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My SS did a total shut off riding down the highway and it was a VR wire rubbed through against the frame.
 

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IF... The shut off switch had a short, wouldn't have that exact symptom?
Just a thought!
^^^^
first place I would look for the electrical problem. Those stupid red sliding switches suck. They get moisture in them and always seem to have contact problems. Could also be on the main push button switch.
 
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Discussion Starter #23
Ok, I like the idea of an "earth" problem. Although, other than the actual ground cable itself I'm not sure where to look. I will disassemble the kill and power switch for problems. I also like the idea of the keyless ignition losing a signal and the ecu, if that has been a problem. However, I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of replacing expensive parts. Finally, I'm not sure what a VR is on the Ducati.
 

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A loss of key signal will not result in the bike turning off. If you ride away from your key, you will get a notice on the dash that key signal is lost. It doesn’t shut down the engine or bike.

My money is on the kill switch. Take it apart. Cleanup contacts with alcohol or QD electronic cleaner. I’ve had contacts get dirty on my Hyper causing a switch to stick.

If the kill switch isn’t it, I’d be looking at the ECU. Keep an eye peeled for a used ECU you could swap.
 

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Mine did this, and it seemed to cut off when the gear position sensor would show the bike suddenly not in neutral,as it sat there running untouched.I made need a new sensor, or a new battery, low voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I’ll take the kill switch apart and look for trouble. However, I rarely use the switch. Opting for the on/off switch. Will report back.
as for an ecu, swapping out is an ideal idea. Just hard to come by. It probably has to be the same model year or close to it.
 

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I am also leaning in the direction of a faulty kill switch or /ecu power issue. Both are obviously related. The described symptom is that of total electrical failure with the ability to reset.
Similar symptoms have led me to an intermittent ground associated with the kill switch circuit or ground to the ECU.
Strangely, Harley uses a similar separated ignition (on/off) and kill switch (run / stop).
T-bills provides some sound advice as to simple disassembly and cleaning of contacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
For those that might know, if you remove the ground cable on a car it continues to run, at the risk of killing the alternator diodes. But are you suggesting the Ducati is different and removing a ground the bike will just go dark? Or that the ground arc is allowing the eco to turn the bike off?
Some news out of Dallas Ducati, the service manage there said he believes it might be associated with the "hands free unit." What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #30
For those that might know, if you remove the ground cable on a car it continues to run, at the risk of killing the alternator diodes. But are you suggesting the Ducati is different and removing a ground the bike will just go dark? Or that the ground arc is allowing the eco to turn the bike off?
Some news out of Dallas Ducati, the service manage there said he believes it might be associated with the "hands free unit." What do you think?
(sp. ECU)
 

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It seemed like my bike would not run without a battery properly connected... I know this because one of the terminals was only loose and intermittently lost contact - and the bike shut completely off (as I was cruising at highway speed)... then the contact would reconnect and I'd be able to power up the ecu and restart only to have it happen again. This was a few years ago so I don't recall if I had to pull completely over or if I was just bumping it to get going again... bump I think. Sometimes it would throw a code, sometimes it wouldn't. Tightened the terminal and the issue went away.
 

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For those that might know, if you remove the ground cable on a car it continues to run, at the risk of killing the alternator diodes. But are you suggesting the Ducati is different and removing a ground the bike will just go dark?
That is true for some cars but only for the ground cable running to the battery negative terminal. There are other ground cables/connections on cars and bikes.
 

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I’ll take the kill switch apart and look for trouble. However, I rarely use the switch. Opting for the on/off switch. Will report back.
as for an ecu, swapping out is an ideal idea. Just hard to come by. It probably has to be the same model year or close to it.
When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.Start with the simple stuff and eliminate all of that before thinking it is the ECU.

It sounds like you are saying that the dash, headlight and everything else goes dead when this happens. Is that correct?

If so, start the bike up and then hit the kill switch.Does that just kill the motor or does it kill everything? If it does not cause the same symptoms, your problem is not the kill switch.

If it does cause the same symptoms see if you can squirt some contact cleaner into the contact area of the kill switch and work the switch repeatedly a dozen times or so. That should clear any oxidation/contamination that might be causing the issue. If that is not possible, then you would have to dissemble it to clean the contacts.

In any case, it certainly appears to be an electrical problem. Successfully troubleshooting electrical problems requires a lot of staring and thinking so resist the urge to shotgun the problem. Electrical issues are either caused by a connection or a component. The good news is that your problem is getting more frequent, which makes it easier to troubleshoot.

Try to come up with simple tests that you can do to isolate the problem. Keep a 12v test light (quicker/easier to use than a DVMM) and a heavy paperclip in your tank bag while you are trouble shooing the problem. A DVMM might be needed in later stages.

