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Old January 7th, 2015, 09:17 PM   #1
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My Ducati Nightmare - 2013 1199 Panigale lemon law

Hi guys. This is my first post here as this user. I wanted to share with everyone an experience that I am currently having regarding Ducati North America and a 2013 1199 Panigale. My story is very similar to a lot of yours regarding warranty claims. in the last few months, I've spoken to a handful of people who are currently in the middle of lemon law buy back cases with Ducati. They've opted not to share their stories at this time because they don't want to "rock the boat," in terms of their replacement or repurchase.

I'm hoping to provide my experience to other Ducatista so that you can all learn from my mistakes and experience. I am available via PM to answer questions and will happily provide more details regarding my situation. Believe it or not, this is the condensed version.

While there are certainly things I could have done differently, there are specific reasons why I did what I did. I specifically did not get an attorney to handle this case because it would have cost Ducati money. I did NOT want to hurt the brand and cost them any more money than necessary to make the situation right. I truly believe in my head and heart that Ducati would handle the situation in a professional and quick manner- as if taking care of a family member. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Enjoy the read, ask any questions that you have, and learn from my mistakes. We need to stick together as a family to make sure these situations happen as little as possible.


My Experience with
Ducati
&
Ducati North America (DNA)



INTRODUCTION

My experience with Ducati starts back in 2006 when I first got interested in riding motorcycles on the street. I had ridden dirt bikes and ATV’s for many years at this point, but was just getting adventurous enough to take my love for two wheels out on the street. I had always loved Ducati design, and their racing history but didn’t quite understand the brand and family enough to join it at this time. In all honesty, I felt I was too “green,” to own a Ducati.

My first street motorcycle was a 2006 Yamaha R6, bought in 2006, from Yamaha Sports Plaza in Oregon. I rode this bike for two years and put 7,800 miles on it. I performed my own maintenance on this bike. This motorcycle did not have any mechanical issues.

MY FIRST DUCATI


In 2008, I purchased a new 848, in pearl white, from Arun at Motocorsa. From the first time I rode this beautiful machine off the lot, I was absolutely hooked. The feeling that you get the first time you ride one of these machines is unexplainable. The sound in your ears and vibrations you feel through your body are incredible and cannot be replicated or understood easily.

I performed regular maintenance on my ’08 848. During the ownership of this motorcycle, the bike did have mechanical issues. At 546 miles the clutch on the bike had a serious malfunction while downshifting (3rd to 2nd) in an intersection. Coincidentally, I was on my way to have the first service done at Motocorsa. The shift lever got stuck in a downwards and neutral position (between 3rd and 2nd) causing the bike to coast and come to rest. I was able to safely maneuver the bike to the side of the road without getting hit by passing vehicles. The bike was picked up by Ducati Roadside via enclosed motorcycle trailer and dropped off at the dealer for repair. At this time the dealer also repaired an oil leak that was coming from a failed O-ring on the upper part of the engine. If I remember correctly it took about a month to repair because parts were backordered from Italy. During my ownership of this 848 the bike did have other mechanical issues. The motorcycle would routinely shift in a neutral position between 2nd and 3rd, 3rd and 4th, 4th and 5th, and 5th and 6th. The dealer did repair and replace the parts in the clutch that were responsible for this happening. After the repair, I still experienced this issue intermittently. I dealt with the problem until I sold the bike in 2010 for financial reasons. It had 5,000 miles on it.

It wasn’t until 2011, after recovering from a business bankruptcy and restoring my financial wellbeing that I was able to purchase a brand new 2009 Yamaha R6, raven, from Yamaha Sports Plaza. I was able to pick it up brand new for $7,450 OTD. The dealership delivered it to my house, gave them the check, and signed the papers in the driveway. At this point, despite the mechanical issues with my 848, I am completely in love with the Ducati brand. I felt privileged to have owned one, and am happy to have been a part of the Ducati family. Unfortunately, I was not in financial position to purchase another Ducati- and still not convinced that I belonged in the family. Shortly after this purchase, I moved from Portland, OR to San Diego, CA.



The history of the “Ducati” name runs incredibly deep. The people that came before me built a legacy that needs to be upheld. I feel that strongly about this family and I didn’t want to tarnish it in any way. To this day, I don’t quite think I understand the blood, sweat and tears that went into building such an amazing legacy.

From 2011 to 2012 I resided in Pacific Beach. My R6 was my primary mode of transportation. During this time period, I had a local dealer perform scheduled maintenance. I moved back to Portland, OR in early 2012.

