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My 1098SFS has exactly 2514 miles on it. I don't ride it much, and it's been sitting all summer because I'm at the top end of what Gates belt manufacturer says is probably safe for timing belts. That's 8 years. I'm fully aware of what Ducati recommends for service interval.

I've been preparing to install new belts. Slowly getting the parts and a few specialty tools that are needed to do the service. However, I did need to buy a couple of extra tools that I wasn't expecting. A couple of large wrenches. I already have a lot of unusual tools that help with working in limited spaces. I have included a list of tools that I used as well as pictures. If you already have these tools. You're ahead of the game.

The first thing I did was get the bike ready by removing various parts to remove the timing belts. Then I set the timing to the correct position. I then checked the tension of my old belts. They where looser then I expected. They both measured 75hz. Apparently they do stretch over time. I don't beat this engine or ride it at race RPMs. The belts visually looked good though. I don't think the lower tension would of caused a problem, but it's something to keep in mind.

Do yourself a favor and remove the oil pressure sensor on the engine case. I couldn't remove the horizontal timing belt cover with the sensor on. You'll need a 15/16" wrench. I don't like using adjustable wrenches and I couldn't get one in there without touching the cases and possibly scratching it up. To tension the belts I used a 26mm wrench that I modified by grinding a bevel in it and taking metal away from the area where the box end connects to the handle. I've seen people use adjustable wrenches on the older bikes but I think our bikes have a larger nut and it's almost flush so there's no way to safety use an adjustable wrench to adjust the tension. To tighten the lock nuts I used a neat Snap on ratchet set that my dad got me a while back. It's a small ratchet with low profile sockets that have a pass through to work on studs. The modified 26mm wrench and ratchet work great. Especially on the vertical cylinder. I also used another mini ratchet and a short extension with Allen apexes to remove the timing belt covers that are hidden and close to the frame. Those are a bit of a pain.
I also removed the crank case breather hose to remove the Allen bolts. I don't think it's possible without removing the hose.

I got it all back together, checked the timing 4 or more times while turning the engine over by hand and also setting the belts to their proper tension. It's not the hardest job but it's also not the easiest.

Now my bike has new timing belts, spark plugs, oil and filter. I change oil at a maximum of 1500 miles. I also pulled the sump strainer and it's clean as a whistle as it always is. The bike is running great and it's safe to ride without the anxiety of the engine having a catastrophic failure if a timing belt breaks.

I also need to mention that I had a great helper. My girlfriend helped me a lot by watching the timing marks while I spun the engine over. She also helped feeding the new belts onto the pulleys and with some of the hard to reach fasteners.

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Discussion Starter #3
They sure can be. But she's way more mechanically intelligent then I realized. I think she could do this by herself after seeing how it's done.


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To rotate the adjustable pulley I use angled long nose pliers or snap ring pliers, gets the job done.

80hz is what you should tighten used belts at so nothing was loose there.

2500 miles in 10 years that's crazy :surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I tried my snap ring pliers but didn't have the right size inserts to make it work. I did see needle nose pliers used on the internet as well. The modified 26mm wrench fits perfectly. I have 3 motorcycles so I split miles between them. But I ride the Ducati the least. As a matter of fact I don't get to ride any of my bikes as much as I'd like to.


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I appreciate the workflow and tools needed list, but most of all your post has reminded me I'm way past due to change out my belts. I have very low miles on my 03 999R, but on the age part, I'm well past due even though I know the modern belts are much more robust. About 8 years ago a Ducati tuner put my bike on his dyno and pieced together a custom map for me. I knew he had to crank it up and the bluing of my Leo Vince titanium headers was proof of that. This alone has put having my belts changed high on the priority list. I won't attempt it myself, the last time I worked on any Ducati was 10 years ago with my 999S. Before that I sat through a valve check and shim replacement job on my 916 then hosted a home workshop with 7 bike owners and two very qualified instructors guiding us through the process, one being Ducatimike, owner of EMS. After that event and staying over helping a buddy change out shims on his 998, I felt pretty good about what I learned and accomplished. However, 10 years have passed and now my back and pending hip replacement surgeries would make it physically impossible for me to do anything like that, so I'm going to have someone else do it. Another thought came to my mind, without any repetition and the passage of time, I would be lost in space and starting over. However, I do remember the 999S was a helluva lot easier to work on compared to the 916. It was like the difference between a porthole window and a big picture window field of view and access to the valve openings was way less cluttered on the 999S. Thanks again.
 

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i'm a bit reluctant to remove oil pressure switches - i've seen the thread come out with them a few times. streetfigther should be easy to get the cover off with the switch in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good luck removing the horizontal cylinder belt cover on a SFS without removing the oil pressure sensor. I tried everything to remove the cover with the sensor in. You can't bend or twist the carbon fiber covers. If they where plastic then maybe.


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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I guess you're better at Tetris then I am. I couldn't get the front of the cover where the air intake is to clear the lower radiator or the hose that links the radiators.


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1500 mile oil changes! Do you then use that oil in your car? I would.
Thanks for the write up. I'd ride it a lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1500 mile oil changes! Do you then use that oil in your car? I would.
Thanks for the write up. I'd ride it a lot more.
I don't reuse the oil in anything else. However, a friend of mine said he would put my used synthetic oil in his motorcycle. As far as riding it more. I'm hoping to get a couple of fall rides in if the weather cooperates. Maybe this Saturday?


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Discussion Starter #14
oh, you have to pull the radiators out first. good lord man, you're just making it hard for yourself.
That makes sense. Pulling the radiators was the only way I saw it possible as well. I didn't want to mess with pulling the radiators. The oil sensor comes out in 10 seconds. Pulling the radiators takes way more time and then there's the coolant mess. You may want to consider which one of us is making it more difficult. Maybe others that wrench on their bikes can chime in?I'm not saying your way is wrong, but it will take more time and a coolant refill step that isn't needed for the belt service.


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i was doing a 24k service, rads have to come out. trying to think if they'd move far enough forward if you pulled the lower mountings. don't recall how i've done it now with the rads in. probably pulled the pressure switch.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It took my SFS out for a good ride on Saturday. It's running great. The engine feels better in a few areas but that's due to the new spark plugs and the slight fuel adjustment I made. The spark plugs where a little rich.
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I guess you're better at Tetris then I am. I couldn't get the front of the cover where the air intake is to clear the lower radiator or the hose that links the radiators.


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You can take out the bottom radiator bolt and swing it enough to remove the cover without draining coolant or removing radiator. That鈥檚 how I did the belt service.
 

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Winding out the oil pressure sensor assembly to gain clearance to remove the horizontal belt cover is a 30 second ordeal. Confused why anyone would do it any other way, apart from the radiators already being off.

Just don鈥檛 start the bike up with the sensor assembly removed 鈥> oil fountain.
 
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