Ducati has always been known for its high-performance road-focused motorcycles. From the hypersport Panigale range to the versatile Scrambler series, the house of Borgo Panigale has some of the best tech in the industry. That’s why back in October 2023, Ducati shocked the world when it announced its debut in the 2024 Italian Motocross Championship. On top of that, the brand's entry into the world of MX is set to bring forth a range of new, lightweight off-roaders.
Indeed, we’ve seen a glimpse of this in the newly unveiled Hypermotard Mono, a bike which I’m particularly excited about for next year. However, as it would turn out, the Hypermotard is just a part of Ducati’s single-cylinder exploits. For motocross racing, Ducati has created an all-new 450cc dirtbike, a machine that’s taken two years to develop and produce. Given the popularity of motocross all across the globe, it’s impressive how Ducati has managed to keep the bike a secret for so long.
Regardless, the cat’s now out of the bag, and Ducati has just posted a teaser showing the new motocrosser in action. Even more impressively, two seasoned riders are shown piloting the machine: eight-time Italian MX Champ Alessandro Lupino and nine-time MX World Champion Antonio Cairoli. To amp up the excitement even further, Ducati has hinted at a grand launch of the new bike at the Campioni in Pista scheduled for January 21 to 23, 2024. Here, the new bike as well as the factory motocross team will be unveiled.
As for the inner workings and technical specifications of the bike, very little is known apart from the fact that it’ll be rocking a 450cc single-cylinder engine. That said, Ducati says that the bike will have a very “broad power delivery curve,” which is provided by means of the brand’s signature Desmodromic valve timing system. Up until now, Ducati’s Desmo engines have proven to be among the most formidable on the race track, securing the Italian company championships in both the WSBK and MotoGP 2023 seasons.
While the racing side of the story is indeed very exciting, the commercial side is one that could very well reshape the Ducati brand. As mentioned, the launch of the 450 MX bike will pave the way for a series of lightweight, off-road capable machines. Could we soon be seeing Ducati enduro and MX bikes pitted head to head against the likes of KTM, Husqvarna, and GasGas?