I fix Ducatis!
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."