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Ducatis Motorcycles FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about Ducatis Motorcycles

QuackFAQ -- Frequently Asked Questions about Ducati Motorcycles

Version 2.1

18 September 1997

Copyright 1994 (C) Jon Wright

Copyright 1997 (C) Robert Robillard

Hit count since 3 September 1997:

Welcome to the Ducati FAQ, a compendium of factoids culled from the many musings and ramblings of knowledgeable individuals who have "been there," and some who just pose but happen to remember the best parts. While we believe this information to be correct, keep in mind that this is an "Everyman's Truth," gained by hearsay outside of official channels, and could be somewhat inaccurate. However, this information can be extremely useful...just take it for what it's worth and check your information with reliable sources before doing anything expensive or life-threatening. And when you find out more or different information, post it to the list so that everyone else can scam it.

No doubt there are gaps in the information provided, and some may now be out of date. Please send new information to the the Ducati List or to Duke Robillard, duke@io.com (that's me!). Also, the information appears to favor the "rubberbandheads," belt-driven Ducatis of recent vintage. Again, this is not intentional but a by-product of the list's content. Send me other info, and I'll put it in.

This FAQ was originally built by the estimatible Jon Wright, in whose debt we all remain. Jon acknowledged his debt to the many who have helped with and contributed to this FAQ, giving particular thanks to Michael Nelson, Tom Dietrich, Godfrey DiGiorgi, Mike Lee, Brad Turner, Bob Koure, Sheri Coble, Ian Gunn, Ed Hackett, Beth "Wolverine" Dixon, TJ "Teej" Noto and Ed "Gooz" Guzman for their contributions and support. In addition, Niclas Cederlund and Vicki Smith have done a great deal for online Ducatisti. Michael Nelson converted the FAQ to HTML, and Niclas Cederlund has done work updating that HTML.

The information in this FAQ is supplied "as is" without express or implied warranty. Parts of this work are Copyright (c) 1994 by Jon Wright, parts are Copyright (c) 1997 by Robert Robillard.

A new version of this document usually appears monthly, sometime around the 18th. It was last modified on September 18, 1997, and its travels may have taken it far from its original home on Usenet. It may now be out-of-date, particularly if you are looking at a printed copy or one retrieved from a tertiary archive site or CD-ROM. You can always obtain the most up-to-date copy on the WWW at http://www.io.com/~duke/QuackFAQ.htm. There is also a copy on Niclas Cederlund's Site, http://www.micapeak.com/Ducati/ Lastly, A draft of the next version is usually on http://www.io.com/~duke/QuackFAQ-beta.htm. This is the "Beta" version...it's got stuff I'm working on and it could very well be broken at any given time.

This article was produced for free redistribution. You should not need to pay anyone for a copy of it. This FAQ may be freely distributed in its entirety provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in commercial documents without the author's written permission. So there....

