Ducati DesertX Debuts for Your Dual-Sport Desires

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The Italians left the best for last on their six-part motorcycle teaser campaign for the 2022 model year, as today we finally get to see all the details about the Ducati DesertX adventure bike.

In a way, we already knew the important bits about the DesertX, having seen the concept bike at the 2019 EIMCA show.

The idea has involved since that Milan unveiling, however, with the air-cooled motor it showed with in Milan now being replaced by Ducati’s venerable water-cooled 937cc Testastretta 11° engine.

Unsurprisingly then, the 2022 Ducati DesertX boasts 108hp (81 kW) at 9,250 rpm, with a maximum torque of 68 lbs•ft (92 Nm) kicking in at 6,500 rpm.

Additionally, the gearbox has been set with a wide-ratio six-speed setup, for optimal gear selections off-road with a focus on a tall sixth gear for highway cruising and shorter first and second gears for low-speed crawling maneuvers.

That motor will sip from a 5.5-gallon (21 liters) fuel tank in the bike’s stock form, but if that isn’t enough for you, a second, rear-mounted, auxiliary tank is available which adds another 2.1 gallons (8 liters), for a total of 7.6 gallons of go-juice.

Fuel transfer from the front to rear tank is enabled when the fuel level in the main tank falls below a certain point, which then gives a prompt on the dash for the rider to switch fuel tank sources.

As was teased before, the front wheel is a 21″ tubeless design, while the rear wheel is an 18″ hoop. Suspension is handled by Kayaba, with 46mm forks giving 230mm (9 inches) of travel.

Meanwhile, the rear shock features 220mm (8.6 inches) of travel, which helps give the Ducati DesertX its 250mm (9.8 inches) ground clearance figure, while the seat height is set at 850mm (34.4 inches).

Braking is handled by Brembo, with four-piston M50 calipers doing the braking duties at the front, with dual 320 discs. Ducati has made the curious choice of using an axial master-cylinder in this application, however.

On the electronics front, Ducati is touting a new six-mode riding mode setup, which includes two modes dedicated to off-road riding: Enduro and Rally.

The cornering ABS system can be completely disabled in those two off-road modes, with a dedicated button.

The dash is a 5″ TFT unit with a portrait orientation, in order to mimic the look of a rally raid road book. The rest of the Ducati electronics suite includes IMU-assisted traction control, wheelie control, engine brake control, cruise control, and an up/down quickshifter.

Ducati quotes a wet weight of 492 lbs (223 kg), which makes the DesertX one of the heavier bikes in the middleweight ADV category.

Pricing for the USA is set at $16,795 MSRP, with deliveries scheduled for May 2022.