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Discussion Starter #1
My 999 is a bit opposed to a quick start when it's cold, especially below 50 degrees. And since I had the 1038cc overbore kit and HC pistons (13.5:1) installed hard starting has been exacerbated some. Plus the faster it starts the less wear and tear on internally parts. There is a trick which has worked fairly well suggested by TomTom. You hold the throttle 1/2 open and allow the engine to crank 4 times. After the 4th crank, kill the engine and wait 1 minute. Then start the bike normally. Works very well. If it doesn't I've found the last few times that I've attached a jumper box to my battery it's fired immediately, w/o it just cranks over and over. I use a PEAK 600 amp jumper box and simply attach it to my + and - YUASA terminals. Start normally and it fired immediately !! IMO the battery is the issue w/ these big L-Twins. Even a new or fully charged used battery strains to start these engines. I think it's more to do w/ lack of space and fitting a battery not up to the power of starting these engines than anything else as when using a jump box it fires w/in 2 cranks.
On my 999 it take less than a 1/2 minute to remove the left fairing panel so it makes it worth while. Plus it takes the strain, wear and tear off my sprag and starter. The cost is far less for the jump box $24 versus $170 lithium battery which will eventually wear out and doesn't fair well in cold temps.
 

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Thanks for this. I want to try it but I hear you should never ever touch the throttle when starting up and until it reaches 45 degrees. Been having a lot of issues with my 749 now that it's gone cold. Bike is virtually impossible to start under 10 degrees celsius and when it does start the voltage drops dramatically to 13.2 with lights one when it normally used to rest on 13.8. New AGM battery and everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
TomTom gave me that tip last spring/late winter and it worked very well. After you go 1/2 throttle and wait 1 minute you start w/o opening the throttle. Now some guys use very little throttle when starting a cold engine. In my situation the 1038cc kit makes cold starting a bit more of an issue. In the warmer months when I'm riding more often it starts w/o the jump box assist w/o issue. But once it gets chilly, it becomes problematic. I guess It all depends on how aggravating it is to remove your fairing. But the jump box will not harm anything and you'll hear it spin up faster and start more efficiently. It's nothing more than a poor choice on Ducati part by installing a too small and weak battery for the job.
 

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Old Wizard
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Ducati 998/999 Starting Problems

Engines need more fuel for a cold start because there is no heat in the ports and chambers to keep the fuel atomized as vapor, so it stays as a liquid. Fuel as a liquid burns very badly in the combustion chamber, so throwing extra fuel at it ensures enough stays as vapor for some sort of combustion. Too much fuel and you foul the plugs.

One of the problems with shower-type injected bikes like the 998/999 is HOW you start bike can result in problems. You can easily flood or foul plugs with shower injectors because much more of the initial fuel spray from shower injectors condenses on the cold surfaces of the throttle bodies and intake tracts before it can get down into the combustion chamber to aid startup.

So the method of starting is different.

In particular, do not open the throttle until the engine fires up. You must simply hit the starter button and wait for the engine to come to life. Attempting to crack the throttle open will only force you to run the starter motor longer (and possibly drain the battery). Once the engine begins to idle, you can open the throttle at any time.
 

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Should we mention the best mod ever for a DUC (according to my opinion)?
THICKER battery to solenoid to starter cables. Ever since I put them on, the bike starts with the first push of the button.
 

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Come in Spinner :)
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This is easier:


 

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-Crack half open go 3-4 revolutions then hit the killswitch (you do not want to start the engine at this point).
-WAIT 1min (to have fuel vaporise).
-Then start with NO throttle.

Totally works if its hard to start in cold weather.

This method came to mind after starting the MX bike when ice racing, as the fuel is reluctant to vaporise when cold, you need more of it than usual.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
-Crack half open go 3-4 revolutions then hit the killswitch (you do not want to start the engine at this point).
-WAIT 1min (to have fuel vaporise).
-Then start with NO throttle.

