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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't been riding the bike for about 3 weeks because of cold weather. Sunday I decided that I would start the bike (SF848) and let it run for a little bit. I didn't notice anything at the initial start up, but I also was not looking for it. I only let it run for probably 90 seconds and shut it off because someone came to the house. About ten minutes later, I started it up again and noticed a small puff of whitish smoke simultaneous with the engine firing. After the initial "puff" there was no more beyond normal exhaust condensation. I let it run until it was warm. Waited a couple of minutes and fired it up again and no smoke. This morning, I decided I would start it up again and there was again one big puff of white smoke simultaneous with the engine firing and then nothing.

Any thoughts?
 

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Keep an eye on your coolant level, if it is diminishing over time, there is a leak into the exhaust tract or cylinder head. Otherwise it may be condensation, perhaps post a video?

Also, if your oil is getting milky, you definitely have a coolant leak into the motor. Hopefully it is nothing.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It certainly seems like it has to be either coolant or oil leaking into the head, because that would explain the initial puff immediately upon firing. Seems to be an oil smell, but on the other hand, I've never smelled coolant smoke before. Smoke looks more whitish, but could be bluish white. I'll try and get a video tonight.
 

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It's condensation from only having run it for 90 seconds a few minutes earlier. That will continue as long as you are just starting it occasionally and not riding it for 20 miles or more, which is what it takes to thoroughly warm an engine - the WHOLE engine, not just the heads, and to burn off the condensation that forms in any cold engine.

Nothing to worry about really but I don't do that to my engines. Snowblower, lawnmower, weed wacker...none of 'em. A good rule of thumb is don't start it unless you're going to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, so I came home and started up the bike so I could let it run for a good long time. At initial startup I still got the initial puff of smoke and I was able to see pretty clear that it is a blue/white and I'm 99% sure that it is burnt oil based on that and the smell. After startup there is no more smoke except for the normal condensation and even that goes away pretty quickly. If I rev it quickly to about 6k and then drop the throttle quickly I do notice a very tiny puff, but I suspect that is probably unburnt fuel rather than oil. I also don't notice any actual oil consumption in the 1000 miles I've put in the bike since I've owned it. Unfortunately, I'm beyond the warranty because mine is a 2012 or else I'd just take it to the dealer. Sucks because I only have 4000 miles on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Drained a little oil into a mason jar. There is no noticeable coolant in the oil. I guess that's somewhat positive.
 

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It's condensation from only having run it for 90 seconds a few minutes earlier. That will continue as long as you are just starting it occasionally and not riding it for 20 miles or more, which is what it takes to thoroughly warm an engine - the WHOLE engine, not just the heads, and to burn off the condensation that forms in any cold engine.

Nothing to worry about really but I don't do that to my engines. Snowblower, lawnmower, weed wacker...none of 'em. A good rule of thumb is don't start it unless you're going to use it.
This! My bike will do the same thing if I just run to the grocery store or start it to move it.... anything that doesnt involve cranking it up a bit. 3000 miles on mine. My car will do the same thing for that matter.
 

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Mine will do the same thing, and it only has 280 miles on it.

My good buddy is the service manager at Ducati, and told me to expect it if the bike sits for a while. it's just burning off a tiny bit of oil that has seeped into the block.

I agree with what was already said, don't start it unless you intend to ride it. I can understand wanting to hear the bike, but the motor doesn't like short idle times when sitting for weeks.

If you're not going to ride for a while, plug it in to a tender and throw some stabil in it. I live in the Midwest and am getting ready to put stabil in mine, and put the bike I'm the basement for the winter.
 

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Water vapor is a byproduct of gasoline combustion. In a hot engine you will not see the vapor. In a cold engine you will if outside conditions are cool.

Cold engines that are not run to full warmup and kept running for 20 minutes or so will make water when cold and will not have enough time for the engine heat to eliminate what was created during the initial minutes. Starting and stopping an engine too soon will build up water in the sump.

I agree with the suggestion, if you're going to start it, run it for a while.

If your burning oil, the sump oil level will go down slowly but noticeably over time.

Telling us where you like would help us understand possible causes. Update your sig line.

bob
 
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