Published On: February 1, 2024Tags: ,

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…I never thought I’d dream of. The Monster 821 was my first and – I thought for a long time – only love, until the word came out that Ducati was creating an adventure bike. I was already keeping my eyes open for an ADV bike, as my travels included more gear over the years and my neck, shoulders, back and wrists were getting a proper beating on the longer trips.

I wanted more comfort and easier packing solutions. After spotting the two concept bikes on the EICMA channels back in 2020, I felt something spark. Could this become reality and even better, eventually my new bike? As soon as they announced the production of the DesertX, I knew what had to be done. I put in my order at the very end of 2021 and then the long wait began. This was only the start of many incredible adventures.

Fast forward to July 8th 2022, I rushed to Ducati Amsterdam to pick up the dream bike I never thought I’d dream of. Being the first one in the Benelux to collect it, made it even more special! Thanks to the incredible team for the service and Rubio for being a good boy. This was only the start of many incredible adventures.


Within a week I completed 1000 kilometers and its associated service, because I had a trip of 6 weeks ahead of me straight after. I was very close to not being able to do that trip on my DesertX and I don’t know if I would’ve gone on the Monster. I had many plans of customizing my DesertX, but there was simply no time to do so before I left. With a very amateurish luggage setup, I left The Netherlands.

My aluminum panniers didn’t reach the dealer in time and so I had to improvise with some bags. There was absolutely no time to waste. In those 6 weeks I would ride to World Ducati Week in Italy, to Barcelona, back to The Netherlands for my panniers, then straight back to Italy for a 3 week trip with my partner and lastly a short week in Switzerland. When I got back home the bike went straight to the dealer for its 15.000 kilometer service. What an amazing “first” ride.


After a winter of brainstorming I decided to get in touch with some folks to help me customize my DesertX early 2023. It was about time. A new sound and look, better protection and ready to tackle new adventures. I had some color schemes in mind for a long time, of which my top pick was a soft green tint. I thought I was so sure of myself, but the more I looked at it, the more doubts filled my head. I would get bored of this color for sure over time. A more neutral and still very natural color knocked the green one off the list. Blacked out parts would make the solid color stand out even more and I photoshopped for hours trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the design. The hexagon shape in the windshield was nice, but with the round shapes all around this bike (the headlights in particular) I felt it needed a more rounded and soft approach.

The DesertX was launched with the striping on the decals. Seeing the thick and thin striping I instantly knew I wanted to honor my Monster 821, on which I had put the same striping years prior. It would only make sense to continue this design on my new bike. Sand color, blacked out parts, a clean look and a dirty sound. It was finally happening! I fell in love with the bike all over again 9 months later when I picked it up at Ducati Amsterdam.


Even though I helped here and there as you’ll see in the video, I stepped away from the bigger jobs. I do love to work on my own bike, but I also know when to step back because of my lack of skills and to let the professionals do their job.

Dennis from Air Art Dennis painted all the parts in my chosen soft sandy color. It was a match made in heaven with the rest of my gear and a perfect combination with black.

Philip from Foil Projects helped me out with the decals and shapes on my windscreen. He then wrapped my alu panniers in matte black to match the look of my new design. Safe to say it would come out sick!

By the time everything was assembled again Esme from Detailing Girl came over to put a ceramic coating on the bike, making it very easy to clean and leave protection for when I would make it dirty on and off road.

Ducati Amsterdam took great care of my bike during the entire process and made sure the final coated accessories and fresh tires were fitted. When they called me that it was ready for pick up I was as happy as a pig in the mud: let’s make this bike dirty!


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