My desert,
my first DesertX

Five-time Enduro World Champion Antoine Méo talks about his experience riding the new DesertX.

When I raced the Dakar, more experienced riders told me that once you try the desert, it stays with you forever and you can’t live without it…. Well, they were right!

It’s an incredible feeling, of extreme freedom, and one I’ve really missed. To experience it again in the Fossil Rock Desert, aboard the new DesertX, was exciting to say the least. And surprising too! I say that because I’d never tested the bike before coming here, but it felt like mine as soon as I climbed aboard. And then when I turned it on and set off, well, it felt like I’d been riding it forever.

You immediately know that this bike is designed for off-roading, and there’s really great footpeg-seat-handlebar triangulation. When you’re up on your feet, you’re able to put your full weight on the footpegs and don’t need to hang on to the handlebar, which means you remain relaxed even when over long distances.

The bike rides very well off-road, with a light front end, and remains balanced over the jumps. This is also thanks to the suspension that, as well as offering an excellent response, is very sensitive to adjustments and easy to customise.

As for the electronics, bikes in this category often tend to be either too simple or overly complicated. The first type fails to give you the support you need for a less tiring ride, while the second has such complex management systems that, in the end, it’s not you guiding the bike, but the bike guiding you. But the electronics on the DesertX are perfectly balanced. The settings are very useful in more relaxed situations, but when you want to use it in more extreme conditions, on the dunes for example, it’s easy to switch everything off and use the bike in its raw form. And this is something I really appreciated because a bike that knows how to fulfil my desires is a bike that lets me feel truly free.

And the engine, the legendary Testastretta 11°, is also very versatile. Always ready to perform, it offers the right power in all riding situations, even the most extreme, thanks to its specific off-road calibration. But I also really enjoyed it on the easy stretches, when travelling or transferring. And this is no small thing. The desert is a continual wonder. And when you’re there, all you want to do is enjoy it to the full. All you need is the right travel companion.

New Ducati DesertX

Exploration. Entertainment. Performance. And a great desire to pick up and head for the horizon. The identity of this bike leaves no room for doubt: just by looking at it, you are transported into the atmosphere of the Dakar races.

Discover it
Discover it
Cover Stories

A selection of the most exclusive content from the latest Redline Magazine.

Sign up for Email

Read our privacy policy to learn about data processing

Enter a valid email address
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.