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Hello everyone! My name is Ricky and I recently purchased a 2002 748s. This is my first Ducati and so far... I'm loving it! I have a few questions regarding maintenance and upgrading the headlights and tail lights. I normally work on my own cars and I did all (though wasn't much to do) the maintenance on my last bike, an 03 GSX-R 600.

All I've done so far to the Duc are oil change, bled the brake and clutch lines, cleaned/lube the chain, and changed a set of tires. It's currently in the shop for a new DID 520 chain. I was gonna tackle this myself but the shop is only charging me $30 to change it out. I've read that valve adjustments are supposed to be done fairly often (every 2500 miles?). I'm sure a shop would charge an arm and a leg for a jobber like that.

After bleeding the clutch fluid, the clutch is much more "springy," but I swear it catches later than before I bled it. I heard that on Japanese bikes, after changing the oil, clutches sometimes slip because of the brand of oil used. However, I know that our bikes have dry clutches, so the oil change didn't have an effect on the clutch. Any idea on what this could be? Maybe I wasn't supposed to do (bleed) it?

The bike has 11k miles and I only ride street (mainly spirited canyon/mountain), no track. When should the timing(?) belts be changed? What is the best manual to get when it comes to servicing and maintenance. Are those CDs on ebay any good/useful? I'd really like to make the valve adjustments ASAP.

The headlights on this bike is by far the worst that I've seen. I can barely see 30-40 feet in front of me. Is there a way to adjust these headlights? Better yet, is it possible to upgrade to HIDs? I'm not sure if the housing and lens can handle the extra heat, or if the lens has an optimal design for an HID bulb. As for the tail lights, they just way too outdated. I'd like to upgrade to sometype of LED system. I saw the group buy post and I would have to say the LEDs are still too expensive. When I get a chance, I'll try to make my own LED board.

Oh, one last thing, would anyone here happen to know whether or not an 01 748s and the 02 748s has the exact same motor? The manuals on Ebay say that they're only compatible with the 01.

Sorry for the long post, I'll try to keep it short next time. Thanks for any info that anyone can give me.

Ricky
 

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Hey Ricky, welcome to the club!

To answer a few questions.
Valvecheck: every 6.000 miles
Cambelts change: every 12.000 miles OR every 2 years (whatever comes first)
Clutch: You may have gotten some air in it.. they are a bit tricky. Check your slavecylinder (buy your left foot).
LED:s There is a groupbuy on the board right now.. check it out. VERY good quality.
HID´s Some like it, some don´t.. Just remember that the stock buld is a cross axis H3, not a lenght axis H1.
 

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Regarding the lights, you can get uprated Bulbs (same wattage but better light output) that give a small improvement, but does the Dip light stay on when main beam is on? (some don't), if not this is an easy mod that makes a big difference. HID kits are available and some on here have done this mod, I've considered it but not done it yet as I'm trying not to spend too much on the bike (saving up for new wheels ;) ) and I don't ride much at night anyway.
Regarding the rear lights, the group buy looks like an excellent product but it is expensive, I got an LED board off ebay which, whilst not being as good as the group buy one, is still much better than stock and much more affordable, the seller I got it from still has them listed;

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ducati-748-916-996-998-LED-Brake-Tail-Light-L-K_W0QQitemZ8036109120QQcategoryZ10448QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

This works well and I don't think it's worth making your own (one-off) at that price.

Regarding the maintenance, don't neglect the belt change and valve adjustments, the results of leaving these can be very costly - some on here do their own valve adjustments but it is quite complicated and many (me included) leave it to an expert. :)

BTW you can download manuals for a 748 (user & service) from;

http://www.duc.nu/manuals/

Although I'm not sure for which year model but I don't think the 748 changed much, except maybe for the upgrade of the charging system on later bikes.
 
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