New model announcements have been coming thick and fast through late 2021 with the Europeans, Japanese, Indians and Chinese all throwing new bikes into the adventure fray. But a couple of bikes have been a little more eagerly awaited than others. The Desert X is one of those bikes.
First teased in 2019, the Ducati Desert X spent some time in prototype purgatory before the company assured it would put the bike into production.
Small amounts of information dropped at intervals over the months that followed, leading up to last night’s digital launch of what will be one of the most anticipated physical releases of 2022.
At the heart of the Desert X is a 937 cc Desmodromic 11° Testastretta engine offering 110Hp and 92Nm of peak torque.
Ducati has worked to produce a bike that will be at home offroad with a 21/18-inch wheelset and 250mm of ground clearance.
It’s great to see the ever-reliable, fully adjustable 46mm Kayaba forks and shock doing the lifting. Both offer 220mm of travel and should revel in the dirt duties.
The Desert X will weigh in at a claimed dry weight of 202 kilos to which you then factor in all fluids to get the riding weight of around 227kg. The fuel capacity is 21-litres with the option of mounting a rear auxiliary tank that will add a further 8 litres. That’s a nice little option for riders looking to go further.
To climb onboard you’ll need to throw a leg over the 875mm seat height. For those that find that a challenge, there will be a lower seat and suspension kit available.
Braking is taken care of by Brembo with double 320mm front discs and 265mm at the back.
The Desert X has been gifted a full electronics suite that sees six riding modes that include two offroad modes that are accessed via the vertical 5-inch TFT display which itself is Bluetooth compatible and can display navigation.
A Bosch IMU offers cornering ABS, traction control, engine braking control and wheelie control.
There looks to be a decent set of footpegs fitted but a somewhat odd rear bar that won’t be of much use alone. Thankfully Ducati will be offering an optional full luggage package but no doubt aftermarket kit will appear pretty quickly and a flat rack will be one of the first things owners ask for.
Ducati has ticked a lot of boxes with the Desert X. It’s well equipped and looks sharp with a dose of classic Italian styling.
The power figures are spot-on for offroad riding and the Kayaba suspension is a smart addition.
The bike will arrive sometime in mid-2022 at a suggested ride away price of $24,200 (AUD), which is quite a bit lower than we initially thought it would sell for and not far off the Africa Twin pricing.
BRING ON 2022
2022 is going to be one of the greatest years for adventure bike releases (it has to be better than 2021 in general right?) the category has ever seen and we think the Desert X will be one of the stand-outs in an impressive field.
Can’t wait to ride the bike on Aussie soil but in the meantime, we’ll be pestering Nick Selleck from Maschine, who is in Bologna, Italy as we speak riding the bike as part of his new role as a Ducati ambassador and Product Genius, a nice sign Ducati is taking our little slice of the world seriously.
DUCATI DESERT X DETAILS
- 937 cc Desmodromic 11° Testastretta engine
- 110Hp and 92Nm of peak torque
- 21/18-inch wheelset
- 46mm Kayaba forks and shock
- 220mm of travel front and rear
- 21-litre fuel capacity (8 litre optional rear tank)
- Claimed dry weight of 202 kilos
- Vertical 5-inch TFT display
- 875mm seat height
- Suggested ride away price of $24,200 (AUD)
- Release in mid-2022