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So, I'm getting ready for a ride last weekend, cleaning bugs off the windscreen, putting air in my tires, checking the fluids. Then, I go around to the left side of the bike, and notice the battery has leaked acid all over my engine and cooked the vertical head, cylinder, as well as the side and center cases of my S4.

Instead of a nice ride up Angeles Crest, its superslab to the dealer.

First, the dealer (Oceanside Ducati) said they would replace all the those components, including the battery (their idea). Now, the dealer tells me that the Ducati NA representative will only let them replace the side cover and they will touch-up the rest.

I'm fuming.

This is the second battery that has leaked on me (the first was replaced before it did major damage).

Who else has had similar battery problems with their Ducati, and what was the resolution?

Tom
 
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i hear you brotha... i'm starting my third month waiting on my s4 to be repaired from a melted battery. any physical damage is being covered under warranty... when ever the parts are to supposedly arrive. the dealership i took it too isn't replacing the valve head where the acid ate through the paint... fortunately the acid didn't get on much.

i've been attempting to get in touch with dna but no returned calls yet.
 
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Yup-

Happened to me about two weeks ago (second day I had the bike!). Caught it in time so the damage was mostly cosmetic. Dealer said its a known issues and all would be covered. I haven't had the time to take it in for them to list the replaceable parts. When they do i assume I'll be waiting weeks. This will be my first service experience with Ducati so my fingers are crossed.

BTW the dealer told me this was number four they've seen. Ducati knows it a crappy design but there is no fix yet...

Lucky for me I can still ride it.

Let us know what you find and I'll do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I talked to the dealer earlier today. He suggested I need talk to Ducati North America myself.


I had a similar problem last year as Ducati put the wrong ECU in every Foggy sold. They knew they did, yet they would not admit it. It took me six months of a very aggressive internet/email campaign to get them to replace my chip.

Only after I posted the problem to several Ducati internet forums and mailing lists, and got many other Foggy owners emailing and phoning DNA (as well as Ducati Italy), were they at all responsive.

After all that, they still will not issue a recall...they fight each and every Foggy owner before they will replace their ECU...but they do.

The damage to our bikes caused by the defective batteries happened to us because Ducati is either in denial, or they are simply acting without honor (more likely given my past experience). If they had issued a recall as soon as this problem became apparent, none of us would have had our bikes damaged.

Simply put, Ducati needs to stand behind the bikes they expect us to ride.


DNA customer service manager is Jer Stewart. Her phone number is 408-253-0499; email [email protected]

Ducati Italy customer service manager is Annalisa Dimonte. email: [email protected]
 

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Tom:

I have a 2002 regular S4. would you recommend a preventative change of battery, and if so, what brand?
Thanks in advance. I am very sorry to hear of your battery acid experience. The Foggy is such a beautiful peice, to have it blemished in any way is a felony!
Regards,
Rideon
 

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Dear Infoage:

It appears that you live in Newport Beach, but elected to purchase your machine from O'side rather than Pro-Italia. Just curious!
Regards,
Rideon :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tom:

I have a 2002 regular S4. would you recommend a preventative change of battery, and if so, what brand?
Thanks in advance. I am very sorry to hear of your battery acid experience. The Foggy is such a beautiful peice, to have it blemished in any way is a felony!
Regards,
Rideon

Hi Rideon,

At this point, I would say that changing the S4 battery is a must for every owner. From comments on this board as well as on the Speedzilla board, and now my own experiences, my feeling is that this has either happened to your S4, or will....

It is more than obvious this is a well know issue for Ducati.

To repeat: I do not think Ducati is being honorable about this.

This is a recall issue they refuse to face up to. I suppose the prospect of replacing each and every S4 battery does not appeal to their financial department. But the longer they go without dealing with it, the more expensive it will be for them, and the more goodwill they will lose.

It will be MUCH cheaper for Ducati to cure the problem, than it will be for Ducati to fix the symptoms.

