The 2022 Ducati DesertX presented a completely new challenge to the Centro Stile. The opportunity to experiment with a new design language, seeking inspiration in the history of African Rally.

The result is a solid, clean, modern design, based on shapes taken from the most adventurous off-road world. It is a bike that wants to be solid and functional at the same time.

The 2022 Ducati DesertX’s Testastretta 11° motor is based on the engine used in the Multistrada V2 and Monster. The 937cc V-twin with desmodromically actuated valves pump out 110 horsepower at 9250 rpm and 68 ft-lbs of torque at an approachable 6500 rpm. Changes to the clutch and gearbox improve shifting and save nearly four pounds. A quickshifter is standard for the six-speed transmission. 1st and 2nd gears are considerably lower than on the Multistrada V2, with the 3rd through 5th speeds geared incrementally lower. Sixth gear remains a touring-friendly overdrive.

Off-road bona fides come via a 21-/18-inch wheel combo, long-travel suspension, and sub-500-pound curb weight. “It is noteworthy that the new 2022 Ducati DesertX features unprecedented tire sizes for a Ducati—21-inch at the front and 18-inch at the rear,” Ducati claims, but that wheel pairing was used on the R/T. Regardless, those are the rim sizes off-road riders want to see.

Aggressive Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tubeless tires are mounted on the wire-spoked rims. The fully adjustable KYB suspension provides around nine inches of wheel travel at both ends. The fork is a 46mm inverted unit, while the piggyback-reservoir shock is cantilevered, rather than linkage-assisted. The DesertX tips the scales at 492 pounds with the 5.5-gallon fuel tank topped off. An optional 2.1-gallon auxiliary fuel tank mounted near the rear fender extends the DesertX’s range considerably.

The seat height is 34.4 inches, and the ergonomics are friendly for standing. Ducati says it has kept the midsection slim to make it easier for the rider to grasp the motorcycle when riding off-road and get the rider’s boots to the ground. Initially, the soft suspension keeps the rider closer to the ground, cutting into the 9.8 inches of ground clearance. An accessory lower seat is available, though that will impact the relative position of the grips and footpegs.

Plenty of modes and rider-aid options allow riders to tailor the DesertX for preferences and conditions. There are six ride modes, plus four Power Modes. For the first time, a Ducati motorcycle has a Rally mode, which goes with the Enduro, Sport, Touring, Urban, and Wet modes. The four power modes—Full, High, Medium, and Low—adjust throttle response and power output.

IMU-supported adjustable rider aids include traction control, wheelie control, electronic engine braking adjustment, and cornering-aware ABS. The 2022 Ducati DesertX‘s ABS also has three levels with the cornering function, plus Enduro and Rally, which defeat the cornering utility.

The Enduro mode is intended to aid less-experienced off-road riders, while the Rally mode is there for the most aggressive dirt riders. Enduro mode reduces power and ramps up the electronic aids, while the Rally mode unleashes Full power and minimizes the intrusion of electronics.

Brembo handles braking duties. A pair of radially mounted Brembo M50 monobloc calipers grasp the 320mm disc. The front brake master cylinder is a direct axial-pump design, and the lever is adjustable. The 265mm rear disc gets a two-piston floating Brembo caliper.

The dashboard is rally-inspired. The five-inch TFT display is mounted vertically to make it easier for riders to read while standing. There are two viewing modes—Standard and Rally. The Rally mode is designed to facilitate navigation by mimicking the tripmaster display used by rally bikes. Unfortunately, GPS is not part of the system. The optional Ducati Multimedia System pairs with your smartphone, providing turn-by-turn navigation. If you like listening to music or talking on the phone while rally raiding, the DMS will make that happen.

There will be lots of apparel to match the DesertX—both casual and technicalYou can see the off-road gear in the action photos.

You’ll have to wait until June to pick up a 2022 Ducati DesertXThe MSRP is $16,795, making it almost $2600 more than last year’s KTM 890 Adventure R. You can have the DesertX in any color you like, as long as it’s Star White Silk.

Photos

2022 Ducati DesertX

2022 Ducati DesertX


2022 Ducati DesertX

Full Specifications

2022 Ducati DesertX Specs 

ENGINE

  • Type: Testastretta 11° L-twin
  • Displacement: 937cc
  • Bore x stroke: 94 x 67.5mm
  • Compression ratio: 13.3:1
  • Maximum power: 110 horsepower @ 9250 rpm
  • Maximum torque: 68 ft/lbs @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel delivery: Bosch EFI w/ two 53mm throttle bodies
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: Hydraulically actuated wet-multiplate w/ assist-and-slipper functions
  • Final drive: Chain

CHASSIS

  • Frame: Tubular steel trellis
  • Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable KYB 46mm inverted fork; 9.1 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Fully adjustable KYB piggyback-reservoir shock; 8.7 inches
  • Wheels: Tubeless wire-spoke aluminum alloy
  • Front wheel: 21 x 2.15
  • Rear wheel: 18 x 4.5
  • Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
  • Front tire: 90/90 x 21
  • Rear tire: 150/70 x 18
  • Front brake: 320mm discs w/ radially mounted Brembo M50 monoblock 4-piston calipers and axial-pump master cylinder
  • Rear brake: 265mm disc w/ floating Brembo 2-piston caliper
  • ABS: Bosch Cornering ABS

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 63.3 inches
  • Rake: 27.6 degrees
  • Trail: 4.8 inches
  • Seat height: 34.4 inches
  • Ground clearance: 9.8 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 5.5 gallons
  • Curb weight: 492 pounds
  • Color: Star White Silk

2022 Ducati DesertX Price: $16,795 MSRP

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