AYoung Persons Guide to Ducati Maintenance

by Ed Milich
The drive belt is a fragile thing.
And breakage will destruction bring

Replace them fast when yours display
Signs of dry rot, cracks or fray

Otherwise, you're bound to see
A desmodrome catastrophe

Sparks and Smoke and sickening sounds
As valve heads smash through piston crowns

A dark deluge of Duc debris
And chunks of Dago metaullurgy

Which drive the owner to dementia
And smash your top end into polenta

So don't be a tightass with this crucial piece.
Spend the 40 bucks a piece

To replace your drive belts regularly
Else is false economy

Your Duc's your mount. Maintain it wisely
To tension up your belts precisely

Save your dimes and nickels for
The $250 Ducati belt tensioner

Or to tension drive belts in a pinch,
Just check belt to pulley clearance with a 5 mm Allen wrench

So remove your cycle from arrears
Replace drive belts at twelve thousand miles or every three years
Above: 900ss Motor after a drive belt broke
If your clutch sticks, slips or whines
Itís bound to be clutch service time

Unbolt the cover. Fascination!
A gnarly clutch crud accumulation

With shop air, blow a mighty gust
And fill your lungs with asbestos dust

Unbolt your plates and flange and springs
And see what damage racing brings!

File the basket grooves with care
To help it not to stick in gear

Insert the Barnett friction plate
And then with steel ones, alternate

Be careful you donít crowd too much
Into the basket of your clutch

To the pack, this strict adherence
Allow five mm clearance

Check throwout bearing carefully
Ensure itís greased and turning free

If not, then spend the bucks and sigh
Ducati makes your paycheck die!

Your bike now shifts with grace and class
Go out and spank some japbike ass!
Above: improperly assembled 650ss clutch, post-frag