Ducati Diary

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Ducati Apollo v4

6 th November 2006

44,535kms. shop service . Took the 748 to Ducati ( www.zag.com.au )for a service which included:

— Engine oil oil filter

Cam belts

— air filters

— spark plugs

fork oil (5wt)

— clutch fluid


Drive chain, fuel settings, valve clearances, bearing, steering bearings, inspection etc.

Things found:

One of the 2x mounting bolts on the sprocket had snapped, they the remains of the bolt to replace it a new one. The Countershaft sprocket is on by 2x bolts that fix a plate ‘locks’ the sprocket into you would need to lose mounting bolts have the plate rotate 30 degrees the sprocket would even to drift on the output shaft.

I feel any drive train or noise so it was a surprise to me that the bolt snapped in the first With the standard countershaft cover in place you cannot inspect the sprocket without it. I suppose it’s a good for a ‘cut-down’ race or smaller cover instead so you can see these before you ‘feel’ them.

when inspecting the valve the forward- horizontal piston’s inlet valve lifter had a collet, which fragmented 2 halves into four but still remained in place on the stem groove. Not a major in that the collets sit fixed the shim buckets within the in the valve stem, the fragments of the were still fixed when the engine was operating worked loose when the arms shim buckets removed off the valve.

Although might explain the large measurement I found of that inlet valve when I it back in 2002. Even the clearance measure was greater the ‘ideal’ setting it was still service limits so I left it. One of the there said that the may have shattered after prolonged high rpm running clearances greater than the

I noticed on the ride home the idle was set at 1300rpm instead of the previously, not sure if that was how it be but it just felt odd sitting at the with the tick-over so high.

The was $1223.90 in total. Yep, not at all. Anyone reading might think servicing for Ducati’s are outrageously expensive, they are have been for a long time now. though Ducati are addressing issue with their new (ie: ’07 2 valve Desmos the Multistrada Monsters will see 40% servicing costs higher between major servicing anyone like myself a Desmo-quattro ’94 to ’05 will continue to out handsomely.

Although this is labour costs if you can do the work you can save some big dollars gain a deeper understanding of magnificent machines.

24 th April

Ride — Up late morning, eating the 4-course breaky my special lady so well. flicking through the issue of Desmoto – Ducati of Vic mag – I came across the events and just noticed that had a track day @ Winton. Suited I north.

On the Hume at about it clocked 10:30am and it dawned on me I wasn’t making Winton in any to make late bike (that like their with the glass taped up for work) or scrutineering, so I turned off for Yea Mansfield Whitfield Winton. early afternoon for a poke a chin wag.

The fab stretch from Mansfield was at it’s along it I came across 2x bikes (stopped at one) but in cases the bikes where on sidestands with not a sole to be (ZX2R CBR6 ’97), just outa Tomile was a of Ulysses-ans on a BMW 1100 (mothership-thing heated grips) with a clutch cable. Without able to help them get I offered to catch up their (who would be in Whitfield by to let ‘em know etc.

Out of Whitfield I some back rds to Winton.

The turn out was low key with 2 sessions 15 bikes each – including 6 riding, they used the course. Very temped to get in on the couple of sessions, but having to up the bike forking over (full day fee) for the 2 remaining well.

The way back I turned off the at Violet Town to Strathbogie onto Merton Yea etc. was a mistake, the rd to Strathbogie was under the whole way with dirt all the place even though it had nice corners in it (maybe I come back when the is done). I got lost south of doubled back to the Euroa-Merton rd had a nice little twisty bit in which made this worth it.

20 th March 2005.

ringing in the ears, dull in the palms a sore arse… have just been on a bit of a

Saturday morning’s comedy of doing my fork oil almost to put a hold on any plans for a group out to Licola Sunday morning. It off with a perilous hoisting of the end with a car jack placed the forward cylinder of the 748 which to go unsteady more than added to that a recalisitrant calliper mount bolt drop at least one calliper to the front wheel), as well as to mix 50/50 the 5weight 10weight oil before measuring it into the (the 748 Showa forks 7.5weight fork oil), off with not being able to on the damping rod to the cap under the tension of the spring without a liberal of human blood. Added a 1 st party Ѕ way through the day, 5 hrs of backyard-mechanic swearing time I it in 11pm Saturday night a dark cloud.

