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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, ducati.ms,

Today I watched as my Duc rolled 32Kmi on my way to work. I've been meaning to ask what I should do to it in terms of maintenance at such a high mileage.

The previous owner gave me a receipt from a 25000 (or so) mile maintenance done at about 26000. It included things like tires, belts, replaced rockers, valve adjustments, new sprocket and chain, fuel filter, and a couple other smaller things.

I am just wondering as to what i should do in terms of maintaining my 748. I ride it long distances (40miles one way to work, 80miles rt-Average speed of about 55), and rarely ever really rip on it. It only sees 9K RPM at an on ramp or sporadically from a stop light. I try and baby it as much as possible.

When I first bought it, I saved up a little while and put in a new clutch (basket, pack, and pressure plate), my rear spindle eccentric bearing and spindle began to fail so I replaced that, new battery, and cleaned the twin-air air filter element. I changed the oil as soon as I got it, and changed it again about 1000 miles after that so i could see what sort of particulate was being tossed through the crank case while i was riding it.

Now, i for sure need new tires (getting ASAP- 190 in the back?? or keep 180?), and plan to do a belt job once the riding season is over. I want to do a valve adjustment this winter on my own...I've got to learn sometime- it would also give me great pride in knowing that I've accomplished the maintenance task that is unique to the desmodromic valve train.

If there is any advice you all could give me, please, share.
 

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So....it's gone about 6k since it's last service, right?
Any idea which rockers were used as replacements? Are they OEM or replated?

At a bare minimum, I would expect to check the valves (including pulling out the cams to check the rockers). In the process of putting it back together, you'll need to reinstall and tension the timing belts, naturally. As for the oil and filter, it's up to you. You've already changed it a couple of times and only you know the conditions and way the bike has been ridden. People change their oil at different intervals. I change mind every 3000 miles, but I have a bike or two that will go as little as 2000 or as high as 6000 miles.

As for a tire....the bike has a 5.5" rear wheel. Stick with the 180, as a 190 is not really designed for that rim, plus, the 190 costs more. Instead of worrying about the size, you may want to think more along the lines of type of tire. I'd recommend a decent sport touring tire for the way you describe using the bike.
 

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Just do a standard 6k service (valve adjust, belt, throttle body sync, oil change).

With miles, the only thing I've noticed (my 916 has 49K mi. on it) that required extra attention other than the standard maintenance was bearings. Check out the front and rear wheel bearings, steering head bearings and swingarm bearings. Grease the swingarm bearing.

With respect to rear tire sizes. Run a 180. The 180 provides better handling.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. A 180 is going to be my choice as well as being of the sport-touring variety. I don't quite know what type of rockers replaced the existing ones...it was done at a dealer so i guess it would be likely that it was OEM.

How would i successfully check my steering head bearings? as for the wheel bearings, my rear eccentric has been replaced as well as the spindle...i greased it well. As for the front wheel, I don't quite know what else to look for other than to listen for a noise while riding it, or look for play while lifted. When coasting with my clutch pulled in, i hear what just sounds like the rotors and the pads gliding along each other. Nothing really out of the ordinary-unless, that's NOT the correct diagnosis that i came up with.

I am going to look at the belts sometime here soon and see their condition visually. I know just looking at them will not give you any idea as to their integrity, but i could at least look and see if they are the Kevlar type.

Like i said, i plan to do all the valve adjustments as soon as the season subsides. I want to do it with the heads off and on my work bench. Does anyone happen to know if there is a need to completely rebuild my engine over the winter? Are there any engine kits that i can acquire-or maybe just gasket kits? I would just like to assure my engine is in descent shape by taking a peek inside.
 

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With that high of mileage, I'd re-build the motor. I'd send it out though, you'll need to replace all the bearings, thats the hard part. You should also have everything in the heads "cleaned up" valve seats and rockers. Its a big job and unless you have the proper tools, you might skip a step thats critical.

