Ducati World Première 2022 Episode 6 | DesertX | Dream Wilder

Ducati World Première 2022 Episode 6 | DesertX | Dream Wilder

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It's with great pleasure that we begin the final episode of this season's Ducati World Première. Perhaps it’s the most eagerly awaited since we shared photos of the bike taken during an off-road test session in September. Photos that immediately went around the world on the social channels of our fans. And now we’re finally here to present the Ducati DesertX! The design came about in a very creative way, with a blank sheet of paper and no initial brief, but taking inspiration from the bike in the Ducati Museum. That's how the concept we presented in 2019 was born, and it received rave reviews from motorcyclists worldwide. A reaction so strong and enthusiastic that it pushed us to turn our dream into reality! We took on this challenge with passion and determination, creating a bike that pushes the boundaries of what you can do with a Ducati.

We harnessed all our knowledge in terms of ergonomics, engines, aerodynamics and electronics, and developed a new chassis specifically for off-road use. The DesertX is a functional, it’s a sport tool, that is capable, high-tech, and as effective as every other Ducati. It is unique and not just in terms of its unmistakable style. It's the first Ducati designed and engineered to tackle the most challenging off-road terrain, with 21” front and 18” rear wheels, long-travel suspension and plenty of ground clearance. The attention paid to rider and passenger ergonomics, the aerodynamics and the advanced electronics makes it comfortable, easy to ride and safe over long distances. But the best way to discover the DesertX is to let it take you to its spiritual home, the desert.

Introducing the new Ducati DesertX. And we're right here, surrounded by desert dunes, where we shot the images you've just seen during the presentation of the new Ducati DesertX. Exploration, fun, performance, and a real longing to set off towards the horizon.

There’s no doubt as to this bike’s identity. You only have to look at it to sense the atmosphere of the Dakar races. When you get on the bike, you immediately feel at ease. Your first impulse is to stand up and imagine you’re heading off on who knows what kind of adventure. The DesertX was developed for great off-road performance ma but is also perfectly at ease on the asphalt, offering an easy, safe, and comfortable ride even over medium-long distances. And just look at it, you can’t help but fall in love at first sight.

Let’s start with the front headlights, integrated into the fairings, so new and yet already so recognisable. A blend of post-heritage style and contemporary minimalism that immediately suggests strength and sturdiness. A modern take on the lines of 1980s enduro bikes. But to really explore this truly unique design, let’s ask the Ducati Centro Stile, how the DesertX concept came about. I was just a kid in the ‘90s, but I still remember how excited I was watching the Paris-Dakar stages.

I saw these huge, fast bikes jumping from dune to dune and it seemed almost surreal. All those rally bikes had a very high front end,1Noften with a double headlight. The mid-section of the bike was narrow, but there was a fair bit of volume at the front and rear. The Ducati DesertX is designed as a ‘tool'. it's simple and sturdy. Its style is dictated by functionality.

That's why we focused on such a minimalist aesthetic. Visually, the bike has just three large elements: the tank with side fairings, than the seat, and the windshield that incorporates the headlight. The alternating black and white colour scheme emphasises this clean aesthetic. Alternating large and small spokes produce this robust design effect.

The style is modern, clean and strong. We’ve also considered the rider’s thermal comfort, creating fresh air ducts that are concealed behind the side guards, while hot air from the radiator is released underneath. We’ve focused on a few, distinctive elements that emphasise the bike’s high-tech character. One example is the front section, which creates a completely new layout that makes an immediate impression. The windscreen merges with the headlight. The two full-LED DRLs are drawn onto its surface, leaving no other structure visible.

It almost resembles a touch interface: it's post-heritage and digital at the same time. We took inspiration from rally roadbooks in positioning the dashboard in the cockpit and developing its graphic interface. We designed DesertX to be a travel ‘tool’, whatever form this travel may take. If you're riding alone, you can remove the passenger seat and find extra space. And if you like long rides, you can add an extra rear tank.

This bike has such a strong identity that, for the first time, we decided to create a dedicated clothing range in-house at our Centro Stile. We’ve called this line 21/18. You can immediately see that white is the dominant colour of the collection, as with the bike.

White has an important historical significance. The clothing has the same strong style as the bike. We go from the bike, with its 3-dimensional proportions, to the fabric, which is two-dimensional. And so we went from the alternating large and small spokes to the clean cut and soft lines of the clothing. The style was again guided by functionality.

The jacket is a perfect example. The sleeves are detachable, allowing for greater freedom of movement during off-road riding. The large front pockets are inspired by the pouches The back pocket is asymmetrical, which makes it easier to open. We have developed a completely new design for the DesertX that transcends time and fashions.