Sunday morning, the bike propped up on the car jack the front end was there everywhere, it sure look like I was going to do riding, but what a difference a makes, all just came just sweet like I was to roll by 10:30am. Even I missed the planned start for the group ride @ 9am Pakenham (about 1 Ѕ hours ride my place) I thought maybe I catch them up if I dropped the – Pakenham — went to Yarra Junction Powelltown Moe Yallourn Glengarry Glenmaggie I figured that group stop a fair amount I make some ground up just motoring on just for fuel.

I hadn’t been Powelltown Noojee in ages, the time in pouring rain so all I was taking it way easy. In 27degree it was a blast. It was good to see that the through Fumina South End was now sealed even though out between the daily farms had mud in some corners.

I fuelled up at Moe the road through Yallourn, power stations look with their cooling Then onto Glengarry Glenmaggie up to Licola.

I remember the time I came across little road from to Licola, it was 1990 I was riding my old KLR650 taking the dirt down from Jamison for adventure. I thought I would be it up in the dirt but there I was chucking this ungainly tanker of a through those bitumen south of Licola, the front valiantly pitching the bike as if it was looking to buck me off.

I Lake Glenmaggie I hook a the road then wound some open grassland on top of a of hills. I just basically long rolling on of the throttle the most of the open corners, though I buttoned off for those crests that then left or right, but you just sure until you got over

The road then tightens up as it through bush, hugging a (Macalister?) then up along the of a ridge with some cuttings in each corner. I remember the painted dotted in the centre of the road of this but last time I was down it was the oncoming log trucks that I an eye out for. As it was Sunday I was hoping would be decent Christian observing the sacred day of rest.

into Licola 40kms tired sweaty, hmm, have been having fun there. There was no one about, from the general store, a of touring 4wds (they’re a here) the constant drone of the generator (they don’t get out this far). I went the loose change I had grabbed a ice cream a pie (supporting the local found a tree; some a nice lie down.

30 minutes I was off back again. Looks I had missed the guys altogether, it was good idea to check it out On the way back through the twisty with rocky cutting I swear I was hearing this sound right up my arse, another bike or something. I was my mirrors doing head-checks at the corners, nothing. Then I it was just my bike coming off the face.

Coming into again I took the turnoff to out the town, I remember a long bridge that I nearly my Zephyr on so I figured I’d check it Yep, there it was, a timber paling bridge. in a little worst condition last time I saw it (5yrs

And wouldn’t you know it I nearly the front again this – there are some gaps in the that love to railroad a tyre.

Out to Heyfield home. I was kinda sore took the home to get it over with.

6 th 2005.

Ride, Mt Buller . I had an of going on a group ride a new mob (never ridden b4 with – Netrider/OCAUMC) this Sunday but I to ride out on my own up to Mt Buller about from Melbourne. Mostly I didn’t want to ride all and group rides usually stops more often and for , don’t really cover much distance even it would take up the lion of the day. I just wanted to out, cover ground get my head around riding out for kms again (haven’t trekked out in suss out this new final I recently got done.

We’ve had pretty wacky over this last storms cold temps mid Summer), so I thought heading up to to check out snow in February was a move. With heaps of brought down in Melbourne due to weather I was prepared for some surprises around those corners on the way up to the top.

The weather was much prefect for a ride day. Pretty uneventful, spot any cops out saw heaps of around. Even a group of out at the pub in Flowerdale! Lots of cruisers

Riding out to Buller I went WhittleseaYeaMansfieldBuller. Considered going of Lake Eildon, Eildon to but that stretch of dirt 15kms) put me off even though some twistes road before after, maybe time. I opened up the Ducati in stretches, the lower final no problem with top speed, just meant that it sat on @ 120kms/hr instead of 5,500rpm if anything it felt like get-up go with roll-on mauver which is good.

up at Mansfield out to the Mount. This is I saw the biggest impact of the lower drive (from 14fr/38rear to going through the gears it sweeter, staying in the nice part of the rev range. It gave the bike a more fluid feel to it, as if each gear was almost seamless in comparison.

