Thursday, 29 December 2011

How to replace the speedo support cowling plastic on a Ducati 916

The light bulbs from neutral and low fuel had burnt the plastic cowling and when the neutral light was on it bleed into the low fuel warning light display. So I bought a new part 40740011A speedometer support from Mick. Below are the pictures and the steps needed to replace the speedo plastic cowling.
The most important information for me was finding that I needed a small screwdriver to undo the reset switch on the speedo. This was needed to remove the speedo from the cowling so it could be replaced.

The parts needed
A small positive screwdriver to undo the speedo reset
Clocks apart with the 4 8mm nuts taken off
Headlamp removed
Mirrors removed
Fairing zeus clips removed off top part of fairing
Picture of the clocks
Close up of the part to be removed.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Ducati 916 bp and why its a great bike to own

Below is a little piece I wrote on the visordown website about the Ducati 916 and its history. 

I bought the Ducati 916 biposto and have a blog detailing the time I have owned the bike. I always get so many comments ..It always draws attention and admiring looks and I feel it still can hold its head up with new models. I like the look of the front, the fairing and its twin lights. The sound of the termis and its handling. It helps to have so much race history and to see so much success on the track. Carl fogarty found fame from this bike with some trick pieces and a tuned engine.
On the road it picks up so quickly and is light and slim. When driving in traffic it is easy to fit between cars. I have not hit the mirrors of cars compared to some bikes I have owned. I recently checked the mpg and achieved 142 miles with 13 litres of petrol. 49mpg.
My first job was cleaning bikes at 15 and when I left school started life as a motorcycle mechanic. My bikes over 30 years have all been Japanese bikes until this Ducati. From hearing so many bad things about Italian bikes give me some time...
The electrics are crap:
Ducati have Japanese designed electrics and my bike has only let me down once, a flat yuasa battery caused by the regulator rectifier failing. I replaced it with a friends Suzuki tl1000 regulator rectifier and it has been starting every day since. 32,500 miles so far.
It lives outside and starts each time with a push on the button.
Maintenance and servicing parts are high:
I have carried out all my own servicing so cant agree. Parts are reasonable with other manufactures. Air filters are foam and just need cleaning. Oil filter is easily accessible and changed. Only two Plugs to change. The petrol tank is only held by one screw and disconnected with push on petrol pipes and a breather. Cam belts could be expensive but with so many sites and forums, this can be carried out. So much information out there on how to fix.
It will always break down:
I have used it in all weathers and have notched up over 23,000 trouble free miles in three years. I did have to stop in Clapham once when the clutch stopped working, as a dry clutch I was able to remove the allen screws holding the cover, tighten up the nut on the basket that had come loose and carry on the journey.
Some features I did not know:
 with adverse weather and high winds, a gust of wind lifted the cover like a parachute pulling the bike opposite to the side stand, smashing to the ground. The fairing scratched and the mirror flew off. The bolt that holds the mirrors is a brass shape with a thin necked head. This is made this way so when there is pressure on the bolt the head sheers keeping the mirrors in one piece. I don't know of any other bike that has that.
If you need to jump-start the bike. It happened to me and as the positive lead of the battery is visible from the fairing, it is so easily connected to jump leads.
Removing parts is quick.
Single sided swing arm and a wheel that can be removed with one nut. Front mudguard is held on with only 4 bolts to plastic clips.
it takes only 10 zuess clips to remove the fairings. Both sides can be removed. The front fairing is held on with only 4 screws.
to remove the rear seat there are two rubber clips and one light connector to remove the seat.
 It still makes me smile when I go out for a ride and having read most reviews think the most relevant comment is
“its a race bike with lights”.
What more can I say.

Read more:

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Only if you have a Ducati 916

One of the main ideas of the blog was to share my fix and to help others. As my bike has a couple of fix,s on hold.
One is I want to stop the yellow wires from the stator burning which seems to be a common problem on my bike and many others. To try and stop it I have ordered a mosfat r/r to upgrade the regulator rectifier. I also think the connectors are at fault and have ordered some new ones that are water tight.
I also ordered a new clock surround as mine has aged. The light bleeds from the green neutral display into the low orange petrol light. Also waiting on good weather. Without a garage working outside in this weather is not kind.

