Monday, January 26, 2015
Ducati F1 Barnfind......No, Not Really!!!
This is sort of a barnfind in that I remembered that I had this old beast in the back of my garage. As you can see from the wires hanging down everywhere I am in the process of re-wiring this Italian masterpiece.
Actually the wiring is not so masterful. By the time I bought the bike in the late 90's the wiring had been pretty seriously bodged (as my English friends say). Several years ago, the bike simply stopped starting. I was forced to confront the reality of Italian electrics. Mapping the human genome was probably easier. First consider the resources. I have yet to see two identical wiring diagrams for this motorcycle. Interestingly enough, none of the diagrams that I have seen correspond to the actual wires and plugs on this bike. It has been a challenge.
I was forced to undertake this wiring project because the bike simply stopped starting about ten years ago. This problem was quickly traced to the wires running from the ignition sensors to the ECU's. These sensors and the wires were provided by Bosch. To my eye they were designed to be used in a dry environment. The wires themselves were fabric covered and relatively thin. In this bike they are required to run in very hot oil. Nothing good can come of this arrangement. Replacement wires are available but the sensors themselves are not presently available from any source. So I am left soldering and hoping that everything will workout.
While figuring out the ignition problems, I discovered that the wires leading from the alternator were grounding on the frame...one more problem to fix. Then my Ducati bretheren pointed out to me the benefits of a relay in the ignition/starting system...so another project was initiated. Then one day, I took a good look at the fuse box. One more thing to fix. Then, after changing the battery cables on my Monster another project was laid on. BTW, if you have a Ducati, you really need to change the battery cables. You will find that your bike is massively easier to start.
Below is a picture of the bike with the seat in place. I just rested it there for this picture. Below the seat is where the new wiring and fusebox are located. The bike is complete. It is just waiting for me to get back to work on it. Maybe after the Elsinore is up and running. As I mentioned in my last post, I can't wait to irritate my neighbors with the beautiful sounds of the Elsinore. Maybe after that experience they will better appreciate the sounds of the F1. To me this bike sounds like something from NASCAR.