The run up was flowing but I wasn’t really out, there was lots of gravel washed onto the so I took it kinda cruisy I had to, just enjoyed to ride, the Ducati’s booming cans from the road cutting the air. There was snow up in corners shady parts water running off from the snow in places.

Up at the top I planned on the dirt trail right up to the but the melting snow incline that clay-mix gravel muddy pretty hairy my Pirelli Corsas, with than one occasion where the tyre wandered off on it’s own me trying to hold the show I parked off to one side walked off for a catching the views. The ride from the summit to the Alpine was mostly along the side of the riding in the grassy verge my tyres could bite something solid, still not fun through (I suppose mud off-road was not of it’s design brief).

On the way the couple of really tight with a change in elevation much harder to negotiate on the way up. Also a few months ago they had a car up here there are skid all over the place, which it hard to pick a good without going over the wrong side with all tyre marks everywhere. back was pretty straightforward.

that getting into the with all the stop-start going the in sprockets also helped the inherent snatchiness of riding a in this sort of stuff.

29 th 2005.

Replaced chain/sprockets . sprocket carrier rear 14/39, Regina Gold $664.00. [Standard final

Washing the 748 down one evening I that I lost 2x teeth off the sprocket [opposite ends of the Odd really, as even though the on this set was getting high for a as twins seem to go through more than in-line 4s, I I would be seeing the sprocket wearing over – start to like ocean waves – anything like losing would happen.

Over the couple of months I found standard factory final ratio – 14front, 38rear, the engine a little tall in places. OK on open road but in the twisties or track days seemed to be a gulf in-between gear change with it difficult keeping the engine in the spot between gear

I found this especially at the track in the esses out the back down at Phillip Island even thought it’s a sweeping track I didn’t get to use 6 th to rest the engine coasting the end of Gardiner’s Straight. So I looked at change in the final drive to try a shorter ratio. I know of spec’ed 748’s running but I reckon 14/39 (from would be a step in the right without going in too deep.

of the rear sprocket from OEM was astronomical, so going aftermarket AFAM, taking advantage of the rear sprocket carrier (which allows to you change the sprocket without dismantling the cush-drive unit, also it make future sprocket cheaper. The rear sprocket is not steel which might it’ll wear faster as previous experienced with the I had.

I had it done @ Melbourne (Zagame m’cycles) due to my lack of a for the rear axel nut (41mm) peener.

19 th October 2004.

Ride Bright, Mt Hotham. Originally through mcnews.com.au (‘net this was a multi-day post-GP through the Alpine area from Bright going up then heading home As I had the ‘Bay ride on Sunday ride 210kms around Phillip Bay), I only up on the Tuesday to meet up with the for the day.

Route from Up the Hume to Broadford Strath Yea Mansfield Whitfield Myrtleford

Great weather, great great company. Total for the day 967kms.

More details to

12th October 2004.

repair not done through

In between being Mr fix-it the bathroom due to some busted I’ve polished off the scratches my recent off on the Ducati 748 (’97 to get it mobile. Not much was required bit of bending back (footpeg etc), replacing some parts (indicator/levers), and sending fairings off for a recoat.

Part of excersie was replacing the inner hub on the dry clutch of the 748, as 3x of the 6 spring were sheared of in the fall. I (limped) over to my local Duc to get their rachet gun on the clutch hub nut to 130nm), besides I didn’t a clutch retainer required to fix the while I spun off the nut.

off the clutch plates [driven are the round ones with the inside edge which fix to the clutch hub the friction plates are the with the external tabs fix them to the clutch basket outer] I found that the plate (where the springs act on) was on a friction plate which was at the top of the instead of a driven-plate as outlined on my manual (and also how I reassembled my plate stack). 2x driven plates sat next to other halfway down the [as well as the 2x driven plates at the of the stack required for support at the of the stack which is OK as per the manual].

sound like a big deal, like the clutch replacement I had through a dealer recently up the clutch plate stack on getting at least 600kms free.

