I fix Du­catis!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - DUCATI 996 -

Mark Brewin of BSD Per­for­mance cut his teenage mo­tor­cy­cling teeth on Du­catis in the 70s. He’s been a fan of the mar­que ever since and knows the ma­chines in­side out. He had these ob­ser­va­tions to make about the 916, 996 and 998 vari­ants, he said: “Early ma­chines suf­fered not so much from de­sign flaws as deal­ers skimp­ing on the elab­o­rate pre­de­liv­ery in­spec­tion re­quire­ments. Oil changes need to be done on sched­ule. Con­tam­i­nated oil can cause the sprag clutch on the starter mo­tor to fail. The sprag clutch will also suf­fer if you don’t keep the bat­tery fully charged. It’s best to have a per­ma­nent con­nec­tor on the bike and hook it up to a charger when you put it away. The tim­ing belts need chang­ing reg­u­larly – Du­cati says ev­ery 12,000 miles or two years. Con­sid­er­ing the hor­rors that can hap­pen if a belt breaks, you’d be mad to ig­nore this ad­vice. “Tim­ing belts from one of the Re­nault cars will fit and are a bit cheaper, but I think they are best avoided. If you are do­ing the belts your­self, make sure that the bolts se­cur­ing the in­ner belt cov­ers to the en­gine are tight. They have been known to come un­done, get jammed be­tween the belt and a drive pin­ion caus­ing the belt to snap.” Du­cati ser­vic­ing prices can be a bit on the salty side. If you know a good in­de­pen­dent spe­cial­ist, they are of­ten a bet­ter bet."

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