OUT OF AFRICA
With the wiring mysteries of the Ducati E900 now solved the first one is all but complete so today will
be the Test Firing of the Blue one and see if it actually works? As neither machine was running on
arrival before Christmas I don’t have anything to compare it to so this could be interesting.
The Blue Beast has had new plugs, new v expensive battery, the supplemental lighting loom and the
heavy gauge starter wiring. Will it work? So in with the new battery and lets see what happens when
that key is turned and the starter button hit. Will there be fizzing and a strange burning smell or will she
burst into life ?
“BLUE LOOM” …. new headlight system in place
Big Red is still waiting for the battery strap which I see from UPS tracking is now in Durango so
maybe that will arrive today and I can put the frame back together. Plugs are already in along with the
new starter circuits so just the headlamp system to fit before redressing her with tank and fairing.
Red headlamp harness to be fitted…..after the refreshing beverage!
If all goes to plan (when does that ever happen?) I should have both up and running by Wednesday
lunchtime and as Brenda is now off on Wednesday’s that will be geriatric pool playing in the afternoon
so Richard can come on Thursday and collect these big machines and drop off the Jumbo for it’s last
Final check on the connections !
Battery in, all the new and old wires connected, cross feed open, fuel on, choke, ignition……… WOW !
those are some lights!
“I can SEE, I can SEE !”
Clank, clank, clank and it fires up and runs. Final panels on and the seat and it looks like a bike.
A little dressing from Armorall and some polish and its back to showroom. Just need to polish those
alloy wheels for the final effect.
Complete and working with just the wheels to polish
Still no strap for the Red one but it IS in Durango so I’m hopeful it will come today. The red wiring
system is a little more complex with extra bulbs in the headlights and another “switch” which I’m
assured is another Ducati “must have”. The switch is so small I doubt that anyone wearing gloves
could operate it and I have to devise a mounting point somewhere.
The new headlight loom on the Red machine
The new headlight loom is on and still no sign of the battery strap! Time for some wheel polishing
as for some reason I just can’t bear to see alloy not polished. Too late for any more work as its Wed
afternoon and more “Geriatric Pool” is on the horizon and I’m in the mood for some serious
It just has to be polished
The front comes up well
With the wheels polished work has come to a standstill as the battery strap has still not made it the
50 miles from Durango! This is some NEW system with UPS in conjunction with the USPS and
doesn’t seem to be any better than either! Maybe today?
No excuses, so drill a hole in the instrument cluster and fit the micro switch and then sit back and
wait for Brown to deliver. Well at lunchtime the Strap arrives and is suitably modified to go on the
Ducati. Now rebuild the frame, put the exhaust back together and start dressing the lady. The tank
and side panels are on and the headlamp nacelle is fitted. In with the battery, fit the strap and snug
down all the new wires.
It fires up, the headlights work but one set of turn signals don’t which as I remember is usually a
blown bulb. A little bulb switching and now they are working fine…….. BUT…….. when I turn the ign on
all I get is oil light and neutral? Move the cut off switch to run and on comes the battery light and it
stays on with the engine running???? Now I see from Ducati correspondence that some after
market rectifiers have a White wire going direct to the positive terminal……. this one has nothing!
I also note that other after market systems state the “battery charge light” will be inoperative when
their system is used !
I will consult the “Ducati Guru” this morning as he does a rectifier kit as well so I’m sure he knows
all about the said problem. As of course I have no idea “who” modded this machine and some
“shadetree” type terminal fittings are present this could have been “fried” earlier causing all the other
problems including varying voltage, misfiring and whatever else. My battery tester and it seems my
circuit tester have walked! So nothing for it off to the big city and buy another tester and find out
whether the system is charging or not. Should read about 13-14 V above 2000 rpm if it is going to
charge…… anything below 12 and its toast! Of course if it IS charging then it maybe a connector from
the rectifier that has become unplugged. On with the test.
Test results are in……. Blue starts at 11.35 and above 2000 returns 13.45 and of course all the
lights work correctly and in the proper sequence. Red starts at 12.35 and above 2000 sits at 12.37
with the red charge light on ? So if it doesn’t get up there over the magic 13 it isn’t going to charge
and will have to be replaced, but I’ll redo the “nasty” looking terminals first and check the charging
white lead off the rectifier before spending Richard’s money.
Retests all done, same result, RED battery light still on and no change in battery voltage when
engine over 2000 rpm. All stripped down again and I see that this rectifier has never been changed
and is still an original Ducati fitment. New updated model ordered this morning so another week
before I get it and can fit same.
Sorry ! you are just going to have to wait
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