If you have an SAE pigtail connected to your battery for connecting a battery tender, use the test light with the straightened paperclip (or a piece of wire) clamped in the test light alligator clip to see if you have 12v between the two terminals and if so, then measure between an engine bolt or other frame ground and the + on the SAE connector. Both tests would have to be done while it is in the failure state, preferably in the case where you have to let it sit for a while/disconnect/reconnect the battery before it works again.

If you have a good 12v/ground path, think of other experiments you can try. Rinse and repeat.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Yes, the bike turns off completely. Engine, dash, everything. Completely off. So I will attempt to clean the kill/on-off switch first and check for the ground connection at battery. Furthermore, unfortunately, it sounds like an owner cannot replace the "hands-free unit" without help from a Ducati computer. I'd be interested to know if anyone has replaced the unit and what was involved.
 

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If you ride it hard from cold start do you reliably get a different outcome to if you are gentle with it? On a Jappa once, I did and that was proof of an ecu problem. Couldn't borrow one without buying it, so pulled it apart and dissolved the waxy stuff it was soaked in, found the dicky pcb board joint, soldered it up and never had another problem with the bike.

For me, I lived near a freeway so could give it a workout by hard acceleration, brakes, repeat. Typical time to shutdown moved from half hour plus to a few minutes, showing differential thermal expansion was happening somewhere vs heat soak slow rise in temp. So it needed to be an electronic component as switches really only affected by absolute temp since operating thermal gradients are only ever going to be gradual.

Obviously this kind of diagnosis is not going to be definitive, but if a new ecu (plus immobiliser?) is needed, this could get you closer to the certainty of decision point...
 

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Just a comment on the battery thing, I had a brand new Yuasa battery fail on the ST4S. Faulty construction and an internal disconnect happened, eg plates fell off the post or something like that. So the bike is running, momentarily, on the alternator only. Given it happened 'at speed' (OK, I was late after fixing the reg failure, put a new battery in 'to be sure' and trying to catch up with the long departed main group on a Turismo), it was ticking over at a fairly high rate, in a VERY remote location, which created its own recovery problems later. The sudden spike fritzed the ecu and Power Commander. Took a while to discover that, but the PC was dead and gone, ecu responded to dealer reset. So I am just suggesting if you have earthing issues, it is not the main earth system or you would be in a wall of pain! This is a component specific / connectivity problem, just gotta find the sucker...
 

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For those that might know, if you remove the ground cable on a car it continues to run, at the risk of killing the alternator diodes. But are you suggesting the Ducati is different and removing a ground the bike will just go dark? Or that the ground arc is allowing the eco to turn the bike off?
Some news out of Dallas Ducati, the service manage there said he believes it might be associated with the "hands free unit." What do you think?
Probably the fault is an intermittent failure of either a switch (the kill switch for example) or a chaffed wire that grounds to the frame or other part of the bike and causes the system to shut down. It doesn't have to be a main earth but it will likely be somewhere that's in the kill switch circuit or ECU main harness given that it starts and runs until it doesn't, if that makes sense.
It could be the ECU, but it could be anything really, i doubt it is, i'd be looking closely at (as others have rightly mentioned) the kill switch, then check the loom for signs of chaffing/damage. For example, the Diavel has an issue with the loom on the LHS of the steering head which does something very similar in some cases, though it depends on which wires chafe through of course.
If you pull that kill switch apart they tend to explode with tiny springs and balls so be careful, I repaired one on my bike but it was so complex inside that i wasn't confident it would remain reliable so i just replaced it, with a supercession too so they updated something and it's been no trouble since. For the cost it might be a good thing to try?
 

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A wire rubbing bare in the loom would :

a) burn a fuse (if it's a +)
b) do nothing (if it's a ground)

The hands free theory make sense.
 

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Yes, the bike turns off completely. Engine, dash, everything. Completely off. So I will attempt to clean the kill/on-off switch first and check for the ground connection at battery. Furthermore, unfortunately, it sounds like an owner cannot replace the "hands-free unit" without help from a Ducati computer. I'd be interested to know if anyone has replaced the unit and what was involved.
Are you saying there is a separate on/off switch in addition to the kill switch, or that the kill switch is labeled on/off?

Again, kill switches typically do not shut off the dash and headlight. They are designed as a way to quickly stop the motor, so start the bike up and hit the kill switch. If the dash and headlight stays on, you are wasting your time investigating the kill switch. If your kill switch also kills the dash and headlight, it operates differently than any other kill switch I've seen in 40 years of wrenching/riding motorcycles.
 

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You know, getting back on the armchair and just thinking about it, the only thing that could actually generate the symptoms you describe is a faulty main fuse or faulty ignition switch module. Which includes the wires to them and possibly down to the ecu - have to think about that last bit. All the other various ideas floated have varying degrees of merit - from zero, right through bugger all to actual outside possibilities. Zebras the lot of 'em! Look for the simple and you will find it in the main power circuit...
 
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