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Discussion Starter #1
Saw this leak a couple of days ago. Upon taking the farings apart I realized its an oil leak.

A couple months ago I tried to install the lower radiator guard provided to me by the previous owner. Little did I know, those two bolts mounted on the plastic shield between two radiators are also the cam cover bolts.

Obviously, they both stripped because they are thread locked beyond belief. I was able to tap one out but not the other one. I put a new one but the other side was still loose.

Now I have this oil leak. So the question is if I am able to somehow get the other bolt out, can I simply replace them and it will stop leaking OR do I need to replace the head gasket?

Apparently, a lot of people have this issue when they try to install the lower radiator guard and the instructions don't mention any torque specs or specify that these are VERY important bolts. From the looks of the bolts, it just looks like its holding the plastic piece in place.

Considering taking it to a dealership but wouldn't mind fixing this myself if it's doable.

Any advice would be great!

Thanks.
 

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I have the same issue , mine was coming from worn out value cover gaskets not the head gasket.

I was so disappointed when I saw my leak , I only have 13000km on my bike too , how does a bike of this quality have leaks ? Crazy




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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have the same issue , mine was coming from worn out value cover gaskets not the head gasket.

I was so disappointed when I saw my leak , I only have 13000km on my bike too , how does a bike of this quality have leaks ? Crazy


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Hopefully, I can get the studs tightened up and it will solve my issue.

I share the same sentiment - brakes have been mushy since day one. Bled them multiple times and have to keep a lever lock on it. Front forks started leaking but luckily was able to fix it without taking them apart. The front tire is rubbing against the plastic piece between the two radiators. Paint is okay at best. And now this leak, granted, is my fault to an extent.

The bike has 5k miles! The reliability is seriously questionable. I have owned multiple bikes in the past and put 1000s of miles on them but such unreliability is certainly a first. They're beautiful, fun to ride but I don't really trust it.

For the amount of money these bikes go for, it's really sad. I thought my 2016 KTM 1290 Superduke Special edition was going to be unreliable but that bike has been chugging along and has over 9k miles, 3 track days. Just oil changes. And I ride that motorcycle, hard.

Oh well. I wanted to experience owning a Ducati but this has been not a pleasant experience so far. I know the purists might not agree with me but these are facts and I have a lot of experience owning motorcycles.

Fingers crossed! I will update this post once I have put some more time into it.
 

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Hi. Base on those pictures you posted , looks like you valve cover gasket failed . Same as what happened to me .

It’s not that hard to fix more of a pain , gasket is about 25.00




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Hopefully, I can get the studs tightened up and it will solve my issue.

I share the same sentiment - brakes have been mushy since day one. Bled them multiple times and have to keep a lever lock on it. Front forks started leaking but luckily was able to fix it without taking them apart. The front tire is rubbing against the plastic piece between the two radiators. Paint is okay at best. And now this leak, granted, is my fault to an extent.

The bike has 5k miles! The reliability is seriously questionable. I have owned multiple bikes in the past and put 1000s of miles on them but such unreliability is certainly a first. They're beautiful, fun to ride but I don't really trust it.

For the amount of money these bikes go for, it's really sad. I thought my 2016 KTM 1290 Superduke Special edition was going to be unreliable but that bike has been chugging along and has over 9k miles, 3 track days. Just oil changes. And I ride that motorcycle, hard.

Oh well. I wanted to experience owning a Ducati but this has been not a pleasant experience so far. I know the purists might not agree with me but these are facts and I have a lot of experience owning motorcycles.

Fingers crossed! I will update this post once I have put some more time into it.
Oil leak - if it's from installing the radiator guard, that's not Ducati's fault.

Brakes - define 'mushy'. The first pull feels so-so? If you pull it again it hardens up a bit, I just assume that's because of the ABS BS it has to go through.

My front forks only leaked after trying to ride wheelies. They did over 50,000 miles through rain, salt, snow, and MUD and never had a problem.

Front tire - some people have this issue, others don't. I don't understand that bit.

Paint - what's wrong with it? Mine has only gotten sandblasted on the lower fairing right behind the rear wheel. I have actually (accidentally) scratched mine while washing it and you can't even see it due to the paint being satin. That's A+ in my book vs scratching gloss.

As far as reliability, I just turned over 75,000 miles on my 899 last night. The only "problems" I ever had were the front headgasket wept a little bit and was replaced under warranty around 50k miles, it didn't leak enough to make the oil level go down. If you don't replace the valve cover gaskets when you have your 15k services done, they will leak. They just get hard and don't seal well after. There was also an update that went out to the dealers about sealing these a different way than they were in the factory. I've never had one leak after it was replaced.

Other than that, I had the ABS pump fail and it also was replaced under warranty. That only affected the rear brake. The front was used for tens of thousands of miles until I realized what was wrong and it was fixed.

So reliability, for me, owning an Italian bike...... is outstanding.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oil leak - if it's from installing the radiator guard, that's not Ducati's fault.

Brakes - define 'mushy'. The first pull feels so-so? If you pull it again it hardens up a bit, I just assume that's because of the ABS BS it has to go through.

