10 Things Every Motorcycle Enthusiast Should Know About The Ducati DesertX

2021-12-23 06:16:24 By : Ms. Nerissa Yang

The Ducati DesertX is a retro-styled adventure bike that looks like it's ready to tackle the Dakar Rally straight from the showroom floor.

Revealed at EICMA 2019, the Ducati DesertX is one of the most awaited motorcycles from the Italian stable. With no major offerings in the middleweight retro off-roader segment, Ducati is here to thrill the off-road enthusiasts. The DesertX features an impeccable design coupled with all the characters of a Ducati, like the Testastretta v-twin motor (that does the duties in the Multistrada V2 and Monster), all the bells and whistles, and unmatched comfort level.

The sharp handling and top-notch quality levels can also be witnessed in this adventure tourer. Along with that, massive wheels coming with knobbly Pirelli tires help it to conquer the toughest of the terrains. With the launch proposed for the June 2022, the Ducati DesertX will be available at a base MSRP of $16,975. It is here to compete with the likes of the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally, Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin, and the MV Agusta Lucky Explorer 9.5.

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Looking like a proper desert racer from any angle, the Ducati DesertX does turn heads wherever it goes. The round headlights with striking LED DRLs, stripes on the side fairings with DesertX embossing, and the massive aluminum engine cowl add to the character and presence of this adventure tourer.

The 2022 DesertX also comes with an asymmetrical and well-sculpted fuel tank along with knobbly tires, making it look like it is ready to conquer the Dakar rally. The white paint scheme highlighted by the silver and black accents looks brilliant too. All of this makes the motorcycle look and feel like nothing on the road.

Even though the concept motorcycle revealed in 2019 came with the air-cooled v-twin motor, it has been replaced with the more modern Testastretta 937cc v-twin motor. This motor is capable of producing 110 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque, and that puts the Ducati DesertX slightly above the rivals, especially in terms of horsepower rating.

However, the KTM 890 Adventure offers a slightly superior torque rating. Nevertheless, the peak torque coming at a very attainable 6,500 RPM means that the DesertX is a very easy motorcycle to live with, mainly in tough off-road conditions. The power comes all the way to 9,500 RPM too. Along with that, the engine is ultra-smooth and refined throughout the rev range.

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Since the 2022 Ducati DesertX is a proper adventure tourer that is more capable off-road than many of its immediate rivals, Ducati has concentrated more on its gearbox. The 6-speed gearbox that comes with the DesertX gets a short first and second gear, making it very easy to conquer the trails. The gearshifts are butter smooth and that uplifts the overall experience, even though you need to do constant gearshifts (due to short initial gears).

However, the third, fourth, and fifth gears are adequately long, and that aids to the excellent highway drivability. It helps in churning out above-average fuel efficiency figures too. The sixth gear offered by Ducati is a very long gear and hence the motorcycle can cruise at the legal speed limit with the engine being barely audible. This reduces fatigue quite a bit.

The 2022 Ducati DesertX comes with a massive 5.5-gallon fuel tank at the front. Along with that, there is a smaller 2.1-gallon fuel tank at the rear, which can be accessed by removing the passenger seat. However, this is offered as an additional accessory by Ducati.

Since these motorcycles spent a lot of time in the wilderness, having a decent range is quite essential, and the range anxiety can be completely solved by the secondary tank. Even the range with just the main tank is an excellent 233 miles, which is slightly higher than the Multistrada V2 (comes with the same motor as the DesertX). The fuel efficiency is better for the Ducati DesertX too (about 41 mpg).

The 2022 Ducati DesertX comes with a steel trellis frame. This frame has been revised quite a bit to accommodate the longer travel front and rear suspension, helping significantly to improve its off-road performance. A longer wheelbase is offered too (in comparison to the Multistrada V2).

This longer wheelbase and revised geometry make it much more stable and confidence-inspiring than the Multistrada. The swingarm on the DesertX is stiffer and that aids the comfort. This makes the DesertX more in line with the Multistrada V4 than the Multistrada V2. However, the dry weight of 445 lbs makes it heavier than the 890 Adventure and F850 GS.

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The front end of the DesertX comes with the fully adjustable KYB inverted forks with 9.1" travel. The rear end gets the generous 8.7" of suspension travel due to the KYB fully-adjustable mono-shock suspension system. However, the DesertX misses out on the excellent semi-active suspension system that is found in the Ducati Multistrada V2.

Nevertheless, the suspension travel is more than the Multistrada V2 and that helps in the off-road sections quite a bit. Because of the excellent suspension system onboard, the Ducati DesertX comes with an unmatched 9.8" of ground clearance, too.

The 2022 Ducati DesertX comes with the 21" front wheel and 18" rear wheel, replacing the cast aluminum alloy wheels of the Multistrada V2. The dimension of the wheels of the DesertX is bigger than the Multistrada too. This makes it easy to roll through the slush and sand, which isn't a breeze for the rivals of the middleweight adventure tourer segment.

Another factor that makes the DesertX more capable off-road is the knobbly tires that it comes as standard. It gets the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires from the factory, and they are the perfect choices for the kind of routes that would be conquered by these machines. They stick to the ground like a leech, irrespective of the surface. However, they are a bit noisy and less comfortable on smooth tarmac.

The front braking is handled by the capable 320mm dual semi-floating discs with aluminum flange and M50 Brembo calipers. The excellent braking hardware for the front end makes sure that the motorcycle stops with a slight pull of the lever. The initial bite is adequate and the progression of the brakes is spot on too.

The rear braking is handled by the 265 mm disc with Brembo floating calipers. The entire braking lines are steel braided too. All of these offer an excellent balance between on-road and off-road braking performance. Dual-channel ABS with multiple modes are offered as standard too.

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With a seat height of close to 35" from the ground, the 2022 Ducati DesertX offers a commanding seating position. The footpegs are not too far back and the handlebar is raised and adequately wide. All of this contributes to a perfect rider's triangle, that is helpful during freeway riding as well as during off-roading (stand-up riding position).

The seats are quite narrow too, and that helps the shorter folks to have a planted foot. Ducati offers a seat-lowering accessory as an optional extra to help the shorter riders. If you are interested in going for more off-road trails, Ducati offers a bench seat option, which offers superior freedom to move around while on these trails.

The 2022 DesertX comes with a long list of features, all of which help the rider and pillion to be more comfortable and confident during the ride. It gets 6 driving modes (sport, touring, urban, wet, enduro, and rally). All of these offers varying power and throttle response, which is a boon to the riders.

For inexperienced riders, the enduro mode reduces the power to 75 hp. The throttle response is dull, especially in the lower RPMs. When it comes to electronic aids, the DesertX gets Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, Engine Brake Control, Ducati Quick Shift, ABS, and cruise control. A 5" TFT display is offered too, and that shows all the relevant information crisply.

The DesertX arrives in June 2022 at a starting price of $16,795.