Ducati 999 / 999SSuperbike Maintenance Schedule

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the Ducati 999, one of the line of Ducati Superbikes that started with the Ducati 916 and ended with the Ducati 1198. This includes the maintenance schedule for the 999S, which shares the same fundamental internals.

The Ducati 999 is based on a 998cc liquid-cooled-4-valve-per-cylinder V-twin engine (called an L-twin as it has a 90-degree angle). It has a desmodromic valve train and belt-driven cams, much like its predecessors.

The engine in the Ducati 999 makes 91 kW (124 CV / 122 bhp) at 9500 rpm, with max torque of 102 Nm (76 ft-lb) at 8000 rpm.

The Ducati 999S is a higher spec bike, with higher power tuning, Öhlins suspension components, and lightweight Marchesini wheels.

The Ducati 999 and 999S were both superseded by the Ducati 1098 and 1098S, which along with a bigger engine, return to some of the classic styling elements of earlier Superbikes.

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Ducati 999 Superbike Service Intervals

Overall, the Ducati 999 Superbike has 6000 mile / 10000 km service intervals. At every service, change the oil and filter, check and adjust the valve clearances, and do a host of other checks.

You need to change the coolant every 12000 miles / 20000 km per the manual, but most motorcycle manuals recommend doing it every two years as well.

Ducati says that every two services (12000 miles / 20000 km) you need to replace the timing belts. If two years pass without doing that mileage, change them anyway.

Ducati also recommends changing clutch fluid (as the 999 has a hydraulic clutch), brake fluid, and fork oil every 18000 miles / 30000 km or 2 years.

What you need to service the Ducati 999 Superbike

If you’re servicing your Ducati 999 Superbike, you need the following consumable items per the service manual.

PartDucati 999 / S 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 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 999 is 73740125A.
CoolantUse an ethylene glycol-based high-performance coolant that’s silicate and phosphate free.
Spark plugUse a Champion RH4HC or NGK CR9EK spark plug.
Air filterUse the Ducati parts 42620171A and 42620181A, or you can use an aftermarket DNA air filter, part R-DU99S05-US (comes as a pair).
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 either SAE 80-90 gear oil or Shell Advance Chain lube, or another high-quality lubricant like that in a Motul chain care kit.
Ducati 999 / 999S basic service parts

Maintenance schedule for the Ducati 999 / 999S Superbike

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Ducati 999 Superbike.

The Ducati 999 Superbike has 10000 km (6000 mi) maintenance intervals at which the oil and filter need to be replaced, the belts inspected, and the valves checked. You also need to change the belts every 2 years, plus change a number of other parts periodically.

The service manual presents everything together in one table, which is a bit hard to read. Below you can find separate lists for regular maintenance (every 1000 km), as well as the maintenance schedule for every service interval

Ducati 999 regular maintenance

Below is the list of items you should do for regular maintenance on your Ducati 999 Superbike.

Every 1000 km / 600 miles, do the following checks.

Ducati 999 regular maintenance
Check engine oil level (top up with Shell Advance Ultra 4 or Motul 7100 10W-40)
Check coolant level (top up with ethylene glycol-based antifreeze, e.g. Pro Honda HP, or distilled water + Water Wetter for track use)
Check clutch and brake fluid level (top up with Castrol DOT 4)
Check tyre wear and pressure
Check chain tension and adjust if necessary
Check chain lubrication condition and lube if necessary (Motul chain paste)
Check brake pad wear, replace if necessary
Check battery charging system (battery, reg/rec, alternator)
Ducati 999 — Regular checks every 1000 km / 600 mi

Ducati 999 Maintenance Schedule Table

Below is the complete maintenance schedule for the Ducati 999 / 999 S.

In addition to the below checks, do the items listed in regular daily maintenance.

km x 100010203040
mi x 10006121824Every
Change engine oil (Motul 7100 10W-40)XXXX
Change engine oil filter (HF153RC)XXXX
Check/clean engine oil intake filterX
Check/adjust valve clearancesXXXX
Check/Replace (R) timing belts (73740125A)XRXR2 years
Change spark plugs (NGK CR9EK)XXXX
Change coolantXX2 years*
Change fuel filterXX
Check throttle body sync and idlingXX
Change air filterXXXX
Check engine oil pressureXX
Check cylinder compressionXX
Change clutch and brake fluidX2 years
Check clutch and brake controlsXXXX
Check steering bearing playXX
Clean fuel tankXX
Change front fork oilX2 years
Perform general lubrication and greasingXX
Check torque of safety-critical points of the vehicle (see below A for torque values)XXXX
Perform general testing (see below B)XXXX
Ducati 999 maintenance schedule

* This is not explicitly mentioned in the schedule, but is common practice.

A — Check for proper tightening (Torque Values)

The maintenance schedule for the Ducati 999 asks that you check the torque (or just proper tightening) of all the following parts.

Check the torque of the following components. The Ducati V-twin superbikes tend to shake themselves loose. The below torque values are from the service manual.

