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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been converting a 1098 from a track bike back to road and have come up against some of Italy's best design quirks in the process. Among which have been:

Battery and fuses hidden behind left side fairing, 9 bolts and 2 dzus fasteners to access
When replacing coolant, the radiator cap is blocked by the air tube
Removing the rear shock requires unbolting the swing arm
Lower triple pinch bolts clearance to the fairing too small for a torque wrench and allen socket to fit

It's been a few years since I've worked on a full faired bike, so maybe some of this is par for the course.

So what have you seen working on your bike that makes to wonder "Why doesn't every other manufacturer do it this way!" or shout "Who was the bastard who designed it like this?!"
 

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Don’t we call all these “soul?” LOL. The things others hate are the things I love! I like that my bike has issues and qwirks. That makes no sense but I do!
 

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There's eneough of these to fill a book, i guess that's what happens when you have some computer jockey design a bike that's never had to work on one.
Try removing the second spark plug on the rear head on a 1200 multi, or the front plug on a Panigale,they provide you with a removable panel to do the job but it dosent line up with the plug hole. The radiator cap on a Pani is even worse than a 1098.
How about undoing the fuel lines on a Scrambler.
Or why they keep puting the regulator in places (like on the 999 and 1098) next to the header pipe then wonder why it over heats and fails.
Or fitting a battery to a 821 or 1200 monster.
Thats eneough for now, it's time to go to work and do battle with some of these design flaws.
 

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The entire Pani falls into this category. From front fairing to tail the amount of shit that holds these bikes together is appalling. Try changing a cracked exhaust shield. Have fun changing a front sprocket. And have fun with the mirror wiring. Ten screws to hold that little tail on, you’ve got to be kidding me.
 

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I can take the fairings off my 900SSie in 2 mins. and can acces most areas without much hassle. I’m only doing standard maintenance and have not encountered any significant Italian quirks yet.

The liquid cooled bikes are a lot more cramped.
 

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I LOVE the ST3's tilt-up fuel tank and little arm that props it up like a hood on a car. No need to disconnect fuel lines and remove the tank to do the majority of service.

I also like the servo-ignition - where you just press the button and the starter disengages when the bike fires up. That's really smart and I've never had that on another motorcycle (except my previous Ducati).

Having recently changed a couple Moto Guzzi dry clutches, I also love the 4-bolt access to inspect the Ducati dry clutch. On the Guzzis, it seems like they start with the clutch and build the whole bike around it... there's no easy way to swap a clutch (good thing they are durable). We could fill many books with Guzzi quirks... (er, I mean character traits).

My ST3 display has all sorts of potentially useful information to toggle through, but they all look about the same and I have no idea what the numbers mean unless I consult the manual. This is annoying, but also sort of comical.

Overall, I find my ST3 to be a well-designed and well-made motorcycle that is a joy to ride. Hopefully she'll be back on the road next week (new coolant hoses).
 

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When was the last time you changed the battery on the st? Indicators plugs, half the bike has to come apart, and shock on a scrambler. Anything inside the battery box of a 999. Carbs on the early monsters. Swing arm on early superbikes.
 

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I always wanted a Bimota Tesi till I heard you have to drop the engine to change the belts. Might be worth it though ?
 

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Anyone who has worked on Ducati's over the last few decades has seen slide into design by " we don't care about service" . Over the last couple decades I have discovered I am less a fan of Ducati and more a fan of some of its (prior) designers. When I started working on Ducati's they were a treat to work on the 916, and air cooled monster/supersports are a high water mark for serviceable designs.

Since Massimo Tamburini left the company it seems the shift to a more Japanese style of assembly has been happening since. I see this also with MV Agusta in that if you work on a 750 F4 every bike after that gets slightly more complex for no reason other than lazy designing. Now I am no designer but I would not be surprised if Massimo Tamburini and a few other designers were mechanics because they understood that a bike that is easy to work on both adds ownership value and lowers maintenance costs.

These days I like the KTM street bikes more than Ducati's as they make more sense as a object to maintain. I think this has been the big push many manufacturers have had in making services at higher miles, it has less to do with making the bike run the best it can but more to do with getting the bike out of the warranty period without having to pay a claim.

