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Discussion Starter #1
When I start my bike in the cold it's very slow to turn over. As if it's trying really hard. Then once the starter is turning at normal speed, if it doesn't start it will turn and then make a crazy spinning/whirring sound.

Random Troubleshooting Facts (unknown relevance)
2010 Multistrada with ~12k miles
I have a newish battery (1 year, but it did this last winter when the battery was brand new.)
I get the "Rear Compression Error" whenever it's cold or if I put the bike in any mode other than sport.

Things I've been reading about:
New starter
New aftermarket wires (Motoelectric HICAP)
Stronger battery
Thinner oil in the winter

First Multi so I'm learning the Ducati quirks without spending an arm and a leg at the dealer. Thank you for your help!
 

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Ducatis have long been cold-blooded. When I moved to NH (from CA), I ended up doing the following to my M900 Monster to achieve reliable starting in the cold: Strongest battery I could fit, Battery Tender port, Plug it into the Battery Tender each night. The one real modification, and maybe the most important, was to upgrade the battery cables. I changed the existing cables from 6-gauge to 4-gauge wires, and added a new 4-gauge ground wire from the starter back to the battery (instead of relying on it graound adequately through the engine and frame. With those mods, it started well and quickly down to 20F (-7C) or lower.

PhilB
 

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As others have noted, "normal" for a Ducati is to seem like it's not going to start, then finally catch right before the start cycle times out. Sometimes it's the second cycle. What I found made a HUGE difference on my SS was to upsize/replace the wiring from battery to solenoid to starter. At the same time I did this I cleaned the ground connection between engine/frame and battery. I'll do this to my multi this winter... it has a new battery and hasn't stranded me yet but I definitely wonder once it gets down below 45F or so... I also keep the bike on a battery tender now as short rides in cold weather definitely don't help - I want 100% of my CCA's available every morning.

I sanded all my connections down to bare metal, then coated the binding posts and ring fittings on the end of the cables with dielectric grease. Night and day difference after that with starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As others have noted, "normal" for a Ducati is to seem like it's not going to start, then finally catch right before the start cycle times out. Sometimes it's the second cycle. What I found made a HUGE difference on my SS was to upsize/replace the wiring from battery to solenoid to starter. At the same time I did this I cleaned the ground connection between engine/frame and battery. I'll do this to my multi this winter... it has a new battery and hasn't stranded me yet but I definitely wonder once it gets down below 45F or so... I also keep the bike on a battery tender now as short rides in cold weather definitely don't help - I want 100% of my CCA's available every morning.

I sanded all my connections down to bare metal, then coated the binding posts and ring fittings on the end of the cables with dielectric grease. Night and day difference after that with starting.
Both of you upgrade the wires. Is there another option other than the 150$ Motoelectic leads (seems very expensive for a couple wires)? I've never messed with electrical. Is there an easy DIY or is it best to just pony up and buy leads?
 

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Both of you upgrade the wires. Is there another option other than the 150$ Motoelectic leads (seems very expensive for a couple wires)? I've never messed with electrical. Is there an easy DIY or is it best to just pony up and buy leads?
Electricals are touchy, especially in the long term, for things exposed to the environment. I wouldn't make them myself unless I really knew what I was doing. In my case, I had a local dealer with outstanding techs, and they made the leads. Had that not been available I'd have gone with the Motoelectrics. I don't believe in going cheap in things where quality matters. That's part of why I ride Ducatis in the first place.

PhilB
 

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I saw a thread a while ago by a fellow who made his own set from oven wiring and it cost him pennies.
There's also a guy in England that does a kit. Look on the English site and you'll be able to get a price comparison.
 

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Find an auto/truck electric shop in your area, usually located in an industrial area. Have them make up the cables for you. If you take off the old cables and bring them to the shop, they can make you identical cables using larger-gauge wire. They can make them out of standard stranded cable, or "welding cable" that's more flexible.
 

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Thanks for your posts, everyone. I decided to order the expensive wires. I'll be back if it doesn't solve it for me.
They solved it for me... and if you're talking about the Motoelectric kit yea it's expensive but that's what I bought and it's very good quality. Takes some fiddling to get everything installed.
 

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Electricals are touchy, especially in the long term, for things exposed to the environment. I wouldn't make them myself unless I really knew what I was doing. In my case, I had a local dealer with outstanding techs, and they made the leads. Had that not been available I'd have gone with the Motoelectrics. I don't believe in going cheap in things where quality matters. That's part of why I ride Ducatis in the first place.

PhilB
PhilB, was that Seacoast? I’m servicing my bike with them this month and may decide to upgrade the wires as well
 
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