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2023 Ducati Desert X 937

Ducati Desert X White side view

A brief history of the DesertX concept

The Ducati DesertX 937cc traces its origins to the unveiling of a prototype motorcycle at the EICMA show in 2019. The initial concept was built on the Scrambler 1100 platform but had limited off-road capabilities. Ducati decided to scrap the Scrambler platform and start from scratch to create a true off-road focused machine. After two years of development and refinement, the Ducati DesertX was introduced to the market in May 2022. With its rally-inspired design, the Ducati DesertX pays homage to the iconic Cagiva Elefant, a Paris-Dakar rally winner from the 1980s and 1990s that featured a Ducati twin-cylinder engine.

Ducati Desert X side frontUnique features of the Ducati DesertX

The Ducati DesertX boasts several unique features that set it apart from other adventure bikes on the market. Its 937cc Testastretta V-Twin engine delivers 110 horsepower and provides both low-end grunt and top-end power, ensuring versatile performance for diverse riding situations. The fully adjustable chassis includes KYB suspension components and a 21-inch front / 18-inch rear tubeless wheelset, making it the first Ducati Adventure Bike with this configuration. The DesertX also offers a range of electronic rider aids, such as Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, lean angle sensing ABS, and an optional Rally-style rear fuel tank, which adds 2.1 gallons of fuel capacity while maintaining consistent handling due to its focus on front fuel distribution.

Target audience and potential competition

The target audience for the Ducati DesertX 937cc consists of adventure bike enthusiasts who are looking for a versatile, capable off-road machine that also performs well on the street. The bike’s combination of off-road performance, street-friendly attributes, and modern technology make it an attractive option for riders who want to venture off the beaten path without sacrificing on-road comfort and capabilities. In terms of competition, the DesertX is positioned between the KTM 890 Adventure R and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R in terms of weight and power output, making it a strong contender in the middleweight adventure bike segment. As the market for adventure motorcycles continues to grow, the Ducati DesertX will likely face stiff competition from other brands entering this popular segment.

Retro-inspired design with modern touches

The Ducati DesertX 937cc takes its aesthetic inspiration from the legendary Cagiva Elefant, an iconic 80s and 90s Paris-Dakar rally bike powered by a Ducati twin-cylinder engine. The designers at Ducati expertly blended retro design elements with modern touches to create a stunning and unique motorcycle. The bike features an unmistakably rugged and aggressive appearance, making it instantly recognizable as a purpose-built adventure machine. Amidst its retro charm, the DesertX incorporates advanced materials, such as aluminum and carbon-fiber accents, adding a contemporary touch to the overall design.

The fuel tank design, with its sharp lines and edgy profile, adds visual appeal while still offering practicality. The inclusion of a flat one-piece seat ensures comfort for long-distance riding while retaining the classic off-road aesthetic. Additionally, the sturdy frame and the use of lightweight materials contribute to the bike’s exceptional handling and performance capabilities, ensuring that the Ducati DesertX stays true to its off-road pedigree.

Dual headlight setup and unique tail section

One of the distinguishing features of the Ducati DesertX 937cc is its distinct dual headlight setup. This design element harkens back to the rally-inspired origins of the bike, while the incorporation of advanced LED lighting technology ensures that the bike stays up-to-date with modern standards. The dual headlight setup not only adds to the overall visual appeal of the motorcycle, but the bright, long-lasting LEDs also improve safety by providing excellent visibility for riders in various lighting conditions.

The unique tail section features a compact design that complements the bike’s aggressive stance. This design choice further emphasizes the off-road focus of the DesertX, drawing inspiration from traditional enduro and rally bikes. The slim, tapered tail section houses an integrated brake light and turn signal system, ensuring that the sleek design doesn’t compromise function. Combined with the distinctive dual-headlight look, the DesertX’s tail section creates an indelible and cohesive presence on any terrain.

Color schemes and customization options

Ducati_Desert_X Grey side view

The Ducati DesertX 937cc offers a selection of stunning color schemes that stay true to the brand’s iconic lineage. The classic Ducati red, with its passionate flair, is coupled with contrasting matte black elements to enhance the bike’s aggressive and powerful appearance. For those who prefer a more subdued look, an elegant grey option is also available, providing a subtle yet sophisticated alternative that showcases the bike’s distinctive bodywork.

Beyond the choice of colors, Ducati also offers a range of customization options, enabling riders to tailor the DesertX according to their preferences and needs. Upgraded protection accessories, such as skid plates and engine guards, are available for riders looking to conquer more challenging terrains. Additionally, a selection of ergonomic accessories, like adjustable levers and footpegs, can improve riding comfort and personalization. Regardless of the selected options, the Ducati DesertX 937cc stands out as a true design masterpiece in the world of adventure motorcycles.

