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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im going to end up doing the timing belts on a new to me 2002 Ducati 998. The previous owner said they were done but did not have paperwork for the service and honestly I would just rather know for sure they were done instead of guessing. The bike only has 5,000 original miles and runs great after I had an issue with the fuel filter. So I just had a few questions before I dive in.

Is there a difference between the Ducati brand and the Gates brand belts ?

If so which one would you recommend buying ?

I noticed something when looking into this that the belts should be made of Kevlar, can anyone recommend a good place to buy a set of belts.

Are there any specialty tools needed to do this job besides normal mechanics tools ?
I know the manual calls for some fancy ducati tool to do the belt tension, after reading and watching a few videos I found a simple method that looks to work just fine with metal mm ruler. Besides that is there anything else I should be looking to purchase when I buy the belts. I dont really want to have the bike down for a while waiting on some specialty tool to show up that I had to order at the last minute

Thanks for everyones advise
 

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I was just in a similar situation on my 916. Bought the bike and was told the belts were good but no paper work...and like you I didn't want to chance it.

After I saw online it needed some special tool, and didn't want to wait.. I ended up not installing them myself and having a local shop to do them for me. Charge was 2 shop hours + belt cost. If your shops are like me at around 100 an hour, your looking at 200 bucks or so out the door if you bring the belts in. As long as your shop ain't busy, you will have you bike back the next day.

Belts from motowheels were like 49 bucks each and you need two.

As far as brand its "exactfit" and they did in fact fit, exactly..lol
 

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There's a popular shop in California that sells high quality belts for about $100/pair.

I just had the belts done on my ST4 (Ducati 916 engine), and labor was 2 hours and cost me $169, but I was charged $175 for belts which I didn't realize :/
If I'd known that I would've brought my own and saved another $60-70.


For me, I'd rather pay a professional that $170 and know without a doubt that my bike was put back together correctly. I get there's an appeal to wrenching on your own bike, but you know what I like more than being able to tell internet strangers that I do all my own work? Riding my bike that didn't blow up because I'm not mechanically skilled :D
 

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For me, I'd rather pay a professional that $170 and know without a doubt that my bike was put back together correctly. I get there's an appeal to wrenching on your own bike, but you know what I like more than being able to tell internet strangers that I do all my own work? Riding my bike that didn't blow up because I'm not mechanically skilled :D
The flip side to that is you can pay that $170 and have it not done correctly. "But if you have the skills
you can do it yourself and know its correct"
, not hope it was done correctly "the only way to be 100% sure is if you do it yourself."
 

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The flip side to that is you can pay that $170 and have it not done correctly. But if you have the skills
you can do it yourself and know its correct, not hope it was done correctly the only way to be 100%
sure is if you to do yourself.
The guy who does my belts wheels exclusively on Ducatis and builds his own custom Ducati powered bikes that he races on the salt flats.

The odds of him making a mistake versus me making a mistake is not even close :)

If you are confident in doing them yourself by all means do it. Perhaps I made an assumption I shouldn't have, but based on the fact you are asking for recommendations on what belts to use, and if any specialty tools were needed, I'd assumed you hadn't done them yourself in the past or perhaps weren't too familiar with these bikes or working on them.

I just see it here a lot where members, intentionally or not, pressure other people into trying to change belts themselves when they may not be mechanically skilled enough to do it.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

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If your planning on owning the bike more than two years it's worth learning to do yourself. The older superbikes are not hard at all. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Im going to end up doing the timing belts on a new to me 2002 Ducati 998. The previous owner said they were done but did not have paperwork for the service and honestly I would just rather know for sure they were done instead of guessing. The bike only has 5,000 original miles and runs great after I had an issue with the fuel filter. So I just had a few questions before I dive in.

Is there a difference between the Ducati brand and the Gates brand belts ?

If so which one would you recommend buying ?

I noticed something when looking into this that the belts should be made of Kevlar, can anyone recommend a good place to buy a set of belts.

Are there any specialty tools needed to do this job besides normal mechanics tools ?
I know the manual calls for some fancy ducati tool to do the belt tension, after reading and watching a few videos I found a simple method that looks to work just fine with metal mm ruler. Besides that is there anything else I should be looking to purchase when I buy the belts. I dont really want to have the bike down for a while waiting on some specialty tool to show up that I had to order at the last minute

Thanks for everyones advise
From what I understand, the Ducati belts are made by Gates, but twice as expensive. I am in the same boat, myself... bought a 748, and the guy said that they were changed 600 miles ago. He showed me the paperwork, and was supposed to email it to me, but didn't. I was thinking of having it done, just so that I can get it back and enjoy the summer riding, then, in 2 years, a belt change will become my winter project.
 