PartTorque value (Nm)
+/- 10%
Torque value (ft-lb)
+/- 10%
Chain sprocket186137
Engine/frame bolt locknut6044
Front wheel nut6346
Rear wheel nut180133
Steering head screws2317
Bottom yoke screws1410
Steering head assembly bolt2216
Handlebars clamp fastening screw2518
Fork pinch bolts1914
Rear swingarm / rear shock absorber screw4231
Rear shock absorber/ rocker arm bolt4231
Shock absorber reaction arm / rocker arm bolt4231
Swingarm pivot shaft screw7253
Suspension rocker arm / frame nut4231
Oil pipe connector on cooler2518
Oil pipe connector on casing2518
Front brake calliper bolt4332
Front brake disc screw2518
Rear brake calliper bolt2518
Rear brake disc screw2518
Spring drive pin / chain ring retainer5541
Chain ring nuts4634
Passenger grab strap bolt97
Calliper plate pin3324
Ducati 999 – Torque Values

B — General testing

When doing “general testing” (with every service), test the following components.

  • Wheel hub bearings
  • Rear wheel flexible coupling
  • Sprocket nut
  • Side stand
  • Cooler electric fan
  • Indicators and lighting devices

Tyre sizes and pressures for the Ducati 999 Superbike

The Ducati 999 Superbike comes with 5 Y-spoke lightweight alloy wheels and comes shod with sport tyres.

WheelTyre (Tire) sizeTyre (Tire) pressure (cold)
Front120/70 – ZR 172.1 bar (30 psi)
Rear190/50 – ZR 172.2 bar (32 psi)
Tyre sizes and pressures for the Ducati 999 / 999S

Obviously, adjust the tyre pressures according to your intended purpose.

Ducati 999 Chain Maintenance

Every 1000 km/ 600 miles or 6 months, do some basic chain maintenance on the Ducati 999 / 999S. This includes

  • Clean and lubricate the chain
  • Check the chain and sprockets for wear
  • Check and adjust the chain tension

To check the chain tensino on the Ducati 999, put it on its side stand on a level surface with no load on the bike. Put the shifter in neutral.

Roll the bike around, watching the chain for its tightest and loosest points.

At the loosest point, measure the total deflection of the chain.

Target chain tension for the Ducati 999: 38-42 mm (1.5-1.65 in)

Ducati 999 Chain Slack Tension adjustment graphic

If the chain tension is out of spec, you should adjust it with the following procedure.

  1. Loosen the axle nut.
  2. Loosen the lock nuts on both sides.
  3. Unscrew the adjuster nuts by the same amount. Look at the alignment marks to make sure the axle/chain is still aligned. Keep unscrewing until the chain tension is correct (on the tighter side, to allow for loosening).
  4. If you have to loosen the chain slightly, then tighten the adjuster nuts.
  5. When the chain tension is correct, tighten the lock nuts and the axle nut (180 Nm / 133 lb-ft).

About the Ducati 999 Superbike

Ducati 999 naked chassis

The Ducati 999 is the latest in a long line of Ducati superbikes that started with the iconic Ducati 916.

The Ducati 999 is also the successor to the Ducati 998, but is a huge departure in terms of design and style.

The 999 was designed by Pierre Terblanche, who brought us other masterpieces like the Ducati SportClassic range (the Sport 1000 and so on). The SportClassic was an instant hit and is now a collectible motorcycle, but it took a while longer before people started to appreciate the 999. It wasn’t well-received at first — but it is today.

Like the Ducati 998 before it, the Ducati 999 is based on a 998 cc liquid-cooled L-twin engine. It has “desmodromic” valves, which means there’s a closer as well as an opener (in contrast with most other sportbike valve trains, which have a return spring).

The thing that makes maintaining the Ducati 999 hard is the same as on any Ducati superbike: 8 valves, and a closer and opener for each — i.e. 16 clearances to check (and maybe adjust by replacing a shim) every 10000 km or 6000 miles. That’s quite aggressive!

The second thing to bear in mind is the belts. This is easier. Change them every 2-5 years. The manual says 2, but most people do it every 5 years.

Finally, tighten everything down periodically. The Ducati V-twin motorcycles tend to shake themselves loose.

Ducati 999R Red studio diagonal LHS front
Ducati 999R

Aside from that, maintaining the Ducati 999 is the same as any other bike: keep the fluids fresh, keep it clean, wipe down the chain and lube it sometimes, and you’re all good.

The Ducati 999 has good running gear in its base version. The front suspension is a Showa upside down 43mm fork with TiN treatment that’s fully adjustable for rebound and compression damping as well as for preload. The rear shock is a Showa shock that’s also fully adjustable.

The front brakes are twin Brembo 4-piston callipers biting onto 320mm semi-floating discs.

The Ducati 999S’s feature upgrade is the higher-spec suspension — Öhlins front and rear. Brakes are the same as on the base model.

Ducati 999S Black Studio diagonal LHS front

But the 999S also has a higher power and higher torque tune, paired with the standard Termignoni exhausts — it makes around 2% more torque and power at the peak. It’s not a huge change, but it’s there nonetheless.

Finally, the Ducati 999S has lightweight Marchesini wheels. Oh, and it comes in monoposto configuration.

The Ducati 999 was replaced by the Ducati 1098, which brought back horizontal headlights and a single-sided swing arm. But this makes the 999 quite unique.

Manual for the Ducati 999 Superbike

The above came from the manual for the Ducati 999 Superbike and from the workshop manual too. It’s the same as the schedule for the 999S.

Ducati 999 999s 999r maintenance schedule screenshot

You can get most Ducati motorcycle manuals online at Ducati’s website (however, the manuals for the 999 era of bikes are no longer available).

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