2022 Ducati DesertX delivers no limits adventure

Ducati has offered the world its new DesertX, their latest entry into the adventure market. Born in 2019 as a concept bike, the new model has been unveiled as the showstopper of the 2022 model range reveal.

Fitted with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear, the new DesertX has been designed to tackle the most demanding off-road conditions. Paired with Ducati’s valuable road expertise, it gives life to a responsive, easy-to-approach bike.

The chassis layout includes a new steel trellis frame, which works in combination with long travel suspension, with dedicated settings to ensure effective operation on any surface. Packed into 202kg dry weight, it’s an easy bike to ride.

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On the suspension front, the DesertX stands out for its premium fitting, with 46mm diameter upside-down Kayaba forks, with 230mm travel and a Kayaba mono-shock. Both elements are adjustable in compression, rebound and preload.

The Kayaba mono-shock is perfectly married to the aluminium swingarm and allows a rear wheel travel of 220mm. In addition, the DesertX has a generous 250mm ground clearance, which is particularly suitable for more extreme off-road adventures.

2022 Ducati DesertX
2022 Ducati DesertX

Like all Ducati motorcycles, the braking system benefits from ABS cornering. The front features Brembo M50 monobloc radial callipers with four 30mm diameter pistons, axial pump with adjustable levers, and double 320mm discs with aluminium flanges.

At the rear, there is a single Brembo 265mm diameter disc with a twin-piston floating calliper. It’s been set up for improved off-road riding, as well as on slippery surfaces, as well as providing the right dose of power in road use.

The ergonomics of the Ducati DesertX have been developed over long and demanding off-road and on-asphalt test sessions. The saddle-footrest-handlebar triangulation gives its best in stand-up riding and offers a good level of comfort, even on on-road.

The saddle is 875mm high. The combination of a particularly narrow inner leg curve and
initial suspension compliance ensures good contact with the ground. The saddle height can still be reduced with a lowered saddle (available as an accessory).

Heat management is delivered through openings and flows of fresh air, while aerodynamic protection is ensured by the great care taken in defining the shape and size of the original windshield, and the even more protective accessory option.

Proper range to face longer journeys is guaranteed by a 21-litre fuel tank, and the option of mounting a second tank in the rear area, adding 8-litres of fuel. Transfer is enabled when the level in the main tank falls below a certain point and can be activated from the dash.

2022 Ducati DesertX
2022 Ducati DesertX

The DesertX also has an excellent load capacity, and rides on tubeless tyres. The latter allows a combination of greater reliability, greater safety in the event of a puncture and easier repair.

The 937cc liquid-cooled Testastretta 11-degree Desmodromic valvetrain engine is the heart of the new DesertX. Characterised by excellent reliability, this engine delivers 81kW (110hp) at 9,250rpm and maximum torque of 92Nm at 6,500rpm in Euro5 configuration.

An extremely light and compact 8-disc clutch and a gearbox equipped with a gear drum mounted on bearings reduces friction and improves precision and smoothness, while shifting.

The gearbox has different dedicated ratios when compared to the Multistrada V2 from which it draws its transmission. As a matter of fact, the ratios have been shortened overall on all gears up to fifth, to ensure the best off-road behaviour.

A state-of-the-art electronics system offer first-rate performance and safety in terms of rider aids. There are six riding modes, working in combination with four power modes – Full, High, Medium, Low – with each modifying power and responsiveness.

2022 Ducati DesertX
2022 Ducati DesertX

Key new features are specific to the Enduro riding mode and new Rally riding mode, in addition to Sport, Touring, Urban and Wet. Each, thanks to the presence of the Bosch inertial measurement unit), can change the character of the bike.

In the off-road dedicated riding m, ABS cornering can also be completely deactivated with a specific button. The dash of the DesertX, vertically oriented and positioned to offer clear information in stand-up riding, features a high resolution 5.0-inch full-TFT colour display.

The instrumentation is predisposed to integrate with the Ducati multimedia system which allows the rider to connect a phone and access functions such as music, phone calls and optional turn-by-turn navigation.

The rider can choose between two info modes; Standard and Rally, with the former providing for all the road information, including tacho and speedo, engaged gear, fuel level and other useful journey information.

Full LED lighting features on the double front headlight, with two twin-function poly-ellipsoidal modules, and a daytime running light (DRL). The rear light is equipped with Ducati’s auto-activating emergency brake light system.

2022 Ducati DesertX 4
2022 Ducati DesertX 

A broad range of Ducati performance accessories are also available, including aluminium side panniers which, when combined with the top case, give the bike a total load capacity of 117-litres. Additional LED spotlights, a central stand and heated grips are also available.

Termignoni exhausts can be optioned too, including for racing. A range of jackets, trousers and helmets will be offered as part of a limited edition lifestyle collection, that also includes a sweatshirt, two t-shirts and a cap.

Ducati expect the 2022 DesertX to arrive in Australian dealerships in Q3 of 2022. Pricing will start from $24,200 ride away. For further information, please contact your local Ducati dealer.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


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