On 04/20/2012, I was stopped at a light, traveling southbound on NE Thurston Way and NE Vancouver Plaza Dr. in Vancouver, WA. As the light turned green, I accelerated through the light. A bicyclist in the bicycle lane was traveling in the same direction as me. Unexpectedly, he exited the bike line and made a 90 degree turn in front of me. I impacted him at about 20-25 MPH resulting in his taco bell bag and six pack of Milwaukie’s best tall-boys all over the street and both of us on the ground. The bicyclist and I survived, however, the motorcycle did not survive, and I sold my second Yamaha in 2012 with 10,000 miles on it.







SECOND DUCATI
One week later, I purchased a 2012 848, stealth, from Jason at Motocorsa. This motorcycle had similar issues as my first ’08 848. The clutch needed repair within the first 800 miles, there was an oil leak as well. Motocorsa fixed both of them within 2-3 weeks. The clutch issue was related to the shimming of the gears. After this was repaired, I experienced the same issue with shifting into neutral position. I expressed concern to Jason at Motocorsa about the continuing issue. Although less frequent, still potentially dangerous. Jason explained that they had verified and fixed the issue once, and that if I was experiencing further problems with it, that I need to make sure I am “shifting positively into gear.”



On 12/13/12 I put a $500 deposit to hold the first 2013 1199 Panigale to be delivered to Motocorsa. On 02/16/13 I traded in the 2012 848 with 4,074 miles.

2013 1199 PANIGALE

The first issue started with my Panigale started a month or two after I purchased it. The lower right side fairing had an exhaust retainer spring (located on lower right side exhaust pipe,) burning through the fairing. I took it into Motocorsa and Hannah ordered me a new fairing. She also noticed an oil leak on the upper portion of the engine (O-ring similar to the 848’s) and had it repaired within a 45 days. During this time period, Italy had an earthquake that caused the repair to be extended (no one was on-site to ship parts.) Motocorsa informed me that they replaced the fairing and installed a spacer on the fairing (per Ducati Italy service order.)





When I picked the bike up I was provided the service repair records. I reviewed them before leaving the dealership and noticed that, in addition to the fairing replacement and oil seal, there was a paid warranty invoice for a headlight assembly and headlight. I inquired why these parts were replaced. “During PDI, the motorcycle was damaged. We ordered the parts and have had them here.” Was the response I received. With a laugh, and an empty tank of gas, I rode off. Arun and his team are great people and are known to do better work than most of the Ducati dealers in America. I did not want to rock the boat with Motocorsa so I left it alone.

On 05/16/14 I moved from Portland, OR to Orange County in Kalifornia.

Due to a previous poor experience regarding Ducati Newport (December 2012,) regarding their sales rep, I chose Brea Ducati as my local dealer.

Brea Ducati performed a rear tire replacement for me, as well as warranty related second lower right side fairing replacement. While waiting for my fairing and rear tire to be replaced by Brea Ducati, I perused the sales floor of their many dealerships, tried on a few riding boots, read magazines, and watched some great clips in their lounge area. The Brea sales guy and I spoke about his new monster (which is a piece of art btw.) I also ate some pizza that was delivered that day and offered to me by the sales gentlemen at Ducati Brea.

The issues with Ducati Brea came when I heard hammering coming from the service bay. I walked back into the shop and saw my tech using a standard weight ball peen hammering in the right side of my 1199 Panigale in between bites of his pizza. I was literally laughing so hard I turned around and walked back into the showroom and sat down on the couch continued eating my pizza. Once again, as Ducati customers, I’ve been conditioned not to be as big of an asshole as I usually am. Besides, aren’t we all a big family?

I rode the bike home and performed an inspection of my own. The bike was in good repair, torque on the bolts on the fairings were “within specs.” Once I got to the bottom of the motorcycle I discovered that the exhaust shields on both the left and right side were extremely loose and rattling.

On 02/28/14 I surrendered my 1199 Panigale to Ducati Newport Beach (Further referred to as DNB.) They resealed the cam cover and repaired seized bolts on the brake line cover above the clutch. I also purchased oil and filter to perform an oil change on the bike. I picked the bike back up on 03/04/14. They were unable to test ride the bike due to no mirrors on the motorcycle (explains why the cam cover oil leak wasn’t repaired successfully.) $308.96 charged to VISA.

On 02/28/14 (warranty claim number 292103) DNB processed a repair for a wiring harness recall. One electric wiring harness was replaced under warranty, Technician Mark Graham of Ducati Newport Beach. This might explain why the previous sales order took from 02/28/14 to 03/04/14 to repair.

On 03/01/14 (warranty claim number 292208,) this overlaps the previous warranty work order. Matt Graham from Ducati Newport performed another vertical valve cylinder seal after removing the cam cover. This is a second vertical valve seal that failed. (6,369 miles on odometer.) A few days after this repair I noticed that the motorcycle was leaking oil again, from the same location. Upon further inspection, I noticed tool marks on the ride side engine case. I immediately phone Adrian at DNB. He ordered a new engine case and called me about a month later when it came in.



