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2022 Ducati DesertX Gets Dirt Serious

If you view Ducati’s Multistrada lineup as essentially street bikes with Adventure ergonomics, you can see why Ducati has debuted the DesertX as a seriously dirt-worthy machine. Powered by a 937cc v-twin shared with other models and making a claimed 110 horsepower, the DesertX features a generous 9.1″ of fork travel (8.7″ in back), 21″/18″ wheel sizes and a claimed dry weight of 445 pounds. Ducati says the DesertX will be in dealers next June at a starting MSRP of $16,795. Here is the full press release from Ducati, followed by a video:

  • 21” front wheel and 18” rear, long travel suspension and generous ground clearance: the DesertX is designed to perfectly tackle the most demanding off-road
  • Powered by Testastretta 11° engine, the new DesertX guarantees a comfortable, easy and safe ride in a variety of travel situations thanks to the obsessive attention to ergonomics, in-depth aerodynamic studies as well as latest-generation technological features
  • The new Ducati DesertX was unveiled to the public in the sixth episode of the Ducati World Première 2022

Borgo Panigale (Bologna, Italy), 10 December 2021 – In the sixth episode of the Ducati World Première 2022, the new DesertX was unveiled to all motorcycle enthusiasts (here the direct link to the video).

The new DesertX is a bike with an intense off-road attitude, that effectively enlarges the boundaries of what can be done with a Ducati. Desert dunes, narrow off-road paths, gravel roads and mountainous twisties: with DesertX travellers dreams know no more limits.

Fitted with 21” front wheel and 18” rear, the new DesertX has been designed to tackle even the most demanding off-road. The specifically off-road-focused development matched with Ducati valuable road expertise give life to a responsive, easy-to-approach bike, at ease on any route and asphalt.

The DesertX project was born in 2019 when Ducati presented the eponymous concept to the public, generating a strong and positive reaction from motorcyclists around the world. This important feedback gave the Bologna-based manufacturer the decisive push to transform that concept into this functional, competent and effective motorcycle.

The design of the DesertX represents a contemporary interpretation of the lines of the Enduro motorcycles of the ‘80s, created by the Ducati Centro Stile in keeping with essentiality and robustness criteria.

The bike is visually composed of 3 macro elements: a unique volume that includes the tank and the side shields, the saddle and the windshield that embodies the distinctive double headlight and further reinforces the uniqueness of this bike. Additionally, stylistic emphasis is given by the use of black and white areas. The surfaces in contact with the rider are properly large and harmoniously connected to better support every off-road riding phase.

The chassis layout of the new Ducati DesertX includes a new steel trellis frame, which works in combination with long travel suspension with dedicated settings, to ensure effective operation even in the most demanding off-road conditions. The optimisation of all components led to an efficient bike, all packed in 202 kg (dry weight). The choices in terms of chassis make DesertX an easy bike to ride and able to give the right dose of feeling and safety on any surface. Furthermore, the new DesertX offers a great capacity to absorb road imperfections.

On suspension front, the DesertX stands out for its premium fitting. It is offered with 46 mm diameter upside-down Kayaba fork with 230 mm travel and Kayaba monoshock. Both elements are adjustable in compression, rebound and preload. The Kayaba monoshock is perfectly married to the aluminium swingarm and allows a rear wheel travel of 220 mm. In addition, the new DesertX has a generous 250 mm ground clearance, which results particularly suitable for more extreme off-road adventures.

It is noteworthy that the new DesertX features unprecedented tyres size for a Ducati: 21” at the front and 18” at the rear. The original equipment tyres are the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR, 90/90-21 and 150/70 R18: the perfect choice for a brilliant all-round use of the bike. DesertX will also be homologated to fit both off and on-road-oriented tyres.

Like all Ducati motorcycles the braking system of this new bike benefits from ABS Cornering function. The front features Brembo M50 monobloc radial calipers with four 30 mm diameter pistons, axial pump with adjustable levers and double 320 mm discs with aluminium flanges. At the rear there is a single 265 mm diameter disc on which works a twin-piston floating caliper, always by Brembo. The braking power setting has been conceived to offer great modulability in off-road driving as well as on slippery surfaces, not to mention the fact that it grants the right dose of power in road use.

