A six-speed transmission with eight-clutch discs and very optimistic engagement helps bridge the facility hole between DesertX and Multistrada V4 with shorter gear ratios for first and second, plus tall gearing in sixth for freeway cruising. Hefty pegs and levers enable a simple heels-down, stirrup-style driving place whereas seated or standing. And upright handlebars and glorious ergonomics across the tank contribute to consolation and confidence throughout tougher jockey work out of the saddle.
Ducati even rotated the brake and clutch levers, in addition to the switchgear, ahead and down on the bars, for simpler use whereas standing, although the overextended wrist positioning can start to really feel a bit awkward throughout common street driving. The Brembo brakes themselves additionally create a little bit of an odd sensation, tuned as they’re to supply a variety of modulation in slippery off-road conditions.
Clamping the M50 monoblock radial calipers down on twin 320-mm discs up entrance and a single rear 265-mm disc produces loads of stopping energy, however gently feathering in a little bit of brake barely does the trick till the chunk hits onerous (possibly the brakes on Ducati’s brand-new press loaner wanted a bit extra time because it solely confirmed 50 miles on the odometer). The sensitivity (or lack thereof) solely actually rears up when slipping via visitors or coming to a gradual cease, although—and the DesertX’s relative lack of brute energy by no means makes the brakes strategy a worrisome degree of hesitancy.
Surely, the DesertX appears worthy of a full liter or bigger engine, which can ultimately enter the lineup. As is, the wizardry of a surprisingly nimble ADV bike with completely respectable dealing with throughout sportier driving shines via regardless of the bigger 21-inch entrance wheel, long-travel suspension entrance and rear, and the excessive heart of gravity. A set of 1.8-inch Kayaba forks mounted the other way up (or right-side up, actually) permits for 230 mm of entrance journey with adjustable compression, rebound, and preload. The rear damper additionally presents a formidable 220 mm of journey and but, neither the nostril nor tail ever strategy an excessively gentle or spongy degree of sloppiness.