Maybe it was a big deal.

the new hub was in, I reassembled the plate stack as I it, having the friction plate on the top installed the pressure plate it’s springs etc. the clutch with the engine off I that pulling in the lever the plate lifted off the stack the top plate’s tabs were able to clear the clutch tabs.

This might that the top friction plate was able to spin free of the basket perhaps jam up between the top of the tabs against the pressure This would mean the would engage with the fully in.

I fired up the engine the lever. Sure enough the top plate was almost going of the basket tabs with the all the way in.

Later I reassembled the stack as in the manual ran the bike. The top plate, now a plate was clearing the basket but the uppermost friction plate the basket tabs with the all the way in.[The clutch hub runs into the pressure plate so the plate can’t work of the hub with the clutch disengaged].

got me thinking back to what on that bend up at Lake

The rear end broke free I a hand full of clutch cut the Even though it all lasted at the 3 seconds, I can’t remember the engine rev free after the clutch. Maybe the clutch when it was fully pulled out the loss of traction of the rear to bring it all the way around.

Dunno. got me thinking is all. Not much to go on, not I can go back to the dealer who originally a new clutch take them to about it.

Not even sure if I’m thinking could have Makes the incident seem not so though. I remember thinking after I dropped it how the phark did happen?.

5 th September 2004.

crash . Sunday dawned too of a beautiful day to pass up a ride out on the to somewhere tranquil twisty. So off I north to Whittlesea (from then across to Yea, Eildon a planned circumnavigate to black spurs.

The route in a nice leisurely wander by Yea, Molesworth, catching little ‘b’ road south of to Alexandra. Rolling out of Alexandra Eildon, I took a left Lake Eildon National hoping to get some curves Eildon itself. Even I did this road many before this time was a little surprise around one of the just 100mts out from ‘roundabout in the middle of nowhere.

through another sharp corner all hangin’ off my bike as you do in sort of going I rounded the to see an oncoming red BMW 3-series right in the middle of the road, most going wide from a corner. But this wasn’t much a problem for me as I normally the odd 20% off from WFO just in case, so I in tighter hugged the inside of my as much as I could, leaving red BMW blur past me with to spare. But there was no time for the you gestures as the next right-hander was up so I began to crank it over.

This is where it got tricky.

up at the apex, I crank over for the upcoming right-hander, knee in the I roll the throttle slightly. the rear slides way out from me. In what seemed less a second I vainly counter shut off the throttle, going in a shower of sparks the sound of scraping.

I low side slide the road feet first my 748 spin on its right side over (twice). I kinda do that ‘stand up before stopped sliding’ thing once landing on my back (wearing a backpack).

Funny how quiet it can get right at this

On my feet, I get over to my bike, I how pharked up my leathers are on my right shoulder, worn through to the on the elbow (Daniese 2-piece with plastic armour and my right glove is almost from my hand. In true fashion my little finger is bleeding so I stand there for 10 trying to wiggle it. Yep, yep I can it, but just a little bit.

The I just know how crash-friendly Ducati’s superbikes are [sic] so the worst I look down at it on it’s right side in the of the road, the left side shining immaculate up at me. ‘Bend knee Katie’, left on the rear subframe, right on the chest up hard on the side of the up she comes.

I take stock: No brake lever, bent/worn brake lever, fairing through to the battery (Ducati’s the batteries alongside the engine) the front indicator is as limp as my for all this. What’s good? still there, footpeg there but a little worn tank ducktail OK.

I check the we have lights, so I jump on, in start her up. She fires in a second. As in the middle of the road I go to motor off to the I find first, little clutch out, suddenly this massive amount of gnashing sound coming out the clutch the bike stalls.

Take two, same phark phark!

Neutral, I her off to the side spend what like 30 minutes trying to some moss-covered mud that the does not submerge into. The cover, which is a standard steel unit, is bashed in the fall. No doubt the clutch is up against it.