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the ducati belts are made by gates, and belts made by gates are not available outside of ducati.

aftermarket belts are available under the "exactfit" brand from california cycleworks.

dayco also make them to suit the testastretta motors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for the replys

im more than capable of doing it here at home

ive been building high end custom bikes, race cars, muscle cars for about 15 years now

im just not familiar with the little ins and outs of brand names for ducati stuff is all and i know a lot of times some brand products are better than others and other times theyre all the same

I’ll try the exact fit belts from california

thanks again for the replys
 

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thanks for the replys

im more than capable of doing it here at home

ive been building high end custom bikes, race cars, muscle cars for about 15 years now

im just not familiar with the little ins and outs of brand names for ducati stuff is all and i know a lot of times some brand products are better than others and other times theyre all the same

I’ll try the exact fit belts from california

thanks again for the replys
This’ll probably start an argument, but.........

If you’re capable of doing it yourself & are going to do it yourself ,, you’re already saving money, right?

Then why aren’t you using Ducati belts?

Simply amazes me on how people try & save a few extra $$$ when they’re already saving on the labour costs.

Don’t be such a tightarse & buy OEM belts
You all know they work
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This’ll probably start an argument, but.........

If you’re capable of doing it yourself & are going to do it yourself ,, you’re already saving money, right?

Then why aren’t you using Ducati belts?

Simply amazes me on how people try & save a few extra $$$ when they’re already saving on the labour costs.

Don’t be such a tightarse & buy OEM belts
You all know they work
first reason is because often times belts that carry an oem manufacturers name on them are made by the same company that sells them for like 50% less. Kind of stupid to buy a product that is the same exact product and pay more just because one says ducati on it which was my reason for making the post and asking if the ducati brand belts are just a regular gates belt that are re labeled.

second reason i asked is because sometimes aftermarket products end up being an improvement over the oem products and can still cost less than the oem part.

To me its not about saving money on the job
its about knowing the job was done properly and cleanly by myself instead of some mechanic that is getting paid working for a shop or a dealership that doesnt take much pride in their work.
In my experience in the auto and bike world unless they are shop mechanics that own the dealerships or shops most of them dont give a shit about the work that they do. Yes they do a decent job most of the time
but they could really care less about what they do.
Doing it myself eliminates that factor and
It also gives me an opportunity to get a little more familiar with the bike for my own knowledge
 

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first reason is because often times belts that carry an oem manufacturers name on them are made by the same company that sells them for like 50% less. Kind of stupid to buy a product that is the same exact product and pay more just because one says ducati on it which was my reason for making the post and asking if the ducati brand belts are just a regular gates belt that are re labeled.

second reason i asked is because sometimes aftermarket products end up being an improvement over the oem products and can still cost less than the oem part.

To me its not about saving money on the job
its about knowing the job was done properly and cleanly by myself instead of some mechanic that is getting paid working for a shop or a dealership that doesnt take much pride in their work.
In my experience in the auto and bike world unless they are shop mechanics that own the dealerships or shops most of them dont give a shit about the work that they do. Yes they do a decent job most of the time
but they could really care less about what they do.
Doing it myself eliminates that factor and
It also gives me an opportunity to get a little more familiar with the bike for my own knowledge
Refer back to what Brad Black posted.... re Ducati/Gates

“second reason i asked is because sometimes aftermarket products end up being an improvement over the oem products and can still cost less than the oem part.”

And sometimes they’re not..... so as I previously stated , buy OEM , you know they work.

”To me its not about saving money on the job“

If this is true ..... as I previously stated , buy OEM , you know they work.

Is the construction of aftermarket belts identical to the OEM belts ??
I have no idea. ,,, Do you??
Some people say it is & others say it isn’t.
Some people say that the aftermarket belts are stiffer than the OEM belts.
Tension a belt of stiffer construction to OEM specs whilst the engine is cold ,, what happens after the engine is hot & cylinder growth/expansion occurs??
Extra or excessive load on bearings perhaps?

There will be dozens of members on here that will state that they use aftermarket belts “no problems”
But I have also read of others that have reported “increased noise”

If you want to go down the “rabbit hole” of aftermarket belts ,, do it , that’s your right.
I’ll continue to use OEM & gladly pay double the price because the money I save buy doing the work myself more than makes up additional cost for the belts .
 

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Well,

I guess I'm the .1% Because I have never purchased or installed a non-OEM belt yet, and quite frankly I don't intend on it. The difference in the cost between the belts is not near enough for me to repair the engine by taking a chance on a aftermarket belt. Some will argue this, but this is how it is on my bikes and the ones I have serviced.

Uli-
 

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@Nikk11, Little reason to be over-recommending if someone asks for advice, answer once is fine ;)
Should you happen to be the original poster its fine to ask back.
Oh yeah , right.
As if you haven’t done it TomTom ,, don’t be such a hypocrite
 

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Chris at Ca- cycleworks has the belts you need at an awesome price! He has been around helping the Ducati enthusiast a long time!
 

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OP. The best special tool is a cheap pulley holding tool to hold the vertical cams in position and the tool to turn the the engine over. Either the one that goes on the end of the crank (recommend) on the left hand case or the 4 pin tool that is used to UNDO the pulley nut (in desperation). And an app that gives you a frequency when you pluck a belt go check it’s tension.
Belt brand? Don’t lose sleep over it. They all up to standard. Ducati belts are expensive only because they are a Ducati spare part. No other reason. Exactfit are good:). I’ve seen more rollers fail and kill a belt than belts just breaking on their own accord.
 
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