexander Smith and ADV Pulse journalist and privateer racer Steve Kamrad. 

Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally
Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally

Alexander is a long-time professional rider who is widely-recognized for his remarkable racing ability. His impressive career includes extensive experience competing in rallies such as the grueling Dakar Rally and Baja 1000. His teammate, our own Steve Kamrad, is an adventure rider and privateer racer with numerous wins in navigation rallies, sprint rallies, and desert races under his belt. Competing in approximately 30 races annually, Steve’s race experience and ingenuity have consistently placed him amongst the top competition.  

Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally
Pro racer Alexander Smith (right) will be fighting for the podium with privateer racer and ADV Pulse journalist Steve Kamrad.

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And this will be no walk in the park. The Mexican 1000 is renowned as one of the most challenging off-road races in North America, spanning the entire Baja peninsula over six days. Furthermore, the Mexican 1000 Pro Rally Class course was designed specifically for motorcycles and riders are not allowed to use GPS, only roadbook navigation. This year’s off-road racing event will cover over 1,500 miles of Mexico’s rugged Baja peninsula, with riders tackling rocks, sand, whoops and silt.

DesertX Rally Modifications For The Race

The two DesertX Rally bikes have undergone several modifications to get them ready for the desert battle but will maintain several of the main stock components such as the KYB suspension, 21/18” Excel Takasago rims, and the 937 cc Testastretta 11° desmodromic engine. 

Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally
Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally

Among the upgrades, the bikes feature Aurora’s full carbon fiber tank which shaves 5kg of weight and lowers the center of gravity, while dual DNA High Performance Filters allow the riders to remove one air filter completely if needed and still have the second one prevent dust from entering. In addition, Aurora’s 3D printed air inlet, will supply cool air to the DNA filters, and also remove hot air from the engine. 

Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally

In the cockpit is Aurora’s Gen 2 monoblock tower which is less than 1 Kg and thinner than before, yet 15% stronger. Automatic fuses and different circuits have been installed as well, including a separate circuit for the DENALI Electronics D7 Pro headlight. Fatter bars, a Samco Hose Kit, HDB handguards, Scotts steering damper, a Termignoni exhaust and Vanasche foot pegs have also been added.

Overall the bike lost somewhere in the range of 40-50 pounds. Weight reductions were achieved by a reconfigured dash, a lighter battery and fuel tank, deleting unnecessary parts for emissions and carrying a passenger, a lighter headlight assembly, and adding a racing slip-on exhaust among other things. 

Ducati Takes On Mexican 1000 With New DesertX Rally

***

The desert battle begins this Saturday April 28th in Ensenada and finishes Friday May 3rd in La Paz. We couldn’t be prouder of Steve Kamrad’s well-deserved place on Ducati’s factory team and wish him and Alexander Smith the best of luck. 

Photos by Ducati and Aurora Rally

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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