On 03/29/14 Ducati Newport replaced a timing cover because a Ducati Newport Beach technician marked up the engine cover with a tool. The paperwork showed bike was in 03/29/14 at 6,369 miles.

Ducati Newport picked the bike up on 07/15/14 at 10:23am. The phone records indicate when the shop called to say the driver was there waiting for me to get home. The paper work shows that the bike was checked in on 08/05/14. On 08/06/14 I contacted DNB at 03:22pm and had a 6 minute phone call with Adrian. At this time, I was informed that the oil leak had been repaired and they were waiting for the front fork assembly from Italy. When the parts arrived, Ducati Newport replaced both front forks, bled clutch master cyl., charged battery, and removed exhaust the tightened bolts. In addition to this they also replaced a snap ring, thrust washer, seal ring, and replaced the front right and left fork assembly. Performed by Nathan Betts at Ducati Newport. The bike is in DNB’s possession during this time period. From 7/15/14 to 08/22/14 about 39 days have elapsed.

NOTE: During a closed door meeting in November, I inquired with Mike and Adrian why the paperwork showed my bike was checked in on 08/05/14, instead of 07/15/14 when it was picked up. Adrian informed me that it “was a clerical error in the computer.” He said he would look into it and get back to me.

Adrian called me to pick the bike up in the afternoon on 08/22/14. I immediately drove down to DNB. I didn’t get two miles down PCH before the instrument cluster began flashing the service lights, check engine, ABS, oil level, etc. The cluster would dim and eventually turned off completely. I returned the bike back to Adrian at DNB. On 8/22/14 Ducati Newport inspected bike charging stem. They found it not to be charging. Checked stator. NOT CHARGING. REPLACEMENT. Replaced stator- now charging. Ducati Newport Beach said they replaced the stator/alternator along with the battery. Warranty Paperwork shows only stator replacement. I picked the bike up on 08/27/14 after being in DNB’s possession for 44 days. Approximately 1 mile from the dealership an engine seal failed. It sprayed the engine oil all over me, my rear tire, the brakes, and the cars behind me. I have pictures and a video of this occurring. After I regained control of the motorcycle, I parked the bike and called Ducati Roadside Assistance. Mike, from Newport Motorcycle Transport (he’s a great guy and did a wonderful job,) picked the bike up and dropped it off in my driveway. Ducati Newport picked the bike up on 09/02/14.





On 09/03/14 Adrian from DNB called me to inform me that the bike will be ready in 24 hours as the engine sealant needs time to cure. He informed me that they were also replacing the rear tire for safety reasons. I asked Adrian to keep the bike for 48 hours for a proper cure of the sealant. I requested this because the bike seals have been failing after minimal cure time. DNB delivered the bike to me on 09/05/14, 53 days after it was originally dropped off at DNB. The service records indicate that they used blue loc-tite on the clutch cover bolts. This is interesting, because it was an engine seal that failed, not a clutch cover.

After they dropped it off, I took it for a short test ride determined that the rear brakes were floating and were not operating properly. I called Adrian and asked why this had not been remedied after the 20 mile test ride that they performed to check the oil seals, no answer. Mike, owner of DNB, approved a rear pad replacement. At 8,400 miles the original pads had 20% left on rear and 50% left on front.

On 09/06/14 the bike was again back at Ducati Newport. At this point, DNB driver doesn’t even need GPS to find my house. DNB replaced the fairing and right side exhaust components due to a third occurrence of the fairing melting. The bike was returned to me on 09/10/14.

On 09/28/14 I sent an email with pictures of another oil leak to Adrian at DNB. I inform Adrian that I want to proceed with a lemon law claim and have the bike replaced.

On 10/08/14, I emailed Adrian inquiring about my lemon law claim. He instructed me to contact DNA (Ducati North America,) as they have not returned his calls or emails.

On 10/09/14 I emailed and called Ducati North America regarding my lemon law claim. I sent them a nice letter explaining the occurrences and my request for a replacement motorcycle.

Melanie Perazo from Ducati North America contact me on 10/25/14 to discuss my claim. This is 45 days after I initially started the process with Ducati Newport Beach. She instructed me to contact DNB to have the current oil leak repaired while she prepares the documentation to replace the motorcycle.

