1997 748 runs like crap!.... AGAIN! - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
 
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 6:54 pm Thread Starter
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Okay, so part of this is a rant, part of it is asking for advice.

I bought my 1997 748 monoposto in June of 2018, and seriously regretting it. Since buying it, I was able to ride the bike less than one week, before it crapped out, leaving me on the street. I had the bike towed to Wheeler's Performance, who had the bike for a few months, but did nothing with it.

Then, I had the bike towed back to my house, and the tow truck driver dropped the bike when trying to unload it. It was sent to Pandora's European Motorsports in Chattanooga, Tn., where they had the bike for several more months. They misdiagnosed it, and told me that there was a failing fuel injector that was causing the issue. I sent Pandora's a new set of fuel injectors, but that did not fix it. Then, they tell me that it needs an EPROM, so I sent them an EPROM. Still did not fix it. They then told me that it needed a valve shim, as one of them was out of spec. $2k later, and I get the bike back, only to ride it one damned day, before it craps out again. So the bike goes BACK to Pandora's, where they tell me that it needs some ignition pickups, and recommended a TPS replacement and recalibration..... $1k more to the bill.
The tech also stated that he had fixed the low fuel light not coming on, and that it was working fine now, which he clearly did not.

So finally, I get the bike back with a "clean bill fo health." As soon as they delivered the bike, I started it up and noticed that it idled around 800rpm, and would constantly die. So I took the bike n a test ride, and every time I unload the engine by pulling in the clutch, the bike would die. Now, it has absolutely no power, and needs to be dumped at 5,000rpm+ in order to even take off without dying. It will not hardly accelerate under 10,000rpm, and carly will accelerate above that. When I hold the throttle at WOT, it takes around 15 seconds to even get up to 10,000rpm. So far, I am into this piece of *%@& for more than $6,000.00 (purchase price), and the repair bills are already around half of the $3,900.00 cost of the bike, with no end to this nightmare n sight. All in all, I have been able to ride this bike about 800mi., and have ridden it less than 7 days since buying it over a year ago.

Any ideas on what could be wrong with it, and recommendations on a GOOD Ducati shop in East Tennessee or the surrounding areas would be great!
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 7:37 pm
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Nothing wrong with the bike.

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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 7:43 pm
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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
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 8:08 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ducvet View Post
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.
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 8:13 pm
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My riding buddy yrs ago bought a Tri Sprint that had been around to three dealerships with a "crapping out" problem. None of them could fix it. RB started with the basics, the first of which was to check the fuses. Three or four of them had moved up slightly in their holder, but he noted that the difference was almost imperceptible. He pushed all the fuses down completely after checking them and the condition of the holder. The bike has run fine ever since.

If I were all alone in the world with this 748, I would start with the basics and "zero time" everything I could. Hate to assume, but it's probably electrical and, even though I don't have the means to diagnose computerized ignition systems et al, I certainly could check every electrical connection, ground, battery, fuse, spark plug and wire etc etc etc. Are the in tank hoses still good along with the fuel pump? You already have a new EPROM. Why pay somebody $100/hr to do a zero time in this fashion? I refuse to accept the argument that this thing just cannot be fixed.
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 8:25 pm
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Sadly many dealerships will cut off bikes older than 10 years and this is for good reason. In the industry there is high turnover in mechanics and many new mechanics are off doing other things after a few years. this leaves dealerships constantly with "technicians" who have training but no experience. One would think if the mechanic at the dealership owns a 748 he would be interested in fixing yours because someday it will be him in the hot seat.

It is good the owner is willing to work with you so if this continues you may want to stay with them, do not burn that bridge. The service manager may be feeling he wants to charge 100% but the owner does get it that a good relationship is important excellent for him! With the bike in decent condition you may simply have one of those stubborn "never seen that before" issues that they are not putting a finger on. Can they replicate the issue or is it intermittent?
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 8:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducvet View Post
Sadly many dealerships will cut off bikes older than 10 years and this is for good reason. In the industry there is high turnover in mechanics and many new mechanics are off doing other things after a few years. this leaves dealerships constantly with "technicians" who have training but no experience. One would think if the mechanic at the dealership owns a 748 he would be interested in fixing yours because someday it will be him in the hot seat.

It is good the owner is willing to work with you so if this continues you may want to stay with them, do not burn that bridge. The service manager may be feeling he wants to charge 100% but the owner does get it that a good relationship is important excellent for him! With the bike in decent condition you may simply have one of those stubborn "never seen that before" issues that they are not putting a finger on. Can they replicate the issue or is it intermittent?
GREAT POINT.....

I have old Porsches and a few yrs ago I went to a dealership to pick up a part that I ordered. A few mechanics came over to look at it. They had never seen a 70's 911 before or so it seemed. Points? Air cooling? Non integrated fuel injection? No diagnostic port? Holy shit!

