So you plan to buy or just have bought Ducati. Great job, you've made a good choice! Now all you need to do is to keep your Ducati in a proper condition. Just as well as cars, bikes require maintenance. Usually manufacturer establishes time intervals when some routine things like changing oil or replacing filters are done. These intervals depend on a brand. Ducatis are great bikes and many say they're simply best ones, but prepare to go through maintenance more often then with most bikes.
First thing that scares almost all new Ducati owners is valves. «How do those valves perform?», «Do Ducati valves require frequent maintenance?» – these questions arise from time to time on various motorcycle forums. Many riders confess they’d like to buy Ducati bike, but are deterred by specific valves and their maintenance. Indeed, all Ducatis have an exclusive desdromonic valve system. It has been created in attempt to make 2 cylinder engines as powerful as 4 cylinder ones. The main idea is in reducing valve float. All Ducati engines don’t have any valve springs, special rockers are used to open and close the valve. With no valve spring your bike can run at tremendous 18,000 rpm and even higher! You can read detailed information about Ducati valves and their desmo system in official Ducati website. If you use your spare time to read this information, you will see what exactly requires adjustment and understand desmo is not scary at all. I bet you can even do it yourself. Certainly, there's nothing bad to pay to professional to get your valves adjusted, but prepare to pay around $250-$300 for 2 valves per cylinder and twice as much if you own a superbike with 4 valves per cylinder. If you decide to adjust valves yourself there are plenty of web sites describing how to do it. You can even watch a video showing this process. If you’re a person who wants to know everything about the bike you own, then don't hesitate and do it. Anyway, valves adjustment must be done every 4,000-6,000 miles and that is pretty often comparing to other bikes. Typical Japanese bike owner will probably make 12,000-16,000 miles before valves adjusting and certainly it is not so complicated. Ducati is a real bike of the dream, but it's not cheap in maintenance, so if you need to make frequent bike rides on a daily basis, think of buying second motorcycle with cheap adjustment costs.