Ducati ST2 (1997-2003) Simplified Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the simplified maintenance schedule and service intervals for the Ducati ST2, the original (modern) Ducati sport touring bike made between 1997 (though 1998 in the US) and 2003.

The Ducati ST2 is the first of the Ducati ST series that went on to include other sport touring bikes with superbike engines.

The ST2 is powered by a 944 cc liquid-cooled 2-valve-per-cylinder L-twin, a bored out version of the 904 cc engine that was in the Ducati Paso 907 i.e. (or the later Ducati Monster M900 i.e.). Like the other twins of the time, the Ducati ST2’s motor has belt-driven cams and desmodromic valves, meaning valve services are a little more complicated.

Shortly after the Ducati ST2 was released, Ducati released the higher-power Ducati ST4 with a superbike-derived engine.

Here are all the Ducati Sport Touring maintenance schedules:

Ducati ST2 with luggage maintenance schedule
Ducati ST2 with luggage

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Ducati ST2 Service Intervals

The Ducati ST2 is from the generation of Ducati motorcycles with service intervals of 6000 miles / 10000 km.

At every service for a Ducati ST2, you not only have to change the oil and do a full multi-point inspection, but you also have to check the timing belts and check the valve clearances — possibly adjusting a few valves.

The Ducati ST2 has a two valve per cylinder engine. This means there are four valves total, and eight clearances to check as it has a Desmodromic timing system.

Make sure you keep the timing belts updated. Belts on this generation of Ducati motorcycles are scheduled for replacement every two years.

Finally, keep your fluids fresh — coolant, brake fluid, and clutch fluid all have a two-three year shelf life per the manual.

What you need to service a Ducati ST2

Below is a list of items you need to do a basic service on your Ducati ST2. This comes from the manual as well as the service manual.

PartDucati ST2 spec
Engine oilDucati recommends high-quality SAE 10W-40 engine oil, specifically recommending Shell Advance Ultra 4. But other high-end engine oils are fine, e.g. Motul 7100 10W-40.
Oil filterThe Ducati ST3 takes a HifloFiltro HF153RC oil filter.
Spark plugsUse a Champion RG 4 HC for the ST2. The spark plug gap should be 0.6-0.7 mm (you can measure with a gapping tool). Re-fit an existing spark plug to 15 ft-lb / 20 Nm, or an extra half turn after seating.
Air filterYou can use a K&N DU-9098 air filter on a Ducati ST2.
Timing beltMake sure you regularly check and replace your timing belt on schedule. The part number for the timing belt is 73710081A.
Brake / Clutch fluidUse a high-quality DOT 4 fluid, e.g. Castrol DOT 4.
CoolantUse a high-quality OAT coolant like Motorex M3.0 Coolant.
Brake padsThe EBC brake parts to use are FA244HH at the front (two pairs) and FA266HH at the rear. EBC double-H brake pads are fairly universally praised for their good feel, high performance under duress, and long life.
Chain lubricantDucati recommends Shell Advance chain lube, but Motul Chain Paste is a high-quality and very portable substitute.
GreaseDucati recommends Shell Advance Grease for many applications. But any high quality lithium soap-based grease will be a good substitute.
Ducati ST2 maintenance items

Maintenance Schedule for the Ducati ST2

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Ducati ST2.

We’ve broken it into two parts:

  1. The regular inspection checklist, which you do at every service, and
  2. The scheduled maintenance table.

Ducati ST2 Regular inspection checklist

Below is the table of inspection items for your Ducati ST2.

Ducati ST2 inspection checklist
Check brake and clutch fluid level
Check and adjust brake / clutch controls
Check / lubricate throttle / cold start controls
Check tire pressure and wear
Check brake pads. Change, if necessary
Check chain tension, alignment, and lubrication
Check coolant level and cooling system for leaks
Check lights and warning devices
Check control cables (smooth operation, lubrication)
Check tightness of nuts and bolts / tighten as necessary
Check the side stand for free movement and lubrication
Check front wheel nut tightness
Check rear wheel nut tightness
Check front fork and rear shock absorber for leaks and smooth operation
Check front sprocket fasteners
Check steering bearing play
Check clutch plates pack. Change, if necessary
Check rear wheel cush drive rubbers
Check the wheel hub bearings for play
Lubricate and grease all moving parts
Check battery charge state; recharge if necessary.
Road test the motorcycle
Clean the motorcycle
Ducati ST2 inspection checklist

Ducati ST2 Scheduled Maintenance

Below is the full table of scheduled maintenance for the Ducati ST2.

Notes:

  1. At the end of the maintenance schedule, keep following it in the pattern shown — every 1 to 2 services.
  2. When there’s a distance-based or time-based interval to follow, follow the earlier of the two. Some things only have distance intervals (e.g. changing spark plugs)
  3. For obvious reasons the break-in schedule isn’t shown below.

