Re: When to Change Timing belts?
I discussed belt life with Jim Davis, the mechanic at Nichols Mfg. He's one of the best Ducati mechanics in the Bay Area and has seen many engines with broken belts and has changed lots and lots of belts.
He said that the biggest problem with aging belts is when they spend quite a bit of time (months) in one spot. The part of the belt that is bent over a pulley hardens and is the spot most likely to break. He said that a bike that gets ridden at least weekly wouldn't have a problem going three years, but one that has sat for two years without riding would be in high danger of breaking a belt. And any Ducati with the older belts with the white lettering is in great danger of belt breakage.
So since I ride my ST2 all year, it's going to be at the three year point when I get the belts changed (coming up soon). The 888, which occasionally goes a couple of months without riding, will get new belts at 2000 miles because that will be the two year point.
You can decide for yourself if it's worth taking the chance, but if you break a belt, your valves and pistons will collide causing lots of expensive damage. Is it worth taking the chance?