The ergonomics of the new DesertX have been developed over long and demanding off-road and on-asphalt test sessions. The saddle-footrest-handlebar triangulation gives its best in stand-up riding and offers a good level of comfort even on on-road riding. The result is a bike with an extremely slim fitting area and perfectly linked surfaces that guarantee the rider maximum control and handling. Saddle is 875 mm high. The combination of a particularly narrow inner leg curve and initial suspension compliance ensures good contact with the ground. The saddle height can still be reduced by means of a lowered saddle (available as an accessory) and can be further lowered thanks to an ad hoc kit.

Ducati technicians have also worked hard on a full suite of contents, that make DesertX a true enjoyable tool on every road. The riding position, for example, results even more comfortable for rider and passenger alike, thanks to the definition of shape and padding targeted for each of the two seats. Heat management is studied in detail with openings and flows of fresh air whilst aerodynamic protection is ensured by the great care taken in defining the shape and size of the original windshield and the even more protective accessory one.

Proper range to face longer journeys is guaranteed by the fuel tank with over 21 l of capacity and thus offering the opportunity of mounting a second tank (available as accessory) in the rear area, adding further 8 l of fuel. Fuel transfer from the rear to the front tank is enabled when the fuel level in the main tank falls below a certain level and can be activated from the dashboard.

DesertX also has an excellent load capacity, almost 120 l of volume available including bags and aluminium top case. The specific choice of tubeless tyres is functional to the journey and to safety. It allows a combination of greater reliability, greater safety in the event of a puncture and easier repair.

The admired 937 cc liquid-cooled Testastretta 11° Desmodromic valvetrain engine is the heart of the new DesertX. Characterized by an excellent reliability, this engine delivers 110 hp at 9,250 rpm and a maximum torque of 92 Nm at 6,500 rpm* in Euro5 configuration.

Solid Ducati performance is combined with regular and always manageable delivery, providing the rider with a bike capable of tackling any route with great confidence. The engine can count on all the improvements already seen on the Monster and Multistrada V2, including the extremely light and compact 8-disc clutch and the gearbox equipped with a geardrum mounted on bearings to reduce friction and improve precision and smoothness while shifting. This contributes also to a reduction of the total weight of the engine of 1.7 kg compared to the previous version.

To offer the best performance in off-road riding and in various uses, the Testastretta 11° has been specifically optimised. In fact, the gearbox has different dedicated ratios with respect to those of the Multistrada V2. As a matter of fact the ratios have been shortened overall on all gears up to fifth, to ensure the best off-road behaviour. First and second gears, in particular, are much shorter, in order to facilitate the low-speed driving phases of certain difficult passages typical of off-road use. Sixth gear is properly long to facilitate highway handling while maintaining low engine speeds; this means a contained fuel consumption and an increased level of comfort.

A special mention is deserved by state-of-the-art electronic systems, which offer first-rate performance and safety also in terms of rider aids. New DesertX in fact comes with 6 Riding Modes working in combination with 4 Power Modes – Full, High, Medium, Low – that modify the power and responsiveness of the Testastretta engine. The main new features are specific settings for the Enduro Riding Mode and the introduction of the new Rally Riding Mode, in addition to Sport, Touring, Urban and Wet.

To be precise, the Enduro Riding Mode, thanks to the reduced power and the specially designed control settings, allows the rider to tackle the most demanding dirt roads with greater safety and makes it easier for less experienced users to ride off-road. The Rally Riding Mode, on the other hand, with full engine power and reduced electronic controls, is designed for more experienced riders who want to make the most of DesertX’s off-road performance.

Each Riding Mode, also thanks to the presence of the Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), can change the character of the bike according to the rider’s input, by acting on the intervention levels of the various electronic controls: Engine Brake Control (EBC), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) Up & Down and ABS Cornering.

ABS Cornering, in particular, can be set on 3 levels to be able to adapt to whatever situation and rider skill. In the Riding Modes dedicated to off-road (Enduro and Rally), ABS Cornering can also be completely deactivated via the switch cube with a specific button.

The dashboard of the DesertX, vertically oriented and positioned to offer clear information also in stand-up riding, features a high resolution 5” full-TFT colour display. The instrumentation is predispose to integrate the Ducati Multimedia System which allows the rider to connect the phone, thus activating new functions such as music and incoming/outgoing calls or Turn-by-Turn navigation** (optional), which displays directions directly on the dashboard.