While I am on hold is there any Ducati 916 out there that you are having problems with or want to suggest a blog update.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Oil leaks on a Ducati 916 bp

Its a pet hate to have oil leaks on new bikes. I guess it was common on older machines that maybe were not serviced well or the technology let them down. On the Ducati as I pulled up I noticed that there was a few drops of oil and when checking the level it needed about 400ml of oil. I have never had to top up the oil since I have owned the bike. On starting the bike I took the fairings off and looked around. On closer inspection working from following the oil leak on the exhaust up the engine i found the leak. It was on the oil pressure hose attached to the oil cooler. Leaving the bike on tick over there was a gentle increase of oil leaking from the gauze area that joins onto the pipe that is screwed on.
A quick post on Ducatsti and no others had the same issue. I also wanted to see if it was related to oil pressure or any other problems. Not a good idea to search for more problems..
A call to the Ducati dealer quoted £125 for a new replacement and not in stock. ebay sellers wanted £40 with no guarntee that they were ok.
A quick search on the internet and I remember wanting to start a pirtek franchise which carry out a hose repair service. I called the local in Mitcham and Kenny suggested to bring the hose down to the depot. He pointed out the clip that surrounded the hose was cracked. I had not noticed this. He found a replacement crimp, placed the hose on the machine and charged me £6. I was so impressed I gave him a tip and explained that he had saved me a lot of money.
The picture below is the pipe on the bike and originally the crimps were a short golden colour the new one is longer but with the fairings on will not be seen.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Ducati common electrical problem Rectifier wires

Its not nice to have issues especially if they are a known problem. On the Ducati the two wires from the mag (stator) supply two wires to the rectifier. I had issues with mine and fitted a rectifier off a suzuki tl1000. This has worked fine and only today I had a leak of oil which I will explain in another post. I stripped the fairings off and had to disconnect the rectifier to get to the oil pressure pipes. When I disconnected I could see in the block connecter that it had started to burn out. I have read that the wires from the engine are not man enough for the job and need to be larger wires so there is less resistance passing. This causes it to heat up and the pictures below are good compared to my previous and some I have seen on the net. A further search on the net and there are a lot of bikes that are affected by RR issues of either over charging or under charging. There is also talk of the RR over heating and that in the later models the fairings have larger vents and the RR are upped on amperage. The heat issue could be correct as the first picture shows a blob of shiny solder. I only noticed this on cleaning the connecter. The current passing through must have been so hot it melted the solder so that it dripped out as in the picture. Something I have to consider in what happens next.

 Two yellow wires from the engine. If you look close you can see what looks like solder. This is the start of it burning out.
The rectifier side is good but the connecter is starting to blacken.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

36899 miles on the Ducati 916 bp

A pet hate is to pull up and see oil drips under a car or bike. This started to happen on the bike. I also noticed i had used 500ml of oil in the last couple of thousand miles. This seemed strange as it had not used oil before. A discussion with a mechanic and talk of piston wear or my thoughts originally was the breather was blocked and the oil was blowing out of the breather. A thorough clean and trying to trace the oil leak. I cleaned above the exhaust where it seemed to be leaking on....Then with the fairings off and the bike ticking over. I found the leak. From the oil filter cooler the top hose where the union joins with the guaze was leaking. With the bike ticking over after a few minutes, I cleaned the leak and it re appeared. This made me happy as a new pipe is easier to replace then pistons...
If you do suffer a leak...have patience.
regards Vinnychoff

bulb holder on the 916 for neutral, low fuel, indicator, high beam and low petrol.

