Almost there … If you’ve been following along, my bike has been dead for a while now. After dicking around with it for several weekends, I finally gave up and resolved I was in over my head. I had to manage a ride to the shop, but handled that finally around Christmas. Good news though, my mechanic has brought it back to life.
For those who aren’t familiar with the particulars of Ducatis, the key has a chip similar to many cars. The chip talks to the dash, which turns off the immobilizer, which tells the ECU to start the bike, and they’re all paired together. The dash, the ECU, and the key are all matched as a set. One Monday morning after an uneventful Friday commute my bike wouldn’t start.
The real problem was I had bragged on Friday about hitting 87,654 miles and how people talk shit about ‘Ducatis don’t last.’ Karma whispered to my bike over the weekend and said “Make him regret that.” I walked out Monday to a weird light show when I tried to start the bike, and it was completely dead.
Investigating online revealed the leading theory of the dash stuck in ‘key pairing mode’ that it couldn’t drop out of, or move to the next step of the pairing process. One suggestion was to check for one of the buttons stuck down forcing the dash into key-pairing mode. Opening the dash shell and investigating the buttons yielded no change. No amount of taking the bike off battery or pulling the fuses made it reset.
Clearly the dash was malfunctioning. When I finally got the bike to Nick up at Valley Desmo he had the ECU reflashed to remove the immobilizer which allowed the bike to start, but now I had no dash. We kicked around ideas for custom clocks after finding no cost effective OEMs online. Nick luckily found a 800 SuperSport dash on eBay for “stupid cheap” which went into my dash shell with little problem. The bike started right up, and all the sensors worked. Now I have pretty white face gauges with 2 miles! (yes, I know I have to disclose the actual mileage if/when I sell)
Upon investigation of the old dash, Nick found a few of the little bits had split and released their magic smoke. One of the bits apparently got so hot (the GEX bit on the right) the solder holding it on the PCB had melted. Not sure how this all happened. Age or rectifier failure over-voltaged the dash? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I’m almost there. I almost have my bike back. We’re catching it up on a lot of maintenance I had deferred for far too long, so the ticket won’t be cheap, but bike should be ready soon’ish.
With any luck, the weather will clear up to the point I can actually start riding again. Almost there.