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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Went for a short ride. I stopped for about 20 min. and it wouldn't start. Cranked it for about 10 min. and it wouldn't fire. Checked the idiot switches, kill and kickstand. Took helmet and gloves off to get out cell phone. Texted a couple rides. Decided to give one last try and boom, started right up. Any ideas what this would be?

7600 miles. New battery during service this past winter. Fresh gas. Fuel pump was coming on when I turned the key on. I was thinking maybe the fuel filter, so I gave it a good wringing on the way home. No stutter or hesitation whatsoever. I'm somewhat baffled. Thinking maybe something electrical? You guys got any ideas? Really don't want to be stranded next time.

Almost every "won't start" thread in search is a bad battery or a fuel pump issue. If the battery was weak, it probably would've stopped cranking after a few min. I can hear the pump prime up.
 

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check the infamous connectors behind the battery box that go to the regulator/rectifier... they like to melt/corrode and generally ruin days

intermittent issues are generally due to bad connections somewhere or a gimpy relay
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
check the infamous connectors behind the battery box that go to the regulator/rectifier... they like to melt/corrode and generally ruin days

intermittent issues are generally due to bad connections somewhere or a gimpy relay
Thanks for the quick reply! I'll check those. I've read a lot of post about "relays under the seat" on xx6 bikes. I can't seem to find them on the 998. Are they in a different spot?

There are a couple relays underneath the battery box. Part #541.4.003.1A. What are they for? I'm gonna replace them for the heck of it.
 

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Next time it happens turn the key off, then on again and hit the starter immediately. I had the same problem with my '02 998 and was told that Ducati has some sort of switch that will not allow the bike to start if the key is turned on but not started within a certain time. Once I knew that, I never had the problem again. This was a "problem" I had for a year before.
 

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For some reason 998's have this bug.. I had the same issues with my 2002 998, and the cause was actually the throttle linkages were slightly out of sync.. Sync the butterflies and problem solved..

Hope this helps, by the way, this is really something that you cannot do by yourself.. You need to take it to a trained tech if you want to get it perfect, very tricky...
 

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Mine does the same thing once in a while. The ignition switch advice sounds interesting as I remember turning my bike off then on again and it started. Hmmmm.


Flash
 

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there is an electrical safety cutt off on the 998's. if you turn the bike on and don't start it within 15 seconds it will not start. i don't know if this is your problem or not but it does do this. i think ducati calls it an "energy saving" safety.
 

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Mine does this after it sits for a few weeks. Only once at the gas station did it not start.

I did find that jumping it to a 12V car battery will immediately make it fire, no exceptions. My guess is I need a very fresh 12V battery that wil not droop too low when the starter is turned over.
 

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starting issues

I have a 2002 998r and have experienced similar issues with starting since new. I was running the small Yuasa battery at the track and always had to use a jumper to start it. I recently switched to a speedcell battery and it completely solved the problem! Expensive piece ($250.00) but well worth it. Are you running the stock gel battery? How old is it?
 

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Well known issue: the 998 suffers from vapor lock. Mine, yours....every 998. If the bike sits for 5 or 10 minutes, it will be bitchy to start.

Not related to the safety cut that is indeed a feature of the 998.

If you want to get rid of this trouble, wrap the fuel line with limar.

The connector that links R/R to alternator is a well known "most wanted criminal". Whatever is its condition, send it in the bin and solder wires. You can also use individual thermo-connectors, that you'd find in every Tool or Diy store. This connector is not only prone to fail: it WILL fail. It rusts, then burns.
 

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Well known issue: the 998 suffers from vapor lock. Mine, yours....every 998. If the bike sits for 5 or 10 minutes, it will be bitchy to start.

Not related to the safety cut that is indeed a feature of the 998.

If you want to get rid of this trouble, wrap the fuel line with limar.

The connector that links R/R to alternator is a well known "most wanted criminal". Whatever is its condition, send it in the bin and solder wires. You can also use individual thermo-connectors, that you'd find in every Tool or Diy store. This connector is not only prone to fail: it WILL fail. It rusts, then burns.
Whats an "R/R" as listed in the above post?

Flash
 

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R/R : Rectifior/Regulator. On the 998, it sits under the battery box. 3 yellow wires come from this part, linked to the 3 yellow wires coming from the alternator by a white connector.
Two issues: OEM wires are to thin and the white connector rots and burns.

Good mod: remove this connector and solder wires.
Best mot: replace wires with thicker wire.
 

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+1 on turning key off and then bike on again. Especially when it is warm. The 998 seems to get a vapour lock in the fuel line that is cured by allowing the fuel pump to cycle through for 3 or 4 times then hitting the starter. Just one of those quirks on my bike

SF
 
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