On 10/26/14 a kick stand bolt fell out causing the kickstand to home partway off. The kickstand hit the ground in such a way that it caused the motorcycle to buck and jerk in a side to side motion. This caused significant damage to the exhaust, lower fairings and kickstand. Upon inspection of the kickstand, I noticed that there was also another oil leak on the bottom left engine compartment. This is in addition to the vertical cam cover oil seal that is also leaking.
On 10/28/14 DNB picked up my Panigale. Under warranty claim #354899 - They repaired two oil leaks, replaced the alternator cover, clutch lever, and missing kickstand bolt. The cosmetic damage was not repaired at this time due to DNA stating that the “buyback procedure is underway.” The bike was delivered to me on 11/06/14. NOTE: The oil leaks were repaired under warranty claim #354903.

On 11/08/14 the bike was picked up again by Ducati Newport Beach to address an electrical issue with E-LOCK illuminating and flashing red lights above 5K RPM, loose exhaust shields (again,) and missing clips from the headlight cowl panels. The bike was dropped off 10 days later on the 18th after tightening a ground wire, removing and tightening heat shields, and replacing missing clips from the headlight cowl panels. I instructed them that the fuel pump was also making a howling sound with each turn of the key. I emailed them a video of this happening. DNB stated that they were unable to replicate the fuel pump noise, mysteriously though, it was not present when the bike was returned. I have two videos from two different dates with the noise from the fuel pump.

In summary, during 660 days of ownership, my motorcycle was inoperable for 115 days, or 17% of the time I’ve owned it. Over 9,000 miles I’ve performed 5 oil and filter changes. I have a receipt for every tank of gas and all maintenance performed on the bike. I believe in the philosophy that if you take care of something, it will take care of you. In 660 days, the bike has had the right side fairing replaced 4 different times, the heat shields had to be retightened 3 different times, the front fork assembly replaced, 10 oil leaks repaired, wiring harness replaced, kickstand repaired, timing cover replacement, alternator cover replacement, stator/alternator replacement, clutch master cylinder replacement, lose ground wire, and missing cowling clips.

LEMON LAW PROCEDURE
On 09/28/14 I contacted Adrian, at Ducati Newport Beach, to start the Lemon Law Process. He agreed that the amount of issues with the motorcycle was a little out of hand and assured me that Ducati North America would take care of the situation. He stated that he would start the process.

On 10/22/14, after numerous emails to DNA about my bike, I sent a nice, but stern letter to Ducati Newport Beach, requesting their assistance in this matter. I understand that DNB has little to do with DNA calling me back. Mike and Adrian are the only people that would talk to me, so I had to use them to reach out to DNA. Whatever Mike did, worked. I received a call from Melanie Perazo on 10/25/14.

Exactly 45 days after I initially started the process with Ducati Newport Beach, I was contact by DNA. Melanie Perazo did not apologize for not returning my calls or emails. She instructed me to contact DNB to have the current oil leak repaired while she prepares the documentation to replace the motorcycle. She stated that she would start the process for the buyback procedure. We set a phone appointment for the following Tuesday to discuss the progress and to let me know that she had completed the research.



A certified letter, formally requesting replacement, was delivered on 10/27/14. Despite Melanie stating that my case was extreme and a registered letter wasn’t necessary, I still sent it.

It wasn’t until 11/21/14 that I received an email from Melanie regarding the replacement of my motorcycle. She stated she was out of the office for a couple of weeks and is waiting for the regional rep to approve my request.

Coincidentally, I was on my way to a sit down meeting with owner of DNB. I had asked Mike to have meeting with me regarding Ducati Newport Beach’s involvement in the matter. I provided a list of things I wanted to talk about during the meeting. I wanted to give DNB, Mike and Adrian, a chance to explain to me their side of the story and clarify the issues I’ve been experiencing with the bike. This meeting was extremely productive and I am glad that Mike and Adrian agreed to sit down and speak with me the issues surrounding the motorcycle.

On 11/24/14 I received an email from John Bernsten, from DNA. At 74 days, DNA had sent an email agreeing to repurchase the motorcycle. During each one of my phone calls I’ve set up a phone appointment (7 days out,) with John and Mel to discuss the current progress. I was very explicit, stating that, “I understand you guys are busy, but please call me or email me to let me know what’s going on. Even if you tell me to F off, I don’t care. Please just let me know you’re there and working on this.” Every time that we would set a specific phone appointment, John and Mel both said, “I’m putting it into outlook now.” Not a single phone appointment was met nor email received. I was ignored by both of them for 30 days each time before hearing from them. I have records of each phone call and email.



On 11/25/14 I received a phone call from John Bernsten, he stated that they had found a 2013 1199 Panigale and were in the process of inspecting it and crating it. At this point, I had requested replacement with an 1199 S model in flat black. My reasoning for the request was that my current 1199 has suspension issues with the front forks and the 1199S uses Ohlins suspension, to remedy this well-known issue.