Ducati Apollo v4

I pop the ducktail fish out the pouch. Ducati’s run dry clutches no oil; hey, some don’t know) so removing the was no problem. As I pull away the what seems like of the clutch components rained

As I was already on my knees there much else to do but look up the sky.

OK, what have we 3 of the 6 clutch spring mounts at the base of the clutch centre (see pic). I lever the in/out it feels OK. I fire it up the pressure plate spin, in the lever the pressure plate really wonky with 3x of the 6x springs still in there.

I try to 1st it’s hard but goes in the bike starts to walk a with heaps of drag the lever all the way in. I stop it all look at it. I up down the road. I listern out for hearing nothing. I’ve here for 20mins now nobody.

is the rest of the world when you it?

This is when I notice the corner I just rode was coated in gravel, which is likely why such a … taken at a … speed out so arsefaced.

Pull off my backpack in all the loose Ducati parts around here there. I the bolts near the clutch also secure the engine but leave the cover off pack the tools. (Took some

Suited, fire her up off I go. The clutch is mega light with the remaining 3x clutch springs, but it sound funny, just dry-clutch funny [with the off]. The road is twisty I’ve got no front brake so I it slow back to Alexandra.

In I pull up out front the cop shop. No one There’s a button you press rings a number I’m talking to bloke in Melbourne. Are you hurt, he

Not really, just offended I say and off.

The ride home forever, for some reason the way I lost all my lights (maybe a fuse) but I wasn’t going to until home. Motored at 80km/hr, getting passed by 18 wheelers, you name it. Was worried the would slip fry so took it easy.

Little finger on my right was throbbing away cherry

Made it back in one piece other pieces were in my by 4pm.

I wasn’t that up, the full leathers worked a but they’re not gonna win an fashion now, only hurt my little pinkie which is throbbing, an aching shoulder hip.

She’s still in the garage, doesn’t look tOo bad on look, I wonder when my elapsed?

8 th May 2004.

Ride: ride day Winton track. up from Melbourne first Saturday morning with 748 in first time trailered the ever. Loading it solo 5am in my cold dank alleyway in black was no fun for man or beast.

Rented a bike trailer which with a pukka ramp (no plank thank you very still not an easy job with a engine, opted to fire her up her up — nice echo off the corrigated iron in that

Big fog on the drive up the Hume Freeway, to 60kms/hr behind a Kenworth a tank of clorine, 20 metres up still couldnt make out his But thats good, heavy fog bodes well for a day in glorious Been a year since this way, but last (or was it 2002) ride up back a Winton ride day made me on the soft option of dragging the 748 by one of finest (VN Commode) next around.

2.5hrs later the fog the sun came out I rocked into the pit area. Seemed like a but enthusiastic turnout (50-60 which meant 2x groups ran sessions for about 35-40mins. I been on a DOCV ride day in payed up, signed my life rolled my bike through

They like their to strip/tape any glass or plastic etc on their bikes run a club number as well (mine 10) on the (approx). I got hasseled for a loose chain not running zip-ties on the axel nut saftey pin (seemed odd to run a zip-tie on a saftey circlip but who am I to both got fixed in 2secs

Just before the first they had 2x sighting laps for all the timers, I joined in as a good to warm the bike up, and besides it was a since I had been here I had no about this tracks apart from some corners that go left-left if it wasnt for the dude pacing us up I wouldve hung a right at the pit instead of the indicated left

First 30min session, my good crack at it. I was in the second mostly Monsters ST2s, riders with massive hip (apprantly)but I still raced em! I just needed some alone to sort myself out on track.

Winton was fairly I only used 3 gears (2 nd. 3 rd 4 th ). They used the short Out of the pit exit onto a short into a right hander kinda went down to a right hander. I found I in the same gear (3 rd ), then out to a short straight to a sweepeing handers that then to a sharp left then flip/flop into a right corner, then a burst to a 180degree corner then to right 180degree corner.

then opened to a short which I saw 4 th whaled then into 5 th for 1 sec until a right corner took us to the chaciane then lead onto the straight repeat.

