The name “DesertX” should be a familiar moniker for Ducatisti, as the Desert X concept was the belle of the ball at the 2019 EIMCA show.
Back then though, the Desert X was a concept bike built under the Scrambler Ducati name, and it featured a 1,079cc air-cooled v-twin engine.
Oh, how things have changed! Now being teased for a December 9th debut, it would seem that the Italians have done more than reformat the name, and that makes us very happy.
First off, the ADV bike with its 21″ front wheel is now inside the Ducati brand, rather than being bill as part of the Scrambler sub-brand, which is interesting for a variety of reasons, though it will probably go unnoticed by most riders.
This is because two-wheel fans will be more interested in Ducati’s choice to drop the air-cooled two-valve 1100 motor, in favor of the 937cc water-cooled Testastretta engine that powers the Hypermotard 950 and Multistrada 950.
The power plant is held in a bespoke chassis, which Ducati claims will “offer great off-road capabilities” and suit one’s ADV dreams.
The styling appears to be very similar to the concept bike, which bodes very well for the machine (not so good for our wallets, however).
Speaking of which, pricing will be key for the Ducati Desert X model, as it comes into a very heated middleweight segment that has plenty of business-ready bikes with not so serious price tags.
If Bologna can keep things near the $14,000 price tag of the Hypermotard, while offering plenty of features and true off-road potential, that could put them at the top of the heap with the premium-focused ADV contenders in the space.
Has Borgo Panigale created a 115hp sub-500 lbs adventure-tourer with a 21″ that’s ready to do the ripping and the tearing off-road? We certainly hope so. It’s going to take a little while to find out though – stay tuned!