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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some Ducati-Veteran advice. Sorry for the noobness, but I've done my search, and have not gotten the exact answers I'm looking for. Read through the manual as well.

So, this 848 is my first Duc, and completely new to the Ducati scene. Despite whatever issues I have with the bike, I fall in love with her every time i see her, and look forward to doing all the servicing/maintenance. As for the ride - phenomenal. However, was only able to put a handful of miles on her last year - as I picked her up late last year, and the freezing temperatures weren't far behind.

In any case, been having some issues with cold-starts. When I last started my 848 in November, last year, it was about 40 degrees, and the bike did not want to stay on. Had to keep on the throttle until it reached normal operating temperature. If the motor was cold, it kept wanted to stall out. However, once I got the temp up, the bike was a dream to ride.

Then, in January, I tried to start the bike - no success. Had an AIR error, noticed that the outside temp sensor was unplugged. Plugged it back in, but the bike wouldn't start... Outside temp was around 30-degrees. Voltage on the dash read 11.2v, then dropped down to 10.8v, and dropped again to 10.2v..

Took the battery out, and put it on a 12v trickle charger (crap Black & Decker charger) for about a month. This weekend, about 35 degrees outside, I plugged the battery back in, and the voltage read 10.8v. Bike does not start, or even crank over...

I bought a new battery just in case, but have not had the chance to install yet. Manual says resting voltage should be between 12v-13v, so I suspect that my original battery is dying. Hence, despite it being on a trickle charger, the voltage still only reads 10.8v.

However, from my understanding and what I've read, I noticed that people have their resting voltage at 11v, and the bike turns over fine? Not sure what my issue is...

I'm going to try the new battery this weekend, and see if that works. However, do you guys suspect that it's a Voltage Regulator issue? My bike has less than 3200 miles, and I believe it's still on the same battery/voltage regulator.

Any advice on this would be great. I worry, because with my last bike (R6s), the bike started on the first try in 20-degree weather. Therefore, I'm wondering if Ducati's are really this finicky in cold weather, and this cold-weather start is the norm on these bikes.

Many thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Again, sorry about the noobness of this question.
 

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Yea, sounds like a bad battery to me. If you charge it externally and only get 10.8V, that's telling me one or more of the internal cells have failed. Generally speaking, voltage regulator problems can be circumvented by charing the battery externally. The battery should be up around 12.5 - 13v coming off the trickle charger. It's only when plugged into the bike and the bike running for a considerable about of time, that the voltage would drop again and the bike won't want to restart, with a bad voltage regulator.

So replace the battery and go from there.

Ohh and yes, Ducati's generally don't like starting in the cold. It's mostly due to the battery loosing max amperage when it's cold out.
 

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Any advice on this would be great. I worry, because with my last bike (R6s), the bike started on the first try in 20-degree weather. Therefore, I'm wondering if Ducati's are really this finicky in cold weather, and this cold-weather start is the norm on these bikes.
I agree that you need a new battery — but there's more to the answer.

Engines need more fuel for a cold start because there is no heat in the ports and chambers to keep the fuel atomized as vapor, so it stays as a liquid. Fuel as a liquid burns very badly in the combustion chamber, so throwing extra fuel at it ensures enough stays as vapor for some sort of combustion. Too much fuel and you foul the plugs.

One of the problems with shower-type injected bikes (like the 848) is how you start bike can result in problems. You can easily flood or foul plugs with shower injectors because much more of the initial fuel spray from shower injectors condenses on the cold surfaces of the throttle bodies and intake tracts before it can get down into the combustion chamber to aid startup.

So the method of starting is different than a R6.

In particular, you shouldn’t open the throttle until the engine fires up. You must simply hit the starter button and wait for the engine to come to life. Attempting to crack the throttle open will only force you to run the starter motor longer (and possibly drain the battery). Once the engine begins to idle, you can open the throttle at any time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yea, sounds like a bad battery to me. If you charge it externally and only get 10.8V, that's telling me one or more of the internal cells have failed. Generally speaking, voltage regulator problems can be circumvented by charing the battery externally. The battery should be up around 12.5 - 13v coming off the trickle charger. It's only when plugged into the bike and the bike running for a considerable about of time, that the voltage would drop again and the bike won't want to restart, with a bad voltage regulator.

So replace the battery and go from there.

Ohh and yes, Ducati's generally don't like starting in the cold. It's mostly due to the battery loosing max amperage when it's cold out.
Thanks for the input. Fingers crossed that it's just the battery. Will replace, and see if that solves the issue. I'll wait until it's at least 40 degrees out.

I agree that you need a new battery — but there's more to the answer.

