Almost there – Resurrection

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.

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Electrical problems-again

techIconSome of you might have noticed I’ve been pretty scarce and posts even more scarce.

I’ve been working through some personal stuff and on top of that my bike has been down, off and on, since the first of June.  Ten days of downtime and I thought I had it fixed, but it only ran for a couple days.  It’s been in the garage ever since in varying states of disassembly.  A month of commuting by train and two weeks driving my car, a week of that on a bad rear wheel hub.

I think I finally have it fixed after I found this:

Pro top – when your Ducati starts having electrical problems, check the effing rectifier.

Brevetti Ducati

techIconYou’d think a company that started as an electronics manufacturer would have good electronics on their motorcycle.  Think again.  My Pops told me something once like “Ducati has brilliant mechanical engineers, and horrible electronic engineers.”

Blows me away how a tiny little $15 part can completely take your bike out of commission.

After a week of not riding my bike to work, just too busy to diagnose, find the parts, and install the parts, I’m back on the road with some NAPA parts.  Big thanks to Howie and Nick over at Ducati Monster Forum. Two $15 relays from Autozone brought my bike back to life.  Maybe it’s just the car-commuting-cabin-fever talking, but it seemed to run much better on my Friday commute.  Better than it has in months.

I don’t know how people do it.  Thursday it took my 1:20 to get home from work, and that’s only 20 miles.  It was awful.  When I ride, I almost always see the same cars to- and from- work.  I don’t know how they can sit there chugging along at 10 miles per hour for an hour.  The worse part is once you realize you’re completely screwed, exiting the highway and going another way isn’t going to save you any time.

Ducati Monster chain and sprockets

techIconReplacing a chain and sprockets isn’t really hard, even when you’re like me and don’t have all the right tools.  You can get it done.  There’s nothing magical about doing it on a dual swingarm Ducati.  Process for a single-sided swingarm is different, but relatively the same.  I replaced mine the other day and took some pictures of the process, hopefully this will help you feel confident enough to do it yourself.

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DIY Moto Phone Mount

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With all the changes I’ve made to my Bonnevillle, I finally got around to solving the need for a cheap phone mount. I’d been planning on using the integrated mount system my iPhone case includes. It’s a Rokform case, but the mount is an adhesive type and I wanted it right on my handlebar beneath my dash/gage. They make a couple different moto mounts, but they’re kinda pricey. Continue reading

The World Is Calling, Your Bike Can Answer

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Any bike can take you there if you want to go. Don’t let excuses or nay-sayers stop you. My girlfriend and I took my Bonneville from Los Angeles to Vancouver this summer for three weeks. Every bike is different, but as riders, we need the same things; comfort, protection, range, reliability and fun. My 2009 Bonneville SE had a few of those checked off, but it still needed a few things to make it into a bonafide tourer. Here is a write up of the parts I needed, how they performed and a few pictures that I hope you enjoy. Continue reading