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Discussion Starter #1
My 2004 ST4s has about 36,000 miles. On 3d day of a 4 day ride, biked starts up normally and ride two blocks for gas. The Kuryakyn on-board voltmeter is green.
After topping off the tank, hit the starter button, the starter “clicks” about 3 times, then acts as if the batter were dead. Turned the key off and back on, the voltmeter is shows 2 amber, but no green (which is typically what it shows after sitting for a few days, but normally, is more than sufficient to start the bike).
Unsuccessfully attempted to bump start and pretty sure the engine never turned over because the back tire just slid. Then, hit the starter button and it starts up normally. Voltmeter goes green when the bike fires up. For the rest of the ride, the bike started normally with no issues.
The bike has never done this before or since. Bike has a brand new lithium ion battery & after market heavy gage starter wiring harness from Desmo Times. However the last two years, I have replaced the AGM battery twice before going to the LI battery.
Seems like an electrical, rather than mechanical issue. Starter relay? Other ideas. Need the benefit of your collective experience.
Thanks.
 

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I yam what I yam
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After topping off the tank, hit the starter button, the starter “clicks” about 3 times, then acts as if the batter were dead.
That clicking you heard was probably the starter solenoid (relay) engaging. The engine didn't crank over and start though. So somewhere a poor connection is preventing sufficient amperage from reaching your starter motor, or your starter motor could be toast.

You have the starter wire upgrade, but is every connection between the engine, battery, solenoid and starter clean and tight?

Sometimes a solenoid will close properly, but not conduct between the battery and the starter. It's like the contacts inside get slagged up.

Being intermittent this problem could be tough to pin down unless you spot something obvious, or just start throwing parts at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Appears problem was starter relay. Replaced, seems ok now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OR NOT......
Did it again, so don't know. Has any one else tried a lithium ion battery? Any problems? When the bike does start, the battery seems to have resulting a better "turn over" by the starter. Previously installed the Desmo Times cable upgrade, so that's not the solution. Also checked all connections, nothing loose.

This is really frustrating as it failed to start the day my wife & I were headed out for a week on the road. After replacing the starter relay, I started the bike every day for a week with no problems. Then, on Saturday morning as we were ready to leave, it did it again. Hit the button, briefly tries to turn over but never actually a complete revolution, then "click, click, click". On board voltmeter shows good charge in battery prior to trying to start. repeated efforts runs battery down very quickly despite the fact that the engine never really turns over.

Any ideas or thought welcome.
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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Some sort of parasitic drain causing a less than fully charged battery.
I know you say the VM shows good to go but maybe its capacity is being affected by the repeated failed start ?
 

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Intermittent starting - check TPS

I have had exactly the same problem as you described. The bike will start easily 9 out of 10 times, but when she wants to play games it is very frustrating. A couple of turns of the starter and then nothing. The last time was a 300Km round trip to collect her - I was not happy !
I put in a new battery with a higher cranking rate.. and guess what - same problem. I found that using the fast idle lever would guarantee the bike would not turn over - close the fast idle lever and she will turn over but not start.

I use Ducatidiag on the '01 ST4S the other weekend. The TPS was way out and so carried out a reset. While I had the fairing off, I decided to look at what the air bleed screws were set at. The were both closed.
So - TPS reset, charged the battery overnight and set the air bleed screws at 1/4 turn out (just a guess, but wanted to get rid of the strong fuel smell on starting).

It is -5C of a morning in Canberra, Australia this time of year so I was not confident that anything would change. 2 turns on the starter and she burst into life - a little fast idle lever and she was idling beautifully. Over the past couple of days I have snuck up on her and started her without problem - beautiful clean starting.

I will never underestimate that bloody TPS setting ever again or indeed the importance of tiny changes to the air bleeds, etc. .:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for Gearbox and OZHopper for the input. I am taking the bike to AMS Ducati in Dallas for service and (hopefully) to fix this issue. I plan on printing your comments and giving to shop guys.

Hopefully, between the collective wisdom of this group and a very good Ducati shop, this very frustrating issue can be resolved.

I welcome any other thoughts.

Will report back when I hear from the "OFFICIAL" Ducati guys.
 

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So what is the happy ending? I am hanging off the edge of my seat! I am having similar problems on an 07 ST3s. nk

thanks
 
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