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So I'm new to Ducati and my MS (500 mi) plus another 400 mi on a demo '18. I'm not new to riding...average 35 yrs exp. And I'm not new to big twins...had a RC51 when they first came out.

Every time I hit the starter button I swear it's not going to start. There's a pause, a long chug, another chug, and then "It's Alive!!!". << [Name the movie for bonus points that you can't spend anywhere for anything].

The behavior is the same on my new one and the '18 demo. I presume it's normal for the model. But does anyone else have that ugly feeling in the back of your brain that she's not gonna start. Thoughts on how to get used to it? What's the real story on when the battery is about to go iti's [reverse the i's and the t's] up? I typically have my bikes on tenders throughout the year, so she's topped off.

Thanks
John
 

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Check batt cables. I'd start with the ground cable and it's connections.

On the other hand, my stepdad and I had matching 1985 Harley FXRs, both brand new. Both bikes would do pretty much the same thing you've described, but they ALWAYS started up.

Then again, I have worked on a metric shit ton of motorhome auxiliary power generators. Many (many!) of them presented precisely the same symptoms you've described. The cure was to connect a heavier ground cable to the actual frame of the motorhome rather than where the dealer connected the generator's ground cable terminal, which was often times in a spot that was about the worst place to obtain an actual DC Negative "ground". So, we would make up heavier ground cables using welding cable, and connect the chassis end to the motorhome's vehicle frame, after buffing the paint from the frame to bare metal where the terminal connected to the chassis. Made certain to NOT place a lock washer between the ground cable's terminal and the bare surface of the frame so the terminal made optimal contact with the chassis. Worked every single time.

So ... there is a whole bunch of nuthin for ya!
 

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It's a Ducati thing. My MTS is my first Ducati as well and I felt the same as you and looked into it. Some people find adding upgraded (ie. thicker) battery cables helps a bit. Thing is, it always starts and after 2 months you never notice it again and it just becomes normal.
 

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It's a big twin kinda thing.

Some with a bigger starter might spin a little sooner, but lots of them pause before they overcome the compression of the first cylinder.

A 1400 Intruder has an electronic compression release, it always pauses when you hit the starter button, then an electric click, and it spins right up. They get to use a smaller starter that way.
.
 

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My Monster does not pause and chug, but it does sound like it turns over quite slow.
But it starts every time within a second or so, no extended cranking needed.
It's different from every other bike I've had including the 1st and 2nd gen Tuono V twins.
They all turned over faster, at least by the sound. I got used to it.
 

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Same first impression with my Multi. I was sure there was something wrong, but dealer assured me it was normal. Nothing like my Sport 1000, or KTM 990. Both blast to life with touch of the button!
 

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It's normal. My Multi take about two seconds of slow starter motor turning to fire up from cold. I initially thought it was a weak battery. A little faster to fire up when warm. Much different than all my other bikes.
 

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And it's not a "big twin thing". My 1700cc Victory and HD as well as my buds KTM 1190 turned over faster than my Ducati and never gave me the impression anything was wrong.
OP, the Ducati turns over slower than other big twins and makes it seem like battery is toast. It's a Ducati thing
 

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You can help both the battery and the starter by fitting heavier cables, they will make a difference.
 

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My wife's 2001 honda rebel fires up so fast. Feels like you barely breath on the starter. My 2011 MTS on the other hand.... Always surprised how long it takes but yet it will always go. Every single time . Doesn't bother me much any more. Don't think about unless I ride the rebel and remember how easy it starts.

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Maybe you should try something special, perhaps "Try Puttin on the Ritz" first.

Watch "Young Frankenstein and his creature dancing" on YouTube


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Think of how slow kick start motorcycle turns over, and just one or two chances to fire each time. My Ducatis are the slowest cranking bikes I’ve ever owned but they always start. My Monster goes about 5 revolutions before running when cold, 2-3 hot. My SS can crank anywhere from 2-20 revolutions cold, 2-3 hot, but always starts. I replaced the battery, starter, and wires on one or the other, no change in the cranking speed. One trick I’ve learned from older bikes with poor electrical systems ; a single point ground. Run a wire from every ground on the motorcycle back to the main battery to frame ground and , as Rex said, make sure that is a clean bare metal ground. You’ll never have ground issues if you do that. You can always buy a battery with more cranking amps if it worries you, but really, it’s just A Ducati Thing.
 

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"Sounds like it's not going to start...then does"

Welcome to the world of Ducati.

(as an aside... does the V4 do the same thing?)
 

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This is my first twin as well and had similar feelings. I changed out the exhaust to Termi Full TI with race tune and goodbye 3 second starts and hello 1 second starts:)
 
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