Took me a to get comfortable, the back part of the with the large sesses left right onto the straight I could only hold a tall 3 rd (4000rpm) but it give me the sort of drive to rip out of the a lower gear like 2 nd had the up in the heady part of the rev rang too much poke, breaking the out here there. So I held the 3 rd tried to find that line get that corner up.

Felt that standard was too tall overall gaps in to wide for 100% drive in a lot of one gear felt too low where the one was too high. If I had the extra poop of a I could just ride the bit easy. Tried heaps of s in the corners to nail this they call a race

Didnt use the brakes that only really 2x corners you came down hard a burst of the little straights, I ran braking points hard to the max speed out of the straights, but from it just looked silly the way the hopped about as I went off the marbles.

Sure had small stouches to keep things but I tried to pass with of daylight as I didnt feel with the circuit outside the line. There was a 748R seem to have me on each exit (I assume that is the R bit comes in) I couldnt get that on him. Into the corners I was all namby-pamby so late braking on day was out.

In my group I was passing quite a few I the rest of the circuit when I to see if there were others at my but didnt see any. Although as the day on a few more 748s 999s in the gaps.

No major offs. I the DOCV guys are pretty back with all that take no prisioners stuff you see blokes on ride days run by mobs. One 80s 4-Valve desmo off at he 2 nd low side, but he rode it back no Had a few bikes down with breakdowns, but thats got nothing to do the prevelance of the certain brand on day.

Although I must say I now have no problem at all with the of mechanical noise my baby in like company shes a tight sounding motorcycle.

Did or track work. Fuel was down to about 6.5kms per Felt mega sore all the physical work I was doing, due to the fact that I was still my way some lines I took definitely not the best.

I must be a learner (I was always a fan of crayons).

one at Winton with DOCV is some time, which I in no worries.

Back at home for a hose down throw the gear back on. Thinking theres a lot of the track Ive still yet to get a no, but its no longer a track I hate to at, more one I want to master (in my own

25th April 2004.

clearences. Armed with a workshop manual half an I took to checking my Ducati 748 Desmo 4-valve clearences for the time, this was going to be a learning curve for this black duck. (excuse any butchery which may ensue).

valve system utilises operating off the camshaft to positively close the inlet/exhaust valves.)

the bike took the bulk of the bodywork, fuel tak, oil breather system, rear Airbox runners (airfilter radiator (with some Left the fuel injection on (doubles the difficulty in intake access I realised) left the belt covers on.

Removed the cap off the crank hub/rotor I used a peg mount bolt (M8) a lock-nut (from my parts fixed to the rotor spline to the crank to the timing mark for TDC on the cylinder which is stamped on the face viewed through a case sight glass. the spark plugs to ease the crank (not fighting comp), removed valve covers for the horizontal cylinder.

valves: I used standard gauges (available at any auto which I think are too short losing them in the cam/valve (removed each feeler the pack). Valve openers was easy to check as they right there at the front in the hole, just slide the gauge inbetween the rocker the top of the (at the top of valve stem).

Valve are harder to check. Clearance is at the rear of the cam (when viewed the inspection hole) where the rocker arm runs on the camshaft. I had to the feeler gauge 90degrees the whole feeler in running by feel as you could not actually see the feeler had to go, I just followed the of the closer cam with the feeler it slid between the rocker

Exhaust valves. Similar to valves process, but as their holes are outfacing (from the V) made access slightly but the vertical cylinder butts near the rear suspension which restricts access.

The cylinder exhaust valve cover was full of oil when (low point in engine so be prepared with the old rags.

To do the cylinder clearances after the cylinder has been done, the needs to be turned 270degrees to bring the vertical cylinder to but there is no timing mark on the to confirm this. I compensated marking the external cases with the spanner rotation to the point.

Below is the clearance what was measured. All seemed OK on engine) except the right valve on the horizontal cylinder is on the highest clearace recommended. I was at rechecking them at 40,000kms I take them to a shop to

Ducati Apollo v4
Ducati Apollo v4
Ducati Apollo v4

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