-1. "My brakes squeal. Is there anything I can do to restore my dignity?"
Squeal can be caused by the vibrating of some mass, in this case, hard ...
-2. "My brakes really suck; what can I do to improve their performance?Add-ons?"
(Thanks to Michael Nelson, nelson@seahunt.imat.com, and Julian Bond,...
-3. "What's the best way to bed in my new brake pads?"
(Reprinted from an article by Paul Thompson, Apple Computer.)...
-4. "Can my rotors be re-turned?"
Yes, bike rotors can be surface ground with a liquid cooled surface ...
-5. "Should I use DOT 3, 4 or 5 brake fluid when replacing?"
(Thanks to Michael Ragsdale, from the race list, for some of this info.)...
-6. "How do I remove that friggin' retaining pin out of my Brembo calipersto get the brake pad out?"
Basically, you drive it out from the WHEEL side of the caliper using ...
-7. "Can I convert my 750ss' front disk arrangement to dual disks?"
You can just install the second disk and caliper onto the 750ss but ...
-8. "How long should the choke be engaged while warming up my Duck?"
Generally, not very long, just enough until you can keep it going ...
-9. "I've been told recently that the previous 3000 mi. interval betweenvalve adjustments has just been upped by Cagiva to 5000 mi. Is this true?"
Yes. Recent service manuals have been updated to reflect a 4600 mi....
-10. "What kind of servicing is due at 12000 miles?"
At 12000 miles you should:...
-11. "Do you have to read Italian to understand the shop manual?" -- someanecdotes to amuse you.
From: Ian Gunn (gunn@watson.ibm.com)...
-12. "I pulled my plugs recently and while the tips were dry and dark withthe porcelain a brownish color, both had this oily film on the threads.Should I be worried?"
Probably not. This can happen from time to time on bikes (cars, too) ...
-13. "What kind of chain should I use for my 900cc bike?"
(Thanks to Godfrey DiGiorgi for some exhaustive research on this ...
-14. "My Duck's dry clutch seems to moan and groan a lot. Should I opt forthe Barnett or what?"
You may just need the Ducati factory clutch update -- a factory upgrade ...
-15. "Are dry clutches inherently finicky? If so, why did Ducati put them ontheir bikes?"
(from a discussion by Godfrey DiGiorgi (ramarren@apple.com), with ...
-16. "What is the best way to break in my new bike's motor? I've heard thata petroleum-based oil is best for the break-in period, but then I shouldswitch to a synthetic oil. Is this true?"
Opinions and lore abound on this issue, but the general consensus is ...
-17. "Which oil is best for my Duck? Can I use car oils?"
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Motor Oil....
-18. "Should I worry about that white scum that seems to appear inside theoil sight glass?"
It's a little condensation, an emulsion of oil and water, the byproduct ...
-19. "Should I be worried about my crankcase breather seeping, specificallya light mist on the back side of the engine case, between the rightswingarm pivot and the clutch cover?"
Thanks to Julian Bond for some of ...
-20. "Do most of you guys have the European kickstand that automaticallyflicks up when the bike is straightened up?"
In Cagiva's divine wisdom and fear of bonehead lawsuits, they've devised ...
-21. "Where can I get OEM and aftermarket Ducati parts and accessories?"
Three good sources are Gio.Ca.Moto in Ft. Lauderdale, ...
-22. "Which tailpieces are most commonly used by other Monster [M900] ridersand how were they set up?"
European Cycle Specialties in Garden Grove, CA, and PI ...
-23. "Do I really need a steering damper on my Monster [M900]?"
It's been observed that most riders who complain about Ducati steering ...
-24. "What kind of performance increase can be expected from going to theFerracci/Staintune/Termignoni/CarbonTech/etc. exhaust canisters?"
Very little. The best application of the freer-flowing exhaust is ...
-25. "The shop is recommending Dynojetting and changing the pipes. How muchperformance will this buy me? Are there other things I can do?"
The Ducati standard jetting in the US is somewhat lean to ...
-26. "My fuel-injected Ducati seems to pop a lot when I'm accelerating; nosmoke, just noise. Is it too lean? What is the equivalent of rejetting thecarburetors for highly-evolved steed?"
Thanks to Brad Turner (mbt@mkt.3com.com), Godfrey ...
-27. "I hear there are better plugs than the factory recommends, some typeof extended nose plugs. True?"
907 owners using the older DR8ES spec jobbies are now using DPR8EA-9, ...
-28. "Is there anything I should know regarding touch-up paint application?"
Believe it or not, Ducati uses slightly different shades of that ...
-29. "To remove the unneeded stickers on the tank and other places, is thebest way to warm them with a hair dryer and peel gently?"
Yes, then a tiny bit of ether (aka: starting fluid) on a cloth will ...
-30. "How do I remove my in-line filter that lives INSIDE my gas tank?"
How to remove your in-line filter -- 750ss & 900ss & sl, 851 variants, ...
-31. "What is the 5mm Allen key trick that everyone talks about?"
(Thanks to David M. Lewis for point out that the key goes between the ...









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