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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at a 2005 749 Dark being sold by a wholesale dealer. Apparently the bike is a stolen recovery and has a legit title (not salvage). There is one black key only (no red key). I know getting a new computer and keys are very costly ~ $2500?

I have a monster and have never used the red key for anything.

What routine maintanence circumstances would require using the red key? I know it is needed if you add a aftermarket ECU.

Should I take a pass even though the selling price allows me to afford a second Duc?:think::think:

Thanks for the advise.
 

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AFAIK, Red key is not necessary for any service. You can duplicate black keys with out a red key. The problem you should be looking at a stolen Duc is the condition of the cycle. If the bike is thoroughly inspected, you shouldn't be worrying about red key if its a smokin deal.
 

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I never had to use my red key, do I need the red key after disconnecting the battery? I always wondered what the red key was for.
 

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I never had to use my red key, do I need the red key after disconnecting the battery? I always wondered what the red key was for.
Each key contains a unique microchip. The RED key tells the bike that your new black key is legitimate, without the RED key you will not be able to get newly cut black key to start your bike.

That is its only real function

Andrew...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Red key

Thanks for the info. about reprograming black keys. The owners manual also states, "Your dealer may ask you to produce the red key in order to carry out certain service operations". Not sure what those are exactly.

I guess that there are risks in buying this bike as it may very well end up costing more in the long run than buying one from an owner who has all the keys and a known history.
 

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Be careful about that. The red key has a few more functions that just being able to re-cut a black key or instal a new dash. The immobilizer on the bike requires the red key to be used to reset it if it ever goes tits-up. A buddy of mine just went through something similar with a used 999 that he had. The immobilizer stopped recognizing the black keys one day and, because he did not have the red key that matched to the ecu/dash, there was nothing he could do about it. Ultimately he ended up having to replace the entire ecu/dash combo so he could get a red key that worked with the bike, and that cost him upwards of three grand. I think I would end up walking away from a used Duc if the red key wasn't part of the purchase.
 

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if I cud get a 749 lowmiles, for $3k just coz there is no red key. I wud remove the dash, put race ECU (nemesis?), and no keys.... and turn it into a track duc... that is if the black key ever stops working... wat kinda deal r u getting anyway?
 

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As i have replied before, look for post, you can get Silca blanks and copy off black key. Done it, works aok and cost less than $30. Red key is not required.

As for the guy who paid $3K for dash etc, he got ripped. Did he not look at aftermarket ECUs. Some real good ones out there at a lot less that that. They disable the stupid immobiliser and let you retain all your standard locks dash etc. Plus give you adjustable mapping.

How many people have had there bike breakdown and required the red key? The 999 above is the first time I have read of one.

Also I thought the dealer could reset immobilser with Nemesis(?) anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
nemesis

My dealer said he could now make extra black keys function without the red key. He also suggested the Nemesis system could be used if the bike became immobilized. He quoted it was available for about $1200.

The 749 dark I am looking at is a 2005 with 7500 miles. The wholesaller is askinhg $5000. I would be willing to pay ~4250.
 

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sounds like a good deal, ask the dealer to check if the belts on the bike were changed (visual inspection). The $1200 nemesis back-up plan is when the black key stops working. The black key can stop working if it somehow got ESDed.. spare black keys should help. Let's say that your luck ran out, and all the black keys stop working, and you don't feel like buying a nemisis ecu... part out the bike and you should break even, if not making money...
 

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I had a Nemesis installed a couple weekends ago and no more red key imobilizer BS issues. It also bypasses the servo assisted starter on my bike and is far superior IMO to the DP ECU in terms of programability, mapping and fine tuning.
I didn't plan on a new ECU but after we found a ground short in the DP one I decided to upgrade. So far so good. I was told there have been some issues with the DP units but can't speak from experience. I do like having two maps to choose from and being able to switch on the fly is a bit of a kick too. Good luck.
 

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When I took my 999 for 6K service to my dealer, they noticed that the immobilizer function was not working, bike still ran fine though. So he asked me to bring my Red key and both black keys and it took about 15 minutes to reprogram all of them.

~Chris
 

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If it was stolen, condition is everything. For all you know, it was sunk in a river, cleaned up on the outside but in 3 months, need a new motor! heh :rolleyes:

Just be careful... Saving a few bux up front, usually means spending tuns of money in the back end. I've been down that road 2 times, won't do it again.
TWICE :confused: :think: :D
 

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Sorry,

Got a question. What if you do not have a red key but have numerous black keys (all that work) and the code card with the key code? Would this code be able to get things back to normal if a reprogramming was required?

Mark
 

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if your programming a new ECU/dash, you need the red key and two black keys for the process. You also need the red key to program new black keys. There are two codes on the card, one is the mechanical code for having a new key cut (pretty sure only European locksmiths can take that code and cut a new key), and an electronic code that is used to disable the immobilizer for diagnostics

so unless you get an aftermarket ECU/something to disable the immobilizer completely, you'd need the red key (and two black keys) to program a dash/ECU or program new black keys.
 

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As of late, the red key isn't any more of an issue than a bike needing a new rear tire.

Options for no red key bikes:
-Have immobilizer function disabled: $100-$200
-Upgrade ECU
-Have spare black keys cut ($30 Silca key with transponder, or a $50 eBay key if you really want the ducati symbol on your key) The red key is not required for new black keys, only one other black key is required.

And the best option:
-Nothing.

The red key is only needed when replacing the ECU or motor. It hasn't been *needed* to sync new black keys since I started researching buying a ducati. There's a local shop that said $45 per key and the ecu will recognize the new keys as if they were the original. He has done multiple keys for ducati owners without the need of a red key.

Having said all that, I think it's a good chance for you to try and knock down the price. People that don't know that the missing red key isn't a huge deal might think it's a huge deal. A lot of people think that no red key=$3,000. That's insane. It actually means $100 or maybe $200, granted, you may have to pay for shipping to Sweden, Germany or England and not ride your bike for 1-2 weeks... but still.... $100 actual cost vs $3,000 assumed cost by the seller, and you've got yourself a great bargaining point.

Unless, of course, the seller is reading this thread and getting informed themselves...

Lastly, bypassing the transponder/immobilizer issue has been posted about on unnamed sites by un named users... and those threads have been deleted due to theifs discovering the "secret" and then stealing ducatis or something... but if you took the time to research, you'd find that the red key is easily bypassed. I'll say no more on that topic!!
 
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