John declined to replace my bike with an S model, but after much negotiation, offered $1,000 parts and service money, as well as the first service to be paid for. John stated that I would have the new bike in hand within 7 days. At this time, I specifically said, “John, I will accept your offer of a 2013 1199 replacement bike with $1,000 Ducati money and first service paid for, under the stipulations that this is handled within 7 business days and you put this in writing.” – Nothing was put in writing until 01/05/14.



On 01/06/15, 41 days after John said I would have a new motorcycle,) I was informed by Ducati Newport that they had received a 2013 1199 Panigale in white. The new bike has 2 miles on it, but it has a dead battery, and was being charged. Once this “new” motorcycle was charged, a tech would take it on a 3 mile test ride to ensure everything is in order. DNB informed me that they had received the FedEx documents and scanned a copy over to me.

Contained in these documents from Ducati is a legal document outlining the replacement process for my Panigale. Included in the legal documents is a 1542 clause (release of liability for Ducati,) as well as a confidentiality clause. Additionally, there is legal verbiage that states Ducati denies my claims and does not acknowledge that anything was ever wrong with my 1199, however they agreed to replace it anyway. There is nothing in these documents containing anything about a $1,000 parts and service credit and a paid for first service. When I inquired to Adrian at DNB what to do from here, he stated that he would find out from Mike on 12/07/14 and call me in the morning to relay how to proceed from here. I have not received a phone call or email from DNB regarding this matter.















In summation, I believe this to be a true and factual account of what has transpired since purchasing my 1199 in March of 2013. I have tried to remain as unbiased as possible. I do believe that if you were to ask DNA and DNB’s version of events, they would be identical to the facts I’ve laid out above.

Last edited by ShredofHope; January 8th, 2015 at 10:49 AM. Reason: afterthoughts
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Old January 7th, 2015, 09:53 PM   #2
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Dang. What a nightmare. I'm sure the next bike will be much better. Never heard of anyone having anywhere near as many problems.
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Old January 7th, 2015, 10:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the words Andrew. I hope the next one is better also. Honestly, I've heard of one guy whos currently going through the process with Ducati that has EVEN MORE issues than me with his 1199. Hes in Arizona and has posted on this site before. I need to get in touch with him again and see how his adventure is going.

Be safe riding out there- Happy New Year!
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Old January 8th, 2015, 07:33 AM   #4
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Wow..
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Old January 8th, 2015, 08:49 AM   #5
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Shit...and the ball has started to roll..Sorry for your bad exp with the bike, OP.
Hopefully you'll get the issue resolved.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 10:00 AM   #6
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WOW what a nightmare! I'm in shock your 848's had so many problems. I really feel bad about that because they're really great bikes.

Now the Panigale story I've heard before. I have two friends with Panigale's and both have been in for service constantly. One is a 12' and one is a 13' and both are base models like yours. The fork seals failed on both within a few thousand miles after purchase. They both did the heat shield modification, one of them had an electronics issue and the other one had oil leaking onto the exhaust, source was never explained but it went away. After the initial issues were remedied by the dealership (Pro Italia) they seem to be working pretty good. Because I do their oil changes since neither one has a garage, I'm always tightening bolts and checking things for them on a regular basis. So far so good, the bikes seem to be holding up quite well.

I'm dismayed and shocked about your issues with the bike, but it must be said, Newport Beach has horrible technicians. I honestly blame them for almost everything you've experienced. It's frustrating to be attached to a dealership, not being able to fix some of these issues on your own. Outside of the fork defect and recall part replacements, everything else is home remedy stuff and it just shows the complete ineptitude of the guys at DNB. Ducati wasn't to blame for the issues, DNB was and it's disgusting they let you down so badly. I would personally never own a Ducati if I had to trust some $25-hr MMI graduate to fix my bike. Sorry, but just because you graduated from MMI, doesn't make you a mechanic.

Sorry for your issues, glad you posted them and don't ever go back to DNB again. Pickup the phone and call SBK Corse and talk to those guys. They can do a lot of warranty stuff, even though they aren't a resale establishment. If you live in San Diego, GP Cycles has a pretty good Ducati service shop as well. It's depressing Ducati send you another 13' 1199 because it's going to have the same fork issues your old one had. I wouldn't get near that thing with a 10 foot pole until those forks are replaced with the updated ones. But that's just me…

Good luck and keep the rubber side down!
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Old January 8th, 2015, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
Shit...and the ball has started to roll..Sorry for your bad exp with the bike, OP.
Hopefully you'll get the issue resolved.
Donger, thanks for the reply. You're right, where the ball stops, nobody knows.