The 937cc Testastretta Engine

The heart of the Ducati DesertX 937cc motorcycle is its powerful 937cc Testastretta L-Twin engine. This advanced powerplant is a direct descendant from the Ducati Multistrada V2, providing the DesertX with an optimal combination of performance and reliability. Ducati’s signature desmodromic valvetrain ensures precise valve control, allowing for a high rev limit and robust power delivery throughout the rpm range. Additionally, the engine features liquid cooling for enhanced thermal management, maintaining consistent performance even under extreme off-road conditions.

The Testastretta engine is designed for versatility and adaptability, making it perfect for both on-road and off-road adventures. Coupled with a lightweight clutch and smoother shift actuation, the 6-speed transmission has been optimized for off-road conditions, featuring shorter ratios for the first five gears. This results in better acceleration and more responsive performance when tackling challenging terrain.

Another key component of the 937cc Testastretta engine is its advanced electronic fuel injection system, which ensures efficient fuel delivery and maximizes power output. This, in combination with the throttle-by-wire and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) technology, allows for precise control over engine performance and the various electronic rider aids available on the DesertX 937cc.

Desert X Testrastada Engine

Power Output and Torque Figures

The impressive 937cc Testastretta engine delivers an remarkable 110 horsepower at 9,250 rpm, providing the Ducati DesertX with ample power for both on-road cruising and aggressive off-road riding. This power output places the DesertX right in the middle of the middleweight adventure motorcycle segment, ensuring competitive performance on various terrains. Along with its strong horsepower figures, the Testastretta engine also produces 92 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, ensuring a smooth, linear powerband and excellent low-end grunt for superior rideability.

The Ducati DesertX’s power output and torque figures also compare favorably to its competitors. For instance, the DesertX sits between the 2021 KTM 890 Adventure (86.46 hp and 58.10 lb.-ft. torque) and the 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R (136.32 hp and 87.45 lb.-ft. torque). Such performance capabilities make the DesertX a capable and versatile machine, suitable for a variety of riding conditions and terrains.

Exhaust System and Sound Characteristics

The Ducati DesertX 937cc is fitted with a high-performance exhaust system designed to provide an evocative and distinctive sound characteristic of the Testastretta’s unique exhaust note. This captivating soundtrack not only adds to the riding experience but also contributes to the bike’s overall character and identity.

The exhaust system’s design plays a critical role in both performance and emissions compliance, ensuring that the DesertX retains its off-road capabilities without sacrificing its road-legal status. Furthermore, the exhaust’s catalytic converter and sophisticated electronics help the bike meet stringent Euro 5 emissions standards, making the DesertX an environmentally conscious choice for those seeking a high-performance adventure motorcycle.

In conclusion, the Ducati DesertX 937cc delivers a thrilling and engaging riding experience, thanks to its powerful 937cc Testastretta engine, substantial power output, and distinctive exhaust system. With its impressive performance capabilities and versatile nature, the DesertX is a strong contender in the middleweight adventure motorcycle segment, perfectly suited for tackling both on-road and off-road adventures.

Suspension and Handling

Ducati Desert X Wheel and Brembo

Advanced Suspension Components

The Ducati DesertX 937cc features advanced suspension components, ensuring superior ride quality and handling. Utilizing a fully adjustable KYB suspension, the DesertX provides an optimal balance between on-road comfort and off-road performance. The front suspension incorporates a 46mm KYB inverted fork with 9.9 inches of travel, while the rear suspension is equipped with a KYB monoshock that offers 8.5 inches of travel. These high-quality components not only enhance the bike’s overall stability but also enable it to tackle challenging off-road conditions with ease.

Off-road Capabilities and Terrain Settings

As an adventure motorcycle, the Ducati DesertX 937cc is designed to excel in various off-road environments. Its advanced suspension system and large, tubeless tire configuration (21-inch front and 18-inch rear) provide excellent traction and control on uneven surfaces. The DesertX also boasts an impressive array of rider aids and customizable settings, including six ride modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro, and Rally), four power modes, and adjustable traction control, wheelie control, and engine braking. These features allow riders to fine-tune the motorcycle’s performance to suit specific terrains and riding conditions, ensuring an enjoyable and thrilling off-road experience.

Rider Geometry and Ergonomics

The Ducati DesertX 937cc is designed with rider comfort and ergonomics in mind, offering a variety of features to accommodate a wide range of preferences and riding styles. The DesertX features an adjustable seat height (33.9 – 34.6 inches), allowing riders of various heights to find a comfortable riding position. Ergonomically designed adjustable levers and well-placed controls contribute to easy operation and enhanced rider confidence. Furthermore, the compact size and clever weight distribution of the DesertX make it agile and easy to handle, both on the pavement and in off-road situations. Overall, the bike’s rider-focused geometry and ergonomics help ensure a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience for adventurers of all skill levels.

Standard and optional rider aids

The Ducati DesertX 937cc comes equipped with an array of standard and optional rider aids to enhance overall performance and ensure a safe riding experience. Among these, the bike features six customizable riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro, and Rally) that allow riders to optimize engine output, throttle response, and manage electronic rider assists based on their preferences or the terrain.

