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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a '97 916 that seems to have a familiar problem but I can't seem to track down the specific culprit or maybe its just the same problem reoccurring frequently. When I bought the bike about 3 years ago and after riding it most of the summer, the battery unexpectantly died on me one day. I had been riding most of the morning (2-3 hours) and had stopped at a roadside deli to get a bite to eat. When we decided to continue our ride low and behold my 916 barely had enough juice to turn over, not even enough to start. Lukily after checking all the connections we got it to bump start and I limped it home. I know Duc's are notorious for their voltage regulators, maybe I was naive to think that I had somehow got the only good one in the batch. I took it to the local dealer and they at first thought it was the alternator but turns out they said it was the regulator. They went ahead and gave me a new alternator, but replaced the regulator with a new OEM one. Since then I've been stranded about 3 times but everytime I get the charging system checked it comes back fine. I leave it on a trickle charger whenever I'm not riding it, doesn't matter for how long, up to 3-4 weeks, and it still has died on me. If I wasn't so crazy about riding it, I would be afraid to take it out on a long ride by myself (there's just something about that desmo). It seems to only do it when the engine warms up. I've actually limped it into work one morning when it was just beginning to start to cut out, which it begins to do when all this starts to happen. I had a trailer lined up and everything to haul it back home, and when I sat down on it, it started right up and everything was fine once again. Like I said, it starts to loose power rapidly, idling very rough, will not rev past probably 2K, and if it starts to do this you better find a safe place to pull over because it will only last about 1/2 mile more. Once it dies, it's dead, funny thing is if I put a new battery on it then (while its hot), it starts right up and I can get it home. I assume its running only on the battery's charge. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that it would run on it's own once started (say with a dead battery). Is there something that I'm missing because I leave it on trickle, had the charging system checked several times (albeit maybe when it was cold at the shop), and have gone through about 4 batteries? Is there a better alternator/regulator combo out there that may fix this problem or is it there something else? Please help, I want to ride my Duc with confidence.
 

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Premium Member
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8,765 Posts
Man, sounds like the regulator again. Upgrade the wires, there is a three wire kit sold by Motowheels and upgrade the regulator to a newer version. Check the volts while the motor is off vs while on. Someone here will explain what you find means. I went with the HD wires and the upgraded electrex unit, had trouble with matching the wiring and the heat sink didn't fit so a friend of mine jury rigged the wiring and I made my own heat sink and wrapped the pipes for insurance. Actually, I think they sent me the wrong unit twice. Check the connections for burns and make sure connections are tight. Much has been written about this subject and I experienced very similar problems as you did before I did the above. No problems since.
 

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I'm NOT an AAAAA-d-m-i-n
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210 Posts
rdant said:
I've got a '97 916 that seems to have a familiar problem but I can't seem to track down the specific culprit...

rdant, check your Private Messages(PM).
 

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4,027 Posts
Look at the Halls Of Wisdom. I entered an article in there this week about DUC electrics. Towards the end, I mention the fact that the RR on the SBKs SUCK for location, and hint loudly that it pays to RELOCATE the RR.

More to come...
 

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4,027 Posts
My ST2 has its original RR in its factory location. Not sure why it's been "nice" to me. I occasionally touch it right after getting off the bike, and have never sensed it being hot. Warm? yes, but never hot. The ST bikes have these up front, below the headlight. Ducati moved them into the air duct in 200x. Probably the best place for it, but like I said, mine seems to be working fine. Oh, I carry a spare, too, for "that" day!
 

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27 Posts
Wiring from Regulator to Alternator

Hey Rdant,

I fought a very similar issue with my 95 916 about half a year ago. My bike would slowly lose power, and adventually it would not start. For awhile if I recharged the battery it would start again. I found that the yellow wire from the rectifier regulator to the alternator was melted, but not quite seperated. I think with a charged battery, the Voltage would help cross this nasty melted wire, however after low enough charge, no more juice to the alternator. I did have to replace my rectifier soon afterwards, as I found this wire was remelting. I would check the wiring and connectors in this area. It's a notorious hot spot for Ducs, for as much as this newb knows.

P.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the help. I'm gonna take a closer look at that yellow wire and all the connectors. If that is what the problem is, I think I'm just going to relocate the regulator somewhere else. I was readin on a website about a guy that placed his behind the liscense plate. This would seem to solve the whole regulator overheating problem, but if that yellow wire is being cooked by the engine heat as well, not sure if this is the complete fix. Is the root of the problem the regulator overheating, pushing more amps through the yellow wire and heating it up, or is it just the engine heat alone cooking the wiring, maybe a combination of both? Seems to me, if the engine heat is the problem, then there is some hi-temp wiring/terminals that could help to fix this problem. Is there anyone out there that has any idea?
 

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Chilehead
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6,985 Posts
Larger diameter wire, the wires overheat because they are too small for the rated current.

The connectors melt for the same reason. I replaced mine with some 40A gold-plated stuff we have at work. No more connector problems.

Tom
 
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