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Ducati DesertX


Well-known member
Dec 24, 2022
Member Number
So. IL
Anyone else have one?


In the past 15-16 years I've owned several European bikes: 1190ADV, 990 SMT, R1200GS Hexhead, GSA LC, Triumph Explorer 1200, 1050 Speed Triple have all graced my shed. The R1200GSA LC was the most recent and also the most frustrating, it was going into limp mode at random intervals and multiple 250 mile round trips to the dealer hadn't sorted it out. BMW would have them make a small change and then hand it back to me and wait to see if it happened again. When it finally happened as I was merging into a very busy bit of traffic and nearly got me ran over, I decided I was done.

I knew I wanted something a bit lighter but that wasn't a huge concern either as I have a WR250R for really rough stuff already. I wanted something fun enough on the road but also capable of gravel roads and more if needed. I looked at the Yamaha T7 (the WR version coming to the US would have likely won me there but noooo), Tuareg 660, DesertX, and thought about waiting to see a Transalp. But the Ducati won me over; the ergos are great for me, it is a bit lighter, looks good, and I like the engine and handling...price tag could be better but I was very happy with the trade-in I was offered and I was able to strip off my Black Dog and Touratech parts. Basically, I owned the GSA for 2.5 years and it cost me $2200.

So far I've added a Perun Moto rear rack and picked up a set of ProBrake levers from someone on another forum. Still trying to decide on crashbars and a luggage solution, I have Kriega US 5, 10, and 20 so I can certainly carry some stuff but it will all be higher up on the bike. Kriega say they are working on a DesertX-specific OS Base for their rackless system now and of course the Mosko reckless 40 is available. I've read just enough negative about the smaller Tusk system to keep me away from it.
I love the looks of the bike and I'm a fan of Ducati engines.
If I was in the market for a new ADV bike, this would be on the shortlist.
For dirt duty, I'm kinda concerned about the timing belts being exposed to dirt, seems like a potential failure point if not cleaned and inspected regularly.
I don't have one but one showed up on one of my rides. The owner of this bike decided his KTM's were too unreliable and switched to Ducati.


I don't think the belts / covers would pose a problem, as all of the Ducati Elefant series have been around for many, many years without any issues. Also the scrambler bikes. They have essentially the same belt / cover system as employed by the Desert X bikes. This was also discussed on the "other" ADV site.
I don't have one but one showed up on one of my rides. The owner of this bike decided his KTM's were too unreliable and switched to Ducati.

Last year I attended a Rawhide training session in the Colorado mountains, three attendees rode in on KTM's. Two of them suffered mechanical and electrical issues so badly that the on-site mechanic spent an entire day trying to get it working so its owner could ride home. The other owner did some of his own wrenching then gave up and rented a GS to complete the course. He managed to get it running the morning after the training ended and I've since wondered if he made it home without another breakdown.

As a former 3x Ducati owner I'll just stay on the sidelines and admire them whilst others post about their ownership experiences.

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