DesertX development, behind the scenes with the Ducati team

2022 Ducati DesertX

Ducati took the covers off the DesertX adventure/rally machine in Dubai back in December, as a foray into the mid-capacity properly off-road orientated adventure segment.

Now we’re getting a look into what went into designing the Ducati DesertX, from inspiration for the new machine through to turning that into a reality. The video is in Italian, but there’s subtitles for those of us who aren’t versed in Ducati’s native language. You can also see below for the full run down on the new model.

Making of the Ducati DesertX

While we’ve seen the big Multistrada take on a more off-road focus in recent years, this is a whole new move by Bologna to launch a more hard-nosed adventure option under its own right, starting with one that shares the powerplant from the Multistrada 950 and arguably covering the ‘mid-capacity’ adventure segment.

The 2022 Ducati DesertX in Dubai

That’s the 937 cc Testastretta engine which produces 110 hp and 92 Nm of torque at 9250 rpm and 6500 rpm respectively. Run in the same orientation and with a trellis frame just visible under the much more rugged bodywork, the new model features an integrated tank and front fairing, taller exhaust, rear mounted fuel tank and tall screen.

The 2022 Ducati DesertX in Dubai

That rear fuel tank is an accessory as it turns out, but it will be one that proves popular with Aussie adventurers as it adds a further eight-litres of fuel capacity, which along with the standard 21-litre fuel tank, will give the DesertX a massive touring range.

937 cc Testastretta equipped 2022 Ducati DesertX

The Euro5 engine benefits from the improvements seen on the latest Monster and Multistrada 950 V2, with a compact eight-disc clutch and shortened first and second gears specifically for off-road use. Sixth gear is kept tall to help with longer distances at higher speeds, ensuring minimal trade-off.

The rear tank on the Ducati DesertX is a cool feature but apparently an accessory

There’s a touch of Desert Sled styling at the tail with a grab rail visible, but we’re still getting a lower clearance front guard rather than the full dirt bike guard setup. The seat looks to be a two-piece unit with the perch sitting 875 mm off the ground for the rider, but benefiting from a narrow construction between the legs, and Ducati also says some compliance in the suspension will help as the bike settles lower with a rider on board.

Seat height on the Ducati DesertX is 875 mm, with long travel suspension and 250 mm ground clearance

New from Ducati is the use of a 21-inch front and 180-inch rear, spoked rims clad in Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires, a 90/90 front and 150/70 rear, tubeless, with the Bologna manufacturer stating that’s for ‘best protection from punctures’.

Spoked wheels with tubeless rubber are standard fitment on the Ducati DesertX

Also specifically chosen for this purpose is the Kayaba suspension set-up, comprising a set of 46 mm USD forks with 230 mm travel and a monoshock which offers 220 mm of travel. Both are fully adjustable, with compression, rebound and pre-load adjustment, with the shock mated to an aluminum swing-arm that looks like a new design and the wheelbase is 1608 mm.

Suspension on the DesertX is fully adjustable at both ends with generous travel

Total ground clearance is 250 mm and the dry weight being quoted by Ducati is 202 kg, with the kerb weight 223 kg with a 21 L tank of fuel.

The DesertX sheds some weight compared to the Multistrada 950

Brembo provide the braking system with M50 radial calipers up front on 320 mm rotors, while a dual-piston caliper on the rear grips a 265 mm rotor. Both are backed up by ABS with cornering functionality and Ducati note that the axial master-cylinder is part of the off-road set-up for great modulation.

Brembo provides the brakes including M50 calipers, with cornering ABS

A focus on rider and pillion comfort hass provided plenty of seat padding. Heat management is managed by fairing openings while a plexiglass screen helps protect the rider, this can be replaced by a larger accessory version. For those looking to load up for traveling Ducati also promise a luggage capacity of up to 120 L but you’ll be dipping into the accessory catalog to reach that.

Ergonomics are tuned for comfort and off-roading on the DesertX

Electronics include six riding modes, with four power modes from Full through to Low that offer different levels of both power and responsiveness. Specific settings are run for the Enduro riding mode, will a new Rally riding mode is also new, joining Sport, Touring, Urban and Wet.

Six ride modes should cover any condition a rider could meet on the DesertX

Enduro reduces power for demanding conditions and focuses on safety for the less experienced. Rally on the other hand gives full power and minimal intrusion from the electronics, designed for experienced riders who want to be in control.

Enduro and Rally modes are specifically for rough conditions

Riding modes include settings for the Engine Brake Control, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, Ducati Quick Shift and Cornering ABS, with an IMU providing cornering functionality. The ABS in particular has a dedicated off-road mode but can also be switched off with a specific button.