My front forks only leaked after trying to ride wheelies. They did over 50,000 miles through rain, salt, snow, and MUD and never had a problem.

Front tire - some people have this issue, others don't. I don't understand that bit.

Paint - what's wrong with it? Mine has only gotten sandblasted on the lower fairing right behind the rear wheel. I have actually (accidentally) scratched mine while washing it and you can't even see it due to the paint being satin. That's A+ in my book vs scratching gloss.

As far as reliability, I just turned over 75,000 miles on my 899 last night. The only "problems" I ever had were the front headgasket wept a little bit and was replaced under warranty around 50k miles, it didn't leak enough to make the oil level go down. If you don't replace the valve cover gaskets when you have your 15k services done, they will leak. They just get hard and don't seal well after. There was also an update that went out to the dealers about sealing these a different way than they were in the factory. I've never had one leak after it was replaced.

Other than that, I had the ABS pump fail and it also was replaced under warranty. That only affected the rear brake. The front was used for tens of thousands of miles until I realized what was wrong and it was fixed.

So reliability, for me, owning an Italian bike...... is outstanding.
Glad you are having an amazing experience owning an Italian bike!

As aforementioned, never said that the oil leak because of radiator guard installation is Ducati's fault. This was 100% my doing which has been fixed now.

Leaky forks? Give it a benefit of doubt as well. BTW, I have owned motorcycles and have put over 20k miles on the forks before even seeing a drop of the oil leak.

Mushy brakes - unacceptable. This isn't my first bike with ABS. ABS or no ABS - no bike should require the brakes to be pumped twice to get acceptable braking. Especially Brembo brakes. My KTM has Brembo brakes with ABS and doesn't have such issues. Also, this is not a new issue. Upon further research, I found that the brake issue has been present in so many Ducati bikes. 848, 1199, 1299. Just look it up and you'll see plenty of threads.

Front tire rubbing - that's just a design flaw. No other way to put it.

I can't really explain the paint situation without taking multiple photos. It's not the best. Very easily scratched. Nothing to lose sleep over but again, this is an expensive bike.

I also found a very minor weeping from the back cylinder (under the rider's seat). That's probably the head gasket as you mentioned. Nothing crazy but again, 5k miles.

I am sure plenty of people are have amazing experience owning the 899 and will continue having it. But there are also plenty of people with all these issues. Genuinely happy to hear that you are chugging away but not the same for me and many others.
 

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I am sure plenty of people are have amazing experience owning the 899 and will continue having it. But there are also plenty of people with all these issues. Genuinely happy to hear that you are chugging away but not the same for me and many others.
Right, but the things you hear mostly (on forums like this) are all the problems people have. Not many people show up to post about how great their bike is. There are probably plenty of us out there. :tango_face_wink:
 

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Right. Exactly my point. People do come to forums when they have problems.

Especially big problems creeping up at such low miles. Also, most of these bikes barely see high mileage or are simply taken to the dealership for all services. No need for them to seek advice on forums.

I've read your threads and you have or had the extended warranty. In my case, I don't. Imagine dropping 10,000+ USD on a bike with 4k miles. Within the first 1k miles you already start having major issues. The head gasket might just end up costing well over a grand in labor. That's just bad.

Again, not saying there are not stellar examples out there but there are also plenty of bad apples as well. And those are the ones who seek advice.



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Right. Exactly my point. People do come to forums when they have problems.

Especially big problems creeping up at such low miles. Also, most of these bikes barely see high mileage or are simply taken to the dealership for all services. No need for them to seek advice on forums.

I've read your threads and you have or had the extended warranty. In my case, I don't. Imagine dropping 10,000+ USD on a bike with 4k miles. Within the first 1k miles you already start having major issues. The head gasket might just end up costing well over a grand in labor. That's just bad.

Again, not saying there are not stellar examples out there but there are also plenty of bad apples as well. And those are the ones who seek advice.
The extended warranty covered the ABS thing, but the headgasket was still within the first 2 years of ownership and under the factory warranty. I figured if I put enough miles on quick enough, I'd work out the bugs lol.

I guarantee the headgasket will be over a grand, they drop the motor to do it (at least they did when my front cylinder leaked--the rear may be doable by removing the subframe). The main problem I see with these bikes is that a lot of work can be done at home if you are capable, but there's always some things (usually involved the motor or suspension) that require special tools, and that's the ***** of it.

I try and give advice when I can, because I may have a little more insight into how long a part will last or if I've had something weird happen that also has happened to someone else.
 

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I have an exact leak and didn't realized it was from those bolt until I read your post...

So did the tightening the bolt fixed it?

Glad you are having an amazing experience owning an Italian bike!

As aforementioned, never said that the oil leak because of radiator guard installation is Ducati's fault. This was 100% my doing which has been fixed now.
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Alchemistioan, did you end up having to replace the lower radiator? I recently noticed mine has an oil stain too (i don't have radiator guards though). I'm curious if the radiator is no good now, as well as everything else covered in oil.
 

