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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new or used Ducati S2R. I have two questions. Can anyone tell me what the average maintenance costs per year on a ducati are? In regards to the frequent valve checks. Can a guy do these himself if he isnt a moron around the wrenches? If so, how much do the tools cost? What are the risks? How difficult is it? Thank You.

923 Posts
Mileage-wise, I think zooom meant. Yearly maintenance really depends on how many miles you put on and how much you're willing to do yourself. Oil filters are $10-13/ea; oil depends on your favorite flavor. Belts are about $50-60/pr and should happen every 9-10k (why wait til 12k?). A set (4) of valve cover gaskets is cheap.

Valve checks on 2v lumps aren't bad - if you're not timid around wrenches. First time might take you an afternoon, then once you see it once - you'll be fine. If you don't have your own shim kit (I don't) you might spend a little downtime getting new shims if your local dealer can't hook you up, but just as long as the pony express takes.

Tools ... you will benefit from having a crank tool, which I think are around $60; but it's not impossible to accomplish this without one. Besides that, a selection of allen wrenches, gap feelers and the standard bag of goodies will get you by.

What are the risks? Well, there are none if you don't screw it up. ;) No more risks than any shop tech, put it that way. Otherwise, let's see ... do you want the black friday version? If you change the belts and let the cams get out of synch with the crank, you can put some nice new dimples in your pistons and bend your valves all to hell. If you're not careful covering up the oil return in the valve service while checking the vertical cylinder and drop a half ring down there you can write off the rest of the weekend while you go retrieve it. You could really make a mess out of the head if you completely goof your open/close measurements on the valves (closer doesn't close far enough or worse - tries to close too far, etc) - but you'd have to be on the south end of a bad acid trip to let yourself do that, anyway.

But what are the risks of letting your chain get way out of adjustment? A lot worse, because you're going to be a lot more focused with your fingers in the works. :)

Otherwise, you're risking the satisfaction in learning how to do your own valve service yourself. Put it this way: the risks are minimal unless you're one of the people who don't recognize when you're in way over your head and/or are unwilling to ask for help or let a professional pick up where you left off.

Difficulty? I'd give it a 2 out of 5, maybe a 3 out of 5 the first time around, depending how confident you are in taking things apart and putting them back together. But there is plenty of help available if you do it yourself in the form of videos (see Pro Italia) and smart guys (see California Cycleworks, among many others) and of course, forums like this one.

Don't let the expensive maintenance rumors put you off. I tell everybody that even if I didn't do my own work, I still wouldn't even notice the shop costs to maintaining Ducatis because the enjoyment I get from riding them makes it a non-issue. All bikes need valve checks and maintenance; some more often than others, and some are more forgiving than others if you decide to forgo it. But just having one in the garage or under your ass will make you want to maintain it properly, regardless. ;) Feel sorry (or pity) for those who don't get it. But the more for us. :D

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sweet Info

Thank you for that mountain of information, I really appreciate it. I have been riding Hondas all my life and I test rode the monster the other day, and I have to say hands down, it was the best bike I have ever ridden. This last weekend I was driving to the beach watching all these guys on Hondas and Yamaha's thinking to myself ....they have no idea what they are missing.
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