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To Ducati or Not To Ducati?

27358 Views 166 Replies 47 Participants Last post by  Fenton
If it is going to be a "second" bike, how long will it take you to run 6000 miles? If you have to throw $500 to the dealer every 18 months, big deal. If someone is doing 25k miles a year I would think the cost of service is an issue.

Someone will chime in if the S2R 1000 is going to be on the longer service intervals as the new 1100s.
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Don't worry about it.

Have you actually talked to motorcycle mechanics? Where does anyone get the idea that they are smarter than anyone else? If they can do it, you can do it. If you are concerned then just set the valves to the looser end of the tolerance. Just follow the manual instructions exactly. That's what the mechanics do. There's no magic about it. I've done loads of bikes and cars using manuals and never had a problem.

Modern valves seldom go out of whack after you get a few thousand miles on them. I've had bikes go 40K miles without needing an adjustment.
I'll bet after a few miles get put on the Duck that the Beemer will become the 2nd bike.
Ducati maintenance costs over-rated

My experience is that, while maintenance costs are higher than some other bikes (but not for BMW), most of the horror stories about the cost of owning a Ducati are just that... horror stories.

In practice, the valves tend to settle in, and after the first valve adjustment most of my riding friends (high mileage ST2/3/4s owners) find that they only need to attend to the bi-annual cam belt change. The mechanicals of Ducati bikes tend to be pretty robust, and are capable of pretty high mileages (my regular riding partner averages 20,000 miles a year on his bike).

If you are interested in doing your own maintenance and valve adjustments, I would recommend LT Snyder's book, which you can get at Another good source for manuals is
Re: Don't worry about it.

"Modern valves seldom go out of whack after you get a few thousand miles on them. I've had bikes go 40K miles without needing an adjustment. "

Aaaaaah, don't say that about Ducatis! If you neglect the valves, bad things happen, like broken stems and dropped valves for one - horrible stuff. The valve adjustments are frequent for a reason, the setup of the desmodromic actuation leads to more shifts in clearance. The situation is remedied by getting EMS / MBP collets, which are precision machined and more durable than Ducati half-ring collets (and cover more surface area around the stem), and extend the adjustment interval to nearly 20 000 miles.

The problem with 4V adjustment is it requires many steps, and if the closers need adjusting the entire assembly must be taken apart (cams out, rockers out, shims and collets off, etc). 2V is much simpler - but both are straightforward, just time consuming. There are two shims on each valve, and two measurements for clearance - one for the top opener rocker, the other for the bottom closer rocker. Just imagine everything doubled in a normal valve setup, and half of it upside down, and you have an idea of what is involved. I was nervous at first too but the shop I work at used to be a Duc dealer in the bevel-head era and my boss gave me the real story. It's simple.

Now, 7500 miles (6000 for pre-06 models) is a "check" interval, it doesn't mean that they will require adjustment. But it helps if you expect it anyway.

If you have it done at a shop, expect 500$ for a full 6K/7.5K service on a 2V, 1000$ on a 4V. Some places are much more reasonable (I've heard 250-450$ respectively from one reputable shop) but in general dealers charge a lot. Why? Because they can.
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I'll bet with you. Made the same comment below about the RT having more garage time.
I own an '05 S2R 800 Monster and am quite happy with it. The 1000 with adjustable forks and about another 20 hp is really da bomb!! My dealer was upfront with me about service costs as I was concerned with this also. They printed out what they did at each service and told me what to expect for cost. My first service was about $280 which included an oil change using full synth--Motul 300V. Labor was a little over $200 and parts about $80 for fuel and oil filters, washers, and oil. They said the next service cost depended on whether the valves needed adjustment and if so, how many. Cost might be $500-700.

Ducati is aware of their reputation for high maintenance costs and supposedly implemented better tooling that results in lower costs--they say up to 50% less and somewhere on the Monsterlist someone said there are pricing guidelines that dealers are supposed to use, so they should be able to tell you what to expect on '07 bikes. ProItalia in Glendale CA sells a video they produced showing how to adjust 2-valve desmos:

I've seen it and it seems like something any experienced mechanic can do. I borrowed it from a guy that has been doing his own valves for years.

Definitely check out the Monsterlist. Some owners have experienced a fueling issue that some people have solved by disconnecting the O2 sensor, plugging the lines, and then disconnecting the battery for a short time. Disconnecting the battery makes the ECU reset itself differently. You can probably find the thread by searching for O2 sensor.

Here's a link to a review by another Ducatista that rides a 999:

It's not a really critical review, but from what I've read there's not much to dislike about the S2R1000. Do it! Ducati's are amazing!
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I wanted to take credit for that PM.
"Ducati's are amazing!"

And you get to buy those so-sweet-they'll-make-you-weep vintage Ducati jackets.
Get two Ducatis and a Moto Guzzi. Then when it's time to decide which one to ride, play Duc-Duc-Goose.
Re: Don't worry about it.

"Where does anyone get the idea that they are smarter than anyone else? "

Around here. I'm hear to feel like I'm smart, I don't own a motorcycle.
My buddy has an ST2 and he has put around 36000 miles on his bike. He bought a service manual and a set of shims from one of the many online suppliers. Prior to buying his Duc he never worked on anything mechanical other than changing a tire. He can read and has patience and has no problem adjusting his valves and changing his belts.

Check out this site.
"It makes power down low that makes my current literbike seem weak at sane street speeds."

Some folks need to read that sentence over and over.
That's alright. Everyone that sends me personal emails gets put on a mailing list to a string of hardcore German gay porn sites and receives their own personal profile on multiple NAMBLA forums.
So you got 5 more from kp again today?
I gotta hand it to him. I've never got a personal email from him in all the years he's been here no matter how ugly the topic got.

I don't know about the rest of you guys, though.

Speaking of which, his blog is a MAJOR disappointment. But it probably does indicate the odds of him following threw with the actually race.
"I really like the look and sound of Ducatis" BUY IT "I am very mechanically inclined" BUY IT NOW(and a manual)

Bikes are objects of the bike that hits your senses the hardest.
I don't think you'll have any trouble doing the maintenance yourself, especially on the air-cooled 2-valvers. These motors are pretty simple, and the nakedness makes them easier to access. The latest shop manuals are on cd and are in full color, making the task even easier. LT Snyder's manual is a great reference too.

I love my S2R 800, and the 1000 looks to be better in just about every way. I'd probably have sprung for the 1000 if it was available when I got my bike as the better suspension and brakes would be well worth the extra cash, not to mention the added hp.

The gas tank is a little small, giving me about 2.5 gallons between idiot lights. Good enough for ~110 miles in the city or ~130 miles on the open road without making me nervous. Should be fine for the "fun weekend rides" you have in mind.
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