Totally works if its hard to start in cold weather.

This method came to mind after starting the MX bike when ice racing, as the fuel is reluctant to vaporise when cold, you need more of it than usual.
YES, I mentioned that too Tom! and it does work nearly flawlessly. Shazaam gave the explanation why it works. However it might not always work for everyone. A cold battery has reduced cranking power and sometimes it just won't start. Also there's that gray area w/ temps where it is just warm enough and if your dealing w/ a bike that has sat unridden for a decent length of time, a jumper box resolves all these issues very well. It's more of a personal conclusion that Ducati uses the smallest. least powerful battery to fit w/in the tight body work (there's even a blister on the 999's left fairing so the small YUASA will fit) to barely get the job done...all the L-twin superbikes have the same trouble. The jumper box spins the starter faster, resulting in a stronger spark, better combustion....quicker starts w/o harming the electrical system.
 

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One thing to note as well: a lower temperatures, the performance of the battery decreases, and its output can alter drastically. The ECU requires so much STABLE current to operate correctly. So you might have enough power to crank the engine in cold conditions, but the power draw of the starter might create unstable current to the ECU, and make it hard to start. Partial crank of the throttle alleviates that some.

This and as Shazaam said, the molecular properties of pertol is greatly affected in how it behaves at colder temperatures. Those coupled can make a difficult start.

When the thermometer drops below 45, this is what i do on my 1098. If I just hit the starter it won't start. I hit the starter, let it cycle through. I hit the starter again and blip the throttle 3-4 good shots. Hit the starter the 3rd time and it will start right up, without goosing it. I usually ride through the winter, lowest temp. last year was 8° F. I've gotten used to trying to start in the cold. I'm going to try a Li-ion battery next go around and see if I can get more stable
 

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If you crank the bike over for more than 10 secs without it starting you effectively flood it with fuel and then you must open the throttle to let air in or you'll never get it to start. Trust me on this. Try it and you'll see.
 

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If you crank the bike over for more than 10 secs without it starting you effectively flood it with fuel and then you must open the throttle to let air in or you'll never get it to start. Trust me on this. Try it and you'll see.
That is true, assuming the injectors are firing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just from tinkering with using the 4 crank, half throttle, wait 1 minute method and using the jump box....unless as mentioned the ECU isn't receiving a strong current and coil sticks are firing properly it won't start. The jump box just helps the engine starter really wind up and fire the engine. Of course when temps are warmer the battery is barely strong enough. But then again my fairing takes seconds to remove - 5 Dzus fasteners and it's off. It would be nice if I could arrange some sort of pig tail connector off the battery(like the battery tender) for the jump box...
 

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My 999 is a bit opposed to a quick start when it's cold, especially below 50 degrees. And since I had the 1038cc overbore kit and HC pistons (13.5:1) installed hard starting has been exacerbated some. Plus the faster it starts the less wear and tear on internally parts. There is a trick which has worked fairly well suggested by TomTom. You hold the throttle 1/2 open and allow the engine to crank 4 times. After the 4th crank, kill the engine and wait 1 minute. Then start the bike normally. Works very well. If it doesn't I've found the last few times that I've attached a jumper box to my battery it's fired immediately, w/o it just cranks over and over. I use a PEAK 600 amp jumper box and simply attach it to my + and - YUASA terminals. Start normally and it fired immediately !! IMO the battery is the issue w/ these big L-Twins. Even a new or fully charged used battery strains to start these engines. I think it's more to do w/ lack of space and fitting a battery not up to the power of starting these engines than anything else as when using a jump box it fires w/in 2 cranks.


On my 999 it take less than a 1/2 minute to remove the left fairing panel so it makes it worth while. Plus it takes the strain, wear and tear off my sprag and starter. The cost is far less for the jump box $24 versus $170 lithium battery which will eventually wear out and doesn't fair well in cold temps.
Why not get a couple of Anderson connectors and mount one on the bike in a convenient place, then hook up to the battery terminals, and put the other one on the booster cables so it can be plugged in for the first morning start. The small 50 amp would be the one to use. It will take #6 cables.

