Ducati Oil and Filter Change

Changing the Oil and Filter - Ducati 1000DS Engine
We often rant about motorcycle owners who bring their rides to the dealer for the most basic maintenance tasks rather than doing it themselves. 
The ranting has boxed me into a figurative corner, so to speak, when it comes to maintenance on my own bike.
So I'm calling my own bluff (is that possible?) by personally taking on the all-important first maintenance task on the GT1000: the 600-mile oil and filter change.
After looking things over, I figured that an oil and filter change on a Ducati GT1000 should be a relative piece of cake and it is, but there are some issues that I discovered which made me yearn for the guidance of a good shop manual -- you know, the one that doesn't yet exist for the GT1000? 
Without it, I am basically flying blind on any and all maintenance or customization projects.  And since the GT is such a new-to-the-market bike, there isn't much in the way of help that can be offered by my fellow GT owners either.
When my heart bought the bike, my brain wasn't thinking about a shop manual.  But since I'm an inveterate tinkerer (my wife was ready to have me committed on more than one occasion after I purchased a new motorcycle and proceeded to completely tear it apart in the garage to make sure it was put back together according to my QC standards), it sure would be nice to have some written guidance that at the very least would inform me of the correct torque settings for the many nuts and bolts.
But, never one to fear a job that might necessitate the purchase of new tools, and in the interest of science, I dove right in.
The GT1000 uses the same 1000DS (dual spark), two-valve, air-cooled engine found on several other Ducatis, including the Multistrada 1000, the Monster and, of course, the other Sportclassics. 
I could probably buy the shop manual specific to one of those bikes, which would at least provide a minimum of information about the shared engine, but I've been holding off, hoping that the GT1000 CD-ROM based shop manual will become available sooner, rather than later.
I must confess that I did get some basic information via a couple of pages from what appears to be a Haynes shop manual, faxed over by a fellow Mid-Atlantic Ducati Owner's Club member.  The pages describe the basics of a 1000DS oil and filter change, and they indicate that in addition to changing the oil filter, the tubular-shaped oil pre-filter screen that should also be removed and cleaned at each oil change.  More on that in a bit...


One of the nicest things about changing the oil on the GT1000 (and, I assume, all of the other Ducati models using the 1000DS engine) is that the oil filter hangs right out in the open on the bottom of the engine on the right-hand side. 
Whether this exposure helps or hurts the off-road pretensions of the Multistrada, I don't know.  Actually, I guess one could say that maybe the oil filter doesn't hang right out in the open, but the top 1/8 or so of the filter hangs out enough to grasp and remove. 
Easy, that is, if you have the right tool for the job, which brings us to problema numero uno.
Of course, of the 5 different oil filter hex end cap oil filter removal tools I have collected over the years, not a single one would fit the strange Ducati 74mm diameter oil filter with the eight-sided hex top. 
I searched all over, looking for a tool that would fit, but without success.  I ended up using a modified version of the "universal" oil filter friction band grip tool (don't know what else to call it; it's the tool with the orange handle in the photo above) I had on hand. 
A few days later, I did find the correct hex end cap tool at Pro Italia for $10.95, which seems like a slightly exorbitant price, but I suppose it's not bad actually, considering the rarity of the thing. 
Ironically, it's labeled "Made in USA" by a company called Vector, part number 17030.  I have not been able to find a company called "Vector", even when searching through the Thomas Register, but I did discover that this oil filter wrench (and possibly the same oil filter) is commonly used by Moto Guzzi owners. 
If anyone knows of another source for this oil filter wrench, please drop us a line at the email address noted at the end of this page.  UPDATE: see suggestions for oil filter wrench sources in the Visitor Comments section below.
In any case, the small diameter metal band grip wrench shown above actually works fine -- in fact, I've now discovered that for gripping, removing and installing the new filter, the band grip wrench works better than the Ducati hex cap tool (photo directly below).  It's also pretty much the only tool that will fit on the original factory larger-diameter filter, because the thin band of the strap easily fits between the filter and the engine casing that surrounds 7/8 of the filter body. 
By the way, don't forget the rubber gloves!  I use the heavy-duty, pre-formed type found at Home Depot, but mine recently wore out and I'm using these el Cheapo dishwashing types (photo above), found in the local grocery store, until I can replace them with a better pair.
Ducati 4A filter and special filter end cap removal tool.
By the way, while I was looking for the correct oil filter wrench, I also found a couple of others that work.  The Klein Tools "Grip-It" universal strap wrench (6", part number S-6H) shown in the photo directly above is also made in the U.S.A. and it fits the smaller diameter, 4A Ducati oil filter.  
It has a grippy rubber-like strap, but all the pressure is put on the tip of that pot-metal handle against the oil filter body, so this wouldn't be my first choice to unfasten a stuck filter, because I think all that pressure on one point might collapse the filter.
K-D Tools universal 3-Jaw oil filter wrench works only one way: to remove the filter, but not replace it.
Another oil filter wrench that works is the KD Tools Universal "3-Jaw" wrench, part number 3288, which expands from 2.5" to 3.75".   It has three arms that grip the filter and the more torque that is placed on the wrench, the tighter it grips.  This wrench is usually available or can be ordered in a local auto parts store. 
Note that it will only remove the filter, it does not spin the other way, i.e., clockwise, to screw the filter back on!
OK, enough about the oil filter wrenches, let's get down to business.  