Wheel bearings, steering stem bearings, fork/shock seals and oil. I bet your rotors are also worn down a great deal as well, I'd check the thickness of them.

32k isn't a lot of miles for a motorcycle. But if you want it to survive another 32k, I'd just to the preventative maintenance so nothing else fails. Better to be safe then sorry... A ceased motor costs more money to deal with then a working one. ;)



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Discussion Starter #6
Im sure my rotors could use a replacement... they don't appear to be all that bad but they are still 32000mi old.

Any ideas as to where or who i could contact to get my 748 totally rebuilt? I could totally do it myself but only if I had a good How-To illustrating it. id much rather invest 500 dollars in tools, than 300 dollars in labor rates for the simple fact that I can use a tool forever-saving money in the long run.

Is there a write-up or other literature on how to totally tear down and rebuild it? If so, could you please share? Thanks for your help everyone.
 

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With that high of mileage, I'd re-build the motor. I'd send it out though, you'll need to replace all the bearings, thats the hard part. You should also have everything in the heads "cleaned up" valve seats and rockers. Its a big job and unless you have the proper tools, you might skip a step thats critical.

Wheel bearings, steering stem bearings, fork/shock seals and oil. I bet your rotors are also worn down a great deal as well, I'd check the thickness of them.

32k isn't a lot of miles for a motorcycle. But if you want it to survive another 32k, I'd just to the preventative maintenance so nothing else fails. Better to be safe then sorry... A ceased motor costs more money to deal with then a working one. ;)
Boy I disagree with rebuilding the motor at 32K. Look at the way the poster characterizes using the bike. It is very unlikely that a "babied" 748 which rarely sees redline is going to need to be rebuilt at such a low mileage.

Secondly, as a street bike, if the motor needs to be rebuilt, I'd buy a used motor, instead. There are quite a few low mileage motors (~10K mi.) around for about $1K. Easier to buy a factory built used motor and part the old motor, than to rebuild a motor from scratch. This pretty much sums up the conversation I've had with Doug Lofgren about my bike the last time he did the maintenance on it.

Rotors worn out at 32K from light street usage too? Maybe I'm too practical, but for the street if the brakes work decently and the rotors aren't warped, I'd leave them alone. The Brembo cast iron full floaters on my ZX-11 didn't wear out in over 50k of usage, and I don't get any sense that the same rotors on my 916 are wearing out.
 

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How would i successfully check my steering head bearings? as for the wheel bearings, my rear eccentric has been replaced as well as the spindle...i greased it well. As for the front wheel, I don't quite know what else to look for other than to listen for a noise while riding it, or look for play while lifted.
"look for play when lifted". This is pretty much the check for your wheel bearings and steering head bearings.

Get the front end up in the air, supporting it by the frame or engine.

To check the steering head bearings, grab the bottom of the forks and pull them front to back and feel for movement. Gently move the steering through its' arc and feel for notchiness of stickiness. Movement, notchiness, stickiness, means the steering head bearings and races need to be replaced.

Front wheel bearings essentially get the same type of test. With the wheel up in the air spin it gently and make sure it rotates smoothly. Grab it like a steering wheel and try to shift it laterally. Lack of smoothness of lateral movement, are signs the wheel bearings need to be replaced.
 

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Just service and maintain as normal and ride it, that's why you bought it in the first place...
 

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Boy I disagree with rebuilding the motor at 32K. Look at the way the poster characterizes using the bike. It is very unlikely that a "babied" 748 which rarely sees redline is going to need to be rebuilt at such a low mileage.

Secondly, as a street bike, if the motor needs to be rebuilt, I'd buy a used motor, instead. There are quite a few low mileage motors (~10K mi.) around for about $1K. Easier to buy a factory built used motor and part the old motor, than to rebuild a motor from scratch. This pretty much sums up the conversation I've had with Doug Lofgren about my bike the last time he did the maintenance on it.

