Ducati Multistrada 1000DS Starter Motor Part 2

Published on 20 February 2023 at 17:19

Before I even start on this I just want to say this has to be the most horrible bike to work on that I have ever had through my workshop - there I said it. It's just a nightmare, everything seems to be designed so you either need 3 hands, two people or a specialist tool - even getting the oil filter off is an absolute pain. It took me nearly all day to put a new starter on, do an oil and filter change and get the bike started.

At the end of the last exciting episode I had the starter off, had determined it was more mullered than somebody that had eaten 14 yoghurts and that it needed replacing. Fortunately a man that I trust had one that he had refurbished, I got it next day T about 1/3 the price of a brand new one and it's perfect. 

You may recall that the starter bolts are inside the engine so the oil has to be drained and loads of bits have to come off to get to the two allen head bolts. Because it's inside the engine it's all full of oil so the starter has to have a gasket to stop it leaking. This is all well and good but the gasket is circular, as is the body of the starter. This means that you have to try and fit the starter with the gasket on it with the holes lined up. The problem comes when you have to twist the motor to line things up as then the gasket turns and the holes no longer line up. To get a good hold on the starter you need to work from the left of the bike, to see the holes lining up you need to be on the right or badly deformed in the spine and with arms with 3 sets of elbows and eyes on stalks.

You then have to give the engine's sealing surface a good even smear of gasket goo being really careful to not knock it with the engine side casing as that goes back on. Fun it is not.

Anyhoo after getting it all back together it was time to change the oil filter and get some new oil in. Sadly this was also rather more frustrating than it needed to be. For some unfathomable reason some petty and vindictive engineer at Ducati had decided a cast protrusion needed to surround the filter so that a standard chain wrench can't be used to remove the filter.  No, you need a special Ducati tool for the job, or as I did, a very large pair of stilsons that could just get enough of a grip on the part of the filter that wasn't covered by this pointless protrusion. After about 5 minutes of olympic standard swearing and turning the filter about 10 degrees at a time it was off. It got a nice fresh 3.9 litres of oil and at last I could see if it actually ran or if I had wasted my money.

Good news is that it did run, bad news is that the neutral light doesn't seem to work and the exhaust manifold gaskets are both shot. I don't seem to have a working temperature gauge, which probably means the fuelling is out - I don't know if the ecu uses the same sensor as the gauge cluster - I suspect it does. I think I will have to invest in a diagnostic cable to see what is going on, I have no idea where the sensor is and the manual isn't much help. Deep joy, my cup fairly runneth over. Again

I still have the belts to do and the desmo clearances, the exhaust gaskets are on order - of course they are 4 times the price of the Japanese equivalents. I don't know why the neutral light isn't on - it comes on at power up self test but does not come on when the bike is running and in neutral.

Another quick word of advise for anybody doing an oil change on  Ducati - this applies to the Multistrada 1000ds specifically but probably applies to loads of other models - you can get an air lock the prevents the oil pumping. What happens is you can get an air lock in the recess where the oil strainer is. If you do an oil change and try to start but the oil light does not extinguish immediately turn the bike off and loosen the 10mm allen bolt that covers the strainer - it's just above the exhaust on the right hand side of the engine - same size as the oil drain bolt. you will most likely hear a small hiss as the air is expelled. Tighten it back up and you should be good to go. It was fine on my bike but I have heard of it being a problem for some other unfortunate Ducati owners.

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