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This lovely Ducati 996 was dropped off here for a thorough sort out – it does big mileages and the owner had just run it down to Italy to World Ducati Weekend. On the way home this trip he noticed it was over heating but rode it all the way back… oh dear.

We last saw this bike back in 2008 and once he’d told us what had happened we explained it needed a good looking at all over because of the heavy mileage. It was obvious that the radiator was past its sell by date and there was a split in the header tank; the engine had built some pressure up at some point. Which meant that as well as do the valve clearances we’d whip the cylinder heads off, inspect and add new gaskets.

The front head was OK, but the rear showed signs between the gasket leaves that it had been blowing. A set of new gaskets later we then put on a secondhand rad and swapped the oil cooler, as the one on the bike was rotten.

The lesson here? Bikes like this Duke will do the miles, but you have to look after them, not just in terms of regular servicing but also on keeping all engine ancillaries tip-top and not letting bits get scruffy…

…or you’ll get an (avoidable) bill of well north of a £1000… OUCH!

It ran at 210° all the way back from Italy... oh dear!

This ol’ gurl at 210° all the way back from Italy… oh dear!