Engines need more fuel for a cold start because there is no heat in the ports and chambers to keep the fuel atomized as vapor, so it stays as a liquid. Fuel as a liquid burns very badly in the combustion chamber, so throwing extra fuel at it ensures enough stays as vapor for some sort of combustion. Too much fuel and you foul the plugs.

One of the problems with shower-type injected bikes (like the 848) is how you start bike can result in problems. You can easily flood or foul plugs with shower injectors because much more of the initial fuel spray from shower injectors condenses on the cold surfaces of the throttle bodies and intake tracts before it can get down into the combustion chamber to aid startup.

So the method of starting is different than a R6.

In particular, you shouldn’t open the throttle until the engine fires up. You must simply hit the starter button and wait for the engine to come to life. Attempting to crack the throttle open will only force you to run the starter motor longer (and possibly drain the battery). Once the engine begins to idle, you can open the throttle at any time.
Thanks for the input and sharing your knowledge. Def new to the duc-scene, and want to do my best to take care of her... I'll be mindful of this - and be careful not to flood/foul those plugs. So damn sick of this cold... when's the warm weather coming!??!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Also, not sure if this matters... But I have slip-ons on my bike, have removed the Servo Motor - and installed the Duc.EE servo eliminator, and am on my stock ECU. Thanks!
 

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The slip-ons and Duc.EE won't affect it on start up. When the temps get below a certain amouny, oil gets a bit thicker and things are just a bit slower to turn over. Clutches etc etc. When this happens, you need a strong battery. I ride my bike down to temps of 0C (30F) and the difference from starting it at 20C is night and day to 10C and 10C is night and day to 0C. At 0C, which it was this morn when I fired it up, there's a ritual if you will to get it to start. Batter MUST be at at least 12.6, turn key on, turn key off and turn on once again, let bike sit till headlight goes off (30secs??) crank engine till oil light goes out then stop, crank again and as soon as oil light goes out, open throttle ever so slightly as it catches and starts right up. At 10C I just turn key on, let it sit till light goes out, crank till oil light goes out and open throttle slightly. When it's 20C, I just turn key on and crank and it fires up shortly after oil light goes out with no throttle or pissing around.

You need a good battery to fire up a big twin. I run the 18Ah battery from an 1198 and it's golden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Yea, sounds like a bad battery to me. If you charge it externally and only get 10.8V, that's telling me one or more of the internal cells have failed. Generally speaking, voltage regulator problems can be circumvented by charing the battery externally. The battery should be up around 12.5 - 13v coming off the trickle charger. It's only when plugged into the bike and the bike running for a considerable about of time, that the voltage would drop again and the bike won't want to restart, with a bad voltage regulator.

So replace the battery and go from there.

Ohh and yes, Ducati's generally don't like starting in the cold. It's mostly due to the battery loosing max amperage when it's cold out.
The slip-ons and Duc.EE won't affect it on start up. When the temps get below a certain amouny, oil gets a bit thicker and things are just a bit slower to turn over. Clutches etc etc. When this happens, you need a strong battery. I ride my bike down to temps of 0C (30F) and the difference from starting it at 20C is night and day to 10C and 10C is night and day to 0C. At 0C, which it was this morn when I fired it up, there's a ritual if you will to get it to start. Batter MUST be at at least 12.6, turn key on, turn key off and turn on once again, let bike sit till headlight goes off (30secs??) crank engine till oil light goes out then stop, crank again and as soon as oil light goes out, open throttle ever so slightly as it catches and starts right up. At 10C I just turn key on, let it sit till light goes out, crank till oil light goes out and open throttle slightly. When it's 20C, I just turn key on and crank and it fires up shortly after oil light goes out with no throttle or pissing around.

You need a good battery to fire up a big twin. I run the 18Ah battery from an 1198 and it's golden.
Thanks for the heads up on this. Due to the cold, looks like i may have jumped the gun. Given the wide range of seasons here, I should've done a little more research, and opted for a stronger battery. We're also expecting another 7-10 inches of snow tonight. When's this crap going to end?!?!

Is there a battery you recommend? I don't plan to track my bike this year, and it seems a lot of people here are running Shorai batteries... but, there's so many types out there.

I ended up getting a direct replacement of the battery I had on the bike. Yuasa YT12B-BS. I just filled the new battery with acid, so it's fresh, but have not had a chance to try it out yet. I'll give it a go - and go from there.

