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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Quick refresher... bought my 1198 in March. Something like 9800 miles on it.

Dealer sold it to me without the bike ever going through service when it was traded in. Clutch was shot. No problem, dealer replaced it. Took 3 weeks.
Bike has ALWAYS been hard to start, but it gets really bad in late May/early June. Dealer gets bike back. Bad sprague/starter/flanges. So they fix it. They gave it back to me for my track day, then they got it back to do the repair.

So I got the bike back Wednesday last week. I rode it on Friday. Bike stranded me in the middle of a 4 lane highway. It simply shut off. I was coming to a stop. No signs anything was wrong, etc. It died. I called the dealer. No response.

Today I took it out. Extremeley hard to start. I had to stop for fuel, it wouldnt restart. Literally 10 minutes of trying to start it, and it fired up. Showing all the same symptoms of the bad sprague. It drained the battery down far enough that I also had no headlights. Period. I had the front parking lights, and my tail light. But no headlights.

It died on me again today. Again, coming to a stop. Again, wouldnt restart. Again, symptoms like the sprague was toast. But now i see an oil leak.

Oil is leaking out of the vent on the airbox. And the airbox over the front cylinder is soaked, and now the oil is burning off of there.

So my long and drawn out question is what possible paths does the oil have from the crankcase to the airbox? Just the crankcase vent?

No wheelies.
IDK if it was overfilled by dealer or not.
No oil leak before dealer got bike from me.


HELP PLEASE!

EDIT- Problem is prevelent only when bike is hot. I just went outside, bike started just fine. Bike is cold- showing 120*F
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A couple pics:

current oil level:


breather looks a bit collapsed, not sure if it is molded like this:


airbox over front head:



puddle:



puddle from when it stranded me:
 

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This is a very sad tale. And not typical, by any means.

Some oil can end up in the airbox if:1. The engine is over-filled, 2. If the revs have been held very high for long periods, or 3. If the crankcase breather reed valve breaks up. I had one fail early on, with similar symptoms.

But with all your running and starting problems I would be back to where you bought it and tell them to fix it. You shouldn't be having all these issues (obviously) and they should be sorting it for you.

Sorry it has been like this so far. Apart from some radiator failures mine has given no trouble in quite a high mileage.
 

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you forgot #4 pat....blow-by due to piston rings worn out situation and inevitably pressurizing crankcases.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
if i had blow-by it wouldnt have just started after the dealer did the sprague.

Some oil is 1 thing, but I am thinking the amount of oil I am getting is just not right.

Pics above show oil level currently. I am not sure on the reed.

Bike is going back to dealer. AGAIN. This time I dont want it back until its right. If i need to get my attorney involved at this point, I will. I will also be contacting the bank.
 

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Yea, I agree with Pat, this is not typical behavior.

In fact, the 1198 is one of the strongest/most reliable superbikes Ducati has ever made in my opinion.

Is the oil level checked with the bike upright on a rear stand? The picture above doesn't make that obvious. An over-full crankcase can cause most of the symptoms you're describing outside of the bike not wanting to restart, which could be the sprague or simply a bad battery/Voltage regulator.

Sorry for the problems your having. Its unfortunate this is your first Ducati experience.
 

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You can ride a bike with blow by for months, start it up and ride that is.....I'm just stating another possibility which was missed.


if i had blow-by it wouldnt have just started after the dealer did the sprague.

Some oil is 1 thing, but I am thinking the amount of oil I am getting is just not right.

Pics above show oil level currently. I am not sure on the reed.

Bike is going back to dealer. AGAIN. This time I dont want it back until its right. If i need to get my attorney involved at this point, I will. I will also be contacting the bank.
 

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I came so close to buying a used 1098, I opted to take the loss taking the 848 new off the floor.

I'm sorry for the shit, it would be so frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yea, I agree with Pat, this is not typical behavior.

In fact, the 1198 is one of the strongest/most reliable superbikes Ducati has ever made in my opinion.

Is the oil level checked with the bike upright on a rear stand? The picture above doesn't make that obvious. An over-full crankcase can cause most of the symptoms you're describing outside of the bike not wanting to restart, which could be the sprague or simply a bad battery/Voltage regulator.

Sorry for the problems your having. Its unfortunate this is your first Ducati experience.
Yes Tye it was up on the stand when that pic was taken.

Bike has a new battery in it. It was replaced when trying to trouble shoot the hard start. Battery was load tested before install.

As far as the regulator- if the Ducati gauges can be trusted (not saying they cant), the bike shows 14.0/14.1 at idle. Never above 14.3
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You can ride a bike with blow by for months, start it up and ride that is.....I'm just stating another possibility which was missed.
I know its a possibility, i just think that with the dealer just having it all apart, symptoms of blow-by presenting now is slim.

Perhaps its me hoping you arent correct, but thinking you may be :(
 

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sorry to hear about that is there any way you could do a leak down test, that will tell you if in deed its blow by, what dealer you got the bike from
 

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Yes Tye it was up on the stand when that pic was taken.
Ok kool, then its clearly not the issue. Its a pain to replace the reeds, but you can see them if you take the hose off and give them a tap, see if they're stuck open. Another thing to look at when it comes to determining blow-by is the clutch pushrod seal. Pull the pressure plate off the clutch and examine the little rubber seal to see if its wet or has let any oil into the clutch assembly. I find if the pushrod seal is good, then the motor generally doesn't have blow-by issues. However, if the seal is caked in oil and even after replacement, it gets caked again, then its too much crankcase pressure. It was a never-ending issue with my Ducati race bikes, but was simply resolved by running a slightly lower oil level.

Bike has a new battery in it. It was replaced when trying to trouble shoot the hard start. Battery was load tested before install.

As far as the regulator- if the Ducati gauges can be trusted (not saying they cant), the bike shows 14.0/14.1 at idle. Never above 14.3
Hmm… neither one of those two things are good news. New battery and a regular that seems to be working. I mean, you clearly have something wrong, but its very unusual. Maybe your left side engine case is damaged slightly in manufacturing and its causing the sprague to fail?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Juan, I dont want to say what dealer it is, as I am certain its the bike, not the dealer. Everyone I have dealt with there has been helpful. And its not like they are attempting to hold me responsible, etc. That doesnt alleviate their portion of the responsibility... bike should have seen the service shop when it was traded in, and again when I told them the sale was contingent upon the bike being serviced.

Bike is back there now. Spoke with the GM of the dealer, in addition to the service manager. Will have an update by mid tomorrow. I have a track day on Monday, so I need to know ASAP if I need to cancel (pretty sure I do). Service manager is a control rider with the group hosting the day, so he knows all about it.
 
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