As promised, during the 2019 World Ducati Premier, Ducati rolled out its Desert X concept machine at EICMA. And it is a sexy beast. Looking more like Husqvarna’s Norden 901 concept bike than KTM’s 790, the Desert X screams retro rally with modern appointments.
Specifically, the Desert X harkens back to Cagiva’s Elefant piloted by Edi Auriol during the Dakar Rally. There’s more than a subtle resemblance.
Ducati has said little about the specifications of the concept bike. But they have said that it is powered by Ducati’s 1079 cc, 2-valve air-cooled, L-twin engine. It’s the same engine that powers its current 1,100 Scrambler.
As a Dakar style bike, the Desert X carries lots of fuel and uses numerous tanks to hold it. The front tank looks similar to the tanks on the KTM 950/990. It appears to feature split tanks with a gas cap on either side. The rear end of the bike gets the same treatment with tanks on both the left and right sides of the machine.
Two round “angel eye” looking headlights grace the front of the machine giving it both a retro and modern look at the same time. Those headlights are part of the rally-style tower that could provide decent wind and weather protection.
Ducati uses off-road-oriented spoked wheels with a 21-inch front, and 18-inch rear. With that wheelset, there are plenty of knobby tire options.
Other features found on the bike include a toolkit packed into the trellis frame, handguards, and a TFT dash that looks like a rally tower holding a roadbook.
Whether Ducati will bring the bike to production isn’t known. But with the segment apparently heating up, and Husqvarna already showing off a “rally clone” looking bike, could the pressure could be on Ducati to bring a bike like the Desert X to market?
All photo credit: Asphalt & Rubber unless otherwise indicated.