Giving the Yamaha Tenere 700 and Aprilia Tuareg 660 a run for their money, Ducati has come out with Desert X, their newest dual-sport bike aimed at ripping up some serious dirt. With a nostalgic nod to the 80’s Paris-Dakar and Cagiva’s Elefant, a potent 955cc V-Twin engine, 21″/18″ wheels, and off-road focused geometry, the DDX is an excellent beast.
But is it perfect right off the factory floor? And if not, what are some of the essential Ducati Desert X mods for rally racing or riding some gnarly trails?
To find out, we spoke with Tomas Sykora, founder of Muller Motorsport. Passionate about quality aftermarket products that work, Tomas is nerdy about bikes – and modifications that make them better.
Why You Need Bike Mods: Muller Motorsport in Action
In the world of motorcycling, there are people who not only possess a profound passion for adrenaline-fueled action but also an unwavering commitment to enhancing the overall experience for fellow riders. Tomas, whose journey from professional baseball player to software developer to rally racer has culminated in a venture that seeks to bring genuine value to the adventure, dirt, and rally motorcycling community, is one of those individuals.
Tomas’s relationship with motorcycling began as an avenue to pursue after sustaining injuries from his previous sports career. However, it was his grandfather’s influence, whose cherished memories of riding a Harley Davidson held a special place in his mind, that deeply connected Tomas to the world of bikes. From motocross and enduro to the allure of rally racing, Tomas’s passion for competition and the joy of riding became an inseparable part of his life.
“When I started out, I mostly rode motocross and enduro and bought a KTM950 Super Enduro – you know, one of those bikes where every time you twist the throttle, it tries to kill you – and eventually, tried my first rally. Competition and trying to be the best are in my blood; although I had no clue about rally racing back then, the 950 was so much fun to ride, and I just wanted to race”, Tomas shares.
The journey for Tomas and Muller Motorsport began with a seemingly innocuous experience at his first race, the Serres Rally 2018. Disappointed with a Rottweiler Performance air filter he purchased for his bike, Tomas realized there was a gap in the market for superior-quality motorcycle modifications.
“I absolutely hated that air filter – it didn’t seal properly, and I even found dirt in the engine afterward. If I buy something, I expect top quality, and this wasn’t it”, Tomas recalls.
Drawing from his experience as a software developer, he started designing and crafting aftermarket solutions that elevated the performance of motorcycles, beginning with an airbox design for his KTM 950 Super Enduro with his great friend Alon Gat. In the beginning, Tomas developed and co-branded the product with another aftermarket parts company; soon, however, he found it was best to strike out solo, and Muller Motorsport took a life of its own.
Tomas revealed the inception of Muller Motorsport is a tribute to his beloved grandfather, whose last name was Muller. The venture was born out of a desire to create top-quality modifications and enhancements for dirt and adventure motorcycles, ensuring that riders experience the thrill of exploration and racing without compromising on safety and performance.
“The whole idea of Muller Motorsport is that the products need to bring value. We don’t do farkles and useless bling – we’re all about real, measurable impact. So many people out there are making stuff just to make stuff, and I disagree with that: I want to make things better for the riders”, Tomas explains.
Best Ducati Desert X Mods for Rally and Enduro
One of the highlights of Muller Motorsport’s offers is the package for the Ducati Desert X mods.
“My best friend is an ambassador for the Desert X. I rode it as well, and we felt that while the DDX is an excellent bike with great geometry, it’s not finished off the factory.
I knew it could be so much better, so I opened my laptop and started drawing. Soon, we came up with four different Ducati Desert X mods: a steering damper kit, a cam belt guard (incredibly, the Desert X has an open cam belt), 3D-printed front fork mudguards, and a brake lever saver”, Tomas explains.
While acknowledging that the DDX is a fantastic off-road machine with decent suspension, Tomas points out that a few upgrades could take it to the next level.
“If you want a stable bike, especially for rally racing, a steering damper is the key. The brake lever saver is important; cam belt and fork guards help if you ride in gnarly terrain and muddy conditions”, Tomas reasons.
To improve the DDX further, Tomas suggests considering a good set of wheels in the correct size to fit mousses, gas tank protection, decent crash bars, and a good bash plate – the stock engine guard, according to him, just isn’t sufficient if you’re going to seriously abuse the bike on rugged terrain.
Rally Footpegs for Ducati Desert X
While often overlooked, rally footpegs can be a game-changing mod for most dirt, adventure, and rally bikes – including the Ducati Desert X. Tomas says he’s impressed with the Cross Country ADV Rally footpegs thanks to the sturdy design, wider surface area, and replaceable studs.
“Here at Muller Motorsport, we love the rally footpegs – it’s yet another mod that really makes the bike. The size is important: when you race a big, heavy beast, you need a lot of leverage under your feet to move the bike, so the rally footpeg size helps a lot. Compared to others, the rally footpegs are much more robust and a lot beefier than anything else on the market: the product is solid, and I know that if I crash, I won’t rip them off. I also appreciate the stud design, while the position of the footpegs takes the fatigue off”, Tomas shares.
Whether it’s crafting clever designs or hand-picking tried and tested aftermarket products by other brands, what sets the philosophy of Muller Motorsport apart is attention to detail and a laser-focus on solutions that genuinely benefit riders rather than simply creating superficial enhancements. Shunning cosmetic upgrades and committing to products that truly make an impact, Tomas hopes to help riders enhance their experience, be it on rally racing, riding dirt, or adventure motorcycling.
“Most of all, we like to support people who race, people who trash their bikes, people who go fast. Dirt maniacs, enduro nutcases, riders who love having stupid amounts of fun – that’s our crowd. In addition to sponsorship requests, we often get messages from people asking for advice, and I always love to help”, Tomas shares.
Ready to check out some of the essential Ducati Desert X mods or browse the goldmine of Muller Motorsport for aftermarket parts of different motorcycle makes and models? Head on over to their main site:
Want to get your paws on a pair of rally footpegs? Grab yours here:
Own a Ducati Desert X and know mods we haven’t covered? Share the wisdom in the comments below!