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I bought a 2011 Multistrada 1200S in Sept of 2018. Just as I was getting used to all of that raw, de-tuned 1198 power, I noticed that the engine wasn't running right Here's a list of the symptoms:

Backfiring when letting off the throttle
Misfiring especially when at lower RPM while under load (moving from a stop)
Shaky engine power - It tries to rattle my teeth out, then seems to smooth out past 4k RPM. I know that this is a common characteristic with these engines, but it's getting progressively more shaky and I think it's related to the issue.
High idle - This started happening about a week ago. The actual RPM varies, but it's been sitting at 2500 at times. Weird note: when I shift into neutral, it returns to normal idle RPMs.:confused:
If I blip the throttle on and off quickly, I can get the engine to stall out.
Getting worse day-by-day and seems to be particularly bad in the rain, but still a problem on sunny, dry days.

I tore into the bike and looked at the spark plugs. The vertical cylinder's plug looked light brown. The shop manual says this is a good thing. The horizontal cylinder plug was black, which seems to confirm my suspicion that it's running a bit rich. I also found that the coil was allowing water and dirt past the grommet, as the coil was weeping rust and there was dirt/clay around the bottom of the slot the coil sits in as well as moisture.

I replaced the coil with a used one to troubleshoot it. I was convinced that would fix it, and was heartbroken when it didn't. :(

I think it's also worth mentioning that I replaced the spark plugs, as I don't know how old they were. I made sure I replaced everything with the appropriate parts and verified the part numbers with either the manual or the Ducati website. I also checked the plug gap, even though I knew that they come pre-gapped. I don't have much experience with this kind of work, so I tend to over-verify everything.

Basically, I'm at a loss. I have a few ideas of other things I can check, but I'm hoping that someone else has had a similar experience and/or can help guide me in the right direction. :)
 

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I assume there are no engine faults showing on the display. I agree the black plug shows too rich. Have you noticed any smoke on acceleration or during idle? Could be the injector is leaking. I have seen this on cars and it will not throw a check engine light unless the o2 sensor picks it up. It could also be the o2 sensor for that cylinder is bad, but I think the cpu would see it and show a fault. You could try to unplug the o2 sensor for that cylinder and try it. It should throw a fault, but should select a map to run with out it. (limp home). Another guess will be the map sensor for that cylinder, it reads manifold pressure and is an input for the cpu to adjust the mixture, again the cpu should see it not working. Do some googling for too rich with fuel injection. All fi systems are similar in operation. Keep us informed as to what you find.....
Cheers
 

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Thanks for the input, Steve!

And, yes, unfortunately I'm not getting any engine fault or other messages showing on the display. I wish it would throw some kind of code so I would have a place to start. I was starting to lean toward a faulty sensor, but, like you said, you'd expect it to throw some kind of code. I suppose if it's going bad, but isn't dead yet, it might just be giving the ECU misinformation and cause it to run poorly. As for a leaky injector, I'm looking through my shop manual to see if that level of maintenance is something I'll be able to do. It's looking like I'll start with the sensors and, if it comes down to it, I might just take it to someone to troubleshoot anything else. We'll see, though. Maybe tomorrow I'll have more courage. :)
 

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I was starting to lean toward a faulty sensor, but, like you said, you'd expect it to throw some kind of code.
Not guaranteed, but I just replaced the MAP sensor for my horizontal cylinder for somewhat similar symptoms: Multistrada: misfire/backfire, loss of power. The CEL was not permanently lit and the fault was intermittent. My dealer read the ECU and recovered the error history and that's how we identified the MAP sensor as the culprit. It's been running fine since I replaced it.
 

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Not guaranteed, but I just replaced the MAP sensor for my horizontal cylinder for somewhat similar symptoms: Multistrada: misfire/backfire, loss of power. The CEL was not permanently lit and the fault was intermittent. My dealer read the ECU and recovered the error history and that's how we identified the MAP sensor as the culprit. It's been running fine since I replaced it.
Ah, this is good to know. Like I previously mentioned, I wish the Multi would just throw a code already so I can get some indication of where to start. Like you said, even if it's intermittent, I could take it to a dealer and have them pull the code history. At this point, I'll probably just bring it there for at least troubleshooting.
 

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Ah, this is good to know. Like I previously mentioned, I wish the Multi would just throw a code already so I can get some indication of where to start. Like you said, even if it's intermittent, I could take it to a dealer and have them pull the code history. At this point, I'll probably just bring it there for at least troubleshooting.
I have now bought cables so that I can run MelcoDiag and pull error codes from the bike; it was a rather expensive trip to the dealer for diagnostics -- although cheaper than my car -- but at least it identified the problem on my bike.
 

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Not sure if this will help but i had similar symptoms with my sport classic, but it was after changing out the exhaust. I upgraded the map on the ecu but had to take it back in to have them reset the TPS. Took him 3 minutes to reset it but afterwards it ran as smooth as it ever had.
 

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Damn Ducati. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Do a search on Tuneboy EMS. It's a PITA software, but it does work, and it may help you to determine what the heck is going on.

And you are right - the 2010 to 2012 motors - when running - are something special. A wicked, visceral experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not sure if this will help but i had similar symptoms with my sport classic, but it was after changing out the exhaust. I upgraded the map on the ecu but had to take it back in to have them reset the TPS. Took him 3 minutes to reset it but afterwards it ran as smooth as it ever had.
Damn Ducati. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Do a search on Tuneboy EMS. It's a PITA software, but it does work, and it may help you to determine what the heck is going on.

