Ducati DesertX Rally Coming for 2024

New suspension and more off-road-oriented chassis.

Antoine Méo rode a modified DesertX at the Erzberg Rodeo, one which we believe closely resembles the new DesertX Rally.Ducati

Ducati has adopted a staggered new-model-release strategy over the last few years with a series of consecutive “episodes” spread over a couple of months. The company’s 2024 launches have already started with the new Monster 30th Anniversary but another is now confirmed with the name “DesertX Rally” appearing multiple times in new EPA filings.

The DesertX Rally appears under the same certification that already includes the standard DesertX and the DesertX DP (Ducati Performance). The bike’s name also shows up in paperwork from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for models passing California’s more stringent emissions rules. All the documents agree that the engine is unaltered—it’s the same 937cc Testastretta 11° that’s used in the Hypermotard 950, Monster, and Supersport 950, and in the DesertX Rally it puts out 108 hp and 68 lb.-ft. of torque.

There’s no significant change to the weight, either. Both the EPA and CARB documents use a figure for Estimated Inertial Mass (EIM), intended to represent the mass of the bike, rider, and luggage, rather than the dry or wet weights that we’re used to seeing on a bike’s specs, but the DesertX Rally’s EIM of 320 kilograms (705 pounds) is identical to that of the standard DesertX.

That leaves the question hanging over what exactly does change to differentiate the Rally from the stock DesertX, and the answer surely lies in the bike’s name. Back in June, Antoine Méo rode a modified DesertX to victory in the twin-cylinder class of the Iron Road Prologue at the Erzberg Rodeo, becoming the only twin to qualify for the final. Modifications to his bike, backed by Ducati Austria, included a larger-diameter 48mm Kayaba fork, up from 46mm, and a new shock, with suspension travel at both ends increased compared to the standard model. Narrower wheels—21-incher at the front, 18-incher at the rear wear Metzeler Six Days Extreme tires—and a stronger bash plate under the engine completed the changes along with a Termignoni exhaust. All tweaks that suit the “Rally” suffix of the new DesertX model. Méo’s bike even wore a paint designed by Centro Stile Ducati at the factory, so there’s a strong chance the DesertX Rally will have a similar color scheme.

Antoine Méo’s prologue-winning DesertX.Ducati

Given the relatively minor changes expected to create the DesertX Rally, it’s likely to appear in one of the earlier “episodes” of Ducati’s 2024 model launches. The next is due on September 19, with additional bikes being unveiled on October 3, October 19, November 2, and November 7. The only other model that’s already guaranteed to be updated for 2024 is the Multistrada; it’s marking its 20th anniversary this year and Ducati has already confirmed it will be the subject of one of the new model episodes in the coming weeks.