I'm sure if will get situated eventually. Legally, Ducati is obliged to do certain things within certain time periods. I'm upset with myself for thinking that this would all be okay and be handled properly. This is an example of egregious mismanagement. I've read some forum posts where Ducati customers were contacted personally by Michael Lock (ex-CEO of Ducati,) and he personally situated the persons claim and got it handed off the the right people - In my situation the highest person I've spoken to is a customer service agent who ignores my calls and emails and when they do call me back, tells me to kick rocks.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuned View Post
WOW what a nightmare! I'm in shock your 848's had so many problems. I really feel bad about that because they're really great bikes.

Now the Panigale story I've heard before. I have two friends with Panigale's and both have been in for service constantly. One is a 12' and one is a 13' and both are base models like yours. The fork seals failed on both within a few thousand miles after purchase. They both did the heat shield modification, one of them had an electronics issue and the other one had oil leaking onto the exhaust, source was never explained but it went away. After the initial issues were remedied by the dealership (Pro Italia) they seem to be working pretty good. Because I do their oil changes since neither one has a garage, I'm always tightening bolts and checking things for them on a regular basis. So far so good, the bikes seem to be holding up quite well.

I'm dismayed and shocked about your issues with the bike, but it must be said, Newport Beach has horrible technicians. I honestly blame them for almost everything you've experienced. It's frustrating to be attached to a dealership, not being able to fix some of these issues on your own. Outside of the fork defect and recall part replacements, everything else is home remedy stuff and it just shows the complete ineptitude of the guys at DNB. Ducati wasn't to blame for the issues, DNB was and it's disgusting they let you down so badly. I would personally never own a Ducati if I had to trust some $25-hr MMI graduate to fix my bike. Sorry, but just because you graduated from MMI, doesn't make you a mechanic.

Sorry for your issues, glad you posted them and don't ever go back to DNB again. Pickup the phone and call SBK Corse and talk to those guys. They can do a lot of warranty stuff, even though they aren't a resale establishment. If you live in San Diego, GP Cycles has a pretty good Ducati service shop as well. It's depressing Ducati send you another 13' 1199 because it's going to have the same fork issues your old one had. I wouldn't get near that thing with a 10 foot pole until those forks are replaced with the updated ones. But that's just me…

Good luck and keep the rubber side down!
Tuned - thanks for the reply. In regards to my 848's, they were really, excellent motorcycles. They had clutch issues in the beginning, but after those issues were repaired, there wasn't really any major issues. The bike shifting into a neutral type status was a pain in the butt. And it wasn't because I wasn't positively shifting into gear. Its probably because the gearing was built WITHIN SPECS instead of TO SPEC. I probably should have pursued that further. It was a pain in the ass to be throttling up to speed, to merge onto a freeway, and the bike would just wind out with no power and have to be kicked into a gear. Its easy to blame the rider, but when I haven't had any "shifting issues," on previous motorcycles, why would I on this one?

Honestly, I'm just glad that they had as few issues as they did. I really loved those 848's. They are INCREDIBLE bikes. Its no wonder it was a best selling Duc.

How many times have your friends had their fork seals replaced? I've heard stories about dealers replacing them MULTIPLE TIMES on bikes. I read that the dealership even called back a customer and had them bring the bike in to check the numbers on the forks. The tech or someone said that they were checking the serial number of the forks against the current lot. Apparently, Ducati is replacing forks with a lot of bad forks, not wanting to toss them out. Instead of manufacturing a new lot of forks with better seals and gas bags, they were installing bad forks and waiting for them to fail. NOTE: This is all speculation of course and hopefully isn't true. But considering how my case has been handled and others alike, I wouldn't be surprised. The more I dig through these forums, i'm finding dozens of complaints similar to mine.

I do agree with you on the issues with Newport Beach. I had a sit down meeting with Mike and Adrian to let them explain their side of the story. I explained that I was extremely upset at the inconsiderate nature in which my issues have been handled. I have been blatantly ignored by DNA. They convinced me at the time this was just fluke recurrences and they had absolutely nothing to do with it. They actually even said that "each oil leak is coming from a new place." This simply isnt true. The documentation and pictures that I have so where the oil leaks originate from and most of them are from the vertical valve cover. The rest are from multiple areas on the bike. Areas that Ducati Newport accessed to change stator/denso replace engine cases, etc.

The only thing they specifically took responsibility for was the engine seal that blew out on the freeway and almost killed me. They said that the tech did not put the clutch cover (not what blew out,) on correctly and pinched the gasket and did not torque the bolts to spec, because it was a woodcraft clutch cover (has rubber gasket,) they didn't know the specs. I suggested loc-titing that damn cover, which they did.

Those guys make $25/hr? That's pretty good for just starting. I however, wouldnt be surpsied if the tech's at DNB are getting paid $15/hr. - The tool mark to me was the kicker. These jackasses had me pick up a bike and take it home with a giant gouge in the engine case. What person, in their right mind, returns a motorcycle with a screw up like that? That would be so easy to say, "Ooops, sorry dude we nicked your case. We ordered a new one, well call you when its in to replace it." Instead they tried to hide it. It was in a somewhat inconspicuous spot, so it took 3 days for me to inventory it. That is complete and blatant disrespect.

