Ducati 998 Superbike (2002-2004) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the Ducati 998 Superbike, made between 2002 and 2004.

The Ducati 998 is a bike in the legendary series of Ducati Superbikes that began with the Ducati 916 and ended with the Ducati 1198, which was the last before the Panigale series of superbikes.

The 998 is based on a 998 cc Desmodromic liquid-cooled L-twin. Like early Ducati motorcycles of its time, the maintenance schedule is quite intense, with required 6000 mile / 10000 km services including a full valve service — and there’s often a few that need adjusting.

Of course, people tend not to commute on Ducati superbikes, so they don’t rack up miles too quickly.

The Ducati 998 was superseded by the Ducati 999, a very striking redesign for the Ducati superbike series.

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Ducati 998 Service Intervals

In summary, the Ducati 998 has 6000 mile / 10000 km service intervals, like many early Ducati motorcycles (whether air-cooled, air/oil-cooled, or liquid-cooled).

Every 6000 miles / 10000 km/ change the oil and oil filter, as well as do a general inspection for leaks.

Every service interval as well you have to do a desmo valve inspection. The 998 has four valves per cylinder, which means a total of eight valves or 16 clearances to check.

Every two intervals OR every two years, you have to replace the belts. It’s important to replace the timing belts on time, as snapped belts can be an expensive repair (not to mention being stranded).

Aside from that, keep the liquids up to date and the 998 can last a long Ducati time.

What You Need to Service the Ducati 998 Superbike

Below are a list of consumables and parts you’ll need to service the Ducati 998 Superbike, from the manual and service manual.

PartDucati 998 / S / R Spec
Engine oilThe manual recommends “Shell Advance Ultra 4” engine oil, or another 10W-40 (to cover the maximum range of operating temperatures) engine oil. Motul 7100 10W-40 is a high-quality synthetic and a popular choice.
Engine oil filterUse part 44440038A, or an aftermarket alternative like the Hiflofiltro HF153RC.
Timing beltsChange the timing belts when it’s due, or your valves are toast! Part for the Ducati 998 is 73740125A, also sold with part number 73740121B.
CoolantThe manual recommends “Shell Advance Coolant” or “GlycoShell Longlife Coolant” (see here for some alternatives), which are both OAT coolants. A common alternative is Motorex M3.0, another OAT coolant.
Spark plugUse a Champion RA4HC spark plug.
Air filterUse the Ducati parts 42620021A and 42620031A, for the left and right.
Fork oilThe manual recommends Shell Advance Fork 7.5 or Shell Donax TA.
Brake/Clutch FluidThe manual requires DOT 4 brake fluid, e.g. Shell Advance Brake oil or an alternative like Castrol DOT 4.
Chain greaseUse a high-quality chain lubricant. Ducati recommends Shell Advance chain lubricant, but another high-quality one like Motul chain lubricant will do.
Ducati 998 basic service parts

Ducati 998 — Regular maintennace

Every 600 miles / 1000 km, do the following. Also do them as pre-ride checks.

Ducati 998 — Regular maintenance
Check engine oil level in the sight glass. Top up as needed.
Check brake and clutch fluid.
Check coolant level in the expansion reservoir. Top up as needed.
Check tire condition and pressure.
Check all controls, lights, and indicators.
Check that the stand operates smoothly and goes back in place.
Ducati 998 — Regular maintenance

Ducati 998 — Maintenance Schedule

Perform the following items with every maintenance interval. Some other items (below) are done with different periods.

mi x 10006121824Every
km x 100010203040(Period)
Change engine oil
Change engine oil filter
Check / clean engine oil intake filter
Check valve clearances (Desmo service)
Inspect timing belts, replacing if necessary
Replace timing belts2 years, regardless of distance
Change spark plugs
Change air filter
Check / adjust clutch and brake controls
Change clutch and brake fluid
Check tightness of fasteners — engine, controls, and body panels
See below for torque values
Change coolant
Check fuel filter, replacing if necessary
Check/adjust throttle body sync
Check engine oil pressure
Check cylinder compression
Check steering bearing play
Change front fork oil2 years, regardless of distance
Clean fuel tank
Generally lubricate and grease external points (kickstand, controls)
Ducati 998 — Regular / Annual Service

Torque values

Check at least the following torque values at every service. The Ducati big twins tend to shake themselves loose over time.