The rider is offered the opportunity to choose between two as-standard Info Modes: Standard and Rally. The Standard option provides for all the road information: tachometer and speedometer are clearly visible, as well as the engaged gear, fuel level and other useful journey information. The trip master function is part of the Rally Info Mode. This simulates the operation of the trip master used in rally motorcycles and allows to manually adjust the odometer indication, using the buttons on the left switch cube.

Premium technological features are also represented by the lighting system, which is full LED. The double front headlight has two twin-function poly-ellipsoidal modules with Daytime Running Light (DRL) and has been designed to ensure excellent visibility, particularly important for a motorcycle capable of travelling in all conditions. The rear light is equipped with the Ducati Brake Light, a particular system that, in the event of sudden braking, automatically activates the flashing of the rear light to alert the following vehicles, a solution that further improves rider’s safety.

Such multi-faceted motorcycle can be further customised by the riders according to their own spirit and mood by drawing on the broad range of Ducati Performance accessories. Among the most appealing items: the rally saddle, which marries the rider and passenger seats for greater effectiveness in off-road activities, and the additional 8-l tank. Touring experience can be further improved with the aluminum side panniers which, combined with the top case, give the bike a total load capacity amount of 117 l, additional LED spotlights, central stand and heated grips. Termignoni exhausts are also available, both homologated and racing. The latter increases the values of power and torque of +7% thanks to the dedicated mapping.

Ducati DesertX intense character deserved a special homage. That’s why the Ducati Centro Stile designed, for the first time, a dedicated capsule collection that takes up the livery of the bike. An outstanding line inspired by the iconic “Dakarian style” and named 21/18, a celebrative tribute to this bike’s tyres size. The technical suit includes jacket, trousers and helmet and will be available in a limited edition. Part of this exclusive collection is a range of lifestyle apparel, specifically designed for this model, consisting of a sweatshirt, two T-shirts and a cap.

The DesertX will be available at dealerships in the Ducati network starting from 2022. For arrival dates specific in your country kindly reach out to your local Ducati dealer.

The video-presentation of the new DesertX can be viewed on the Ducati YouTube channel . Star of this exciting video is five-time Enduro world champion Antoine Meo, who had the pleasure of appreciating the excellent potential of this bike at the Fossil Rock in the Sharjah Desert of the United Arab Emirates.


  1. Nick says:

    Owning a Hyperstrada with essentially the same engine, I’m interested to see that the TestaStretta 11 degree motor on the DesertX retains the air intake on the cam-belt casings, facing directly forward to the muck coming up from the front wheel. I expect Ducati will be recommending a belt change after each outing!

  2. JC says:

    It looks the part and has good quality components for the designed purpose. It’s heavy for off-roading, but all the mid-sized ADV bikes are heavy for off-roading. (T700 is smaller than the other mid size bikes in my opinion, and still heavy for hard core off road riding.)

    Most people don’t put their $15-20,000+ ADV bikes through the kind of abuse we see in the promo videos. Sure there are some that do, but most people ride these bikes as street bikes with some periodic fire roads or trails. There are dozens of other bikes that are better for off road riding. Most of them sub-500 cc and much lighter.

    If the criticism of this bike is that it’s too heavy for off road riding, well it’s true, but this category of bike is not meant to do hard core stuff regardless the sale tactics of BMW, KTM and now Ducati.

    This bike slots right in with its competitors with an attractive look and some good tech. I like the auxiliary fuel tank idea. Only use it and suffer the added weight when needed. The weight seems lower than carrying all the fuel up front. I think this idea will be replicated in ADV bikes.

    Overall, it’s an ADV bike that gives Ducati a rugged looking option to combat the critics of the Multistrada for being too street oriented. I don’t think these bikes will win Baja any more than a 800GS, Africa Twin or KTM 890. People will load them down with heavy luggage and camping gear, ignore cleaning rituals and tour around looking outdoorsy.

  3. Marcus says:

    What percentage of riders buy these adv bikes?
    And what percentage of those take them off road as they are advertised? I’m not talking a dirt road, I’m talking rugged terrain where a regular bike could not go. Me thinks relatively few.

    • Falcodoug says:

      I would if it was someone else’s bike. But I wouldn’t take my dr650 in the sand.

