NGK Iridium Spark Plugs install on a 2011 Ducati Monster 696
Changing Spark plugs on a Ducati Monster 696 is one of the easiest jobs you can do. I still had the stock plugs and I was looking to upgrade to NGK Iridium spark plugs at my first tune-up. My monster had about 1,800 miles on it and I could tell that it was starting to sputter. At first, I thought it might have been a leaky injector or that it needed some fuel additives. The hardest part with changing out most spark plugs is just getting to them. On the Ducati, both spark plugs are right out in the open. You can get to them without needing any universal joints on your ratchet.
There are two types of spark plugs you can get for your Ducati 696. The stock plugs are an NGK resistor spark plugs. The optional and better spark plug is to upgrade to an NGK iridium spark plug. For only a couple dollars more was well worth it to upgrade to the better plug. The Iridium spark plugs offer better ignitability, improved anti-fouling that will result in better throttle response.
The only tools needed to change out the spark plugs was a 5/8th-inch spark plug socket, a 3/8 inch drive ratchet, and a six-inch extension bar. I had all three of these tools for my existing Craftsman tool set for you can buy them individually for not that much. Some motorcycles come with a maintenance toolkit included with the bike but I don’t remember if my bike came with it or not. My KTM SuperDuke came with a spark plug socket only because the spark plugs were hard to get to. On the Ducati Monster 696, no special tools are required.
Top Spark Plug
The top spark plug is the easiest to find. It’s right underneath the gas tank on the left side of the bike. Pull off the spark plug boot and it’s a straight shot with the socket and extension for the ratchet. The top spark plug came off nice and easy. There was a little bit of soot on it and overall it looked pretty clean. Considering the bike only had 1800 miles on it I wasn’t expecting it to be fouled at all.
It was just a matter of replacing the stock plug with my new plug and tighten it down. It’s easy to over tight spark plugs and on aluminum heads, it’s easy to damage the head doing this. Spark plugs don’t need to be cranked down super hard. All you need to do is to snug up the spark plug to the head and then turn it a quarter to a half turn more.
Bottom Spark Plug
The bottom Spark plug is a little harder to see but is just as easy to get to. You need to get down on your knees and look in the bottom front of the motor. With the socket and extension, this should be easy to get out.
Looking at my bottom plug I could definitely tell there was a little bit of oil on it. I think it got this way because the bike had sat for a while. A valve stem seal might have a leak from not being run over the winter. This was the spark plug that I think was causing the slight sputtering. As a result, replacing both spark plugs help get rid of the slight sputter.
Replacing the spark plugs my 2011 Ducati monster 696 was probably the easiest tuneup job I’ve ever done. No special tools required and the spark plugs are right out the open. Less than 15 minutes and a couple of bucks you can do a nice tuneup on your bike.