I was just discussing this with another guy on ducati.ms - he performs his own maintenance and repairs on his own bikes. Under warranty, I don't have that luxury. I'm confident I could have repaired the oil leaks better than DNB did. Some issues like an internal alt replacement, not sure I would want to tackle without more direct experience on this bike. I do have a complete garage with tools and space to do the repairs.

When I lived in San Diego I visited GP a few times. Those guys have great energy and seem really cool. I have not heard anything bad about them or their service department.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. You make a lot of good points.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 11:32 AM   #9
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Newport Beach has horrible technicians. I honestly blame them for almost everything you've experienced.

just shows the complete ineptitude of the guys at DNB. Ducati wasn't to blame for the issues, DNB was and it's disgusting they let you down so badly.

Sorry for your issues, glad you posted them and don't ever go back to DNB again. Pickup the phone and call SBK Corse and talk to those guys.
Why do I keep hearing this? You're not the first person to have mentioned this to me.

Ill have to check out SBK Corse. I've heard of them, but cant remember when or why.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 05:47 PM   #10
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Finally a thread right up Toon 's alley...must be something in the water!...just sayin....:shrug:....
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Old January 8th, 2015, 06:40 PM   #11
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Tuned - thanks for the reply. In regards to my 848's, they were really, excellent motorcycles. They had clutch issues in the beginning, but after those issues were repaired, there wasn't really any major issues.
The issue is actually related to the shifting claw and the bit which locks the bike into gear when your not shifting (shifting drum locking assembly). I personably blame the issues on the rear set shifting pivot and link ratio. It's slightly different then the older models and you've gotta be very firm on the shift requests. This is why you had the same problem on BOTH bikes. The dealership probably fixed the issue by bending the shifting drum locking assembly spring so it wasn't as hard and would shift smoother as a consequence. I use a reverse shift lever on my bikes, which is directly attached to the external shifting shaft. It enables me to put more leverage on the shifting mechanism and push right through any hiccups like this.

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How many times have your friends had their fork seals replaced?
The deal on the forks is interesting. Evidently there is a pressure build up with the first batch of forks and the weak point is the oil seal. Marzocchi released an updated fork which solves this problem, but Ducati wasn't issuing a recall for the forks. They only replaced them if owners requested them, like both of my friends. They got BRAND new forks and one of the service guys forgot to put in one of the brake caliper bolts and on the way home, one of the calipers almost fell off on the highway (he lost breaking force so he pulled over). I had to get in my van, drive to pick up the bike and bring it back to the dealership. The idiots at Pro Italia also forgot to tighten the forks in the triple clamps. My friend could have been killed had that caliper completely fell off and went between the spokes of the moving wheel. So yea… replacement forks are the ONLY solution and if you aren't under the 2 year warranty, Ducati isn't honoring the update.

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I suggested loc-titing that damn cover, which they did.
Unfortunately, the shop are paid based on billable hours. So if they have to think about something for longer then a few minutes, that money is literally coming out of the shop's pocket. So warranty shops always deliver poorer service then ma-pa pay for shops. This is why I refuse to ever own a vehicle which is under warranty. You have no choice but to use them if something goes wrong, if you don't use them, then if something catastrophic goes wrong, they will blame you. Heck, I've seen warranty claims denied due to one missing oil change document. So warranty is a catch 22. It can save you if the product is poorly made, but if it's a well made product, it generally is a waste of time.

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Those guys make $25/hr? That's pretty good for just starting.
There are three levels of training.

Level one is a 5 day course, which goes over the basics of diagnosing using the Ducati DDS device and basic mechanical knowledge. It's a prerequisite class for anyone working in the service department of warranty shop. With this knowledge, they are able to do pre-delivery inspections and simple things like oil changes. Those guys get paid nothing, maybe $12 - $15hr.

Level two is more in depth and goes over engine disassembly, again using the DDS tool for diagnostics and building. Level two is a prerequisite for servicing any bike under warranty. Those guys are paid $18 - $25hr, depending on the shop of course. However, you can't take that course unless you already work for a Ducati dealership.

Level three is a "master mechanic" course, where candidates are trained on the functionally of suspension (they're trained at Öhlins in North Carolina), how to run a dyno/advanced fueling techniques, and how to deal with warranty claims. Master Mechanics can fetch upwards of $30/hr if they're lucky, but most of them are paid in the $20 - $25/hr range. Most shops only have one and they generally are used as reference. I believe all Ducati shops must have a Master Mechanic to deal with warranty claims.

