Ducati unveiled its 2023 DesertX at this year’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan which sports a new livery to give a touch of colour to its off-road-focussed middleweight adventure bike, which was before now only available in white.
The new-look Ducati DesertX is priced from $26,400 rideaway, which translates to a $1700 price increase compared to the standard Star White Silk version, which carries on from $24,700.
The ‘RR22’ livery was first seen six months ago in a promotional video made in collaboration with carmaker Audi, which saw MotoGP racer Danilo Petrucci pilot the specially clad DesertX alongside F1 drive Carlos Sainz and the all-electric RS Q e-tron rally car.
As before, the 2023 Ducati DesertX draws power from the brand’s 82kW/92Nm 937cc V-twin engine, the same unit that motivates the Monster naked bike and Multistrada V2 adventure tourer, although it features shorter gear ratios to match its off-road bias.
As it is positioned as a more dirt-focussed model compared to its Multistrada V2 stablemate, with 21- and 18-inch wire-spoked wheels, stripped back bodywork and long-travel suspension, the new Ducati DesertX rivals the likes of the KTM 890 Adventure R ($24,470) and Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro ($24,790).
The Ducati DesertX is slightly heavier than its aforementioned rivals at 202kg (dry), with the KTM and Triumph tipping the scales at 194kg and 201kg, respectively. However, this may be due in part to the Italian bike’s 21-litre standard fuel tank, which is up one litre in capacity compared to said sales competitors.
Ducati offers a secondary tank that can be fitted to the rear of the bike, adding an extra eight litres of fuel capacity. The DesertX also boasts strong luggage space with nearly 120-litres of available volume with bags and a top-case.
The Ducati V2 platform’s six-axis electronics suite sees the addition of a Rally rider mode, to join the Sport, Touring, Urban, Enduro and Wet modes seen previously on other Ducati models.
This electronics package also includes an up/down quickshifter as standard, and advanced rider aids like cornering ABS and traction control, power modes, wheelie control, and engine brake control, which can all be adjusted via the bike’s 5.0-inch TFT dash.
Suspension is handled by an upside-down Kayaba fork (230mm travel) and rear monoshock (220mm), affording riders 250mm of ground clearance. The standard seat height is 875mm high.
Brembo M50 brakes squeeze dual 320mm discs at the front end, while a single twin-piston caliper grabs a 265mm disc at the rear. Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres are fitted as standard.
Available optionally are things like aluminium panniers, LED spotlights, heated grips, a centre stand, as well as a Termignoni exhaust system that increases power and torque by up to seven per cent, thanks to a dedicated fuel mapping.
Spencer has a keen eye for hard news, and does some of his best living on deadline day. He loves more than anything to travel on his motorcycle, and is adamant that Melbourne Bitter is a world-class lager. He also knows how to operate the big computery thing in the office. By night, Spencer plays guitar with Melbourne punk outfit LOUTS.