In addition to the riding modes, the DesertX also offers cornering ABS with three levels and an off option for maximum braking control during cornering, while traction control with eight levels ensures optimal grip and stability on various surfaces. For riders wanting to test the bike’s off-road prowess, the wheelie control with four levels provides added safety and control during aggressive maneuvers. Additionally, engine brake control with three levels and quick shift up/down functionality ensure smooth and efficient gear changes, enhancing the overall ride experience.

Apart from the standard features, the DesertX offers optional extras such as the Rally-style rear fuel tank for extended range, a lower seat option for added comfort, and the Enduro Pack accessory kit, which includes handguards, a skid plate, and a radiator guard for added protection during off-road adventures.

Ducati Desert X Front Left View

Navigation and connectivity features

The Ducati DesertX 937cc is designed with rider convenience and connectivity in mind. The bike features a 5-inch TFT color display that provides essential information such as speed, rpm, fuel level, and gear position, along with navigational data and mobile device notifications. The interface is user-friendly and can be controlled via the switchgear on the handlebars for easy access to information and settings.

Riders can benefit from the built-in GPS navigation system that offers turn-by-turn directions, waypoint tracking, and offline map access for hassle-free guidance during long rides and off-road explorations. Additionally, the DesertX provides Bluetooth connectivity, allowing riders to connect their smartphones and devices to the bike for seamless music playback, hands-free calling, and notification alerts.


Integration with mobile devices and apps

Effortless integration with mobile devices and apps is a key aspect of the Ducati DesertX 937cc’s technology suite. With the Ducati Connect app, riders can wirelessly sync their smartphones to the bike’s TFT display, allowing access to calls, messages, and navigation data directly on the screen. Moreover, riders can also manage various bike settings and monitor their ride statistics through the app, offering convenience and customization at their fingertips.

In addition to Ducati Connect, the DesertX is compatible with third-party riding apps such as REVER and EatSleepRIDE, which enable riders to plan trips, track their rides, and share their experiences with fellow enthusiasts. By integrating popular mobile apps and devices with the motorcycle’s advanced electronics, the DesertX 937cc provides riders with a comprehensive, connected, and enjoyable adventure riding experience.

MSRP and Release Date

The highly anticipated Ducati DesertX 937cc was officially released in May 2022. As the company’s entry into the increasingly competitive middleweight adventure motorcycle segment, the DesertX is an attractive option for riders seeking a versatile and capable off-road machine. With a perfect blend of performance and style, the bike has been designed to stand out from the crowd. In terms of pricing, the 2022 Ducati DesertX carries a base MSRP of $14,995, positioning it competitively within the adventure motorcycle market. It’s worth noting that this price reflects the basic configuration of the motorcycle, and additional features or customization options may increase the final cost.

Financing and Leasing Options

For those interested in owning a Ducati DesertX 937cc but are hesitant about the upfront cost, there are various financing and leasing options available to suit individual needs. Ducati Financial Services offers a range of flexible loan and lease plans, tailored to help riders achieve their dream of owning the perfect adventure motorcycle. In addition to traditional financing options, some motorcycle dealerships may offer special promotional deals or incentives, such as low-interest rates, reduced monthly payments, or even cashback offers. To find the best financing plan for your situation, it’s essential to consult with your local authorized Ducati dealer and explore all available options.

Maintenance and Warranty Information

Owning a premium motorcycle like the Ducati DesertX 937cc comes with certain responsibilities, including regular maintenance for optimal performance and longevity. Ducati is committed to providing customers with comprehensive maintenance and warranty support, to ensure that every DesertX owner can enjoy a worry-free riding experience. With the purchase of a new DesertX, owners receive a two-year unlimited mileage warranty that covers any defective materials or workmanship. Ducati’s warranty also includes two years of free roadside assistance, providing peace of mind on and off the road.

In addition to the factory warranty, Ducati offers a wide range of scheduled maintenance services to keep your DesertX operating at its peak. These services include essential tasks such as engine oil changes, brake system inspections, and valve clearance checks, among others. It’s important to adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule outlined in your owner’s manual to ensure the longevity and reliability of your DesertX. Remember, regular maintenance performed by authorized Ducati technicians not only preserves the bike’s performance but also helps retain its resale value in the long run.


In conclusion, the Ducati DesertX 937cc is a formidable entry in the middleweight adventure motorcycle segment, offering a perfect blend of off-road capabilities, street-friendly performance, and modern technology. With its unique design, powerful Testastretta engine, and advanced suspension system, the DesertX is well-equipped to tackle a variety of terrains and accommodate riders of various skill levels. Additionally, the comprehensive range of rider aids, customization options, and seamless integration with mobile devices make this motorcycle a versatile and enjoyable option for adventure-seeking enthusiasts. As the adventure motorcycle market continues to expand, the Ducati DesertX 937cc is poised to make its mark as a truly capable and distinctive machine in this competitive space.


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