The oil drain plug under the engine uses a 10mm Allen wrench, sometimes referred to as a "hex key".  This plug, indicated by the red arrow in the photo directly above, requires a crush washer, which must be renewed whenever the plug is removed.
The photo above also shows the space between the oil filter, in this case the narrower 4A, and the engine case, looking up from underneath the engine.  The yellow arrow indicates the cover for the oil screen, which is supposed to be removed and cleaned at each oil change.  More on that later...
The blue arrow indicates another drain plug; I'm not sure what this one does, I assume it drains the chamber with the oil screen (Note: see visitor comments below).  I did not remove this plug, but if it is removed, it appears to have a crush washer also.
Here's another photo (directly above), looking at the right side of the engine.  The oil level window can be seen and just below it is a yellow arrow, indicating the hex cap for the oil screen.  The wire is attached to the tip of the hex cap and is easily removed.  I think this wire sends information about the oil temperature up to the dashboard.
Oil Pickup Screen
It's obvious from this photo that the oil screen hex cap is difficult to access on the GT1000.  The right side exhaust pipe is in the way.  I could not fit a box wrench or open end wrench up in back of the exhaust pipe to access the hex cap, which I believe is either 21mm or 22mm, relatively rare sizes for motorcycle fasteners.
If Ducati had only lowered the exhaust pipe by about a tiny 1/8", a socket could fit over the hex cap, but noooo.... 
I tried dropping the exhaust pipe by loosening the 10mm nuts that hold the pipe on to the front cylinder.  This allowed me to fit a 12 point, 22mm socket on to the hex cap, but either the socket is not the correct size or the 12 points don't provide enough grip and/or the hex cap metal is very soft AND it's really torqued down tight, because the socket immediately slipped and bunged up the corners of the hex.
[UPDATE:  "The size of hex head to remove the oil screen on the Ducati 900 is 14 mm.  I found a socket type with a half-inch drive extension is the best way to remove it."  From "S.B."]
Since I don't have the shop manual, I don't know how much torque to use on the 10mm exhaust pipe nuts, but they came off rather easily, so I didn't overdo it and will check them again once I learn the correct torque values.
At that point, I gave up and I have since ordered 20mm, 21mm and 22mm deep six-point sockets and will try again next time.  I've asked around but no one seems to have the answer to removing this cover, so if anyone can provide any insight into this, please contact me via the email address at the bottom of this page. 
By the way, the dealer sold me a special crush washer for this cap also, and he reminded me that the screen should be removed and cleaned at each oil change, so this is, apparently, an important maintenance item.
This is (ironically I suppose) one of those reasons why I'd rather do it myself than leave it up to an unknown mechanic.  I'd rather run into these problems and figure out a way to get them resolved because -- and I apologize in advance if I offend anyone -- I just don't trust that a shop mechanic will take the time and energy to successfully resolve these type of challenges. 
The double irony is that I didn't successfully resolve it myself, but I now understand what is required to fix it and I will resolve the problem by the next oil change, of that you can be sure.  I'd rather take the extra time to fix the problem, unlike the owner who uses a shop to change the oil and both the owner and the mechanic may not even be aware that this problem exists or they may never get it successfully resolved.
In this case, if the screen really does collect large bits of metal before they get to the filter, I want to make sure the screen is cleaned and not to assume that the job has been done correctly.  The lesson here is that if you don't change your GT1000's oil yourself, make sure you ask the servicing mechanic some questions about the filter screen issue and the answers will either make you feel comfortable that the job was done correctly or not.
UPDATE ON OIL PICKUP SCREEN
A visitor wrote "I just called my dealership (DeSimone Ducati/BMW/Victory) and they said I should definitely not be cleaning the screen on my own and it only needs to be done, at the most, every 12,000 miles. Your thoughts?"
Interesting.... It's my understanding that the screen (or "oil intake mesh filter") should be cleaned at every other oil filter change.  Here's the information taken directly from the Multistrada shop manual, Section D4, page 14; that bike has the same 1000DS engine:
"Every two oil changes, clean the oil intake mesh filter. Unscrew the outer plug (3) with seal (5). Unscrew the screws (B) and remove the guard (A) before proceeding. Remove the spring (D) to release the horizontal exhaust pipe mouthpiece, unscrew the screws (E) and remove the pipe (F) from the balance pipe (G). Release and withdraw the mesh filter (4). Clean the mesh filter with gasoline and compressed air. Care must be taken not to break the filter mesh.
Refit the mesh filter (4) and its seal (5) on the plug (3) and tighten to the specified torque (Sect. C 3). Remove the filler plug (6) and fill with the recommended oil (Sect. C 2). Fill until the oil reaches the MAX mark on the sight glass. Refit the filler plug (6).
Run the engine at idling speed or several minutes. Check for oil leaks. Check that the oil pressure light on the instrument panel switches off several seconds after the engine has been started. If this is not the case, switch off and trace the fault. Switch off the engine and allow several minutes for the oil to settle. Check the oil level and top up to MAX mark, if necessary. Refit any parts you have removed."
But I went back and checked the GT1000 owner's manual, page 64 in the English language section, which claims that the "engine oil pick-up filter" only needs to be cleaned once every 22,500 miles or 36 months:
Ducati GT1000 Maintenance Schedule for Oil Changes
If anyone has more information on this subject, please let me know.  Possibly the Multistrada's screen needs to be changed more often because the bike could be used in harsher environments?
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