Ducati goes head first into the mid-size ADV sector with the beautiful new 2022 DesertX.
We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting! Episode Six of Ducati’s World Premier 2022 web series has unveiled the beautiful Ducati DesertX, the company’s first foray into the scorching hot mid-size ADV market.
Going up against established class leaders like KTM with the 890 Adventure, BMW and the F 850 GS, Yamaha with their Tenere 700 and newbies Aprilia with the Tuareg 660, Ducati know they will have their work cut out for them but the DesertX spec sheet looks to be a competitive one indeed.
The $16,795 MSRP DesertX, cloaked in bodywork that’s reminiscent of the 1980’s Paris-Dakar racers, is powered by the same 937 cc liquid-cooled Testastretta 11 degree Desmodromic motor found in the new Monster but with a shorter first and second gear for better low-speed off-road performance, while a taller sixth gear will save a bit of fuel on long freeway trips.
Ducati is claiming 108 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque for their new ADV steed, and a wet weight of 492 pounds with a 5.5 gallon tank of gas. Hardcore ADV distance riders will love the fact the DesertX can run an auxiliary tank mounted at the back, which increases the fuel capacity to 7.6 gallons —not far off maxi-ADV travel bikes like the new Triumph Tiger 1200 and BMW R 1250 GS Adventure at 7.9 gallons each.
As you’d expect, a steel trellis frame is found on the DesertX, with Kayaba taking care of the suspension duties in the 46 mm forks and monoshock, both fully adjustable. Front wheel travel is a substantial nine inches, with the rear offering 8.6 inches. Brembo provides the brakes in the four-piston M50 calipers and conventional master-cylinder.
This is the first production Ducati to run a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel, although Ducati has curiously made these wheels tubeless, so fixing flats in the middle of nowhere could present an issue. Pirelli Scorpion STR rubber comes as standard fitment.
The electronics are as you’d expect from a modern Ducati — IMU, traction, wheelie, engine brake control, Ducati Quick Shift, cruise control, DRL, 12 V USB power socket, and six riding modes that house two dedicated off road maps in Enduro and Rally where you can turn the Cornering ABS off completely.
Expect to see the Ducati DesertX on dealer floors by May 2022.