ANDERSON POWER PRODUCTS Connector, Wire/Cable - Battery and Cable Connectors - 3BY20|6319 - Grainger Industrial Supply
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Why not get a couple of Anderson connectors and mount one on the bike in a convenient place, then hook up to the battery terminals, and put the other one on the booster cables so it can be plugged in for the first morning start. The small 50 amp would be the one to use. It will take #6 cables.

ANDERSON POWER PRODUCTS Connector, Wire/Cable - Battery and Cable Connectors - 3BY20|6319 - Grainger Industrial Supply
That's interesting! I was only tinkering w/ trying the 1/2 throttle vs jumper box so it was all just to see which works more efficiently. I'll ride during the cold months, but not often, especially after they spread cinders all over the effing road. Why our F$%king township doesn't go to a brine solution I'll never know. All the surrounding Twps do. For the few times I get out it's NBD to pull the fairing and attach the cables...w/ my luck I would blow my 999 to kingdom come using that connector stuff.....:D
 

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That's interesting! I was only tinkering w/ trying the 1/2 throttle vs jumper box so it was all just to see which works more efficiently. I'll ride during the cold months, but not often, especially after they spread cinders all over the effing road. Why our F$%king township doesn't go to a brine solution I'll never know. All the surrounding Twps do. For the few times I get out it's NBD to pull the fairing and attach the cables...w/ my luck I would blow my 999 to kingdom come using that connector stuff.....:D
I don't know what they have in that brine, but it eats up ventilated automotive brake rotors terribly. Personally, I put the bikes up when the first salt goes down.

The connector setup is no different than using regular jumper cables. It's polarized so it can't be connected backwards. We always had a bigger version mounted on the front of the shop truck to plug in the jumper cables without having to raise the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't know what they have in that brine, but it eats up ventilated automotive brake rotors terribly. Personally, I put the bikes up when the first salt goes down.

The connector setup is no different than using regular jumper cables. It's polarized so it can't be connected backwards. We always had a bigger version mounted on the front of the shop truck to plug in the jumper cables without having to raise the hood.
I'll look into it, I was just perusing your website info....the brine works so well, you can see it as it leaves the road surface perfectly clear. The cinders are terrible, they pile up at the end of our street, they kick up everywhere. When they go down I'm done. At least the brine won't sand blast your paint away.
 

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This method has worked a treat over the last few days with the supercold weather. A great tip.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This method has worked a treat over the last few days with the supercold weather. A great tip.

Thanks
I thought my 999 might be out of tune causing the hard starts in chilly weather. But FBF just retuned the whole bike after balancing the crank and replacing all the bearings in the crank cases a few months ago. When it relies on just the battery when cold, it struggles....add a jump box and BOOM! a crank or two and it fires and idles perfectly. IMO the issue has always been lack of a powerful battery to turn those huge pistons. You can do a few things to make it better, but at the end the battery has never been powerful enough.
 

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I thought my 999 might be out of tune causing the hard starts in chilly weather. But FBF just retuned the whole bike after balancing the crank and replacing all the bearings in the crank cases a few months ago. When it relies on just the battery when cold, it struggles....add a jump box and BOOM! a crank or two and it fires and idles perfectly. IMO the issue has always been lack of a powerful battery to turn those huge pistons. You can do a few things to make it better, but at the end the battery has never been powerful enough.
Well, I've been using a Motobatt AGM battery which apparently produces 20% more cranking power than OEM batts. It does crank better to be honest but it still lumbers when it's cold. The tip has been invaluable as when I leave work it's still chilly and without a jump box or battery charger to help, I can start the bike after a few cranks and not worry about not getting home!
 
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