When Ducati unveiled the Desert X concept at EICMA 2019, positive fan reaction encouraged the brand to bring a middleweight adventurer to the market. However, Ducati built the concept on the Scrambler platform, which doesn’t deliver the level of performance commonly found in the segment. To live up to the DesertX name, the firm developed an all-new chassis and adopted its tried-and-true Testastretta engine.
Now, Ducati unveils the brand-new 2022 DesertX, marking a new height in the brand’s off-road ambitions. At the heart of the mid-size ADV pumps the liquid-cooled, 937cc Testastretta V-Twin. The Desmodromic engine produces 110 horsepower at 9,250 rpm and 68 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. That's more than enough power for the trail, but the Ducati shortens the DesertX’s first five gears for improved delivery off-road. Conversely, a longer sixth gear encourages long-distance travel on the open road.
Gallery: 2022 Ducati DesertX
Ducati tucks the Testastretta V-twin into a steel trellis frame suspended by a 46mm KYB inverted fork and KYB monoshock. The fully-adjustable suspenders offer 9.1 inches of travel up front and 8.7 inches out back. As a result, ground clearance lifts to 9.8 inches but the seat height also bumps to a lofty 34.4 inches.
Along with its long legs, the DesertX boasts a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel. The dedicated off-road wheels are an unprecedented size for Ducati and the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires help the middleweight ADV overcome tough terrain. Dual four-piston Brembo M50 monobloc radial calipers and 320mm rotors at the front help slow the DesertX on the road and a two-pot clamper and 265mm disc stabilize the rig in the dirt.
Similarly, Ducati designs the ergonomics to suit long highway trips and out of the saddle trail excursions. The rally-inspired bodywork not only provides wind protection but also enhances heat management/airflow and aerodynamics. Outfitted with a 5.5-gallon gas tank, the DesertX is already equipped for long-distance travel, but an accessory 2.1-gallon fuel cell puts even more miles between fill-ups. Those traveling to the far corners of the globe will also benefit from the add-on panniers and top box that offer 117 liters of storage.
Like most new Ducati’s the DesertX also touts a full electronics suite with multi-level cornering ABS, traction control, anti-wheelie, engine braking control, and a bi-directional quickshifter. In addition to the four standard power modes (Full, High, Medium, Low) and ride modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet), the DesertX also offers a new Enduro and Rally mode. Reduced power caters to newer off-roaders while the Rally setting suits experienced dirt riders with full power and reduced electronic aids.
The 2022 Ducati DesertX starts at $16,795 and will be available in June, 2022.