Home News Ducati Desert X: First Ride Review

Ducati Desert X: First Ride Review

by caradmin
Ducati Desert X: First Ride Review
GalleryIntroThe VisualsThe PackageThe RideVerdict


It’s been almost five years since Ducati unveiled the Desert X concept at EICMA Milan and I was right in front when that happened. I was truly stunned by the design of that concept and when the company finally unveiled the production version in 2021, it felt so good to see that the majority of the styling cues were carried forward to the production model. And you must be wondering, why I am talking about the design so much. Well, because I think the Ducati Desert X is the best-looking adventure motorcycle out there.

Now we are in 2024 and I have finally tested this motorcycle in various conditions. I commuted to the office. I also hit the highways, explored some trails, rode it in sand and over broken roads and I did this for almost a week. During this week, I managed to know a lot of things about this motorcycle and the plan is to tell you all about it through this review. The Visuals

The Visuals

I don’t know how many of you will agree with this, but this Desert X has a drool-worthy design. It is one of those motorcycles that will leave you awestruck every single time you look at it, especially in this colour. A lot of design elements on this motorcycle have been inspired by the 90s Cagiva Elefant 900 which was powered by Ducati’s air-cooled V-Twin engine.

The front profile of the Desert X is what gives this bike a unique identity. Those double-round headlamps surrounded by bright DRLs and a big windscreen translate to great road presence. And then when you move towards the side, those large panels including the fuel tank make the bike look bigger than the segment.

The Package

I really enjoy talking about the features of Ducati bikes because there’s not only a long list of it, but most of their features are class-leading and some of them are really helpful when you are riding in a country like India.

To begin with, the Desert X is equipped with full-colour TFT which has two modes – standard and rally. While the former shows all the ride data just like any other big ADV bike, the latter shows details that are usually seen on rally bikes during navigation.

Then, there are modes on the motorcycle that change the way you ride. This includes six riding modes and three ABS levels along with traction control system, wheelie control and also engine braking control. The bike also gets cornering ABS, quickshifter and also cruise control. The lights are full LED and they work well. Unlike the Multistrada, the Desert X doesn’t get any radar control tech, probably to keep the overall costs in check.

The Ride

Now that we have talked about some of the important bits, it is time to tell you the really important aspect of Desert X and that is its performance. And to do that, let’s talk about this engine – the 937cc twin-cylinder motor which by the way also powers some of the other Ducatis. Now, this motor makes around 108bhp and peak torque of 92Nm at 6500rpm. The gearbox is six-speed and as mentioned previously, the bi-directional quickshifter can be used to transfer the power to the rear wheel.

With various riding modes in place, the Desert X behaves differently based on the input. But it is in the Sport mode where majority of the adrenaline kicks in. The power is more than enough to put a big smile on your face. The massive torque at low revs allows you to ride easily in slow-moving traffic. The fueling is excellent – there’s no snatchy feeling at all. While the throttle response is quite aggressive in Sport mode, the other modes like City provide easy power delivery – something that is needed when riding around town.

The Desert X is a full-adventure bike and as a result of that, I thought the motorcycle would be a bit lazy while turning, especially in the corners. But I was proven wrong within minutes and I think, it is the best-handling big adventure bike I’ve ever ridden. Most of the credit goes to that beautifully crafted chassis along with the fully adjustable suspension. The road manners of the Desert X are as impressive as it gets. Even while riding in the city, the overall seating triangle allows for a commanding riding experience. With the presence of a narrow seat design, the riders can easily place their feet down in case of traffic stops. The only thing that bothered me was the heavy clutch – operating it constantly in the traffic did bring in some pain.

The whole reason Ducati created this brand called Desert X was to cater to the most adventurous motorcycle buyers –the off-roaders and with these wheels – the 21-inch front and 18 at the back – Ducati has managed to create one fantastic off-road motorcycle.

The overall weight distribution has brought in a balance that made me have a lot of fun, without having any doubts about dropping the motorcycle. While the off-road ergos weren’t too comfortable as I couldn’t adjust the handlebar due to lack of tools, I still managed to go heavy on power slides and also explore the Enduro as well as Rally mode. The rally mode became my favourite because it allowed me more control by limiting traction on the wheels. Sadly, I couldn’t jump any logs due to the heavy clutch.


When I frame the verdict of any motorcycle I test, I usually tend to take some time but with the Ducati Desert X, it wasn’t the case because there are a set of requirements that need to be fulfilled for me to purchase my dream adventure motorcycle, and the Desert X fulfils 95 per cent of it. Firstly, this motorcycle looks outstanding. The design language – and the paint scheme – these aspects make it the best-looking adventure motorcycle in India today. Then there’s that engine that churns out power and torque in a friendlier and refined way.

Then there’s the tech and the features involvement – it gets some of the best electronics that help on-road as well as off-road. And when you combine all these aspects, you get a motorcycle that is fun and comfortable to ride on city roads as well as on the highways. But more importantly, its off-road behaviour is what made me fall for this motorcycle. It behaves like a big dirt bike and that is what one should expect from an adventure motorcycle in 2024. And I’m sure you guys are wondering why this bike meets 95 per cent of the requirements. Well, the remaining five per cent was taken by the pricing, which is quite high for this bike. Rs 23 lakh, on-road, to be precise. But I think it is a great idea to work a bit more and save up for the premium it demands because if you are one of those who love touring and also spend a lot of time off-road, the Desert X experience justifies that price tag.

Photography by Kapil Angane


Ducati DesertX
209 Kmph|374 Km|223 kg|108.6 bhp @ 9250 rpm
₹ 18,33,132Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price

You may also like

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin