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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I bought an '04 999 about 4 weeks ago. I have been a huge 999 fan for many years, so the day I picked up the 999 was literally a dream come true for me and the cause of about a weeks worth of sleepless nights. And it's great to finally be a part of this forum.

BUT, my story is not all roses, I need help... on the way home from the dealer the day I picked the bike up I noticed a bit of smoke coming from the exhaust. By the time i got to the side of the road there was so much smoke around the bike I could barely see the side of the road. It had dumped almost ALL of the oil out of the bike. I obviously took the bike back to the dealer, which actually have been very cool about the whole thing, covering costs, etc.... and they told me that the crank case pressure built up because I was at a steady rpm on the highway for about an hour. And this pressure forced oil through a bleeder line into the airbox. To me, it made some sense because the bike dumped the oil all over the ground after it was parked (which would come from the airbox drains), and i saw smoke coming out of the exhaust (which would come from the engine sucking it in from the airbox). I don't know what else could explain both external oil being spilled and the engine burning oil at the same time without a catastrophic failure of the heads or something, which i couldn't see any evidence of. But they didn't actually fix or replace anything.

So, the dealer gave me the bike back with the above explanations and told me that it probably wouldn't happen again. Obviously I was skeptical, and nervous because half the oil had coated my back tire and I was extremely lucky not to go down in front of my wife and kid who I was following home from the dealer.

I have since run the bike about 8 hours worth of riding with no problems... until yesterday... I am getting oil again dripping onto my garage floor... It looks to be coming from high up on the engine near the airbox... aaahhhh

So, has anyone had any experience with this? Does it make sense what the dealer told me? I would REALLY appreciate any suggestions or help!!! Sorry to be so long winded...

Here is a pic of the 999 stranded on the side of the road
 

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I'm damn sorry to hear about this :(
Just take it back to the dealer and MAKE him fix it or give you the money back.
Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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If your dealer can't fix it then take it to Matt at Ducati Indianapolis and I am sure they will be able to fix it. Those guys really go the extra mile to get your bike right.
 

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This "issue" your having is NOT a common Ducati problem. Sounds to me like something minor is wrong. I personally feel there is too much oil in the bike, that would easily cause this problem. Obviously your treating your new toy like a baby, so it probably isn't anything you did.

I agree with everyone else, take it back to the dealer and this time, have them inspect everything. I'm sure the tech is so hurried and busy, its probably hard for him to find that 1 thing thats gone wrong...

Ducati's are very simple bikes, no funny crazy hoses going all over the place, its very straight-forward. I get frustrated when I hear stories like yours because it just shows me how POOR those mechanics are at your dealer. :(



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I agree with the others... this is absolutely NOT NORMAL and it might be a simple fix. Maybe too much oil. Maybe a bad valve cover gasket? Maybe a bad crankcase breather? But the BS explanation your dealer gave you is completely out of line and unacceptable.

A) They know nothing about bikes/engines/Ducati's. It's a machine. There should be a logical explanation. Running it at highways speeds is not a valid explanation for a bike that's supposedly in good shape to puke oil.

B) They don't care about your safety. This really gets me worked up because like you said, you could have been hurt. Your money is worth more to them than your life. That not only says a lot about the dealership, it says a lot about the PEOPLE who work there.

Unless you got a smoking deal or have an emotional attachment to the bike that you're not willing to walk away from. Make every effort to take it back, get your money back and do business with someone qualified to sell motorcycles and who deserves your business.

My $.02
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys for the suggestions. I know the right thing to do is take it back to the dealer, but I just don't trust them. I agree with you that that they are rushed, and even if their intentions are legit, they are not a ducati dealer, and not really qualified to diagnose whats wrong. And based on your replies it confirmed my suspicions that they don't know the bike well enough.

And yes, smart or stupid, I do have an emotional attachment to the bike. I think I got a decent deal on the bike, but I really want to make this work, because I was so excited about getting it and am reluctant to give up on it.

I was hoping by posting something on here that maybe it was a common enough problem and work it out myself, but since it sounds like this is unique I will start looking to take it in for another service. The additional problem I have is that the warranty company is tieing my hands and making me take it back to the dealer. Maybe if I give them my sob story about it being dangerous to ride, they will ok me taking it to an authorized mechanic.

I am still open to other suggestions if anybody has any. Thanks again!
 

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Nope , not a common problem. Best advice was already given, possibly there is to much oil. Not being a smart ass, do you know how to check the oil level ? First 999 I had to ask some questions. You need to have the bike level (which is tricky to do while off the bike and looking at the sight glass). If you have a stand that would be best. It can take the bike a few min to warm up, then shut it down and look at the oil level in the window. You don't need much above the middle line and it does not take much to overfill it and have issues.
 

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Wow, that is some serious oil on your tire, I can't believe the dealer let you ride off like that. I'm glad you made it home safely.

The explanation they provided you seems completely absurd to me. Never have I heard of problems arising from consistent highway speeds (other than sheer boredom).

This makes me angry but not nearly as angry and upset as you must be. If they don't go out of their way to accomodate you, copy and paste this thread in a bbb complaint.

By the way, check to make sure all the oil lines are completely tight. At 900 miles, my 999R began spewing oil by the ride side fairing. I was totally freaked out but it ended up only being a loose line. It's been fine ever since. Sometimes the torque from these motors can jar things loose every now and then if not properly tightened or checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thought the same thing too. That the dealer filled the bike with too much oil before I picked it up the first time. After I took it in the tech even said "make sure you don't fill it up with too much oil, keep it between the marks, and even a little below the halfway mark is better". So when I rode it the 8 hours or so after that with no problems I assumed that was the problem. But, since it started leaking yesterday, I figured well, maybe thats not it... I even had my wife sit on the bike upright off the stand so I could check the level. Maybe it damaged some kind of seal from being overfilled the first time? But thats the thing, I'm just guessing. Although the oil spill this time is not even a 1/10th of it what it was the first time.
 

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If you look through records of the early 999's this WAS a common problem with the first year of produced 999's.

The problem turned out to be poor tolerances between pistons and cylinders. This allowed excessive "blow by" into the crankcase and hence forcing oil up into the airbox. When it reached a high enough level, it overflowed out the back, onto the vertical exhaust header and rear tire. That's where your smoke came from.

I recall it took quite a while to sort out the issues of these bikes. I do recall one case where the dealer brought a 999 back from a guy MonsterMan. He had a website call ducatisuite where he wrote a story about his 999. The problem could only be fixed by fitting new cylinders and matched pistons and running the oil level no higher than half full.

If I were you, I would return the bike and demand a refund. Qoute the history of the early 999 problems. The only way that this bike can be repaired is costly and will take a long time (engine rebuild). If they do cover this, demand new tires also!

Edit: My mistake. It was 998's that had the oil blow by problem. First year of Testastretta's (999 engine). Problem appears to be the same though. http://www.ducatisuite.com/998.html
 

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WOW! How lucky are you that you didn't take a spill!! worse your wife could have run over you too!:D Just kidding! Welcome to Ducati.MS!!!
Boy who is Banzai??? are they a Ducati dealer? Take the bike back and get that fixed right or get your money back no matter how much you love the bike and find another. I have never heard of a 999 that puked oil like that.
Well, it's an issue that's is manageable for sure, hope your dealer gets it fixed properly for you! Keep us in the loop w/ the outcome!
JEFF
 

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the oil ''blowby'' was an issue for many testastrettas when introduced in the 998.often the oil level seemed the cause ,but poor ring seal was also cited.ducati also introduced a drain back fitting at the oil fill cap thats a retro fit.fwiw the oil level should be slightly below the half way mark when the bikes upright and level
 

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If you look through records of the early 999's this WAS a common problem with the first year of produced 999's.

