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My 1996 Ducati 916 biposto will not start. For a few days it has been steadily turning over slower and slower until nothing. I charged up the battery and still nothing turns over. The solenoid clicks and that's it. It has 12.1 V at the battery, 11.7 V with the key on, 11.1 across the solenoid, .02 V across the solenoid while pushing the starter button down, .L Mega Ohms across the solenoid and .5 Ohms across the solenoid when pushing the starter button down. I put a screw driver across the two solenoid terminals in hopes of getting the starter to kick over but had no response. The lead acid battery from Bike Master is 1 year old. What are your thoughts? Thanks.
 

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I'd start with a thorough clean and inspection of your heavy wiring from battery to starter and earth back to frame. Looks for signs of swelling, heat damage of the insulation, corrosion etc. My guess is they've seen better days.
 

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Welcome to the forum Gary,

I agree it could be a cabling issue for sure. However, having worked on many of these older 916's in really rough shape, I've generally been able to get them to start no problem. My guess is you have a bad battery, even though it doesn't appear to be old. Your description is spot-on for a battery failure.

Good voltage doesn't mean good current. Rechargeable, multi-cell batteries are notorious for showing good voltage, but not having enough current. 11.7v with the key on is also way too low, the bike won't start that low, you need at least 12.5v with the key on. Good batteries will deliver closer to 13v when the key is on and 14v when charging. These are numbers you can take to the bank with you and unless you had measured prior to this issue, you probably wouldn't know them.

The acid test is to put a multimeter on the battery as you try to start it. This will tell you how low the voltage drops and my guess is, the damn thing drops to 5v or something like that. Just remember, the minimal voltage for the ECU to work is 10v. So if the engine is turning over and the voltage is less then 10v, the ECU isn't going to work, which means… no start. Do these tests and see what happens before diagnosing any further.
 

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Have to agree with the above, I recently had a similar problem with my son's bike, it showed full charge yet wouldn't turn over, with a multimeter across the battery terminals it showed 3.5v when the starter was pressed.
Steve
 

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12.1 volts is a dead battery. 12.6 volts is fully charged. put a multimeter on the battery a see what the voltage is, should be 12.6, press the start button and see what the voltage drops to. if it drops below 9.6 the battery is toast, if it drops below 11.5 it may need a good long trickle charge to restore it. with the key on it should still read near full charge 12.6 v or more. any thing 12v or below is a dead battery. sounds like a new battery is needed.
 
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