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Discussion Starter #1
Expereinced something strange with the display on my '10 848 yesterday.

Shortly after the low fuel indicator illuminated, I pulled into a gas station to take on fuel. When I looked down at the display, the yellow service light was lit (along with green neutral and yellow low fuel).

I turned the bike off, fueled up and restarted with no problem. The service light stayed off and everything functioned normally.

Fewer than 5 minutes later, I noticed the backlight of the display was flickering. During periods where the backlight was out, the turn signal indicators (green on the dash) would not illuminate. It was mid-day so I couldn't see if the turn signals themselves were working. The display continued to show speed, revs, temps, etc.

When stopped at a light, I noticed that the headlight would also turn off during these random outages of the display backlighting.

Finally, the service light sometimes illuminated during these episodes. Perhaps as frequently as one out of three times it lit up. I was unsuccessful at displaying a code as each time I noticed it, it extinguished before I could cycle to the code.

So to recap the symptoms: Bike running fine, display accuratly showing all of the parameters it should be. When display backlight intermittantly goes out, the row of idiot lights at the bottom of the display do not illuminate and headlight goes out.

Clearly I'll undress the bike and check connections, fuses, etc. but given the history with these bikes and the VR, I'm wondering if anyone has seen symptoms like these. Many of the VR threads speak of similar symptoms but none exactly like this.

Thanks!
 

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a quick visual inspection of the vr will confirm your suspicion. look on the backside of the unit, you should see telltale signs if it's the vr.
 

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Sounds like corrosion on contacts / wiring problem / ground issue.

Check the small grounding cable on ECU that is bolted to ECU heatsink. It causes flickering of display if corroded / not connected. It is cable with ring terminal on both sides. One is bolted to ECU heatsink, other one to battery housing/ground.
 

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Yep, sounds like you should go through the main battery connections and check the ground's. It could be something that simple. I'd also verify your charging system's condition by simply running the motor and measuring the battery terminals with a multimeter. You should get around 14v+ when the charging circuit is working properly.
 

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I'm having strange engine symptoms on my 1098, wondering if it could be my VR. It's a 2007 and previous owner has no record of its replacement. It's got about 10,000 miles so I would imagine it would have been done by now. Anyway, the engine is surging, bucking like a wild bronco under throttle between 3-4k revs. I'm also dealing with adjustments to my Starlane quickshifter, so it may be that as well. Has anybody ever heard of a bad VR causing that sort of bizarre engine behavior? My dash shows no warning lights.
Thanks in advance for any ldeas.
Greg
 

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Bad voltage regulators can cause a wide variety of electronic induced issues. The whole point of the regulator is to smoothen out AND convert the AC signal from the stator into the clean DC sinewave. It does this using an integrated circuit and unfortunately, they're very sensitive to heat, even though the byproduct of this conversion IS heat. With most Ducati superbikes, the regulator is located near the exhaust, which generates more heat. So the potential for failure is much higher then it would be if lets say, the regulator was mounted up under the seat like a lot of other bikes including some Ducati's of older vintage.
 

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So, does any of that address my post #5?
Contact any Ducati dealer with your VIN # and they can tell you if the VR has been replaced. The surging might be a TPS issue??
 

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No problem. Couldn't hurt to check, tighten, and clean terminal connections and apply some dialectic grease. And check all of your fuses too. I am by no means an electrician but that's where I would start. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I removed and inspected the VR - it looked fine. Do they generally melt or distort the expoxy when they die? I suspect that is not always the case. I cleaned contacts and various ground connections then reassembled the bike. I couldn't get the condition to repeat but I'd imagine that if the VR is on it's last legs, I'm due for a suprise.
 

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Usually there is nothing physically wrong with the unit.

The good news is, the bike SHOULD run perfectly fine without it. Of course… before the battery dies. But it would be a good test! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wanted to close the loop with you guys on this.

Shortly after our VR discussion above, I pulled the bike out and attempted to start it. Engine turned over very, very slowly but eventually started. Interesting because the tricke charger and voltmeter indicated a full charge.

Realizing that the battery was 4 years old, I opted to replace it before investing in a new VR. Happy to report that she's been running perfectly for a couple weeks now. VR delivering low 14 volts consistently and no weird outages or behavior from the electrical system.

Also interesting to me is that the old battery is still throwing 13+ volts on the bench. Very low amps when connected to a load so I'm assuming it must have a bad cell (or whatever AGM batteries have these days).

I was quick to want to blame the VR but glad it was just a battery in the end.
 

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Glad it's fixed! Yea the stock batteries are pretty bad, they don't last long unfortunately. :(
 
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