I noticed the light was always on the low fuel light on the dash lights. After taking out the tank sender unit and cleaning it with Harry. The unit seemed to work ok. When i put the tank back on the bike and in gear. The light still stayed on. After a few miles the light for the low fuel switched off as it should but i could still see in neutral that the fuel light was still on but not as bright as it normally was. Below you can see the reason why. the plastic has melted and allowed for the light when in neutral to bleed into the other bulb light.
A new or second hand one is needed.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Ducati 916 bp sprockets and chain replaced

Below is a picture of the rear sprocket removed from the carrier and bike. You can see it is not like many other sprockets fitted to bikes. It took me a little while to source the correct sprockets for my bike and I believe part of that is the way the rear sprocket is different to the normal sprockets and probably that there are many manufacturers out there that do their own way of holding the sprocket onto a carrier. Renthal are some of the makes I have come across. It does make it hard to source the sprockets as there are less making them for the Ducati 916 bp.

Monday, 24 October 2011

How to adjust showa suspension on a Ducati 916

Suspension has to be right and if you follow motogp then you will understand that a lot of money and time is spent at each track fine tuning.
On the road then this is the same.
I started by moving all the pre load settings to standard as a benchmark. You could make a note of yours and then return back to the settings if you feel you have made a error.
so what are you looking for
me a soft ride that the bike rides over the bumps not skips or jumps.
accelerate and the back end should not sag or drop under acceleration
this will also help with any posture as i felt the suspension was too hard and my back was jolting on the bumps.

Friday, 2 September 2011

chain and sprockets

Just fitted a new izumi gold 525 chain and sprockets to the 916 bp. Mileage is 36000 miles at present. I will be interested to see how long this lasts in comparison to the old did o ring chain that was fitted previously.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Ducati 916 bp adjust the valve clearences (shims) part 3

Last video with Arcadio directing

Ducati 916 bp adjust the valve clearences (shims) part 2

Another video with Arcadio directing

Ducati 916 bp adjust the valve clearences (shims)

Three videos of me and Arcadio (directing as he is from Hollywood USA).
Hopefully to help you in seeing how to check the valve clearances. The rear top cylinder intake valves are checked. 
The tolerance on the 916 for the inlet is in the manual is  0.10 to 0.12 mm. For the exhaust it is 0.15 to 0.17mm. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Back pain Are you sitting comftable or

Back and wrist pain have to be one of the most common discussions I hear about sports motorcycles or race type bikes (R1, CBR, GSXR, RSV and Ducati 1098, 1198 to name a few) using them regular.
I have been using my motorbike (916bp) to travel to work for the last  five years and there has never been any strain on the wrists or back ache. Apart from the early days but....
For me it has to be that all the time you sit on the bike you concentrate on the stance. If you look into the reason for any aches or pains then the weight of the body is in a uncomftable position with all the weight possibly on the handle bars and arched. Understanding the information that is out on the net is difficult with so much information out there. Talking to experienced riders you will hear the correct stance is to straighten your back so the top part of the torso is straight and the lower hip is in a s position with the lower spine less of a curve. Similar discussions are out there talking about chairs and the correct seating position.
There should be no weight on the handle bars as when I drive I can feel I have no pressure placed on the grips. I can feel the handlebars light and am able to move easier around corners using my body and pushing opposite on the handle bars. The other benefit I found recently when I had a session with a personal trainer on exercising. I had complained some of the exercises that i was working on seemed to cause pain in my lower back. It Did not make sense to exercise and have pain in the lower back. After being told how to hold my back and spine in the correct position. This helped me in my seating on the bike and comfort.
Also on my bike if i curve my lower spine too much i can feel myself moving further up the tank away from the end of the seat.
Even now after five years I have found another improvement in posture. After a session with a personal trainer to check my posture in excercises i found that i was arching my lower back too much. when sitting on the bike if found i was sitting very near the tank. When i corrected my posture i found my contact was further back on the seat which also made sense.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Oil leak fixed I hope