Rotors worn out at 32K from light street usage too? Maybe I'm too practical, but for the street if the brakes work decently and the rotors aren't warped, I'd leave them alone. The Brembo cast iron full floaters on my ZX-11 didn't wear out in over 50k of usage, and I don't get any sense that the same rotors on my 916 are wearing out.
If you wanna ride around a bike that may have something really wrong with it, thats kool. I personally believe in preventative maintenance and any decent Ducati mechanic can take the heads off, reach in and twist the rods, determine slop of the crank and tell you what needs to be replaced. They can also clean up the heads and put it back together for not much money, maybe a grand or so... A well re-build motor will last you a LONG time, much longer then the original build will.

Now I will admit, I've never been in a Desmoquattro motor thats not been abused in some way... but those motors I have been in, were all low mileage and ALL had major issues; IE: needing complete re-builds with less then 10k on the clock. ;)

If you like the bike enough to keep it around for lets say, another 10 years... Then replace everything you can afford wether its broken or not.



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Me thinks if it runs well, has good compression and leak down and dosen't use much oil, leave it alone.
+1 If it doesn't burn/lean oil and has good compression, a complete rebuild makes absolutely no sense.....if it ain't broke, don't fix it........do the basic maintenance and enjoy........
 

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no kidding...rebuild....thats silly. Do your maint. and enjoy it. It could go another 30,000.:)

hell i better re-build my 999 while i am at it...It could fail tomorrow or 10 years from now...no way to tell so better dump a ton of money in it to be sure..:rolleyes:
 

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Congrats, but if nothing is wrong just do the scheduled maintainence as advised above.
 

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Me thinks if it runs well, has good compression and leak down and dosen't use much oil, leave it alone.
Well, yes any motor with good compression that doesn't burn oil, shouldn't be touched. I'm gonna go out on a lim and say, it probably burns oil and has poor compression. Yes, thats an assumption, but having worked on motors with 10k that burn oil and have poor compression, 32k... yea, its not gonna be perfect.



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i'll second the leak down to check the engine,its good practice to do before any sheduled service work.i'd imagine your motor will go twice whats its done sofar with just regular services
 

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either way, unless the compression is super low or burning oil bad, I would wait off on the rebuild, because in either scenario below, you maximize value by waiting:

1)if you want to keep it for absolutely as long as possible, I'd wait to rebuild until the compression is outta spec and/or burning oil, to maximize the value you get out of both the original motor and the post-rebuild motor. If you rebuild it now, and say it goes another 30k miles, you got 60k miles for X amount of dollars. If you rebuild it in 20k from now, at 50k, and it goes another 30k miles, you got 80k miles for the same X amount of dollars.

2) if you only plan to keep it for another 10-20k, might as well just wait. Doesn't make since to drop the cash on rebuilding the engine when you will be selling and unable to recover the full value of the $ you spent on the rebuild.
 

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Boy I disagree with rebuilding the motor at 32K.
I guess Gary Eagan's bikes had their engines rebuilt several times during the time he owned them. ;) As stated above with the compression check and oil usage, if there isn't a reason to rebuild, I sure wouldn't do it.....but I'm a cheap bastard and try to squeeze just about the last mile out of everything I own (car has 248k miles, Harley has 104k miles, etc...).


Rotors worn out at 32K from light street usage too? Maybe I'm too practical, but for the street if the brakes work decently and the rotors aren't warped, I'd leave them alone.
The minimum thickness is stamped on the rotors. If they are at or below the minimum thickness, replace them. If they are close and you have a tendency to turn the rotors blue on occasion, replace them. I've had a rotor crack, originating from the holes, from overheating before. Fortunately, I caught it before any of the cracks got big enough to cause the rotor to shatter or to have a disagreement with the brake pads.

On the other side of things, my ST2 has over 48k miles and has the original rotors. They've seen a set of OEM pads and are almost through a set of EBC HH pads and have very minor wear on them. I'll easily get at least another set of EBC HH pads worth of use out of them, if not more.
 
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