    • Jeremy says:

      I think that is dependent on where people live. Where I live, I’d say close to 100% of ADV bikes get ridden off-road. Not everyone is doing really extreme things with them, but they are all pushing their comfort zones and riding their bikes places they wouldn’t take a typical street bike.

      I used to lead a lot of off-road group rides, and each time there were at least one or two riders who had graduated from some other type of street bike (or often enough their adventure bike was their first bike) looking to tackle something more demanding than a dirt road. Sometimes people ultimately decide off-road isn’t for them, but most get hooked.

    • Tommy D says:

      I have a dirt background and was lucky to get a KTM 890 Rally. I ride it like it was meant to be ridden. They are SO MUCH FUN to ride them and challenge yourself. Obviously you don’t hop on one of these and learn to ride in the dirt. You have to come from a place where the skills are there and you adapt them to bigger bikes. I gave up riding small bikes as the challenges became to hard on my body as I aged. There is a sliding scale of FUN with bikes on dirt. The smaller they are the faster/harder you need to go to not be bored. With ADV bikes your speed decreases and the obstacles become smaller yet the fun is just the same. Lining up a kicker and getting air on a big bike is just as fun as on a small bike. Maintained dirt roads may be some people’s idea of Adventure but that’s a bit boring for me on an ADV bike. I’ve taken a Goldwing on those rides and had more fun. I’m really glad that KTM made the 890 middleweight ADV bikes. They are perfect for a little reminder of dirt riding without the pace and insanity of small bike mayhem.

  4. Steven says:

    I don’t think it will crash well?

  5. Ken says:

    Shades of the 1990’s Cagiva Elefant.

  6. Sivan says:

    I wonder if the service light can only be reset by the dealer, as with all other Ducatis. Will this also have no service manuals available?

  7. motomike says:

    Good luck picking up that turd in deep sand! They must have the best Dakar riders they could find for these photo shoots. And 8 large muscular people to drag it to safety.

  8. paquo says:

    nice but if you have to remove the tank to change the air filter, like the multi. it’s just stupid

    • mickey says:

      you have to remove the tank to put a battery in my son’s Monster 696. Also stupid

      • TimC says:

        And how often are you changing the battery? Would changing the design to accommodate this be worth it?

        • mickey says:

          Well, they don’t make the 696 anymore and I have no idea whether the newest iterations are like that.

          You only change a battery every 3 or 4 years, but it’s stupid every time you do it. On a lot of motorcycle you take off the seat or side cover and the battery is right there, easy to access and easy to change.

          It’s like the air filter on a Goldwing that you have to pull half the motorcycle apart to change.

          or the oil filter on an ST 1300 that’s mounted on the back of the engine up over the centerstand.

          or the BMW that you have to take the back half of the motorcycle apart to replace the clutch.

          If the engineers were forced to go down in the shop and service the bikes they design, they would probably make servicing them a priority and not an afterthought.

          • Reginald Van Blunt says:

            All the REALLY good engineers I’ve worked with, started out as a technician, and had a hands on mechanical hobby .

  9. pPrasseur says:

    Beautiful, like most Ducati but top heavy and noisy likes its multi brother…

  10. TP says:

    Good for Ducati. It sure looks better than either of Yamaha’s Tenere motorcycles.

  11. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    100 plus horsepower will not make up for 445 pounds dry . This is too heavy but very pretty . Should make a good sit down go fast graded dirt road or street bike. I would trade 40 hp for 50 pounds less. Reminds me of a 89 TransAlp.

    • Dave says:

      This is 50lbs ligher than the Africa Twin (70lb if DCT equipped). The Tenere 700 sounds like your rig. 70+hp, ~450lb wet weight.

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        My reference for 30 years was 45 hp and 350 pounds dry plus about 4 gallons of fuel added. That was not too bad, but in real desert terrain any thing over 400 pounds is tough when things go wrong. Modern suspension such as the Tenere 700 helps a lot, for awhile, but not fully in the thick of challenging troubles on a long loop.

        • Dave says:

          What bike/s was that? 350lb+4gal gas and other fluids = ~ 385lb. Sounds like there’s plenty of single cylinder dirt/dual sports out there that’ll beat that ratio. Choices dry up if another cylinder is added.

          Agree, I wouldn’t ride a 450lb bike anyplace I thought there was a chance it’d get stuck. Dirt bikes are better for that.