Thanks for your input! I'll try out your ritual, and see if I have to do a magical dance as well - haha :dance:
 

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All my cold start problems went away when I switched over to a Shorai lithium battery.:yo:
 

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Yeah I replaced my first 12Ah battery with a 14ah battery from a 1098 and it was ok. A few seasons ago I went to the Shorai LFX18A1-BS12 and it's been great. It's a bit more money than a regular battery but it has better cranking, smaller and much lighter than regular acid or gel batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All my cold start problems went away when I switched over to a Shorai lithium battery.:yo:
Yeah I replaced my first 12Ah battery with a 14ah battery from a 1098 and it was ok. A few seasons ago I went to the Shorai LFX18A1-BS12 and it's been great. It's a bit more money than a regular battery but it has better cranking, smaller and much lighter than regular acid or gel batteries.
Cool, thanks for the specific model on the Shorai. As for the cost, it's roughly 2x the cost of a Yuasa, but it seems it's well worth it. It'll be the next battery i buy, for sure.

Also, in our polar-vortex 10-degree weather, i think my tires froze - :confused:. I took it off the stands in my garage, and was able to slide the front tire with brakes applied. Talk about hockey pucks...
 

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Also, in our polar-vortex 10-degree weather, i think my tires froze - :confused:. I took it off the stands in my garage, and was able to slide the front tire with brakes applied. Talk about hockey pucks...
Well the good thing about 10 degrees is that you won't be tempted to ride it in that condition... right?:stickpoke
 

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The only problem with lithium batteries is that when they're cold, they actually have less amperage then when hot. It takes sometime to get them warm by holding the starter button down, before it will actually start the bike in the cold. Lead acid batteries are better in the cold, though still like to be warm in order to deliver the appropriate power.

I've been involved with testing between lithium and lead acid batteries because I've done promo work for a local retailer who sell's lithium's. We did lots of fun tests and the lithium's killed it in every single way besides cold. Shove them in the freezer and they aren't happy what so ever. We did find the Antigravity brand of lithium's to be A LOT BETTER, but most of that was due to the amperage. For the same size case as a Shorai, you get many more amp's for only a tiny bit more money. The 480 amp, 16 cell battery from Antigravity was the only one that coming out of the freezer, could be plugged into our 1198 test mule and would start on the first tap. The comparable Shorai took 15 seconds to warm up after repeated start attempts during the same test.

The marketing video I mentioned should be online soon, when it is I will post it here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The only problem with lithium batteries is that when they're cold, they actually have less amperage then when hot. It takes sometime to get them warm by holding the starter button down, before it will actually start the bike in the cold. Lead acid batteries are better in the cold, though still like to be warm in order to deliver the appropriate power.

I've been involved with testing between lithium and lead acid batteries because I've done promo work for a local retailer who sell's lithium's. We did lots of fun tests and the lithium's killed it in every single way besides cold. Shove them in the freezer and they aren't happy what so ever. We did find the Antigravity brand of lithium's to be A LOT BETTER, but most of that was due to the amperage. For the same size case as a Shorai, you get many more amp's for only a tiny bit more money. The 480 amp, 16 cell battery from Antigravity was the only one that coming out of the freezer, could be plugged into our 1198 test mule and would start on the first tap. The comparable Shorai took 15 seconds to warm up after repeated start attempts during the same test.

The marketing video I mentioned should be online soon, when it is I will post it here.
Awesome. Thanks for the heads up! Sounds like you have a pretty cool gig! :yo:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Went out for a quick few-mile ride yesterday. Temps were in the 50's, a bit windy, but not too bad.

The culprit for my cold-start issues was the battery. I put a fresh battery in - same one (the OEM battery - Yuasa) - and the bike started up right away. Took a second for the first crank, then hit the start button again, and it started right up. Had to keep the idle slightly higher in the beginning for the engine to get to temp, but no issues afterwards.

Went for a quick ride right away - bot forgot to check the fresh battery voltage in my excitement. Will see what the resting voltage is on the new battery - and will post it up here.

Thank you to all those that took the time to respond - and entertain my noobness to these machines. I'm still learning the ropes - and want to make sure I do everything right. Thank you, again... I truly appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, before the first day of spring hits (before the few inches of snow we're freaking getting today), wanted to admire the bike a little bit, and go for a quick ride... 2nd ride after the new battery.

Bike started up fine on the first go. Had to hold the starter down for a second - then, kicked over without issue. Since it's cold, I had to keep on the throttle a little bit (around 2-2.5k) to get the engine temp to register. No issues there...

Decided to see what readings i'm getting on the new battery, and at first, it registered 14.7... Then, fluctuates to 14.1-14.2... Then, sometimes, it dips to 12.8... Within a few seconds, it goes back up to 14.1...

Is this voltage fluctuation normal? Should I be getting ready to have a new voltage regulator on standby? I haven't noticed my dash flickering or my headlights turning off/on by itself - so any input would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help/advice. Still new to these ducks, and want to make sure I take good care of her... However, after working on cars for a few years, I have to say these things are a blast to play around with!!! Just took my carbon termi's off - and installed my new akra setup :lovebirds:
 

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