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ADV NewsDucati’s DesertX To Receive All-New Chassis & Sub-1000cc Engine

Ducati’s DesertX To Receive All-New Chassis & Sub-1000cc Engine

Highly-anticipated DesertX will be revealed at Ducati World Premiere 2022.

Published on 09.23.2021
Ducati DesertX adventure motorcycle specs

The season is upon us when manufacturers start to reveal their latest and greatest for the new model year. Today Ducati announced they plan to introduce their new models, one every two weeks, starting on September, 30th until the big show finally ends on December, 9th with the unveiling of the new DesertX model during Ducati World Premiere 2022. 

The DesertX was first showcased as a concept bike in 2019 at the Ducati World Premiere 2020. With a design inspired by the early-90’s Cagiva Elefant 900ie, built on the Scrambler 1100 platform, the concept generated a resounding applause from around the Internet. Ducati had been in search of feedback on the new design and they received enough of a strong response to continue with the project. And it looks like they’ve taken the concept even further than what we expected.

With the original concept being built on the Scrambler 1100 chassis, powered by a 1,079cc 2-valve, air-cooled, Desmodromic L-Twin engine that produces 86 horsepower @ 7,500 rpm and 65 ft-lb of torque @ 4,750 rpm, it ran the risk of being overshadowed in the hyper-competitive ADV segment. Now we get news from Ducati that the DesertX will have an all-new chassis and they confirmed it will definitely ride on a 21” front wheel, unlike other Multistradas that run a 19” front. Ducati hasn’t mentioned anything about an 18” rear wheel yet, but the concept appeared to sport one so we can only hope.

Ducati DesertX adventure motorcycle specs
Original DesertX concept based on the Scrambler 1100 platform. Ducati has now revealed the production bike will use the 937cc Testastretta powerplant instead.


The Bologna-based manufacturer also revealed the DesertX will get a new powerplant — the water-cooled 937cc Testastretta L-Twin engine that currently pumps out 113 horsepower @ 9,000 rpm and 71 ft-lb of torque @ 7,750 rpm in the Multistrada 950. Even with a smaller displacement, this move will increase the power and torque, and we can expect that will translate into a lighter overall machine as well. Considering the all-new chassis and plans for running a dirt-friendly 21” front wheel, we also expect Ducati will offer improved off-road capability compared to the Multistrada 950.

With the performance middleweight category currently the hot segment for Adventure Bikes, we’re not surprised Ducati decided to take a more aggressive approach with the DesertX than just putting a styling update on a Scrambler model. If they want to be competitive with the likes of the KTM 890 Adventure R, Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro, Tenere 700, they’ll need to come loaded with a chassis tuned for off-road performance and plenty of suspension travel. 

Ducati DesertX adventure motorcycle specs

Two new photos released today don’t reveal much more about the new production DesertX in the works, other than the fact that it looks a lot like the original concept bike with its iconic twin round LED headlights. Perhaps Ducati will drop more breadcrumbs as the December 9th unveiling approaches. 

Now that Ducati is claiming their spot in the sub-1000cc performance segment, along with Husqvarna with its line of Nordens coming and Aprilia with their Tuareg 660 on the way as well, who’s next to join the party? Will we see a middleweight Honda Africa Twin or the rumored Transalp next? Or perhaps a Kawasaki Versys-X 650? Let’s keep them coming!

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, 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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10 thoughts on “Ducati’s DesertX To Receive All-New Chassis & Sub-1000cc Engine

  1. Lovely looking machine interesting take on a duel fuel tank if the production bike is closely based on the concept they can have my money

  2. Killer. Wish I could justify buying one. I’m really excited about it. But… my ‘13 Multistrada BLEW UP this summer. Kinda left just holding my d!#% on that one. Gotta start from scratch again with no trade in value.

  3. Pingback: Ducati Wants A Bigger Slice Of The ADV Pie With The DesertX – Jalopnik – CoverStory

  4. I was expecting it would have a cradle or perimeter frame. They are much better for offroad than the trellis or spine frames. You can belly flop a KLR or Africa Twin on the rocks with no damage because their frames take the impact, not the motor.

    • My 690r has taken a beating with the trellis frame. I have to pound out the bash each off season to get it back to normal, No issues so far.

  5. Looks fabulous and even better with a smaller engine and there fore lighter over all machine any hints on retail price range?

  6. Rob – can you help? I have joined a local riding club for veterans. Need a bike. I live in a city, but need to make some shorter (up to 3 hours maybe) road trips. Your adventure bikes for shorter riders is from 2014 and I have. no idea which bikes to consider. I need something for a 5’1″ 60 year old woman who weighs about 100 pounds. Haven’t ridden in about 20 years, mostly dirt & enduros when a kid. Tried many Harleys but they’re all too tall, cafe riders or bobbers don’t quite fit and can’t move off road or up a stair if needed. People drive horrifyingly dangerous, so I need to jump a curb and rip down a sidewalk or alley for a moment to escape them. My insurance company says I have to flat foot a bike. Sat on a GROM but the will not work on highway trips. Any suggestions for “shorter, smaller, lighter than your average rider with particular escape bad drivers options needs” people like me would e greatly appreciated! 😉 I don’t really do smileys but I thought I’d throw that in there, my quest for a ride search sage has moved into “this is just ridiculous” territory.

    • Completely flat-footing it is probably not possible at 5’1″. I know a ton of averaged height men who are not flat-footing it on their adventure bikes. For 3 hour rides and curb jumping capability, check out the Royal Enfield Himalayan. If it feels too big, then look at the XT250. Those might be your best options. Hope you find something the works for you!


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