Is the Desert X the off-road Ducati we’ve been waiting for?

Yesterday Claudio Domenicali showed us the Desert X concept and we think it might be the bike we wanted Ducati to build all along


THE Ducati World Premiere took place yesterday and it was awash with new models and some tasty looking updates to some current metal.

But aside from the 200hp crotch-rockets and the new Streetfighter V4, there was one bike, well actually just a drawing of a bike, that really go my attention.

The image was titled the Desert X, so no prizes for correctly guessing what bike it is based on and what it’s purpose would be! The bike is based on the around the Scrambler frame with what looks like the 803cc engine from the Desert Sled nestled in the frame, although rumours on the internet are calling that the 1100cc engine from the larger Scrambler.

The bike pays homage to Ducati’s 1990 win in the Dakar rally when a Cagiva Elefant using Ducati’s 900cc air-cooled V-twin took the top step of the podium in the event. The concept bike we can see above not only borrows the colour scheme of the pinstripes from that machine, but it also seems to have a very retro set of twin round headlights mounted in the front fairing – how very retro!

So, why do I think this is the bike Ducati should have built long ago? Simple really, it looks like you could and would take the thing off-road. For me, at 5’7” tall, the Mutistrada Enduro is just too big to take properly off road. If I dropped that I’d never be able to get it back up again. And the Scrambler range just isn’t quite off-road-ready enough. And anyway, they’re too pretty and I’d be too scared of breaking them.

This machine though looks like a proper off-road machine. In the same what the Yamaha Tenere 700 does, a machine that if it’s launched it’ll go up against no doubt. If there is one machine I’m imploring Ducati to build for us, it’s this one, pretty please.

We may see a concept of the new bike at the EICMA show next month, but if not, we’d expect to see a pre-production item at EICMA next year.