  12. Jeremy says:

    Looks to be ~80lbs heavier than my Monster 937 per dry weight. The Monster is 366lb “dry” and 415lb full of gas. What is that…50lbs more than a KLR? 40-50 lbs over a 700 Tenere. Lots more power of course, more of a Transalp replacement than an XR650 replacement. Im sure it’s lovey on the pavement or gravel though. Looks smart, as usual from the Italians. If the electronics are similar to my Monster you can turn the traction control and abs off. In the sportiest modes you can lock up the rear as long as you aren’t too far sideways and it’s basically not noticeable unless you screw up. I do leave the wheelie control all the way off because it is too invasive for my taste. Same motor in a more bargain bin and lighter bike has been returning mid 40s for mileage. Would be 50s if I had any roads with 55/65mph limits.

  13. todd says:

    I just spent around 300 miles in the Mojave desert racing around on a KTM 350exc-f and a Husqvarna 501 this weekend. Power from either one was never an issue. The 350 makes 35hp and the 501 has 45. The Husqvarna was noticeably heavier to run because it was 15 lb heavier than the KTM at around 250 lb. This extra weight tired me out a little faster. I can’t imagine what an extra 200 lb would have done to me! This does look like more of a proper dirt bike than a BMW GS and it’s looking closer to the old KTM Adventure and 450 Dakar bikes but I would still seriously hesitate to ride one of these tanks much off road.

  14. Neal says:

    That auxiliary gas tank right above the hot exhaust makes me nervous.

  15. Kermit says:

    Love the look. Take off all the electronics, except ABS, and I’m set. And what is the big deal all of a sudden with DRL? Every Honda I’ve owned since the ‘70’s has had it.

  16. Doc Sarvis says:

    I would buy a Beta in a heartbeat but my Ducati days are long over.

  17. VLJ says:

    Right wheel sizes, tubeless rims, light weight, slender-ish, plenty of power without being ridiculous, great fuel capacity, and the thing looks absolutely fantastic.

    Love it, and I almost never like ADVs.

    Does the addition of the auxiliary fuel cells in the back preclude the ability to mount the side panniers?

  18. Mick says:

    I think it’s odd how retro it slowly becoming synonymous with “not ugly”.

    I hope they sell a ton just so the rest of the industry buries their ugly sticks for a while in response. I suppose one could say that this bike might be in response to the popularity of the Yamaha 700. Perhaps they will follow up with one rocking the Scrambler 800 engine to compete more closely with the Yamaha. Apparently the 800 was in the original plan. This engine was probably used to have more power than the KTM 850.

    It’s unfortunate that an 800 would be the budget bike. So they wouldn’t even try to take at least 50 pounds of blubber off of the thing.

    • Dave says:

      Also interesting that the only two places in this web page where the word “retro” is found are your post and now mine.

      As for the weight, it’s a big, 110hp bike. If they could make road legal bikes both this powerful and strong and make them affordable, they would. Time to accept that this is probably as good as it gets.

      • Mick says:

        I reject the idea that the industry cannot make lighter bikes. They will not make lighter bikes.

        The KLR has been around for over four decades and what happens to it on every redesign? It gains weight. The current one weighs more than the Yamaha 700 twin, which will gain weight on its redesign.

        The dirt bike industry has been increasing the reliability of its ridiculous four strokes while they continue to lose weight. A heavy dirt bike weighs around 250 pounds. Ever wonder why there are no street bikes that make open class dirt bike power and weigh 350 pounds or less? Really? You can’t get street bike reliability out of a dirt bike by adding less than a hundred pounds to it?

        Sure this bike makes about as much power as a couple of 450 motocross bikes. But it also weighs as much as a couple of motocross bikes even though it only has one engine, one frame, one set of wheels, one transmission…

        Do cars double in weight when the power is doubled? Do street bikes?

        No. No one will ever sell me on the idea that street bikes cannot be made a lot lighter. So the manufacturers will just have to live with me never buying another new street bike. It’s my wallet and I’ll happy to vote with it. It’s been 27 years and counting since I bought a 916 Ducati. The last new street bike I will probably ever buy. It made only a little less power and weighed about the same as this bike. Development has gone exactly nowhere.

        • Dave says:

          “I reject the idea that the industry cannot make lighter bikes. They will not make lighter bikes. ”

          They can’t, at least not for a price anyone would be willing to pay.

          4T dirt bikes have weighed about the same ~250lb since their inception. Dirt bikes are not street bikes. Off road reliability is not the same as streetbike reliability or its expectation.

          The reason street bikes and cars don’t get massively heavier with added power is that they share the same architecture within a class. Your 916 weighs approximately the same as this bike because it shares very similar architecture.

          • TimC says:

            “They can’t, at least not for a price anyone would be willing to pay.”

            YES, THIS. Exactly.

            Engineering works to reach an optimum – if things are optimized enough that further improvement is prohibitively expensive, you are there.

          • Mick says:

            Absolutely appologist.

            Street bikes weigh what they weigh because street bikers expect them to.

            Take a look around. How many ugly bikes are there and how many are even half way decent. The street bikers are being treated with nothing short of contempt and they will defend their treatment to the grave. It’s a cult.

            Expect more and you’ll get it. Ask the dirt bikers.

          • Dave says:

            Weight is one of the key metrics that performance motorcycles are marketed on. It’s a metric we discuss in the open continuously. We’re discussing it now. Motorcyclists almost universally desire lighter weight bikes. Motorcycle companies must vigorously pursue customer’s wants in order to earn new motorcycle sales.

            If street bikes in a given class could be lighter weight at an acceptable price, they would. Every single motorcycle company capable of seizing on this marketing advantage would do so.

          • todd says:

            My first touring BMW was 423 lb curb weight and I felt it was a heavy bike compared to my other street bikes. People now don’t question when Kawasaki sells a 700 lb touring bike now!

        • VLJ says:

          Streetbike reliability has to be many factors greater than dirtbike reliability. No streetbike could survive in the marketplace if it was cursed with the maintenance/replacement schedule of a high-performance, lightweight dirtbike.

          Dirtbikes also aren’t cursed with all the safety and emissions requirements with which streetbikes are saddled. Additionally, dirtbikes aren’t required to tote passengers, luggage, and myriad comfort/convenience accoutrements, nor are dirtbikes expected to do all these things with passenger car-levels of smoothness and refinement, and at least some protection from the elements.

          Dirtbikes are designed solely in terms of functional go-fast utility. Precious little is devoted to style, or anything that doesn’t serve the greater moto-good. Streetbikes must serve so many more masters before they can ever hope to arrive at and remain on a dealership sales floor, year after year.

          Buyers of streetbikes could not fathom the concept of having to trade in their ride every year to replace it with a new one, taking an enormous financial bath each time, as motocrossers do with their race bikes. It’s just not do-able. Also not do-able is the concept of selling a brand-new streetbike sans warranty, as is the case with many motocross bikes. Streetbike owners would also never be too shit-hot fired up over having to replace the top end of their motor every year, if not sooner. No one riding a VFR wants to have to replace four expensive, difficult-to-get-to pistons every season.

          Not too many dirt riders have 250-lb pirate-slut-bedecked wives that need slogging around on the backs of their dirt sleds, along with all their combined travel gear. No heavy rear subframes or wheels are needed to solo rip your single-cylinder terror through the sand or woods.

          Now, to be fair, could a streetbike be made light enough and powerful enough to make you happy while still offering sufficient refinement for use as a licensed, smog-compliant, manufacturer-warrantied daily ride?

          Possibly. You’re ungodly picky and stubborn, so maybe not, but sure, it’s possible. If not, hey, there are always trials bikes for you. They’re plenty light enough to meet your spec-sheet requirements, as are pure motocrossers.

          Could it be achieved at a pricepoint that would make such a project feasible for any major manufacturer, knowing they have to warranty the thing, get it through Euro 5 emissions requirements, and be durable enough to withstand bombed-out city-streets potholes, Iron Butt long-distance riders who expect their bikes to do 100K miles without breaking a sweat, track-day riders, daily commuters, canyon racers, etc.?

          Not a chance in Hades. The entire bike would have to be built of unobtanium. The cost would be well beyond exorbitant. They could never sell enough of them to make the venture even remotely worth their while.

          Nope, there is simply zero incentive for any manufacturer to underwrite such a blatant vanity project.

          What you want is a rich man’s toy, a one-off machine designed and built by a no-holds-barred custom shop.

          Behold, the Mickcycle! 220 lbs of fire-breathing, rip-roaring, Pringles can-light and tossable, ingot-quality, stoopid-precision badassitude! And it’s only $75 grand!

