Ducati Desert Sled
The Desert Sled is easily one of Ducati’s most attractive motorcycles. A 73 horsepower, air-cooled L-twin with desmodromic valves stirs the emotions and clouds the judgment of nearly any rider. Unfortunately, when you dismount the Desert Sled and sober up from its charms, not everything is so rosy.
Dealership maintenance is expensive. As well, it can be difficult to hand your beloved over to somebody else’s shop. For these reasons and more we always work on our own bikes, and encourage others to do the same when possible. Because of this, we decided to do our own oil change on Roman’s Ducati Desert Sled.
As it turns out, the Desert Sled has an unusually complicated oil change process. Normally you simply drain the old oil, replace the filter and crush washer, and refill with the proper amount of oil. Of course there’s a few more steps and tricks to doing things right, but that is the basic idea.
The Desert Sled, however, has an oil screen in addition to the oil filter. Though this isn’t especially unusual, the location of the Desert Sled’s screen is. To gain access to the oil screen, you remove most of the exhaust. In addition, you also have to remove the bike’s skid plate to access the oil filter.
To be fair, they do make both things quick and easy to removed and replace. That being said, it complicates what should be one of the simplest maintenance items period.
The real kicker is the fact that even once you finish the oil change, you cannot reset the maintenance light in the gauge cluster. One way or another you have to go by the dealer for that alone.
Besides the annoyance of regular maintenance though, the Ducati Desert Sled is all smiles. Rarely have we ever lusted after a bike more, and we can never stay mad at it. To see more on the Ducati oil change process, check out the full video linked above.