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Tightening valve covers won't fix a leak, bite the bullet and replace the valve cover gaskets. If you bike is close to having a valve check who ever does it will replace them if it's not close do a bit of research and have a go yourself, you can do it over a weekend if your handy.
 

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Tightening valve covers won't fix a leak, bite the bullet and replace the valve cover gaskets. If you bike is close to having a valve check who ever does it will replace them if it's not close do a bit of research and have a go yourself, you can do it over a weekend if your handy.
Is it true the radiator needs to come out to replace the valve cover on the horizontal?
 

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It's easier than you think some have done it by loosening the radiator, I pull it out it ends up being easier with plenty of room and no non sense.
 
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Alchemistioan, did you end up having to replace the lower radiator? I recently noticed mine has an oil stain too (i don't have radiator guards though). I'm curious if the radiator is no good now, as well as everything else covered in oil.
You can use air conditioner coil cleaner, it's sold at Home Depot near the window air conditioners and replacement parts. Aerosol can with a scrubber top - do not use the scrubber top on the radiator. Wet everything including the body first, then dowse it with the cleaner foam and let it expand and work for a few minutes. Work it in with a soft brush, then liberally hose it down and try to make sure you spray head on so the water goes straight through the fins. You may need to repeat once or twice but I had good luck with this method cleaning my radiator that had some sections completely clogged with grime.
 

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I have been working on a leaking horizontal valve cover over the past couple weeks as I've had time. (I really only have a couple hours a day if I can get to it after work and our son is in bed.) One thing I found was that the bottom of the valve cover isn't flat - there are feet/tabs around the bolt holes that make the cover stand up off the head, but also make the compression of the gasket restricted to a fixed point when they bottom out.

I took the valve cover and machined these feet/tabs down a little less than 1mm and checked them on a granite countertop to be sure they were flat. I then reinstalled the cover with a new gasket, using sealant on the factory recommended areas at the corners of the semi-circles as well as a 1mm bead of sealant on the lower half of the gasket where it meets the head surface. I let the gasket maker sit for an hour at finger tightness on the bolts before working up to torque spec in three progressive stages. I noticed the gasket did get a bit better "squish" on the gasket once everything was torqued down.

I'm at the point now where coolant is back in the bike and tonight I will reinstall the front wheel and some other ancillary bits that had to come off to get to everything, then tomorrow during the day take it outside to run it up to temperature and check the coolant levels again. After that, it's updating the computer with TuneBoy cruise and tune along with their quickshifter/auto-blipper. Monday night I leave for Florida for a couple track days later in the week so we will see how it holds up.

Also, I used the coil cleaner and a soft plastic bristle brush again on the lower radiator to clean it up and it worked well. It was nice to be able to get the whole radiator and shroud assembly away from the bike for a good cleaning on both sides and all around. It was also super easy to install the R&G radiator guards I've been sitting on since July as compared to trying (and failing) to do it when everything was on the bike.
 

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I'm at the point now where coolant is back in the bike and tonight I will reinstall the front wheel and some other ancillary bits that had to come off to get to everything, then tomorrow during the day take it outside to run it up to temperature and check the coolant levels again. After that, it's updating the computer with TuneBoy cruise and tune along with their quickshifter/auto-blipper. Monday night I leave for Florida for a couple track days later in the week so we will see how it holds up.

Also, I used the coil cleaner and a soft plastic bristle brush again on the lower radiator to clean it up and it worked well. It was nice to be able to get the whole radiator and shroud assembly away from the bike for a good cleaning on both sides and all around. It was also super easy to install the R&G radiator guards I've been sitting on since July as compared to trying (and failing) to do it when everything was on the bike.

Do you need to do a TuneBoy thing every time you do this work? I usually go to the dealership but I have been wondering how people do maintenance at home; doesn't the computer need to be updated with every maintenance performed?

Also, you're in Swansea but going to Florida with the bike?
 

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Do you need to do a TuneBoy thing every time you do this work? I usually go to the dealership but I have been wondering how people do maintenance at home; doesn't the computer need to be updated with every maintenance performed?

Also, you're in Swansea but going to Florida with the bike?
No, I just hadn't yet installed the TuneBoy products so it really has nothing to do with this issue.

Yes, Swansea to Florida for two days private track event at Jennings GP. It was a blast! Went through a front tire and a little more than two rears in the two days.
 

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Got an update:

After my last post (last summer) I bought the gaskets (internal and external) but I had my local dealership install them.

Now 10 months later I noticed the oil was lower, so I brought the bike back to the dealership. They just called me back saying there's an oil leak from the gasket again and it needs to be replaced again. She said maybe they can do a warranty claim since they installed the new gaskets less than a year ago. The shop was closing so she said she will look into it on Tuesday when they open back up.

I hope they can warranty it but I doubt it considering I supplied the gaskets myself.

Anyone have any advice on what causes a leak on 10-month-old-gaskets?

On Tuesday I'm going to call the dealer and ask which sealer they used on the gaskets, maybe that is the issue? Which sealer do you guys recommend currently?
 
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