I will add the oil change on multistradas where they plan on you removing the center stand to do the oil change thanks to how them mounted the lower case fairing, as always the owners have fixed this issue with a simple and effective mod. The Ducati community will be the ones to be effected by bad design but also the ones to fix it.
 

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I timed myself once taking the bodywork off my 998 - 4 mins 35 seconds, including the tank, but not the front mudguard.
I can reach the fuses without removing any panels, likewise access the battery terminals.
Plugs easy-peasy.
The clip-on handlebars can be removed, including the clamps can be removed without disturbing the top-yoke.
The 748 - 998 series is amazingly well designed and is one of the main reasons that Massimo Tambourini, GRHS, is reverred as a genius.
My 'motard however was designed by the deranged Terblanche.
 

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S4RS front spark plug; you will have to remove the radiator! Called it a naked bike.
Second, rectifier underneath the seat - no cooling at all.

999, vertical belt cover. Either a 2sec move - if you know how to wiggle it out or 10min with nonstop "beeps".

Also, fricking nut hold the CF head shields. Wtf?

But they look gorgeous!
 

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I always wanted a Bimota Tesi till I heard you have to drop the engine to change the belts. Might be worth it though ?
After you replace the cracked handle bar bracket more then once you won’t have to service it as it will sit in your lounge forever after that.
 

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MV F3, seat tail steering damper and tank to get to the battery, 20 odd fasteners.
Starter clutch on the same bike. As above then drain coolant, airbox, expansion tank and throttle bodies off and don’t drop the location pin into the gearbox.
Headlight on any new Gsxr. 3 hours r and r. 3 different size screws and 3 different type of plastic retailers. Why not all the same size?
999 front guard on a, wheel has to come off.
Helmet lock on current Vespa scooters. This one takes the cake. Engine and fuel tank has to come out as they didn’t have the brains to weld nuts to the chassis. And the front guard can only come off aster the ENTIRE front end is disassembled, I kid you not.
Gearbox on some Yamahas’. Can’t take the bottom case of like all other bikes as there are 2 bolts under the cylinders. Which brings up.....
Piston in a Pani.
AND EVERY FUCKING THING ON ANY FUCKING AUDI EVER BUILT is a pain to work on.
 

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I always wanted a Bimota Tesi till I heard you have to drop the engine to change the belts. Might be worth it though ?
No. It's not. A friend of mine recently sold his. They're not as great as you think they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Since Massimo Tamburini left the company it seems the shift to a more Japanese style of assembly has been happening since. I see this also with MV Agusta in that if you work on a 750 F4 every bike after that gets slightly more complex for no reason other than lazy designing. Now I am no designer but I would not be surprised if Massimo Tamburini and a few other designers were mechanics because they understood that a bike that is easy to work on both adds ownership value and lowers maintenance costs.
I can see some of this in my Brutale. Some stuff is dead easy and some stuff was just slightly overlooked to make it much more difficult.

Shock swap? Bottom mount unbolts to give extra clearance.
Coolant change? Undo 2 bolts and fill the overflow to fill both reservoir and radiator
Airbox removal? 2 bolts and 2 clips and they come separate from the throttle bodies

But the alternator. It's said that you can remove it without unbolting the engine on the F4, but Brutales have a couple of trim mounting tabs that block its removal just barely.
Also the oil filter, have to remove the right side headers to access it.
 

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Whingers >:)

Enjoy the beat.

 

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A 999 dash has a nasty habit of going completely dead if you start the bike before the clocks have fully cycled through. Like if you were in a hurry (or in my case irritated the gas station was closed, but I quickly forgot about the gas when I saw $$$$ at a dead dash). The fix amounts to removing the dash (one bolt IIRC) and allowing it to clear its troubled mind, but it is very odd characteristic.

My 851's bodywork uses a giant aluminum washer under almost every screw. It saves the bodywork from cracking I suppose, but collect all of them and there has to be a pound of hardware holding the body.
 
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