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This has been a terrible ownership experience so far and I've got a whopping 2800 miles on my 07 1098s Tricolore.

After overnighting a replacement voltage regulator from Florida yesterday, the bike started right up and ran perfectly.

I jumped on for a 2 hour ride to a friend's house and about an hour in I caught some traffic. It took a few grabs of the clutch lever to realize the clutch was acting funny. (Spongy clutch lever, clunky shifting...)

I got off at an exit and realized that even with the clutch fully squeezed, the bike was still moving on its own.

So, now I'm stranded in NY state an hour or so from where I'm going and the bike won't shift by squeezing the clutch. (The lever is basically useless.)

If I don't touch the clutch lever, the bike will still shift from gear to gear, but riding it can't be good.

Man, what the crap?
 

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It just has air in the system. Bleed the clutch. You'll need some fluid and some patience.
 

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have you still got the stock slave cylinder? they're rubbish, most people replace them, i sleeve mine and machine the piston to fit a bigger seal. If you go aftermarket just watch what piston size you go for, there's a post in the Hall of Wisdom about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
have you still got the stock slave cylinder? they're rubbish, most people replace them, i sleeve mine and machine the piston to fit a bigger seal. If you go aftermarket just watch what piston size you go for, there's a post in the Hall of Wisdom about it.
I love the bike but can't catch break, it seems. (Just realized the right rear turn signal broke during the ride up. Didn't hit anything. Just random failure...)

I think now's as good a time as any to replace the clutch fluid.

Thanks for the support and advice, guys. This has been a tough trip but it looks like it's time to start upgrading and modding it to fix these weak links.

I was able to roll the throttle and get to where I was going, but having to stop for red lights was nerve wracking. :D
 

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Don't lose the faith brother... you'll get there. While it may take some time to get a Ducati properly "sorted", once it is, it will be one of the most satisfying rides you've ever had. Now that you have your rectifier done, get yourself a Mityvac (Mityvac Hand Vacuum Pump Kits) and take care of your clutch and brakes. And when you feel yourself starting to get down with regard to the amount of end user maintenance which is part of the unconscious agreement you made when you decided to go with a Ducati, just remember...


 

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It's junk. A lemon. I happens to exactly 1 out of every 133 Ducatis. I'll give you $5k for it. That's a very fair deal considering that I am will to pay you for your troubles. I'll fly out there, pay for dinner and beer, then drive your troubles about 1800-2200 miles away from you. (depends where you are in Florida) And I guarantee that I will thrash the life out of your troubles.

Anyhow, those slave cylinders have been junk since forever. Mine when out on my first track day back in 06. I was not happy about it. And I had just replaced the fuel pump, and shortly before that the starter solenoid.
 

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Get an 11mm open ended wrench, pull the clutch lever a few times to attempt to build pressure, loosen the bleeder valve with the 11mm wrench. Listen for the air to spurt out; close the bleeder valve. The clutch lever should begin to feel like normal after doing this once or twice. Make sure to not let the fluid get onto anything without cleaning and wiping it off immediately.
 

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Get an 11mm open ended wrench, pull the clutch lever a few times to attempt to build pressure, loosen the bleeder valve with the 11mm wrench. Listen for the air to spurt out; close the bleeder valve. The clutch lever should begin to feel like normal after doing this once or twice. Make sure to not let the fluid get onto anything without cleaning and wiping it off immediately.
Stick a clear hose routed into an old can on that bleeder, and you won't have to worry about the inevitable paint damage when the fluid drips out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm heading back up to the bike in 2 weeks, so I'll order the MityVac ASAP.

She needs a brake fluid flush, too.

Thanks for all the advice, gents. I'll report back in a few days with the results.
 

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Even with a vacuum bleeder, if you're bleeding it on the side stand you're going to work that much harder as any air will be sitting behind the piston away from the bleed port. The best way (like bleeding the rear brake) is really to remove the clutch slave from the bike and tilt it towards the bike when cracking the bleeder loose so that it is now the higher point. Then the air has no where else to go but out.

I use a vacuum bleeder normally but anytime the system has been opened I will vacuum bleed, but I also hold the clutch slave off the bike so the bleeder is the highest point and manually force the piston in with my fingers while cracking the bleeder. This way the air is physically pushed out. It's a little extra work but it hasn't failed me yet.
 
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I'm heading back up to the bike in 2 weeks, so I'll order the MityVac ASAP.

She needs a brake fluid flush, too.

Thanks for all the advice, gents. I'll report back in a few days with the results.
Maybe I'm just a moron but I've not had as much luck with Mityvac as some here. Bleeding is an art I'm learning, sometimes the hard way, as the fellow who takes it off does. I've heard the cylinder stories and experienced one on the Ducs. I've had air trapped at every junction of a system between KTM, Beta trialer, and all the sportbikes (dirt bikes are easiest, you can take whole thing off to work at any angle to get the bubble). New MC with a good bleed would be the route I'd go.
 

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The only bleeding art I know is on those cursed Land Rovers from about 89-94. The front calipers and master assembly are the worst.

... well and the old Rolls Royces with those weird accumulators are pretty bad.

A Mighty Vac is not necessary for anything hydraulic your bike. Spend the money on fast stickers or something.

With a mighty amount of experience in hydraulic bleeding, the manual route is the surest. In my opinion.
 

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Way back I worked for a army contractor specializing in those old Landy's as well as maintaining a fleet of them on a sand Island resort before that.. bleeding is simple, do a "normal" bleed and then pump the pedal up as far as possible, jam it down hard with a socket bar between it and the seat then go home for the night.
Next morning remove the bar, do a normal bleed and the pedal will be perfect.

Same principal works on any brake or clutch system.
On the bike, pump up, tie the lever back to the hand grip with an old bootlace or similar and leave it over night and bleed again in the morning.
I always leave the bike with the rear brake lever jammed down too when stored for a week or so and always have a solid pedal when I come back to it.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Even with a vacuum bleeder, if you're bleeding it on the side stand you're going to work that much harder as any air will be sitting behind the piston away from the bleed port. The best way (like bleeding the rear brake) is really to remove the clutch slave from the bike and tilt it towards the bike when cracking the bleeder loose so that it is now the higher point. Then the air has no where else to go but out.

I use a vacuum bleeder normally but anytime the system has been opened I will vacuum bleed, but I also hold the clutch slave off the bike so the bleeder is the highest point and manually force the piston in with my fingers while cracking the bleeder. This way the air is physically pushed out. It's a little extra work but it hasn't failed me yet.
Can I unbolt the slave from the bike without breaking any seals?

I assume it's a closed system not relying on the actual attachment point as a part of the system function.

Any fluid recommendations? I understand I can use a different color to ensure a complete flus and swap.
 

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Standard Dot 3 or whatever Ducati tells you is fine.

You can remove the slave as a unit. It's only 3 bolt holding it in.

If you are going to bleed it off the bike manually, make sure you have a way to prevent the piston from coming out. Piston pressed all the way in, an action on the lever will not push it out. But use caution anyway. You won't mess anything up if the piston comes out, but you will make a mess.

Also keep an eye on the fluid level in the reservoir, it runs out very quickly. If it does, then you have to bleed the master and the slave all over.
 
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