          • mickey says:

            todd would take one of those too if you could restrict it down to 37 hp, cause that’s all you really need lol

          • Jeremy says:

            Honda’s 450 dual sport weighs 274 lbs without fuel. That’s a fully compliant, Euro 5 machine and supposedly future proofed for restrictions yet to come. The subframe is substantial, probably Honda building in the possibility of 2-upping as a card it could pull in the future. It weighs something like 42 lbs more than it’s competition-grade sibling. So that’s a legit starting point for a thought exercise I think.

            We’re talking about a frame, suspension components, and wheels that were designed to survive 10-foot+ huck-to-flats indefinitely, so I think any additional cost in appropriate instrumentation and comfort considerations like a bigger seat, more substantial fairings, etc. would be partially or wholly mitigated by dialing back the chassis.

            The engine won’t do as is. It has 600 mile oil change intervals and a 20K mile full rebuild schedule. Good for the class, but unacceptable for street bike buyers. Plus, Mick’s dream bike makes twice the power. So, we’re looking at probably an additional 25 lbs for a second cylinder and mass needed for 100K+ durability which also includes greater oil capacity and cooling.

            So I’d say that 315-ish lbs is probably the lower limit for an 80hp, regulator-compliant, twin-cylinder bike with the reliability and durability acceptable to that market. Getting much lower than that would probably mean resulting to exotic materials and processes, though one could knock a lot of right off themselves by getting rid of the EPA compliant parts. Since the “leader of lightness” KTM has the 690 Duke at around 330 without fuel and 70 hp, they’re kind of there already. I know Mick wants better than that, but I don’t think it could happen outside of a custom shop or boutique manufacturer.

          • Jeremy says:

            Or I guess I should say that it *won’t* happen outside of a boutique or custom shop. But to Mick’s point, it can be done for a reasonable price. There just doesn’t appear to be enough demand for such a bike.

            I wonder though, in this time of megapower and electronic everything, if a market for moderately powered, mostly analog, premium featherweights might actually develop in the near future. That would be pretty refreshing.

          • Mick says:

            Every year eh? My three dirt bikes are a 2004, bought for the steel frame that it has, a 2007 that I bought new that is basically the same bike as the 2004 except for its aluminum frame, and a 2017 bought because it has a counterbalanced engine.

            Potholes got you quivering? My goodness! Maybe you should get a dirt bike. They are built to handle much tougher customers than that.

            You guys kill me. What I want from the street bike industry is simple. 80 to 90hp from two cylinders and sub 350 wet weight. That’s a dirt bike plus 100 pounds. I want 17 inch wheels with a 160 section rear tire driven by a 525 chain. If the bike used the same plastic and gas tank as a front line dirt bike that would be great. I would have all the color, graphic and fuel capacity options in the universe easily available at low cost.

            What the industry can leave off of the bike is anything that doesn’t make the engine run. No three letter anything and a cable that operates the throttle. Not a wire.

            For this simple motorcycle I would pay as much as the above bike costs. But I would expect it to have motocross bike quality suspension and good brakes. One on each end should be sufficient.

            But it’ll never happen. Bikes with 80 to 90hp are budget bikes. Premium bikes have much more power and nanny systems to make sure that you seldom have access to more than 80 to 90hp of it. I don’t want to buy an image. I just want a motorcycle.

            Many of these companies make dirt bikes. Have the dirt bike guys make a street bike and I’ll bring money.

          • Dave says:

            Jeremy’s analysis makes some valid points but I don’t think you’d be able to pull any weight out of an MX bike’s chassis & swingarm, which while strong, aren’t appropriately stiff for high grip road rubber. Yes, I am aware of super-motos but they don’t deliver the solid chassis feel of an equivalent road chassis (it’s a dirt bike) and if we’re reaching for an 80hp 2-cylinder, we’re also reaching for much higher speeds and loads than a 450 single would impart. I also don’t think the CR450 Dual Sport’s lighting and instrumentation meets the standards of most road riders so 42lb for that equipment and only 25lb for the extra cylinder + necessary cooling/oil/transmission is probably too optimistic.

            The Aprilia Tuono is probably the most premium built middleweight twin and it’s 403lb wet (there’s possibly ~20lb of bodywork & stuff that could go).