To describ the thrill of riding this bike, which we have come to the desert to present, we brought in a five-time Enduro World Champion who has just ridden it for the first time. Let’s test the new DesertX with Antoine Mèo. Are you happy to be back in the desert, Antoine? Yes, I’m delighted! If you’d told me four years ago that I’d be back in the desert on a Ducati, I wouldn't have believed it. So what do you think of the bike? How does it ride? Well, I was very surprised, because I’ve never gone into the desert with a real trail.

I was a bit worried at first but this is a well-balanced bike that’s really light at the front. I had a lot of fun riding it through the sand, and the dunes and I’m really impressed with the work you’ve done on this bike. And what about the engine? We fitted it with the 937 cc 11° Testastretta, a pillar among our engines. What did you think of it? It’s really easy to use. Because you know, when you ride such a powerful bike, with 110 hp, you think it might be really aggressive, but with all the braking assistance the bike is very smooth and the engine torque helps you ride con in third gear with no problems, like you’re floating on the sand. During the first run, I was a little tense, but I soon loosened up.

I got more confident with the bike, and it became a real pleasure to ride. And how did you find the ergonomics? The bike is very well designed. The tank is very small and the seat is very ergonomic. Whether you are standing or sitting, it feels very natural to ride. So we’ve done a good job! Of course, Zampieri and his whole team have put a lot of work into this bike. I know Zampieri well. I won two titles with him!

You’ve done a fantastic job and I’m really impressed. Thanks Antoine. So now let’s hear from Pierluigi Zampieri and find out about all the technical details of the new DesertX. Let’s start with the bike development itself, the distinctive element of this new project. The DesertX is specifically designed to tackle the most challenging off-road conditions and so has all the essential features for this kind of riding: spoked wheels, 21'' at the front and 18'' at the back, generous ground clearance, and the possibility to use different types of tyres, including specific off-road solutions, thanks to the various homologations obtained. Long-travel suspension: 230 mm at the front and 220 mm at the rear.

As for the suspension, we decided from the outset to work with a brand with well-known success in the off-road world, Japanese manufacturer Kayaba, with whom we spent several days testing to decide on the best set-up, using first-rate components. The 46 mm USD fork offers preload adjustment, together with separate compression and rebound damping for each stanchion. The single shock absorber, which is also fully adjustable, offers solutions typical of specialist components, like the bladder, used instead of the usual septum to separate the oil from the pressurised nitrogen, which helps make the suspension a lot smoother. The bike is equipped with a Brembo braking system with a 320 mm double disc at the front with aluminium flanges, and M50 radial mount callipers. At the back there is a single 265 mm disc with a 2-piston floating calliper.

The braking system has been designed to offer the ideal power for road use as well as a high degree of adaptability when the bike is ridden off-road or on challenging terrain. The bike is equipped with an engine guard and radiator guard as standard, while a set of special off-road guards are available as Ducati Performance accessories. Special attention was paid when developing the frame, a steel trellis structure designed and tested extensively to withstand the most challenging conditions.

By optimising all components it was possible to achieve a dry weight of only 202 kg. It’s not just the available hardware that determines performance in off-road riding, but particularly the confidence and feeling that the bike transmits, and which translates into control and safety in all conditions. The riding position is one of the aspects that has a real bearing on this control and it’s something that Antoine appreciated right away. We worked on the ergonomic triangle, seeking the best reciprocal position of footpegs, handlebars and seat to make the switches from sitting to standing, Ntypical of off-road riding, as natural as possible. These solutions, designed for an off-road experience, were also tested extensively on the road to ensure safety and comfort on medium and long-range trips in all riding conditions.

We have worked on a series of elements that make the DesertX truly enjoyable on all road surfaces, like the comfortable position for both rider and passenger, thanks to the specifically designed shape and padding of each of the seats. There is also aerodynamic protection: great care has been taken in designing the shape and size of both the standard plexi and the accessory plexi, which is even more protective. There is enough range for longer journeys, as the fuel tank has a capacity of over 21 lt and a second tank can be mounted on the rear of the bike as an accessory to add another 8 lt of fuel.

When the contents of the main tank drop below a certain level, the rider can, through the menu, start transferring fuel rom the rear tank to the main tank, which is done with a specific additional pump. The bike has an excellent load capacity, with almost 120 lt of volume available between the panniers and top cases, all in aluminium of course. It also has Pirelli Scorpion Rally Street tubeless tyres that combine excellent off-road performance with grip and reliability in all road conditions. The standard seat height is 875 mm and a lower seat and suspension kit is available as an accessory.

