Stumped - 2011 Multistrada high idle, backfiring, misfiring - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2019, 2:19 pm Thread Starter
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Stumped - 2011 Multistrada high idle, backfiring, misfiring

I bought a 2011 Multistrada 1200S in Sept of 2018. Just as I was getting used to all of that raw, de-tuned 1198 power, I noticed that the engine wasn't running right Here's a list of the symptoms:

Backfiring when letting off the throttle
Misfiring especially when at lower RPM while under load (moving from a stop)
Shaky engine power - It tries to rattle my teeth out, then seems to smooth out past 4k RPM. I know that this is a common characteristic with these engines, but it's getting progressively more shaky and I think it's related to the issue.
High idle - This started happening about a week ago. The actual RPM varies, but it's been sitting at 2500 at times. Weird note: when I shift into neutral, it returns to normal idle RPMs.
If I blip the throttle on and off quickly, I can get the engine to stall out.
Getting worse day-by-day and seems to be particularly bad in the rain, but still a problem on sunny, dry days.

I tore into the bike and looked at the spark plugs. The vertical cylinder's plug looked light brown. The shop manual says this is a good thing. The horizontal cylinder plug was black, which seems to confirm my suspicion that it's running a bit rich. I also found that the coil was allowing water and dirt past the grommet, as the coil was weeping rust and there was dirt/clay around the bottom of the slot the coil sits in as well as moisture.

I replaced the coil with a used one to troubleshoot it. I was convinced that would fix it, and was heartbroken when it didn't.

I think it's also worth mentioning that I replaced the spark plugs, as I don't know how old they were. I made sure I replaced everything with the appropriate parts and verified the part numbers with either the manual or the Ducati website. I also checked the plug gap, even though I knew that they come pre-gapped. I don't have much experience with this kind of work, so I tend to over-verify everything.

Basically, I'm at a loss. I have a few ideas of other things I can check, but I'm hoping that someone else has had a similar experience and/or can help guide me in the right direction.

2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring | 2015 Honda MX125 | 2016 Honda CB300F
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2019, 4:31 pm
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I assume there are no engine faults showing on the display. I agree the black plug shows too rich. Have you noticed any smoke on acceleration or during idle? Could be the injector is leaking. I have seen this on cars and it will not throw a check engine light unless the o2 sensor picks it up. It could also be the o2 sensor for that cylinder is bad, but I think the cpu would see it and show a fault. You could try to unplug the o2 sensor for that cylinder and try it. It should throw a fault, but should select a map to run with out it. (limp home). Another guess will be the map sensor for that cylinder, it reads manifold pressure and is an input for the cpu to adjust the mixture, again the cpu should see it not working. Do some googling for too rich with fuel injection. All fi systems are similar in operation. Keep us informed as to what you find.....
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2019, 7:15 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, Steve!

And, yes, unfortunately I'm not getting any engine fault or other messages showing on the display. I wish it would throw some kind of code so I would have a place to start. I was starting to lean toward a faulty sensor, but, like you said, you'd expect it to throw some kind of code. I suppose if it's going bad, but isn't dead yet, it might just be giving the ECU misinformation and cause it to run poorly. As for a leaky injector, I'm looking through my shop manual to see if that level of maintenance is something I'll be able to do. It's looking like I'll start with the sensors and, if it comes down to it, I might just take it to someone to troubleshoot anything else. We'll see, though. Maybe tomorrow I'll have more courage.

2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring | 2015 Honda MX125 | 2016 Honda CB300F
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 2019, 9:28 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmendola View Post
I was starting to lean toward a faulty sensor, but, like you said, you'd expect it to throw some kind of code.
Not guaranteed, but I just replaced the MAP sensor for my horizontal cylinder for somewhat similar symptoms: Multistrada: misfire/backfire, loss of power. The CEL was not permanently lit and the fault was intermittent. My dealer read the ECU and recovered the error history and that's how we identified the MAP sensor as the culprit. It's been running fine since I replaced it.

1976 RD400 (Project), 1997 916 Biposto, 2013 Street Triple R, 2014 Multistrada 1200S
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2019, 9:36 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by herveyw View Post
Not guaranteed, but I just replaced the MAP sensor for my horizontal cylinder for somewhat similar symptoms: Multistrada: misfire/backfire, loss of power. The CEL was not permanently lit and the fault was intermittent. My dealer read the ECU and recovered the error history and that's how we identified the MAP sensor as the culprit. It's been running fine since I replaced it.
Ah, this is good to know. Like I previously mentioned, I wish the Multi would just throw a code already so I can get some indication of where to start. Like you said, even if it's intermittent, I could take it to a dealer and have them pull the code history. At this point, I'll probably just bring it there for at least troubleshooting.

2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring | 2015 Honda MX125 | 2016 Honda CB300F
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2019, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by tmendola View Post
Ah, this is good to know. Like I previously mentioned, I wish the Multi would just throw a code already so I can get some indication of where to start. Like you said, even if it's intermittent, I could take it to a dealer and have them pull the code history. At this point, I'll probably just bring it there for at least troubleshooting.
I have now bought cables so that I can run MelcoDiag and pull error codes from the bike; it was a rather expensive trip to the dealer for diagnostics -- although cheaper than my car -- but at least it identified the problem on my bike.

1976 RD400 (Project), 1997 916 Biposto, 2013 Street Triple R, 2014 Multistrada 1200S
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2019, 10:53 am
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Could it be just a bad spark plug?

Current bikes: 2014 Ducati Multistrada S Touring

Last edited by Piscatory_6; Apr 19th, 2019 at 10:01 pm.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2019, 1:44 pm
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Not sure if this will help but i had similar symptoms with my sport classic, but it was after changing out the exhaust. I upgraded the map on the ecu but had to take it back in to have them reset the TPS. Took him 3 minutes to reset it but afterwards it ran as smooth as it ever had.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2019, 8:22 pm
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Damn Ducati. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Do a search on Tuneboy EMS. It's a PITA software, but it does work, and it may help you to determine what the heck is going on.

And you are right - the 2010 to 2012 motors - when running - are something special. A wicked, visceral experience.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2019, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Piscatory_6 View Post
Could it be just a bad spark plug?
Good thought. I already tried replacing the spark plugs, so I've already ruled that out.

2011 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring | 2015 Honda MX125 | 2016 Honda CB300F
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