            I’ve said it before. Mick, if you’re sincere then you’re obligated to put your money where your mouth is and buy a Duke 690. It is the only street bike in the marketplace that delivers what you say you want. You said you’d vote with your wallet and you continue to sit this one out.

          • VLJ says:

            No, what you’ll bring is an updated wish list, along with another list of complaints detailing said motorcycle’s myriad shortcomings.

            What you won’t bring with you is enough money to fund the result that you seek, the Mickcycle 750, which could only be achieved at exorbitant cost by a custom shop/boutique builder as a one-off vanity project.

            Like nearly all low-production/one-off projects—Bimota/Confederate/Norton/OCC, etc.—what a custom shop/boutique builder would produce for you if you DID pony up the exorbitant cash necessary to fund this project would be a poorly-sorted Beta tester that lacks any degree of major-manufacturer refinement. In order to make it pass emissions requirements, which they may not even bother doing, it will likely have crappy throttle response/glitchy fueling. The chassis and overall handling characteristics will not be the result of extensive testing and thoughtfully integrated design. The motor and tranny will have to be borrowed, as there is no way a private builder is going to build such things from scratch, using a clean-sheet design, just for you.

            It will be a parts-bin special, using pricey parts, but without any of the usual R&D that results in the type of polished performance we rightfully expect from the major manufacturers.

            And, like we’ve been saying, for all that, it will cost a bloody fortune.

            Moreover, once it’s in your garage, and the novelty has worn off, you’ll rarely ride it. It won’t work very well, and you won’t want to devalue your very expensive, highly exclusive door stopper.

            Face it, dude, this new world ain’t for you, and you ain’t for this new world.

          • todd says:

            @mickey, I am kinda in the market for just that. In fact, I spent a bit of last weekend on one, a KTM 350exc-f, that meets those specs. Around town, a 220 lb, 37hp bike is every bit as fast as a middle-weight supersport. Years ago, my modified KLX300R could out-run sport bikes with just 36 rwhp and 220 lbs. the Husky 501 I also put a couple hundred miles on recently is just insane. Granted, they don’t have the level of street handling that my Duke has with its stout full perimeter frame and its 74hp tries to make up for its 329lb wet weight.

          • Mick says:

            Um, I have been riding a converted dirt bike, a supermoto, on the street for over twenty years. My current personal supermoto is 18 years old.

            I don’t think the sage soothsayers above really have the first clue to verify their assertions.

            I have had one DP rig, from a long gone manufacturer, that had bad manners in the early nineties on gravel roads a high speed. Pavement was never an issue to date on any of my street legal dirt bikes. You guys are making that up out of thin air and zero experience.

            More apologists. Over and over until you think it’s the truth. More bangs, fragile bikes made to be pounded for decades, chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

            Spare me. I’m not going to get up in the morning and be guilible just for you.

          • VLJ says:

            I’m sure you won’t. It’s rather obvious that you’d rather spend your life shaking your fist at the clouds.

  19. Curt says:

    Looks amazing! Unfortunately I’m not man enough, nor rich enough, to do THOSE kinds of things on THIS kind of bike.

  20. Randy says:

    ONE HUNDRED POUNDS lighter than a BMW GS or the new Triumph Tigers. If Ducs were worth a dam* reliability wise, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

    • Dave says:

      I think you’re comparing wet and dry weight which makes a big difference on a motorcycle, especially with a larger fuel tank like BMW and Triumph have. I also think this bike is more dissimilar to the other two than just its displacement would indicate.

  21. Tim in Texas says:

    As a previous Ducati Multistrada owner, I can attest to the phrase “fool me once…”.

    I will never own another Ducati, no matter how good looking they are.

    Put a picture of one on your computers desktop. It won’t cost you a thing.

    • Mark R says:

      Having owned a street fighter and a diavel, I’m with you.
      Ducati will never get another nickle from me despite the passion they evoke.
      Love the looks of this desert x, but won’t buy one.

  22. My2cents says:

    Definitely a nice looking adventure motorcycle. Ducati just seems to build the most eye appealingly units over a wide range of riding segments. Unfortunately for me I have a earthbound wallet that shrivels at the proposition of paying the service costs.

  23. ABQ says:

    Another adventure bike. the difference being that it is designed for real life adventures.

  24. mickey says:

    here comes the Storm Troopers

    Interesting bike, and not bad looking either for what it is.

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