The problem turned out to be poor tolerances between pistons and cylinders. This allowed excessive "blow by" into the crankcase and hence forcing oil up into the airbox. When it reached a high enough level, it overflowed out the back, onto the vertical exhaust header and rear tire. That's where your smoke came from.

I recall it took quite a while to sort out the issues of these bikes. I do recall one case where the dealer brought a 999 back from a guy MonsterMan. He had a website call ducatisuite where he wrote a story about his 999. The problem could only be fixed by fitting new cylinders and matched pistons and running the oil level no higher than half full.

If I were you, I would return the bike and demand a refund. Qoute the history of the early 999 problems. The only way that this bike can be repaired is costly and will take a long time (engine rebuild). If they do cover this, demand new tires also!

Edit: My mistake. It was 998's that had the oil blow by problem. First year of Testastretta's (999 engine). Problem appears to be the same though. http://www.ducatisuite.com/998.html
2003 999's was a oil cooler problem wasnt it
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/motorcycle_recalls/49/2003/ducati/999/42918.html
 

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If you really must keep this bike maybe the seller will work with you to have a qualified shop do the work and the selling shop will pay the bill?

My guess is it's something relatively simple. You mentioned it was coming from the top of the motor. That would lead me to look at the verticle cylinder valve cover gasket and the rubber gaskets/o-rings under each bolt holding the valve cover on.

Your best bet will be to clean up the mess with something like SimpleGreen. Remove the bodywork, then run the bike (not ride it, due to safety issue) to see where the oil starts to seep from. It should be obvious based on your photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree, I think that's what I'm going to do... basically force (as much as I can) the dealer and warranty company to let me take it to an authorized ducati shop. Get the thing properly diagnosed and make a decision to keep it or not.

I am thinking of taking it to Teammcc (Motorcycle Center) outside Chicago. They seem to have a really good reputation, anybody know anything about them?
 

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Backmarker,
We have a few Ducati dealers here in Chicago. MCC - Motorcycle Center in Villa Park, CCC - Chicago Cycle Center, north of downtown Chicago on Touhy, and at least one other good Ducati mechanic (though not a dealer) called SuperBike Italia in Romeoville, near Joliet. I have never had work done at MCC or CCC, but I have been in both, and I have heard good things about both. MCC is a smaller shop where the staff seems very knowledgeable, CCC is huuuge with a big service department, but they also sell many different brands. I have had work done at Superbike Italia and I was happy with it. You may consider checking out the Ducati Riders of Illinois site ( www.DRILL-online.com) where you'll find Ducati owners who have had work done at all of these shops.

http://www.superbikeitalia.com/
http://www.teammcc.com/custompage3.asp?pg=service
http://chicago-cycle.hostasaurus.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=services&Store_Code=CCC
 

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the oil ''blowby'' was an issue for many testastrettas when introduced in the 998.often the oil level seemed the cause ,but poor ring seal was also cited.ducati also introduced a drain back fitting at the oil fill cap thats a retro fit.fwiw the oil level should be slightly below the half way mark when the bikes upright and level
The VERY early 2001 motors suffered from a few minor issues, but guys... I mean, thats at 10,500 RPM, not 4k riding around town. You should be able to take the entire reed valve system off the motor and not get any oil coming out of that hole until around 8k.

This is why I agree with you about the oil level... that makes MUCH more sense then anything else. ;)



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A lot of good advice given in this thread and you should take it.

We're all in love with our bikes in one way or another. But that doesn't mean we would risk our life and limb riding one with an oil spill problem. You paid/paying good money for that bike and it should operate the way Ducati intended for it to operate. Your oil spill is simply unacceptable in my eyes.

I would drain the oil and do a proper oil change with the right amount of oil. Take the bodywork off, clean everything, and run the bike as suggested earlier.

If this turns out the be something more than an oil overfill, I would go after that dealership with everything I got. I would give them a chance to fix it properly. If that doesn't happen, I would take legal action and go to the local newspaper with an interesting story about how a little motorcycle dealerships incompetence almost cost me everything.
 
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