The season is upon us as manufacturers begin to reveal their latest and greatest for the new model year. Today, Ducati announced its intention to present its new models, one every two weeks, from September 30 until the end of the big show on December 9 with the unveiling of the new DesertX model at the Ducati World Premiere 2022.
The DesertX was first presented as a concept bike in 2019 at the Ducati World Premiere 2020. With a design inspired by the Cagiva Elefant 900ie of the early 90s, built on the Scrambler 1100 platform, the concept has generated resounding applause on the Internet. Ducati was seeking feedback on the new design and they received a strong enough response to continue with the project. And it looks like they’ve taken the concept even further than we expected.
The original concept being built on the chassis of the Scrambler 1100, powered by a 1,079cc 2-valve air-cooled Desmodromic L-Twin engine that produces 86 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 65 ft-lbs of torque at 4,750 rpm, it ran the risk of being eclipsed in the hyper-competitive ADV segment. We now learn from Ducati that the DesertX will have a brand new chassis and they have confirmed that it will definitely run on a 21 inch front wheel, unlike other Multistradas which run on a 19 inch front. Ducati hasn’t mentioned anything about an 18-inch rear wheel yet, but the concept seemed to sport one, so we can only hope.
The Bologna-based automaker also revealed that the DesertX will get a new powertrain – the water-cooled 937cc Testastretta L-Twin engine that currently produces 113 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 71 lb-ft of torque at 7,750. RPM in the Multistrada 950. Even with a smaller displacement, this movement will increase horsepower and torque, and we can expect this to translate into a lighter overall machine as well. Considering the all-new chassis and plans to use a 21-inch dirt-suitable front wheel, we also expect Ducati to offer improved off-road capabilities over the Multistrada 950.
With the performance middleweight class currently being the hot segment for adventure bikes, we’re not surprised that Ducati has decided to take a more aggressive approach with the DesertX than just updating a model’s styling. Scrambler. If they want to compete with models like the KTM 890 Adventure R, Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro, Tenere 700, they will need to be fitted with a chassis designed for off-road performance and significant suspension travel.
Two new photos released today don’t reveal much more about the new DesertX production in the works, other than the fact that it looks a lot like the original concept bike with its iconic double round LED headlights. Maybe Ducati will drop more breadcrumbs as the December 9 unveiling approaches.
Now that Ducati is claiming its place in the under 1000cc performance segment, with Husqvarna with its Norden lineup coming up and Aprilia with its Touareg 660 on the way as well, who’s next to join in the fun? Then will we see a midweight Honda Africa Twin or the rumored Transalp? Or maybe a Kawasaki Versys-X 650? Let’s keep them coming!