The latest Ducati online launch has taken place and the new model that has been revealed is the long-anticipated and more extreme DesertX Rally, which takes the DesertX from being a retro adventure bike to a full-on serious off-road rally raid model.
The new model remains unchanged mechanically, being powered by the 937cc Testastretta engine mounted in a tubular steel chassis, but the new model has longer travel suspension, a high-mount front mudguard and a unique paint job.
The red, grey and white paint with the oversized Ducati script looks the business and is a taste of what is to come with the rest of the bike. The front mudguard shrouds less of the front wheel so it won’t get clogged up with mud, while the wheels are 21 inches front and 18 inches rear, both being Excel rim-equipped, running Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tubed tyres.
The suspension is still supplied by KYB but is now a set of 48mm closed cartridge front forks, adjustable for compression and rebound. They offer 250mm of travel – an increase of 20mm over the base DesertX. At the rear, the travel is upped by 20mm – jumping to 240mm thanks to a fully adjustable shock with a larger 46mm piston, designed to improve off-road behaviour. Overall the new suspension gives 280mm of ground clearance, or 30mm more than the standard bike.
The aluminium swing arm has a new attachment point, with an adjustable Öhlins steering damper up front, fixed directly to the handlebars, to improve stability off-road.
As you would expect, the electronics are extensive, with anti-wheelie, traction control and cornering ABS and six riding modes – Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro and Rally, all being controlled via the 5-inch full-colour TFT dash. If 108 horsepower isn’t enough, an optional Termignoni race exhaust boosts power and torque by a claimed 7%.
There is no South African arrival date so far but talk to Ducati South Africa for more information, including the all-important price.