Ducati John

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Cam Belts

The most frequently asked question I receive is about cam belts, no prizes for guessing that. They are more durable than people think, I've only ever seen one snapped belt on a road bike and that was a well neglected specimen. However I do support the change every 2 year regime as the result of a snapped belt is, again no prizes for this, catastrophic!!

Bikes that stand a long time are more likely to suffer I think, I've actually seen it where tiny lumps of rubber have been plucked for the belt by the tension/idler pulley. This is probably with being stood too long in one spot. I tend to run my 851 through the winter once a month or so. Neighbours love it.

Anyway as they said on crime watch, don't loose any sleep over this, belt failure really isn't as frequent as most people believe. Or something like that.

A tip for those that change their own belts. As you can imagine there are a few different Ducati cam belts. It is worth pointing out that the belts for the ST4S/ST4 and later 748's are almost identical to the 916/996 and early 748 belts. They are however ONE tooth shorter. The same is true about the late M600/750 belts and those for the 906/907/M900/900SS/ST2 two valvers.

This seems a pretty useless bit of info until you find yourself trying to fit ST4 belts to your 916, or vice-versa etc etc. To the inexperienced it is very difficult to notice one tooth difference in length.

Each belt has some printing on them. Part of this printing is a four digit number commencing in 4. Below is a list of these numbers and the bikes they fit. This might help prevent you spending ages trying to fit the wrong belt sent to you by your belt supplier, been there done that!

4011 - 748/916/996
4010 - ST4/ST4S/748 2002 on with lowered exhaust cam (but not "R")
4002 - 907i.e./900 Monster/900SS/ST2
4007 - M600/750 ('98 on)
4012 - Testastretta motors
4021 - 1000 Multistrada/1000SS/M1000

HOWEVER!! It is important to also take note of the number/letter combination that follows these three numbers, especially on later bikes. I.e a 1997 ST2 has a belt with 4002 1A on it. A 2000 ST2 has a belt with 4002 2A on it. The 2 belts look identical, but there must be some difference and I guess must not be swapped. Tempting though as the 1A belt is much lower cost than the 2A belt!!

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