Failure is not an option 1995 Duc 916,1994 Bim DB2,1986 Duc MHR Mille, 1974 Duc 750 Sport, 1965 Duc Monza
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 8:44 pm
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OK just one more comment....

You are right now at the low point with this bike. You spent a ton of money on it, it's not running right, you don't know what's wrong with it and you haven't gotten much help so far. I was in the same boat with an old '71 Norton last year. I had always wanted one, but knew nothing about them, the thing had been eff'd with during its life by people who should be ordinanced out of owning motorcycles and, as I peeled back the onion, it just kept getting worse and worse. Plus, they kinda suck to begin with, let's be honest.

At times, I wanted to roll the thing down my hill into the woods. I was mad at myself for buying the fucking thing in the first place. But I stuck with it. I started feeling sorry for it. I just had to get my mind right to want to fix it and stick with it. I made the transition from being friggin mad and frustrated to not letting this thing outsmart me. I simply started the process by righting all the wrongs, step by step and by being patient. I read, I searched, I called, I analyzed and I bought the right parts. Piece by piece it started coming together and running right. But it didn't happen overnight.
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 9:30 pm
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first thing is a fuel pressure test. i have fittings that go into the quick connects, so i test it at the tank return (white). that'll show up any issue with fuel supply as such.

you have another 748? fit that fuel tank to it. then put that ecu in it. straight swap one for the other. that'll rule out ecu and eprom.

check the voltages with the engine running at battery, coming in/out of the relays under the seat, etc. look for a low voltage anywhere.

if you have two of the shitters then you have enough parts for testing.
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Old Aug 15th, 2019, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Desimoto View Post
Okay, so part of this is a rant, part of it is asking for advice.

I bought my 1997 748 monoposto in June of 2018, and seriously regretting it. Since buying it, I was able to ride the bike less than one week, before it crapped out, leaving me on the street. I had the bike towed to Wheeler's Performance, who had the bike for a few months, but did nothing with it.

Then, I had the bike towed back to my house, and the tow truck driver dropped the bike when trying to unload it. It was sent to Pandora's European Motorsports in Chattanooga, Tn., where they had the bike for several more months. They misdiagnosed it, and told me that there was a failing fuel injector that was causing the issue. I sent Pandora's a new set of fuel injectors, but that did not fix it. Then, they tell me that it needs an EPROM, so I sent them an EPROM. Still did not fix it. They then told me that it needed a valve shim, as one of them was out of spec. $2k later, and I get the bike back, only to ride it one damned day, before it craps out again. So the bike goes BACK to Pandora's, where they tell me that it needs some ignition pickups, and recommended a TPS replacement and recalibration..... $1k more to the bill.
The tech also stated that he had fixed the low fuel light not coming on, and that it was working fine now, which he clearly did not.

So finally, I get the bike back with a "clean bill fo health." As soon as they delivered the bike, I started it up and noticed that it idled around 800rpm, and would constantly die. So I took the bike n a test ride, and every time I unload the engine by pulling in the clutch, the bike would die. Now, it has absolutely no power, and needs to be dumped at 5,000rpm+ in order to even take off without dying. It will not hardly accelerate under 10,000rpm, and carly will accelerate above that. When I hold the throttle at WOT, it takes around 15 seconds to even get up to 10,000rpm. So far, I am into this piece of *%@& for more than $6,000.00 (purchase price), and the repair bills are already around half of the $3,900.00 cost of the bike, with no end to this nightmare n sight. All in all, I have been able to ride this bike about 800mi., and have ridden it less than 7 days since buying it over a year ago.

Any ideas on what could be wrong with it, and recommendations on a GOOD Ducati shop in East Tennessee or the surrounding areas would be great!
Itís most likely something easy thatís being overlooked. At least thatís what I always try to think so I stay optimistic!

If it where my bike is start with fuel pressure. Make sure the pump is putting out what it should. Then change the fuel filter. Maybe itís clogged. Iíd absolutely at least pull the pump assembly out of the tank and inspect the lines and connections. I had a bike once that wouldnít run and felt very underpowered because of a collapsed fuel line inside the tank. Itís worth looking at at least.

After that Iíd pull the plugs to see how they look and maybe even change the two coils. At least ring the coils out with a meter. Iím sure thereís a specific resistance value listed somewhere in the service manual.

Also check your grounds. If itís electrical itís most likely ground related.

Maybe all of what I listed has been done already but I hope this helps. Keep us posted!

Bikes:2001 Ducati 996 Monoposto; 2006 Suzuki GSX-R 600; 2016 KTM 350 SX-F; 2018 Husqvarna 701 Supermoto
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