The Ducati Monster 659 Gen 2 (2018+) maintenance schedule and service intervals — sourced from the owner’s manual.
The Ducati Monster 659 Gen 2 is essentially a reduced-capacity Ducati Monster 797. It has the same basic air-cooled L-twin but with reduced stroke down to 54.2mm, with the same bore at 88m. This gives it a 659cc capacity, which fits learner requirements in Australia and New Zealand.
With a compression ratio of just 10.2:1, and with a throttle restriction and tune built in, the Monster 659 makes just 37 kW (50 hp) and 44 Nm of torque.
However, de-restricting the Monster 659 is quite a common hack to get some 50% more power out of it (but don’t do that unless your license permits it, and you also are required to re-register your motorcycle as a full-power unit — which would make on-selling it more difficult.)
The service schedule of the Monster 659 is quite similar to other modern air-cooled Ducatis, with 7500 mile (12000 km) valve inspection intervals, and having to change belts every two or five years.
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What you need to maintain the Ducati Monster 659 (2018+)
Don’t be intimidated about maintaining your Monster 659. It’s just a two-cylinder naked bike — everything’s there for you to do!
Access in the Monster 659 is generally good for most maintenance tasks. Doing a valve service is more complex, but you can change all the consumables (like engine oil etc.) with relative ease.
So aside from some basic motorcycle maintenance tools, here’s what you need to maintain your Monster 659.
|Part||Ducati Monster 659 (2018+) spec|
|Engine oil||Ducati specifies Shell Advance 4T Ultra 15W-50, a full synthetic oil. If that’s not available, Ducati says you should use another 15W-50 full synthetic, e.g. Mobil 1 15W-50.|
|Oil filter||Genuine Ducati part is 44440038A the Ducati Monster 659 2018+, as with many other air-cooled Ducati motorcycles. Many suggest removing that and using a Hiflofiltro HF153RC oil filter which can be changed with a normal wrench.|
|Brake & Clutch fluid||Ducati recommends Shell Advance DOT 4, but that’s quite hard to find, so Castrol DOT 4 Synthetic is a good and very high-quality alternative.|
|Timing belt||Is it time to change the timing belt? Don’t put it off… a broken timing belt will cost you a lot (bent valves)! You need part number 73740242A.|
|Front brake pads||Use EBC FA244HH double-hardened pads, a popular upgrade for more bite and less fade as you apply pressure.|
|Rear brake pads||Use EBC FA266HH double-hardened pads, matching the front pads, for more bite and less fade as you apply pressure.|
|Air filter||OEM part for the air filter is 42610191A. You can also use K&N air filter part DU-1006.|
|Spark plugs||NGK code DCPR8E. Note they’re sold individually.|
|Chain maintenance||Use Motul chain paste to keep your chain lubed.|
|Grease||Use lithium soap-based grease for external pivot points and bearings.|
Regular maintenance for the Ducati Monster 659 2018+
Maintaining your Ducati Monster 659 is similar to maintaining other air-cooled Monsters. You have valve service every 7.5K mi (12K km), and expect to have to make some changes to the shims pretty much every service
Aside from that, keep the bolts tightened, the chain lubed, the liquids fresh, and a Monster 659 will last a long time… unless you drop it. As a learner bike, many of them are dropped.
Below is maintenance that you can do yourself (though the manual says you need a dealer to do it).
Every 1000 km/600 miles miles OR 6 months (whichever comes earlier, perform the following maintenance:
|Checking the engine oil level (use a high-grade synthetic oil, e.g. Motul 7100)|
|Check the brake and clutch fluid levels (use Castrol DOT 4)|
|Check tyre pressure and wear|
|Check the drive chain tension and lubrication (maintain with a Motul chain care kit)|
|Check the brake pads. If necessary, replace pads|
Ducati Monster 659 Maintenance Schedule
The following is the list of maintenance operations and to be done on this motorcycle with a distance or time interval — whichever comes earlier.
Key points of the maintenance schedule are
- Timing belts — the manual recommends changing them every two years. It’s not a hard job and can be done by the home mechanic (with care)
- Valve service — this must be done every 12000 km/7500 mi/12 months. It’s a more involved job. Checking the valves isn’t hard but changing the shims is more tricky.
