Ducati Maintenance Cost: How Expensive Are They Really?

Last Updated on June 24, 2023 by Chase Manhattan

Chase Manhattan

Ducati Major Services Overview

Keep in mind, the figures that will be listed below are based off of the most recent model years general maintenance schedule. Be sure to evaluate your owners manual to determine the exact schedule that is best for you (and required by your motorcycle).

1. Break-In Service (600 miles / 1,000 km)

The break-in service, also known as the first service, should be performed after the first 600 miles or 1,000 kilometers of riding. This service ensures that your Ducati is running smoothly and helps identify any potential issues early on. It typically includes tasks like changing the engine oil, checking and adjusting the chain tension, and inspecting the brake system.

2. Minor Service (7,500 miles / 12,000 km)

The minor service is the next milestone in the Ducati service schedule and is due every 7,500 miles or 12,000 kilometers. This service involves a more in-depth inspection of the motorcycle, including checks on the electrical system, cooling system, and suspension components. It will also cover oil and filter changes, brake pad inspection, and fluid level adjustments.

3. Major Service (15,000 miles / 24,000 km)

The major service, also known as the Desmo Service, is an essential part of maintaining your Ducati’s performance and reliability. It is performed every 15,000 miles or 24,000 kilometers and involves a comprehensive inspection and maintenance of the motorcycle. The primary focus of this service is the Desmodromic valve system, which requires precise adjustment to ensure optimal performance. Additionally, the major service includes tasks like replacing the air filter, checking the fuel system, and inspecting the exhaust system.

4. Comprehensive Service (30,000 miles / 48,000 km)

The comprehensive service is a crucial milestone in the Ducati service schedule and occurs every 30,000 miles or 48,000 kilometers. This service involves a thorough inspection and maintenance of the entire motorcycle, including the engine, transmission, and chassis. In addition to the tasks covered in the major service, the comprehensive service may involve replacing the spark plugs, checking the wheel bearings, and inspecting the frame for damage or corrosion.

By understanding and following the Ducati service schedule, you can ensure your motorcycle remains in excellent condition and continues to deliver the performance and reliability you expect. Always consult your Ducati owner’s manual for the specific service requirements for your model and remember that regular maintenance is an investment in your motorcycle’s longevity and performance.

My experience renting my motorcycles for cash on the side:

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Ducati Maintenance Cost Overview

Ducati recommends a range of maintenance items for its motorcycles, including oil changes, desmodromic valve clearance checks, timing belt replacements and multi-point inspections[1]. The Transparent Maintenance plan allows riders to know in detail and in advance all scheduled maintenance interventions their motorbike will have to pass at each time or km interval[2].

Ducati Desmo Service Cost

Unfortunately, this cost is usually a hefty one regardless of your local market; however, it will still vary some. In my experience, it is typically within the range of $600-$1500 (in some extreme cases).

Air Cooled Ducati Maintenance Schedule (and some others)

For air cooled Ducatis the simplified maintenance schedule applies. This includes oil changes every 6,000 miles/10,000 km or 6 months[3][4], checking timing belts every two years[3][4] and regular checks every 600 miles/6,000 km or 6 months[3][4] along with valve clearance checks every 7,500 miles/12,000 km.

Modern Ducati Maintenance Schedule

Ducati’s longest service interval is 30,000 km (18,000 miles)[1][2]. This applies to some models where the main Desmo Service is not necessary until this mileage[1][2]. Other models require a service at 24,000 km (15,000 miles)[1][2], which includes changing fluids, plugs, filters and torquing bolts[3].

[Questions: What’s A More Reliable Bike, Ducati or Aprilia?]

Common Ducati Problems


-Low voltage and high voltage often signify that the regulator rectifier needs urgent fixing[1].

– Abnormal battery draining or self-discharging is a common problem on Ducati motorcycles that have been sitting inactive for a long period of time[1].

– Ignition failures, an averagely low headlight, poor acceleration and low mileage are common problems with the Ducati 848[2].

– Electrical issues such as dashboard not working or voltage regulator failing are recurring complaints from Ducati owners[3].

– Low battery voltage is one of the most common causes of hard starting in the Ducati 1098[4], while ECU faults can be caused by a problem with the bike’s throttle body[4].

[Aprilia Maintenance Routine to Consider]

Mechanical Failures and Otherwise

An issue that applies to many Ducati models is failure of the clutch slave cylinder. Signs to watch out for:
-The banjo bolt at the master cylinder can become loose, causing fluid to drip from the joint[1]. To fix this, turn the bars all the way to the left and slowly squeeze and release on the lever while snugging the banjo[1].

– Air or fluid can be released from the slave cylinder by squeezing the clutch lever multiple times and then holding it in while releasing the bleed nipple[2]. An 8mm ring spanner is best for this job[2].

– The piston rubber o-ring/seal of a mastercylinder can split, requiring replacement[3].

– The master cylinder is generally similar across Ducatis from the 90’s, while slave cylinders are usually similar for dry clutch models[4].

– Freeplay in a clutch lever can be caused by an upgrade to an Evoluzione double sealed piston.[5]

[Ducati History In A Nutshell]

Photo by karthegan Padmanaban on Unsplash


It would not be accurate to say that Ducati motorcycles are not expensive to maintain.

While it is true that some Ducati models may have certain issues that require repair or maintenance, it is not fair to make a general statement about the maintenance costs of all Ducati motorcycles. They can be wonderfully true machines when maintained appropriately and routinely, but hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Treat her well, and she will do the same for you.

In general, motorcycle maintenance costs can vary widely based on a number of factors, including the type of motorcycle, its age, how it is used, and the availability of parts and service in a given location. Some Ducati models may be more expensive to maintain than others, and some may be less expensive. It is important to consider the specific model and its maintenance requirements when determining the potential costs of owning and maintaining a Ducati motorcycle.

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