BUYER’SWISDOM

Fast Bikes - - CORE TEST -

Peo­ple al­ways think that buy­ing a used Du­cati is a po­ten­tial mine­field, but a well looked af­ter one is ac­tu­ally quite re­li­able. And that’s the key. Don’t buy a hound imag­in­ing you can re­turn it to its full glory, you won’t and you will spend a for­tune dis­cov­er­ing this fact!

First of all en­sure you have a good ser­vice his­tory – a higher mileage Du­cati with a ser­vice his­tory is a bet­ter buy than a lower mileage one with­out. The 748 needs its cam belts changed ev­ery two years, ir­re­spec­tive of mileage, while the ‘desmo ser­vice’ is ev­ery 6000 miles and in­volves a valve clear­ance check.

Dodg­ing these ser­vices can lead to ex­pen­sive me­chan­i­cal woes, es­pe­cially as the al­ter­na­tor nut has a habit of work­ing loose on pre-tes­tas­tretta V-twins, po­ten­tially wreak­ing havoc within the mo­tor…

Reg/recs are weak points on early 748 mod­els, and the plat­ing on the rocker arms can also wear (this should be sorted by now), but your main con­cern when buy­ing used is the swingarm pinch bolts.

Check the ec­cen­tric swingarm ad­juster moves freely and that the hub hasn’t been de­formed by the pinch bolts be­ing over-tight­ened (ask the owner what the torque set­tings are, he should know it’s 31Nm), a com­mon is­sue. Other than this, check the pos­i­tive feed into the starter mo­tor for rust, lis­ten for signs the sprag clutch is worn and en­sure all the elec­tri­cal items work – es­pe­cially the fuel warn­ing and neu­tral lights.

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