The new DesertX is equipped with the latest water-cooled 937cc Testastretta 11° desmodromic engine that delivers 110hp and 92Nm of torque. This well-known twin-cylinder engine is much appreciated on our other models for its dual nature: as it is extremely manageable and consistent at low revs, but with a torque that is always ready and able to unleash all that Ducati character in acceleration. The reliable engine, also designed for touring use, has significant service intervals, with oil changes every 15,000 km and valve clearance checks every 30,000 km. The new version of the Testastretta 11° introduces some important updates with respect to the previous version, for an impressive weight saving of 1.7 kg.

The engine can count on new connecting rods and a new 8-disc clutch that, combined with the hydraulic control with 12 mm pump, makes it easier to find neutral and limits effort on the lever. But the most significant updates relate to the gears: The selector drum is now supported by ball bearings and this, combined with the latest specification of the standard Quick Shift strategy, ensures fast, precise gear shifting in all conditions. Modifications to the DesertX gearbox also include the ratio, which is shortened in all gears up to fifth for optimum off-road performance. First and second gear in particular are much shorter than on other models, for greater responsiveness during those low speed phases typical of off-road riding. At the other end of the scale, sixth gear is long enough to facilitate the bike’s use on the motorway while the revs are contained so as to limit fuel consumption and boost the level of comfort.

Like all Ducati bikes, DesertX is equipped with high-tech electronics that ensure safety and performance in all conditions. The DesertX has 6 Riding Modes, with two specifically dedicated to off-road riding. The Enduro Riding Mode, with reduced power and specially designed control settings, allows riders to tackle even the most challenging off-road conditions more safely and makes it easier for less experienced riders. The Rally Riding Mode on the other hand, with full engine power and reduced electronic controls, is designed for experienced riders who want to fully exploit the off-road performance of the DesertX.

Each Riding Mode can act on the engine character with 4 Power Mode: Full, High, Medium e Low, altering the Testastretta’s power and responsiveness. The on-board electronics also include a package of rider assistance systems: Traction Control, Wheelie Control, Engine Brake Control, Quick Shift up/down, and Cruise Control, to make long-distance riding even more relaxing. There is also Cornering ABS of course, adjustable according to three levels: The ABS system can only be fully disabled in the Enduro and Rally Riding Mode.

This is a detail for more experienced off-roaders who may have a slightly more aggressive riding style. The front headlight, featuring the unmistakable sector-based DRL, is full LED, as is the rear light and the indicators. In particular, two bi-function modules ensure the headlight offers first-class levels of illumination thanks to the use of latest generation high power LEDs. The bike also features the Ducati Brake Light system which automatically activates a flashing rear light if the rider needs to brake suddenly, to warn vehicles behind of potential danger.

DesertX is equipped with a vertical, high-resolution 5" TFT colour display, positioned to offer the best visibility even when riding while standing. This display can be used with the Ducati Multimedia System, which allows the rider to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth and enable Turn by Turn navigation, receiving directions directly on the dashboard. The display offers a choice of two standard Info Modes, Standard and Rally. Standard mode displays all the information required for road riding, with rpm and speed in the foreground.

While the Rally Info Mode focuses on residual range and the Tripmaster function typically used on rally bikes for navigation. The DesertX is already very well equipped as standard but can be further enhanced with a wide range of accessories for off-road riding and touring. As well as those previously mentioned, the rider can also benefit from a Rally seat that combines the rider and passenger seats for a more effective off-road experience, reinforced hand guards, headlight and radiator grilles and a more reinforced engine guard. For touring, there are additional LED lights, a centre stand and heated grips. A homologated Termignoni titanium silencer and a racing exhaust, also produced by Termignoni, are available. These reduce weight and further improve the bike’s performance thanks to dedicated mapping.

So we’ve developed a bike that is totally ready for the most challenging off-road conditions such as desert riding, but is also very intuitive and comfortable to use on all kinds of road trips. Now it's up to you to decide where to take it. We're going back to the desert. And here we are, back in the middle of the desert, the magical place where it all began. We’ve shown you the new DesertX: an evocative, capable and fun ride that will have you dreaming. So here it is, the new and eagerly awaited Ducati DesertX, ready and waiting to take you wherever you want to go.

Whether it's exploring the local hills or braving the desert, the new Ducati DesertX will take you all the way. Take your wildest dreams and make them a reality. Bring your friends and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime: be ready to Dream Wilder.

2021-12-14 18:17

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