And you are right - the 2010 to 2012 motors - when running - are something special. A wicked, visceral experience.
Good info, guys. I'll look into this stuff. It's been raining a lot here in Maine, so it's hard to get anything done without a garage. I'll be sure to update the thread as I work through this.

And, yes. A wicked, visceral experience is entirely accurate. Just raw and wild.
 

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Sounds like faulty MAP sensors or a vacuum leak in the MAP system.

My ENDURO did the same thing and it turn out that the MAP hoses had heat damage are were cracked.

Also check you ignition control plug for arcing.

GL
 

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Sounds like faulty MAP sensors or a vacuum leak in the MAP system.

My ENDURO did the same thing and it turn out that the MAP hoses had heat damage are were cracked.

Also check you ignition control plug for arcing.

GL
More great info!

I've spent the last few hours reading through the shop manual and familiarizing myself with the operational concepts of the Multi. I'm hearing consistent feedback from this thread that the MAP sensor for the horizontal cylinder is likely the problem and the manual seems to agree.

I hadn't thought of the actual hoses being a problem, but I'll have to keep that in mind. As for the ignition control plug, is there one for each cylinder, or one plug for both?
 

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I had a very similar issue on my 2012 1200S. Everything was pointing to a bad MAP sensor. However, after finding no issues with the MAP sensors it turned out to be a bad fuel injector. Replaced the injector and problems all immediately disappeared.

It’s easy to check: Just swap the injectors over and see if the black spark plug goes with it. It also pays to check for leaks around the injectors and ensure they are properly mounted.
 

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Look to see if the throttle body is clean all around. I had a throttle bushing wear out causing an intake leak (with backfire) just off idle, especially when cold. The bad bushing caused the throttle body to get dirty in that spot.

(I have extra throttle bushings for you if that is your problem.)
 

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So, I'm here with a few more pages to add to my Multistrada saga. But I want to say first and foremost that I'm so grateful for those of you who have given input on this problem I'm having. It's given me many avenues to explore that I would be otherwise ignorant to. So, seriously, thanks everyone!:smile2:

I've been reading over the shop manual about the operational principles of the engine control systems (I feel like a nerd just writing that):nerd:. One of the major take-aways with the MAP sensors is that if one is throwing a fault (open-circuit or whatever) the ECU will use the information from the other sensor for BOTH cylinders. It will still throw a code, but the bike should, in theory, run normally. So, I tried to test that theory and either confirm or rule-out the hort. cylinder MAP sensor being the problem.

I unplugged the hort. cylinder MAP sensor and ran the bike.

You would think it won the lottery with how rich it was running. It was also backfiring and stalling out. The bike didn't want to rev up and when it did, it had a fit. But it never threw a code.

I'll say that again: never threw a code.

I ran that engine for at least a minute and didn't get any information from the ECU on the dash nor a CEL. Per the manual, it's supposed to throw a code when it senses an open-circuit going to either (or both) MAP sensors.

I plugged the sensor back in and the bike returned to how it has been running for the past few weeks? months? I don't remember when this even started anymore.

This leaves me with a few questions:
Why on earth did it not throw a code?:confused:
How often does the ECU check for an opened circuit (maybe I didn't let it struggle long enough)?
Why did it not switch over and use the other MAP sensor for the vert. cylinder like the manual says it should?
Does the fact that it ran worse mean it isn't the MAP sensor at all and I'm just chasing a wild goose?

If I don't get any clear answers on this, I'm just going to move on and check the hoses to the MAP sensors, like mwhite5471 suggested. If it isn't that, I'll move on to the injectors like wal916 and Steve W. suggested.
 

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Look to see if the throttle body is clean all around. I had a throttle bushing wear out causing an intake leak (with backfire) just off idle, especially when cold. The bad bushing caused the throttle body to get dirty in that spot.

(I have extra throttle bushings for you if that is your problem.)
This is great info! I'll have to check for this while I'm looking at the injectors.
 

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I unplugged the hort. cylinder MAP sensor and ran the bike.

You would think it won the lottery with how rich it was running. It was also backfiring and stalling out. The bike didn't want to rev up and when it did, it had a fit.
Pretty much my experience when my sensor was intermittently acting up, although the stalling was something I only experienced when riding.

But it never threw a code.

I'll say that again: never threw a code.

I ran that engine for at least a minute and didn't get any information from the ECU on the dash nor a CEL. Per the manual, it's supposed to throw a code when it senses an open-circuit going to either (or both) MAP sensors.

I plugged the sensor back in and the bike returned to how it has been running for the past few weeks? months? I don't remember when this even started anymore.

This leaves me with a few questions:
Why on earth did it not throw a code?:confused:
How often does the ECU check for an opened circuit (maybe I didn't let it struggle long enough)?
Why did it not switch over and use the other MAP sensor for the vert. cylinder like the manual says it should?
Does the fact that it ran worse mean it isn't the MAP sensor at all and I'm just chasing a wild goose?

If I don't get any clear answers on this, I'm just going to move on and check the hoses to the MAP sensors, like mwhite5471 suggested. If it isn't that, I'll move on to the injectors like wal916 and Steve W. suggested.
I don't have the answer to the code problem, or your questions about ECU behavior. Mine obviously did throw the code at some point because I had the CEL and the code was logged in the history. But, at the dealer, there were no active codes even though it was a touch sketchy on the way there. I also had several runs with no error indication and no running problems, other runs with no CEL but some running problems, others with CEL and scary situations at traffic lights.

I didn't chase the goose, I just replaced the sensor on the advice of the dealer tech even though he said he couldn't guarantee that was the problem and it has be fine since. $115 to avoid the goose chase. Obviously, I too provide no guarantees, only anecdotes, YMMV :wink2:
 
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