Ducati launches DesertX 2022 powered dune sculptor powered by Testastretta
The first Ducati with a 21-inch front wheel combines high suspensions and sufficient ground clearance with the superbike genes of the 937cc Testastretta V-twin. The result is a fierce off-road alter ego to the Multistrada V2.
Although Ducati has consistently focused on sport bikes for road and track throughout its history, the Multistrada family has proven to be a turning point, gradually becoming a perennial bestseller. The current models are mainly designed as sports passenger cars. However, the evolution of motorcycle electronics and the indisputable know-how of the Italians in building highly manoeuvrable motorcycles facilitated their transformation into capable all-round machines, achieving surprising off-road skills with their 19-inch front wheels. As adventure motorcycles dominate global sales, it’s no surprise that Ducati has chosen to raise their level of play even higher.
At EICMA 2019, Ducati revealed its intention to cater to those looking for more demanding off-road capability, with the first public display of the DesertX prototype. It featured an air-cooled engine and was designed as a reproduction of the two-time Dakar winner Cagiva Elefant 900.
Two years later, the DesertX made its production debut at the 2020 Dubai Expo (marked according to last year’s canceled show) with styling true to the 2019 prototype, especially in the crucial fuel tank area. and the fairing that defines the Elefant connection. Below, however, things have changed dramatically.
The production bike runs on the 937 cc version of the liquid-cooled Testastretta V-twin desmo engine that also powers the Multistrada V2, Hypermotard, SuperSport and Monster models, producing 110 hp at 9250 rpm and 92 Nm (68 lb- ft) at 6500 rpm.
Although the Testastretta was originally introduced as a superbike engine, this down-to-earth evolution adopted more practical values ââsuch as extended service intervals with oil changes every 15,000 km. (9,000 mi) and valve checks every 30,000 km (18,000 mi).
Ducati designed an all-new gearbox for the DesertX 2022 which, compared to the Mulitstrada V2 unit, sports shorter gears in all gears up to fifth, keeping the same long sixth to ensure touring prowess. . In particular, the first two gears are much shorter – 14.3 and 8.7 percent respectively – in order to effectively cope with the low-speed difficulties an off-road rider is likely to face.
The Testastretta powertrain is housed in an all-new steel trellis frame, designed to withstand tough off-road use. It is mated to a set of fully adjustable KYB suspensions offering 230 mm (9.1 in) of travel at the front wheel and 220 (8.7 in) at the rear, resulting in a ground clearance of 250 mm ( 9.8 in).
As for the mass of the bike, at 223 kg (492 lb) at full load, it actually weighs a kilo more than the Multistrada V2. You would expect a little more weight loss to make a difference, but it still sits well in the class average.
As expected, Ducati has taken over most of the electronic components from the Multi series, with an impressive range of six predefined ride modes (sport, touring, urban, wet, enduro, rally), four power profiles and several adjustable kits such as traction control, cornering ABS, engine brake, bidirectional quickshifter and freewheel control.
A new feature making its debut on the DesertX is Rally Mode, which complements Enduro Mode as an offering for experienced riders. As in the Mulitstrada V2, Enduro mode reduces power to 75hp and sets all electronic systems to off-road settings, while Rally mode does the same with the engine at full power.
Horsepower can be set in four power modes, with Full delivering 110 hp in Sport and Rally driving modes, while High shaves the edges for a result of 95 hp with smoother throttle response in the driving modes. Touring and Wet driving. The Medium and Low settings limit power to 75hp, as the former maintains dynamic throttle response in Enduro mode, while the latter offers even smoother throttle action in Wet mode.
The adjustment functions extend to the new 5-inch TFT display which sits vertically in the Yamaha TÃ©nÃ©rÃ© 700 style. The display offers two layouts – the Standard with all the usual information for street use, and the Rally which simulates the tripmaster that rally racing bikes use.
The base equipment of the 2022 DesertX also includes a steering damper, cruise control, Ducati brake light, auto-canceling turn signals, DRL lights and two power outlets, making it a complete package for touring. on and off paved roads. The list of extras for the bike includes the Ducati multimedia system, heated grips and an 8 liter (2.1 gallon) auxiliary fuel tank that bolts directly to the rear subframe.
Ducati has also introduced a new supportive clothing line called 21/18, as in the front / rear wheel sizes which are probably used for the first time on a Borgo Panigale factory bike.
Oddly enough, although Ducati obviously designed a tribute to the Cagiva Elefant 900, there is absolutely no direct mention of the bike that won two Dakar rallies in 1990 and 1994, with Ed Orioli riding a Ducati V- engine. twin air cooled.
In official literature, the DesertX’s design is loosely described as “a modern take on the lines of enduro bikes from the 80s.” We might speculate that it might have something to do with the fact that just a few weeks ago, at EICMA 2021, MV Agusta unveiled their very own Lucky Explorer adventure bike, expressly linking it to the legend of Dakar from Cagiva.
Historically, Ducati and MV Agusta have intertwined at one point, with Cagiva as part of the Castiglioni family business, Cagiva Group. Ultimately, what really matters is that two modern-day Elefant tributes will hit the market soon.
With Ducati’s latest addition to the “hardcore” adventure bike segment, the class is virtually complete with models from most of the major manufacturers, missing only the entry from Yamaha. The latter is expected in the near future to replace the Super TÃ©nÃ©rÃ© 1200 sidelined during the transition to the Euro 5 era – and of course Kawasaki, which has never shown interest in this class.
The Ducati DesertX is expected to hit showrooms in May 2022, at a price that will logically hover around that of the Multistrada V2.
Model site: Ducati DesertX