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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on my second 2011 1198 SP (first got stolen) and both developed the same well known starter clutch defect at around 4k miles.

My first 1198 got fixed on Ducati expenses at a Duc dealer but this time I decided to fix it myself.

The dealer who worked on my first 1198 fucked up big time. They forgot to connect 2 wire plugs, one from the alternator, not charging the battery and leaving me stranded in the middle of nowhere the next day.

Also had to make an extra 400 mile round trip because he didn't have the parts in stock even though he told me he will fix it the same day.

They didn't torque 2 screws to spec making me lose them first ride and the starter clutch started getting stuck again 5k miles later even with new and stronger battery and better wires.

I won't try my luck with him again; I learned my lesson. And this was supposed to be one of the 'better' Duc shops around.

Anyway: I started working my bike today. The starter clutch still sits in the flywheel and here comes my first question: those 6 bolts holding the flange to the flywheel don't want to come off. I broke 2 Torx bits so far. What should I do? Buy impact Torx bits and use a impact wrench? Heat the bolts up with a soldering iron or a heat gun?

I can already see on the electric starter driven gear and the starter clutch that both are screwed up. So I will need all 3 items:

- electric starter driven gear
- flange
- starter clutch

Are there any new versions of any of these items? I don't want to buy and install the same crap and having to do it all over again in 5k miles.

Is there ANY known case where a private person was able to get compensation or parts from Ducati NA without going through a dealer?

Any dealer willing to make a case for me when I send in the defective parts with photos / videos proving ownership, mileage and so on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
what explains the premature death? My bike has 18000km on it and still fine (knock on wood)
Supposedly a weak battery / wiring causes the clutch to not fully engage which in return causes wear on it to the point that it either runs free or gets stuck and screws up everything around it.

It also seems that the spring around the starter clutch is to soft.

I'd assume Ducati updated the clutch, at least the original item number was replaced with a new one, but it would be nice to get a definite answer and some feedback from others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been reading on this forum about gear binding causing the issues due to the idle wheel pin location. It seems to be the most accurate thing in relationship to the facts. I'm always interested in learning more about these issues as well, so I can fix 'em when I see 'em. So far, I haven't yet run into anyone with this problem in person.
What is gear binding? What idle wheel pin?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Are you talking about No 8 (Intermediate gear pin)? They are now anchored on both sides (used to be in the crank case only if I remember correctly), so it should be improved. I'll roll that pin on glass to find out if its bent.


Besides that I just saw something else weird. The large timing gear No 13 sitting on the timing lay shaft No 3 is damn close to the crank case and the inside coating of the case is gone where the gear almost touches the case. It's so close that I can barely squeeze my fingernail in-between. Is that gear pushed in or are we observing another proof of fine Italian 'siesta' engineering?


I also attached a photo from the damage on the electric starter driven gear caused by the starter clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So what am I looking for? This damage looks exactly like the damage on the parts of my first 1198 SP. They are both the same year and the production number is within 100.

I was never low on oil, no excessive wheelies, only the obligatory power lift in 2nd when leaving pit. Both bikes saw the track only on a small handful of track days; no races.

I won't be able to reroute oil drainage or anything. For now it sound like $600 in parts and 1 full day of labor every 5k miles. I can put easily 10k miles on the Duc a year. Not sure I'm down for that twice a year...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I read about every starter clutch post on the web there is. There are many speculations out there: weak batteries, corroded terminals or wires, wire gauge to small, no copper wires, retarded ignition, big bore motor / high compression twin needs stronger starter setup, weak starter and so on.

But however you look at it, it's always the same part failing. Since the clutch is only at work when being started I doubt that the lubrication is gone quickly enough to cause these problems. By the way I never let a starter run for 15 min or anything. If the engine doesn't come on within 5 sec. there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

My starter clutches never started to spin freely; they always made a clunky noise and blocked the starter and engine from turning over. I could always start a cold engine immediately with some throttle but a hot engine resulted in being stuck at least once, than I could start it.

That being said I agree with tye1138: the starter clutch can't handle the momentum occurring mechanically to connected the starter with the engine without excessive and premature wear.

In my opinion it is up to us to address this general problem with Ducati letting them know that this is a recurring and premature defect that needs to be warranted and serviced until the problem is solved with updated parts if not generally recalled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Would a battery with higher CCA solve this problem?
That's what some say might help but the longer I think about it actually might make things worse.

A fully charged aftermarket battery with more amps and possibly higher crank voltage on better cables will provide a higher instant torque at the starter. Instead of 'slowly' building up energy with a weak setup and engaging slowly the starter clutch it will now be almost like a high torque impact wrench on the clutch.

The damage picture of the rolls on my clutch look like high impact and not excessive sliding. That would also go along with my clutches getting stuck and actually blocking the turnover instead of free spinning.

We might have 2 scenarios:

1.) Weak battery and wires + longer starting attempts = sliding clutch / free spinning

2.) Strong battery and wires + short starting attempts with high impact = rolls in clutch get mushroomed and block the entire clutch setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
http://www.ducati.org/forums/1098-1198/56607-2009-1198s-flywheel-nut.html

I feel your pain crockett. Check out post #9. On top of that though, invest in some nicer battery cables. Either make 'em or get that Motolectric kit; you're after smaller gauge (thicker) and pure copper cables. And obviously a fresh, perhaps stronger, battery.
Ha! I was referring to your post earlier. I doubt my pin is bent since I have the updated crank case cover. Still will check it.

Is your clutch working since your last repair? Any updates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
After talking to Ducati Italy I was just served with a generic email response from Ducati North America:

"Thank you for contacting Ducati.

We are sorry to learn of the concern you’ve experienced with your 1198 SP. The Ducati Limited Warranty is valid for two years from the date of original retail purchase, which will protect you from defects in workmanship and materials during that period. Ducati must adhere to its warranty policies in a uniform and consistent manner that is fair to all customers; therefore, compensation for repairs outside the terms and conditions of the factory warranty cannot be granted. While we sympathize with your situation, we are unable to accommodate your request.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us or an Authorized Ducati Dealership. To find an Authorized Ducati Dealership, please visit Ducati North America - Bikes, Equipment, Accessories, Racing, Company, Dealer - Official Site Ducati and click on "DEALERS" or utilize our dealer locator by phoning 1-800-231-6696."

They clearly didn't even bother reading my entire claim.

I will fix my bike with new parts out of my pocket and sell it. If anyone is looking for red 2011 1198 SP in excellent condition with around 4.5k miles let me know. Title in hand, located in FL.

This will be my last Ducati. I'll also file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for good measure.

Good luck guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Most disheartening! I have been researching my next bike for three years, but when I read threads like this it frankly scares me. I realize that by the nature of the forum, the majority of the posts are owners that are having problems, and you’re not going to see the “Help! My bike is perfect” post, but the thought of forking out a major cash, only to have something like this happens is concerning. So, after three years of study my first choice is Ducati, followed by, do I dare say the “A” word? Dang! Confused???????
Curt
If you have plenty of cash and time for repairs or ride the Ducati rarely a couple times a month; it's a piece of art and ok. If it's your only bike, you want to ride 10k+ miles a year without hickups.. forget it.

they (1x98) also ride like a bitch. It's different and 'interesting' at times.. but on the track.. they are a bitch. I'm so much faster on my GSXR 1000.
 
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