I have kept it quiet for a long time as there was information on the Internet that Ducati belts are the same as those fitted on the Renault clio 1.2. The original belts are made by http://www.gates.com and supplied to Ducati.
I know that manufacturers have to make money from replacement parts but wonder how much of this is fair. The gates 5192 xs or Gat 4390 95×17 belts start from £30 for a pair where as the Ducati part number nr73710031a (73740111b) genuine replacements are around £100. This makes the belts an expensive addition to servicing and they are recommended to be replaced every two years. There is more debate on how you tension the belts. Although there are a few methods I have used the tension by hand (my mechanic friend Harry) who has fitted quite a few belts in his day job with cars. There are tension gauges which I assume will be accurate as long as the gauges are kept true and tested.
I would like to see a lot more people buy bikes and service the bikes them selves. There is nothing more satisfactory than having a bike serviced your self and running as good as the day it was bought. So today after two sets of gates 5192xs belts fitted. Each set about two years apart. The bike is still going strong and covered over 39000 miles. The second pair were changed at 35,555 miles on 03/08/11.
How you take this information is up to you. I would recommend you do as much research as possible before you fit your own belts. On the net there are so many owners that have taken the descion to service their own Ducati 916 and keep them on the road. It is always good to use the manufacturers original specification parts and you have peace of mind that they are the correct specification.
Have you tried alternatives?