Special note: The maintenance schedule below is quite aggressive and involves checking many things every maintenance schedule. Ducati “mellowed out”

mi x 10006.212.418.624.8
km x 100010203040Every
Perform full inspection checklist (see above)Year
Change engine oilYear
Change engine oil filterYear
Clean engine oil filter at intake3 years
Check engine oil pressure
Check / adjust valve clearances
Tighten engine cylinder head bolts
Check timing belt tension / condition
Change timing belts2 years
Change spark plugs
Check / adjust cylinder compression
Change coolant
Change fuel filter *
Change air filter *
Check /adjust throttle body sync and idle speed
Change brake and clutch fluid2 years
Change front fork fluid *3 years
Ducati ST2 Maintenance Schedule

* Ducati relaxed the maintenance requirements on these items in later motorcycles to every other service. For the fork fluid, to every 22500 miles / 36000 km on the ST3.

Maintaining Your Chain on the Ducati ST2

It’s important to maintain your chain on the ST2, as a Ducati motorcycle built for every day sport touring is likely to get a little bit of aggressive use — on top of the fact that you’re likely to use it in all kinds of conditions (rain, mud, etc.).

Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste which is easy to pack on journeys. Ducati recommends Shell Advance Chain but many products are similar.

Ducati recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check chain condition and lubrication600 mi / 1000 km
Check chain tension and alignment, adjusting if necessary
Tension spec: 30mm
7500 mi / 12000 km
Chain maintenance schedule — Ducati ST2

To measure the chain tension, you measure the deflection of the chain in the middle. To do this, put the bike on its center stand. Rotate the wheel until you find the tightest part of the chain (if any).

Then, from the middle of the chain, pressing up lightly on the chain with your finger, measure how far up the chain deflects from the lowest point.

Measure chain deflection - Ducati ST2
Measure chain deflection – Ducati ST2

If the chain too tight or too loose, adjust it by loosening the nut of the wheel shaft, and then tightening or slackening the adjuster screws until the tension is correct and the chain is aligned.

Grease the thread of the wheel shaft nut and the adjusting screws, and adjust them to:

  • Wheel shaft nut: 61 ft-lb / 83 Nm
  • Adjusting screws: 6 ft-lb / 8 Nm

Notes:

  • Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Ducati ST in dusty or rainy conditions.
  • Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.

Tire / wheel size and pressure for the Ducati ST2

Below are the wheel and tire sizes, as well as the recommended tire pressure specs from the manual.

WheelTire sizeTire pressure (cold)
Including luggage, but solo
Front120/70-ZR172.1 bar / 210 kPa / 30 psi
Rear170/60-ZR172.2 bar / 220 kPa / 32 psi
Tire sizes and pressures for the Ducati ST2

Naturally, adjust these tire pressures as suits your riding style and the conditions.

The Ducati ST2 is the only motorcycle in the ST range to have a 170 profile rear tire, rather than a 180.

About the Ducati ST2

Yellow Ducati ST2 LHS Web

The Ducati ST2 is one of Ducati’s short-lived Sport Touring range of motorcycles that began with the ST2 and finished with the ST3s.

The Ducati Sport Touring / ST range of motorcycles were a range of motorcycles with roadster or even superbike engines but in a much more comfortable format, with easier riding position, better fairing protection from the elements, and standard luggage. They even came with a kickstand so you could service the chain on those longer trips.

The core of the Ducati ST2 is a 90-degree L-twin engine with 944 cm capacity. It runs a mild 10.2:1 compression ratio, which aided with liquid cooling, makes for a very understressed motor. The engine makes a modest 61 kW / 83 CV at 8500 rpm, with a redline at 9000 rpm.

The Ducati ST2, like all Ducatis of its generation (and until the Ducati Multistrada V4) has a Desmodromic valve timing system. Its two valves per cylinder are controlled by four rocker arms (two closing and two opening) via an overhead camshaft with four lobes.

The Desmo timing system means that vale services are a little more involved. With a Desmodromic system, an increase in the opening clearances causes a reduction in the closing clearances, and vice versa. So when you adjust an opener you have to adjust the closer, too.

Since the Ducati ST2 has a rubber timing belt, you also need to keep it in tension, make sure it stays in good condition, and replace it every two years.

Ducati provides a special timing belt tension checking tool, but there are many manual hacks you can use, from using apps to listen for a certain pitch when the belt is “plucked”, to using an allen key, and so on. Talk to a Ducati tech for more advice there.

The rest of a Ducati ST2 is just like any other motorcycle, keeping fluids up to date and making sure you take care of old rubber and leaks. Ducati does specify you should change the fork fluid, however, so do that periodically too.

Reference — Maintenance Schedule Screenshots from the Ducati ST2 Manual

The above information all came from the workshop manual for the Ducati ST2, consulting other motorcycle maintenance schedules for similar bikes (e.g. the Ducati ST3), as well as from consulting parts diagrams online for parts numbers and online catalogues.

You can see some screenshots from the manual below.

You can get manuals for Ducati motorcycles directly from Ducati, though they only keep a backlog of manuals from the last 10 years.

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