The Ducati DesertX taking on the Tatts Finke Desert Race is an impressive endeavour. The Finke Desert Race is renowned as one of the most challenging off-road rally races in the world, and Ducati’s decision to participate with its DesertX model signifies its commitment to showcase the off-road capabilities of the motorcycle.

Top key points:

  • Ducati Australia attempted to complete the Finke Desert Race on one tank of gas using the Ducati DesertX.
  • The Finke Desert Race is a 460-kilometer (286-mile) off-road race held in Australia.
  • The DesertX is a middleweight adventure motorcycle that is not known for its fuel economy.
  • Ducati Australia prepared for the race by installing some dealer-installed protection and accessories on the DesertX. They also gave the bike a full tank of gas and fitted it with a genuine Ducati auxiliary fuel tank.
  • Ducati Australia was not just trying to set a fuel economy record. They also wanted to show that the DesertX is a capable off-road motorcycle.
  • The bike made it to the finish line on one tank of gas, but it was not easy. The team faced a number of challenges along the way, including rough terrain, high temperatures, and wind.
  • In the end, Ducati Australia’s attempt to complete the Finke Desert Race on one tank of gas was a success. This shows that the DesertX is a capable off-road motorcycle with decent fuel economy.

Here are some key takeaways

  1. Ducati’s Adventure Touring Ambition: While Ducati might not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of adventure touring motorcycles, this endeavour in Australia underscores their intent to make a mark in this category.
  2. The Bike – DesertX: This bike is Ducati’s most off-road-focused offering in their lineup. For the race, Ducati didn’t make significant custom modifications. Instead, they opted for genuine Ducati accessories to ensure protection and enhance performance.
  3. Challenging the Norm: Ducati’s approach wasn’t about merely completing the race. By attempting to do the Finke Desert Race on one tank of gas (plus a bit from the auxiliary tank), they aimed to make a statement in the world of middle-weight adventure bikes.
  4. The Race: Spanning 460 kilometres (approximately 286 miles) from Alice Springs to Finke and back, completing this race is challenging. Considering the harsh desert terrain, achieving such a distance on a single tank of fuel is a formidable challenge.
  5. DesertX’s Specs: DesertX is a powerhouse, capable of producing up to 110 horsepower. This can, however, be reduced to 75 horsepower based on rider preferences, potentially aiding in fuel economy for such a race.
  6. The Outcome: The DesertX successfully completed the race, a testament to both the bike’s capabilities and the skills of the Ducati team and Nick Selleck. The video, as mentioned, provides an in-depth look into the challenges faced and the performance of the bike in demanding desert conditions.

This endeavour is a powerful statement from Ducati, highlighting their dedication to adventure biking and showcasing the potential of the DesertX. It’ll be intriguing to see how this impacts the brand’s perception in the adventure biking community and what further developments we can expect from Ducati in this segment.


Ducati’s bold decision to tackle the challenging Tatts Finke Desert Race with their DesertX model signifies more than just a showcase of the bike’s capabilities. It represents the Italian manufacturer’s intent to redefine and solidify its position in the adventure touring motorcycle category.


By successfully navigating one of the world’s most gruelling races on a single tank of fuel, the Ducati not only proves the DesertX’s robustness and efficiency but also challenges the norms of what adventure bikes can achieve. The endeavour sets a new standard and narrative, positioning Ducati as a formidable player in the world of off-road adventure biking.

YouTube – Ducati

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