In the past, Bryce Meyers taught the Master Mechanic course, so my guess is, he taught more then the prerequisite since he's such an awesome mechanic. I'm not sure who teaches the courses today, but it's scary that people are taught how to fix motorcycles using a stupid electronic box. If the electronics aren't working, they have no idea where to start! Pretty damn scary!

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When I lived in San Diego I visited GP a few times. Those guys have great energy and seem really cool. I have not heard anything bad about them or their service department.
I don't trust anyone with my vehicles anymore. I've been burnt every single time I've bought something new and asked for support. The worst was an almost brand new BMW 330i I bought in 2006 with a transmission synchro issue. I had to visit three dealers before someone would acknowledge the problem existed. They put a new transmission in the car after 4 weeks of begging. They forgot to tighten down the guibo (the flexible disk between the transmission output shaft and the drive shaft) and it fell off as I was driving away from the dealership. I was still coasting, so I turned around and made it back to the door, but they were already "closed" in the 10 minutes it took me to check out and leave. I'd have to make a new appointment and deal with it next week. These are the same experiences I've had with Toyota, KTM and Ducati during my lifetime, so I've given up buying new vehicles.

So even if GP cycles is the best shop in the world, they'll still have the same problems every other shop has; delays on parts, blaming the customer for everything, lots of bullshit communication issues, they don't have to be good shops because they make most of their money off warranty parts and accessories.

SBK Corse survives on your money, they don't survive off warranty. They treat people like human beings who would rather be riding their bikes, then letting them sit in a shop. James and Drew (the owners) are the nicest people you will ever randomly meet and they truly, honestly mean well. Plus, their mechanic Dan, is no joke. The SOB built race engines for Yosh for years and built their dyno. So not only does he know engines inside and out, but he takes his time because in racing, you can't afford to have something go wrong. He just went through his Ducati training and I've spent a great deal of time with him quizzing him, of which he really enjoys. Great people, good time, go meet them and you will forever be happy you did.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 05:24 AM   #12
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I'm really interested in what went on and your experiences, but I wish there was a short paragraphing summarizing everything. That's a lot to read lol...but I gather you had a lot of problems with your Panigale, which I'm guessing is under warranty, and Ducati hasn't done much about it...is that the gist of it?
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Old January 9th, 2015, 06:17 AM   #13
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^^ No kidding!... To make matters worse we have another member posting up a very wordy tutorial of his own opinions!!! Kinda like hear the short version from just the original poster!!!
Thank-you!!!
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Old January 9th, 2015, 12:22 PM   #14
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I'm really interested in what went on and your experiences, but I wish there was a short paragraphing summarizing everything
I apologize for it being lengthy. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. I tried to keep it as short as possible. To understand the situation fully I had to include dates and times, as well as specifics about the repair. The intro is probably unnecessary, but it helps lend some credibility to my claims. Makes a little more personable. Without taking away form the original story, a TLDR verison might say:

In summary, during 660 days of ownership, my motorcycle was inoperable for 115 days, or 17% of the time I’ve owned it. Over 9,000 miles I’ve performed 5 oil and filter changes. I have a receipt for every tank of gas and all maintenance performed on the bike. I believe in the philosophy that if you take care of something, it will take care of you. In 660 days, the bike has had the right side fairing replaced 4 different times, the heat shields had to be retightened 3 different times, the front fork assembly replaced, 10 oil leaks repaired, wiring harness replaced, kickstand repaired, timing cover replacement, alternator cover replacement, stator/alternator replacement, clutch master cylinder replacement, lose ground wire, and missing cowling clips.

That doesn't really do the story justice though. And if you are experiencing any issues with a warranty claim or problem with Ducati, you may want to take the time to read the entire thing. My experience is similar to many whom are experiencing major warranty issues regarding their bikes. I'm hoping to help people that are in similar situations as me to make the best possible decision for the repair or replacement of their motorcycles.

Thanks for reading anyway guys. Keep the rubber side down!
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Old January 9th, 2015, 12:26 PM   #15
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^^ No kidding!... To make matters worse we have another member posting up a very wordy tutorial of his own opinions!!! Kinda like hear the short version from just the original poster!!!
Thank-you!!!
Sorry! I started asking him questions and got off topic. The conversation should have been carried on somewhere else.

If what he says is true, I find it to be valuable knowledge. Ill take responsibility for asking him the questions.

I tried to reply with the TLDR version above.

To further point out, my issues might be related to the care the bike received while at Ducati Newport Beach. Some other forum members on this site and others have pointed out that the root of all of this is the quality of work performed on the bike. Even though I want to think Mike and Adrian have really great techs working for them, I don't think I can ignore that a lot these issues were preventable.
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