Above you can see the donor engine with all the parts off. The leak was inside the basket area where the clutch plates are located. Behind this is the shaft that you can see above a large gear and then two seals. The leak from the oil seals. Both have been replaced and as my donor engine parts were from a lower mileage engine I used those parts also. The cover was removed and ring gear was changed. From putting all the parts back, the clutch plates was cleaned by Harry and reassmbled. New plugs fitted and gapped at .6mm. New oil and engine oil filter fitted as well. I am hoping I have a clean patio when i park now.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ducati 916 oil leak hard to find

With modern machines it is unusual to have a oil leak so when my Duke developed a leak I have been trying to find where it is coming from and took the bike apart. If you look at the pictures below, I have taken off the fairings which had oil inside the fairing, There is oil under the clutch slave cylinder and on the other side of the bike with the clutch cover off. There is oil contained and dripping from the bottom of this compartment that holds the clutch plates and clutch basket.
 The drops of oil are pointed out above
 Ready for service
The clutch slave side where there is a trail of oil from the lower of the three allen screws which hold the clutch slave cyclinder on. This tracks down under the side cover and ends up on the exhaust and fairing below.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Ducati 916 service time belts and oils

Once a year I service my Ducati 916bp. As last year I changed the belts, then this was a minor service. I checked all the cycle items steering, swinging arm for any play. And the amount of pad material on the pads front and back. Changed the brake fluid for the clutch and front brake as the fluid was dark. This also helped to increase the feel of the brake. Now it does not flex as much. I carried out a change of the engine oil and replaced the oil filter, draining the oil after the engine had reached operating temperature. Took out the gauze filter and cleaned the odd gasket glue off. Took out the air filters and cleaned the sponge in petrol then when they dried out, re soaked them in air filter oil. Now at 35000 miles the bike starts within a few turns of the starter motor and is returning around 45mpg. A good sign that the bike is working as it should.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Ducati 916 bp would not start

It is not a nice situation but when you press the starter button and nothing happens. The first thought is that the electrics have failed but in this case it was the charger. I have a trickle charger connected all the time and the halfords charger gave up. It stopped charging and the battery was low as the alarm drains voltage from the bike. Changing the charger and connecting up the battery within a few hours a press of the starter and the bike fired up....

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Ducati 916 bp side stand leaning over

The Ducati 916 bp when parked up, seemed to look as though it was going to fall over. On inspection the side stand has worn as it is made of aluminium and where the stand touches the ground has a sharp point that can dig into tarmac. I tried to tighten the stand and this helps but still it leaned over far too much. I went to see Alex at Alpha Welding, Croydon, London CR0 2RQ where Stan helped to measure the lean angle and work our the amount needed.He then cut out a piece of ally around the stand and Alex welded the part on. It is more on the basis of a trial stand where the part that touches the ground is larger and is less liable to dig in to soft ground.
Below are the pictures of before and after. Alex can be contacted on 0208 684 3811 and quote "Vince"

snow and under the motorbike cover

The snow has passed and this brings back memories to the problems with the weather of snow and ice on the roads. The bike was parked up and under cover, once lifted off to check the bike I have found condensation. This could start rusting or corrosion on the bike. It is always a good idea to clean the bike of any dirt and to use some corrosion resistant sprays.
The other day I started the bike to let it warm up and when up to normal temperature switched it off, I think that motorbikes, cars, mechanical parts do not like sitting still. So many times I hear that bikes with low mileages have so many problems (caused by standing). Parts that seize or rubbers that harden and leak, Cam belts that can break or jump a cog. This leads to so much discussion on the time to replace? time or miles, with the 916 bp there are very small gears on the Ducati s and as the angle is so tight, this seems to be one of the reasons why the belts are changed every two years. Whereas I have experience of servicing cars and a Honda car and a Toyota van, the owners have not changed their cam belts and both are over ten years old. Peace of mind would have me change the belts straight away but good examples of how belts can last longer. As with any service item, it is always best to make up your own mind.
Another issue is the bike battery which is connected permanently to a trickle charger. The alarm is constantly discharging so its good to have the battery in a optimum state so when you press the button.
what tips do you have when you park up your car or bike for a while?