I am sorry to hear you are having a bad time with the bike, these issues can make you lose faith in a brand/bike or humanity. I have a repair shop myself and cringe at the wait times you listed because it happens to my own shop, some good and some bad reasons. For that I am sorry.
That said I have to ask are the shops you are taking it to Ducati experienced shops?
The money you are spending is serious money and some of the items that you mention are all over the place, it does not sound to me as they had a idea of what was wrong. I hate to say it but they are human and if they are making a good faith attempt to fix the bike they sound to be struggling. I have been there myself and it is no fun to fail to find a fault, I am sure they would want to know. I would start by having a heart to heart talk with the shop owner and try and get an idea of what they can and cannot do for you.
I have seen some motorcycles that were so far neglected and mis-maintained that to be honest they are better off parted out or all labor NEEDS to be done by the new owner to prevent being on the wrong end of a large bill waiting for the next problem to arise. We cannot see what you bought and what care was given to the bike over the years, you may be the guy picking up the pieces.
Or the shops may not know these bikes, we all run into bikes we have never seen or worked on and it is always a struggle to work on a 20 year old bike with a unknown history if you do not know what is normal or not. search out the local Ducati owners in your area and ask for a specialist, I am used to customers driving great distances both to the dealership and my own shop I work at so if you are not looking at a driving range measured in hours open the range up enough to find someone who can cut to the chase and fix your bike.
Ducshop and ducpond are shops you may know of I do not know if they are close enough but they have good reputations, maybe some one else on here will know of "A Guy" . There are only so many things to cause a particular problem so it will be a short list. Be sure to have your reciepts from past work to give the shop to keep them from repeating things already tried.
Best of luck, PM sent
Thank you, my friend. It can be disheartening, but I am still a huge fan of Ducatis. I have another 748, and while it has it's issues as well (failing sprag clutch and fuel level sending unit, for examples), it is also a 38,000mi bike, so such things are to be expected.
Wheeler's claimed to have a Ducati tech and all necessary specialty tools, but did not. Pandora's is an authorized Ducati dealer, and does have a certified Ducati tech who actually rides a 748, which led me to think it was in good hands. Not trying to knock the technician, mind you, but this bike has been to Pandora's three times now, about to be four...and every time, it is more and more money, yet the bike never really gets fixed.
As for the condition of the bike, it had a little over 9,200miles on it when I bought it, and was in mint condition. The seller stated that the bike was always professionally maintained, but I did have the fluids changed and the belts replaced (genuine Ducati), just to be safe.
I spoke with the owner of Pandora's, and we did make an agreement on the last repair that I would pay for the parts only, not the labor, so there is that. Originally, the service shop manager did not want to do this, but I had purchased another Ducati from Pandora's a month back, and I suppose the owner wanted to stay on good terms. And while I hold nothing against him personally, this is terribly frustrating, and racking up a rather costly bill.
Hooefully I can find a shop that knows these bikes really well.... moderate distance is not a HUGE deal breaker, as long as it is done once and done right. Pandora's is already over 2 hours away from me, as it is.
Thank you so much for your response, concern, and information! I really appreciate it, more than you know.