2022 Ducati DesertX

In total that’s six modes, four power modes, three power levels, eight levels of DTC, three levels of ABS as well as the Wheelie and Engine Brake Control, with the quickshifter working in both directions, and Ducati Cruise Control standard fitment.

Lighting is all LED with dual front headlights with eye-catching DRLs

Keeping the rider informed is a 5 inch TFT full color display, designed for both regular seating viewing angles, as well as when standing on the bike. There’s two display modes, Standard and Rally, with Rally adding a trip master function, with manual adjustment to replicate the trip master system used in rally motorcycles.

The Ducati Multimedia System and Turn by Turn Navigation are accessory fit

The TFT is also ready for the Ducati Multimedia System, allowing the connection of a phone, call management, music and turn by turn navigation for instance, although these are accessories not standard fitment.

Ducati Brake Light flashes the rear brake during emergency or sudden braking

Other features include full LED lighting, with dual twin-function poly-ellipsoidal headlights including DRLs. The rear runs a Ducati Brake Light that flashes during emergency braking for greater visibility.

The Ducati DesertX looks set to usher in a new range of adventure machines

Ducati are promising service intervals of 15,000 km or every 24 months, with valve clearance checks due every 30,000 km.

Long service intervals on the DesertX promise lower cost of ownership

The 2022 Ducati DesertX will be available in Australia and New Zealand in Q3 of 2022 and the recommended ride away price in Australia will be $24,200, or $24,995 for New Zealand. The DesertX will arrive in a dedicated Star White Silk colour. See the Ducati Australia website for more information.

The 2022 Ducati DesertX will be available in Star White Silk and Australian pricing is currently set at $24,200 ride-away arriving Q3, 2022
The 2022 Ducati DesertX will be available in Star White Silk and Australian pricing is currently set at $24,200 ride-away arriving Q3, 2022

2022 Ducati DesertX Specifications

2022 Ducati DesertX Specifications
ENGINE Ducati Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinders, Desmodromic valvetrain, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid cooled
BORE X STROKE 94 x 67.5 mm
Power 110 hp (81 kW) @ 9,250 rpm
TORQUE 92 Nm (68 lb-ft, 9.4 kgm) @ 6,500 rpm
FUEL INJECTION Bosch electronic fuel injection system, Ø53 mm throttle bodies with ride-by-wire system
EXHAUST Stainless steel single mufler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
GEARBOX 6 speeds
PRIMARY DRIVE Straight cut gears, ratio 1.85 : 1
RATIO 1=38/14, 2=31/17, 28=28/20, 4=26/22, 5=24/23, 6=23/25
FINAL DRIVE Chain, front sprocket Z15, rear sprocket Z49
CLUTCH Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control
FRAME Tubular steel trellis frame
FRONT SUSPENSION KYB Ø 46 mm upside-down fork, fully adjustable, 230 mm
WHEELS Cross-spoked, tubeless, 2.15 x 21in, 4.50 x 18in
REAR SUSPENSION KYB monoshock, fully adjustable, remote preload adjustment, aluminum double-sided swingarm, 220 mm travel
TYRES Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR, 90/90 – 21 M/C 54V M+S TL (A), 150/70 R18 M/C 70V M+S TL,
FRONT BRAKE 2 x Ø 320 mm aluminum flange semi-floating discs, Radial mount Brembo monobloc 4-pistons calipers, Bosch Cornering
REAR BRAKE Ø 265 mm disc, Brembo floating 2 pistons caliper, Bosch
INSTRUMENTATION 5” TFT color display
DRY WEIGHT 202 kg (445 lb)
KERB WEIGHT* 223 kg (492 lb)
SEAT HEIGHT 875 mm (34.4 in)
RAKE 27.6°
TRAIL 122 mm
FUEL TANK CAPACITY 21 l (5.54 US gal)
SAFETY EQUIPMENT Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control), Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Engine Brake Control (EBC), Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS),
STANDARD EQUIPMENT Cruise control, full LED lighting system, DRL, Ducati brake light, (DBL), USB power socket, 12V socket, self canceling turn, indicators, Steering damper
READY FOR Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), Antitheft system, Turn by turn navigation via app, fog lights, heated grips, auxiliary fuel tank
WARRANTY 24 month, Unlimited mileage
MAINTENANCE SERVICE INTERVALS 15,000 km (9,000 miles) / 24 months
VALVE CLEARANCE CHECK 30,000 km (18,000 miles)
CO2 EMISSIONS 133 g/km
CONSUMPTION 5.6 l/100 km

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