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Discussion Starter #1
Title says it all. For reasons I won't explain (but am not particularly happy or proud about) I have a set of belts on my bike that are probably 2+ years old (didn't check my records before this post) but probably have 1K miles on them.

How worried should I be about changing them? Yes I know the potentially catastrophic consequences of a snapped belt, but I guess what I'm asking is what the effect of pure time is on belt durability - and if significant, should I worry when buying "new" belts that they've sat in stock for years before I got them (a la tires, without the date-coding)?

Thanks as always guys. - BrianK
 

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The number one response you'll get is "would you rather pay to fix the engine, or a new set of belts?"

Its it's a 2-valve, id probably change them. Newer models you'd be good for another 3-ish years

As for the "shelf-life" of belts... that's a good question.. but the arent tensioned when sitting on the shelf so i would imagine its negligible unless its been many many years
 

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Can't imagine there would be much wear at all after 2 years and 1,000 miles. The belts I changed on my Diavel earlier in the year had 5 years and 20,000 miles on them and they looked practically brand new. Not single crack or loose fiber on either of them...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Xyst. Doing valves this winter so probably will do at the same time.
 

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Does Ducati currently recommend that you change belts that are two years old that have seen only 1000 miles. No.

Gates, the belt manufacture says EIGHT YEARS:

995135
 

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i would let any of the belts go 5 years. the 2 year thing started in 99, so everything before that had belts for ever.

belts don't ever come out looking like there's something wrong with them, unless shit has already gone covid shaped. i had a 55,000km 1098 come in that i assume had original belts on it. horizontal was fluff and gone, vertical was strands with teeth on them and still functioning just fine.
 

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Meh ....can you do it yourself for cheap ? If so then do it ....why not. If you can't and are cheap... risk it. If you can't and have some loot replace em.

That was easy ...Im cheap but can do it....so I do...within spec.
 

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My seven year old belts looked brand new on the bike I bought, 500 miles later and I had to rebuild the heads and valves when the belts disintegrated.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, happy to have brought out a spectrum of opinion.... :p

I guess where I am is given I'll have them on and off for the valves anyway, might as well git-er-done. Other than that, I could see going 4-5 years if current mileage conditions continue.

Although if they do, I should pass the damned thing on to someone who'll actually ride it. And will.
 

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I believe that age is more important than mileage for these. I had matching M900's for my wife and I, and I changed the belts on both of them every two years, even though in that two years, her belts had about 4K on them, and mine had about 24K on them. I think sitting too long, on those tightly curved pulleys, is harder on the belts than regular usage.

I did, due to a record-keeping mixup, forget to change them on my bike once. So that set went 4 years and about 48K miles. They looked OK at the end, just a few cracks. But I decided that I did not want to chance lunching the engine. I've seen the results of a couple belt failures, and it's worth it to me to change the belts, use synthetic oil, etc.

I rarely let go of a good bike before about 80K miles, and I put 265K on my first M900.

PhilB
 

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I bought a 999s with 26,000 miles this year. The belts were last done at 23,800, in 2013. The bike got a couple thousand miles over the next couple years. And then it sat until this year when I bought it. While I have another 3,000 miles before it's due, it has been 7 years since it has had belts. So I had the belts only done. It only cost me $250. And the pizza mind is well worth it. No brainer for me.
 

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Where I live rubber windshield wiper blades last 90 days because of the heat and constant UV. Lots of people replace only on the three days it rains each year, but even with a cover over our belts the dry climate bakes those brittle. We have just ended a 105 day streak of over 100 degrees F every day,... so it's only 99F now everyday.
 

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They might last longer, they might not.

It is your bike to decide if you want to try so you save ...... what exactly?
If running the factory spec 2 years/12000 mile life and use the more expensive oem that would cost you about $80 per year. Aftermarket belts would be about $40 per year. If you run 3 years as i do thats $53 for oem and $26 for aftermarket.

I fix bikes that break for a living, it is ALWAYS cheaper to maintain than repair. I use aftermarket belts and have no second thoughts on throwing them away with less than 3000 miles on them after 3 years. Just a guess but RockAz probably paid more to repair than the cost of either belts. If the belt life is too much of a burden I might suggest a nice SV650, Ninja 650 or the new Aprilia 660.
 

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Paid more for the repair of broken belts than the original purchase price of the bike.

I had purchased the belts, and was in the process of acquiring the tools to check the valves when I decided to ride it to work everyday for a week. Those belts looked new, no cracks or fading color. Probably adjusted too tight, I didn't check that as they were coming off as soon as I got the tools.
 

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Does Ducati currently recommend that you change belts that are two years old that have seen only 1000 miles. No.

Gates, the belt manufacture says EIGHT YEARS:

View attachment 995135
That 8 year reference is for belt storage, not in use for 8 years. And that Gates memo appears to be for a belt used in place of a chain as a belt drive bike like a Diavel or Harley, not related to a cam timing belt. I personally don't think anyone should be running their bikes with 8 year old cam timing belts ...you're just asking for a blown engine.
 
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That 8 year reference is for belt storage, not in use for 8 years. And that Gates memo appears to be for a belt used in place of a chain as a belt drive bike like a Diavel or Harley, not related to a cam timing belt. I personally don't think anyone should be running their bikes with 8 year old cam timing belts ...you're just asking for a blown engine.
No one is saying you should run a Ducati timing belt for eight years.

The question was if a two year old belt that has run 1,000 miles should be changed based on time only.

The Gates Tech Memo indicates that their synchronous (timing, i.e. toothed) belts properly stored — even if mounted on its drive — will be good for eight years

What it means that if a new bike is properly stored for a time longer than the Ducati recommended belt change interval, the belts will provide full service for the full Ducati service interval once the bike is used.

So, what about a bike that has been run for 100 mile in two years? For 500 miles?

You have to use your common sense here.
 

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Can't imagine there would be much wear at all after 2 years and 1,000 miles. The belts I changed on my Diavel earlier in the year had 5 years and 20,000 miles on them and they looked practically brand new. Not single crack or loose fiber on either of them...

Bought my bike with very low mile but 6 year old belts, I finally changed them and the was no cracks wear or fraying. I used the Exactfit brand as they claim 5 years. Heat destroys everything so just time would not scare me to change then 6 based on my old belts. that 2 year number has safety buffet in that. Riding in heat and high miles.. Sure change them more.
 

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Just to point out, the Gates memo doesn't say 8 years. Read the 2nd last para; it says this issue (alone) is irrelevant for synchronous belts, as we are talking about here. It mentions other irrelevant issues such as cog rusting. And expresses potential concern around taking a set, which is where extended high ambient temp in STORAGE could come into it. They mention 6 months unused as appropriate to pull tension off to avoid the issue. But this is the 'dust laden, found it in a farm shed' scenario. For everyone else, ANY start moves them to a different position, and this issue becomes of little consequence.

Being a BE (Mech) engr this issue is of some interest and I had an email exchange with Gates a few years ago. They said that, once they went to kevlar belts, time based changing became much less relevant. This was at least 10 years ago. He said inspection based replacement, with particular attention to any cracking at root of the teeth, was entirely appropriate. Personally, I routinely run belts out past 5 years on a 4V, and they do show a bit of edge wear but nothing else, typically 50,000km, was more back when I was talking to Gates.

Make your own decisions, but please do relegate canvas reinforced belt scare stories to the annals of history where they belong, and stop trotting them out like they have some relevance to modern machinery...
 
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