- Ducati recommends a time interval for changing fork fluid – every 3 years. In practise not many people do this and mostly follow the distance interval.
|Change the engine oil (Shell Advance 4T Ultra 15W-50, Mobil 1 15W-50)||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Change the engine oil filter (HF153RC)||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Clean the engine oil filter at intake||•|
|Check the engine oil pressure||•||•|
|Check/adjust the valve clearances (1)||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the tension of the timing belts (1)||•||•||•|
|Change the timing belts (73740242A)||•||•|
|Check and clean the spark plugs. Renew if necessary (NGK DCPR8E)||•||•|
|Check and clean the air filter (1)||•||•||•|
|Change the air filter (DU-1006)||•||•|
|Check throttle body synchronisation and idle speed setting (1)||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the brake and clutch fluid levels||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Change the clutch and brake fluid (Castrol DOT 4)||•|
|Check and adjust the brake and clutch control cables||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check/lubricate the throttle/cold start controls (Protect all cable life)||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check tyre pressure and wear||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the brake pads. Change if necessary (2 x FA244HH, 1 x FA266HH)||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the steering head bearings||•||•|
|Check the chain tension, alignment and lubrication (maintain with a Motul chain care kit)||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the clutch plates pack. Renew if necessary (1)||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the rear wheel flexible coupling||•||•|
|Check the wheel hub bearings||•||•|
|Check the indicators and lighting||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check tightness of nuts securing engine-to-frame screws||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the side stand||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check front wheel nut tightening||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check rear wheel nut tightening||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the external fuel lines||•||•||•||•||•|
|Change the front fork fluid||•|
|Check the forks and rear shock absorber for oil leaks||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check the front sprocket fasteners||•||•||•||•||•|
|Lubricate and grease generally (use lithium soap-based grease)||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check front sprocket fasteners||•||•||•||•||•|
|Check battery and recharge||•||•||•||•||•|
|Road test the motorcycle||•||•||•||•||•||•|
About the Ducati Monster 659
The Ducati Monster 659 is one of those increasing opportunities to own a premium brand of motorcycle for a couple of years while on your restricted license in Australia or New Zealand.
Other manufacturers have followed suit — for example Triumph with the Street Triple S 660. But some people just always wanted a Ducati, and the Monster 659 is their ticket in.
The Monster 659 is based around an air-cooled two-valve-per-cylinder 659cc L-twin. It has timing belts and puts power down through a wet clutch (gone are the days of dry clutches) and a chain drive.
The 2018+ incarnation is based on the Ducati Monster 797, another air-cooled retro motorcycle. But the 803cc capacity of the 797 is reduced, by way of a short-stroke motor, reducing the capacity to 659cc to make it learner legal in some markets.
Even though “restricted”, the Monster 659 is an engaging ride. It has a torque-forward V-twin which means you never have to rev it high anyway.
Despite being a “Monster”, the 659 — like all small-capacity Monsters — is quite an easy bike to ride. It has a low seat height, easy to use engine, and comfortable handlebars for low-speed turning.
And while the motor is restricted, the rest of the bike is not. The brake spec is the same as the 696 of a similar generation, the paint quality is high, and everything feels like a “premium” motorcycle. That’s why it’s priced higher than alternatives like Kawasaki’s Z650L or the Suzuki SV650, which also comes in restricted format.
The one caveat of ownership of a Ducati Monster 659 as your first learner-legal bike is that maintenance costs are high. Since you have to do a valve inspection and change the belts relatively often, having $1000 or so in parts and labour on top of your ownership experience can dull the joy (a bit).
Once you’ve passed your restricted period, you can remove the restriction on a 659 (in the throttle assembly and also the ECU tuning) and have it re-registered as a full-power motorcycle.
Ducati Monster 659 (2018+) Owner’s Manual
The above info was sourced from the owner’s manual for the Monster 659. The parts were obtained from parts fiches and a lot of googling.
You can download the official manual from the Ducati website here.