Chain front sprocket186137
Front wheel nut6346
Rear wheel nut156115
Oil cooler union on cooler and casing (twin seal)3224
Steering head retaining screws2317
Bottom yolk retaining screws1410
Steering tube retaining screw2216
Fork bottom end bolts1914
Helibar clamp pinch bolts1612
Steering damper to head screw107
Steering damper screws86
Frame to engine fasteners6044
Shock absorber to swingarm bolt5541
Swingarm pivot shaft2518
Chain adjuster eccentric fastener7052
Caliper holder plate shaft3324
Chain adjustment – fixing fastener1.51
Front caliper fasteners4332
Front brake disc fasteners2518
Rear caliper fasteners2518
Rear brake disc fasteners2518
Caliper holder plate shaft3324
Ducati 996 / 996 S torque values

Ducati 998 Chain Maintenance

It’s important to maintain your chain on the Ducati 998.

As these motorcycles are getting old, check the chain thoroughly for corrosion. If it is high-mileage and/or if the chain is in poor condition, replace the chain as well as the front and rear sprockets.

Ducati recommends that you check the chain tension and lubrication ever 600 mi / 1000 km. You should also do this after cleaning the chain or riding in the wet.

  • Chain tension: The deflection spec is 25mm up or down from the centre of the chain. If the chain can’t be adjusted to within spec, it’s time for it to be replaced.
  • Lubrication: Use a high-quality chain lubricant, like Shell Advance chain lube (as Ducati recommends).
Ducati 998 chain deflection
From the Ducati 998 owner’s manual

Wheel and Tire Specs for the Ducati 998

The Ducati 998 has tires of the following sizes and recommended tire pressures.

WheelTire sizeTire pressure (cold)
Front120/70-ZR172.25 bar / 225 kPa / 33 psi
Rear190/50-ZR172.5 bar / 250 kPa / 37 psi
Tire sizes and pressures

Of course, adjust tire pressures as suits the track, your riding style and the conditions.

About Maintaining the Ducati 998 / S

2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition Studio RHS
2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition

The Ducati 998 is an evolution in the Ducati Superbike series that started with the Ducati 916.

Like its predecessor, the Ducati 996 (and before that the 916), the Ducati 998 is powered by a powerful 90-degree L-twin. It’s a Desmodromic engine, which means that the valves are both opened and closed by actuators, rather than returning via a spring (like most other motorcycle engines).

The 998’s engine runs at an aggressive (for the time) 11.4:1 compression ratio, helping it make 100 kW (136 CV / 134 bhp) at 10200 rpm, with peak torque of 101 Nm (75 ft-lb) at 8000 rpm. The hard redline of the 998 is at 11500 rpm.

Like all other Ducatis of the period, the Ducati 998 has a desmodromic timing system. This means that the four valves in each cylinder are opened by a total of eight rocker arms (4 opening and 4 closing) and two overhead camshafts.

Ducati 998 desmodromic timing system
Ducati Superbike Desmodromic Timing System

The camshafts are driven through spur gears, belt rollers, and belts. You have to keep those belts fresh!

The Ducati 998 has otherwise high-end ride gear, as you’d expect of a Ducati superbike. The front discs are generously large 320 mm twin discs, with Brembo calipers with 4 x 30/34 pistons on them.

Suspension is fully adjustable on the Ducati 998. The Ducati 998 has a Showa 43mm upside-down fork with preload, rebound damping, and compression damping. The rear is an Öhlins monoshock that’s also fully adjustable. This is the same spec on the 998 and 998 S worldwide.

The Ducati 998 S has a higher spec engine in Europe, with a deep sump motor, more aggressive cams, and a retuned ECU, for more power overall. However, the US models never received this, per our research. There are various other models with Bayliss and Bostrom designations, with Öhlins suspension, too.

Regardless of the spec, the maintenance schedule is the same. However, caring for Öhlins forks may mean you’ll need a different spec of fork oil.

The Ducati 998 was eventually replaced with the Ducati 999, which changed the single-sided swingarm design for a double-sided swingarm, as well as radically revising the style of the front lights.

Reference — Ducati 998 Maintenance Schedule from Service Manual

Below is a screenshot from the service manual for the Ducati 998.

Ducati 998 maintenance schedule screenshot
Ducati 998 maintenance schedule

The manual for the 998 is no longer available online, but you can get other manuals for Ducati Superbikes from Ducati’s manual repository (which only goes back 10 years).

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