I have done zero research as to what would be a suitable replacement, but I think a couple guys are using Yuasa's with no complaints.

http://speedzilla.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=15235

http://speedzilla.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=8150

http://speedzilla.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=8267


Your question as to which dealer:

As Scott said, I started with ECS...big, BIG mistake. I'll tell you about it some time. Let's just say, if I had not emailed the CEOs of Ducati and DNA directly, I probably would not have gotten my bike. That's how bad ECS and DNA screwed things up (not to mention the repeated lying...are you reading this Bob Nevola?).

As far as Oceanside or Pro Italia? Right now I am working with Oceanside, and they seem to be on my side, but we'll see. I have heard very good and very bad things about Pro Italia. I've talked to them on the phone several times and they were always about as helpful as can be. Something else, when I put cams in my bike, they were the only ones who had the parts I needed...in stock. GP in San Diego even questioned, with an attitude, why I needed the parts...as in, "Who the 'F' are you to ask for engine parts?"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So this got me thinking...

Since ALL the new Monsters are now based on the same frame as the S4, they may ALL be subject to this same problem...

So I just checked the part numbers...

The good news: the 620 series has a different part number for the battery.

The bad news: the other Monsters (800 and 1000) carry the same battery as S4.

This is cause for concern.

http://www.ducati.com/bikes/catalogs.jhtml

edit: 9/04/03 - Bad news. The 620's have battery problems too...keep reading.
 
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I'm a bit confused...

I was under the impression that this problem was with the unsealed batteries (the ones you can add water to) and not the sealed units. Is this correct or not?

The reason I ask is that this last post here refers to the 1000 having this same (and possibly defective) battery. Now I'm positive that my battery is the sealed type. If this battery is still susceptible to malfunction, I'm headed to the shop tomorrow to get a new type.
 

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good question woolvie, i have the same question myself -

infoage, i too have a foggy but i have a sealed unit battery, do i have a ticking bomb also?

ps- just got my replacement computer this week...
 
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Thanks Infoage.

Here I was thinking that I was safe from the acid bug! OK, I'me headed out to get a new battery ASAP!

Anyone have any suggestions/advice/opinions?
 

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Higgie & Fillmore talked about sealed batteries in this thread -

http://www.ducatimonster.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=tech;action=display;num=1054307937;start=2

Yuasa YTX9-BS and Hawker Odyssey PC625, respectively. However, they have early model Air-Coolers, so their battery app may not be right.

I think us S4 guys need to keep in mind that our batteries lay on their sides, it may make a difference. It may be the freakin' problem.......But all of us on this thread have the late model frames. You guys with the air-coolers, are your batteries laying on their sides?

I'm going to check around for battery apps....
 

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The overflow tube came loose on mine and I now have acid damage all over the left side, but it's my own fault. I'll have to get it repainted one of these days.
 
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my take on the s4 battery placement is that it is suffering from overheating... i don't believe it has a thing to do with being maintenance free rather than the standard type. the battery sits on it's side right on top of the rear verticle head... there is less room on the 4v machines than the 2v machines for airflow and cooling. the 4v machines i'm aware of all have their batteries on the right side of the engine and are covered by fairing... this is one of the issues with why i feel the s4 needs a bit more thurough design effort. i believe the heat from the verticle head melt's/softens the battery housing allowing the contents to leak all over the engine.

i agree with infoage's statement that ducati north america is not being very forthcoming with problems associated with this motorcycle. it has been over a year now of me trying to get dna to address my overheating issues politely. i am now being forced to solicit legal representation. my motorcycle has sat for over two months now and not a wrench has been lifted to fix it.

this is why i have been so vocal about the issues with my s4. it's not to bash ducati's, rather it's to bash dna lack of concern for their customers, and an attempt to make others see there are issues with the S4.

folks that spend nearly 13K or more on a motorcycle should not have to put up with this type of bull_S_H_I_T.
 
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To answer an earlier question.

The early 2 valve air cooled Monsters have the battery (unsealed) upright on the back side of the airbox. As Scott Nelson mentioned they have a breather tube that if it comes loss (very likely) it will spill acid down the left side of the bike.
 

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Who else has had similar battery problems with their Ducati and what was the resolution?

Tom
I've got the same problem om my S4. Valve cover,side cover and slave cylinder, all stained from the acid.

I'm waiting for authorization from DNA to get it fixed. It is a sealed battery, so I think there would be no questions about warranty.
 
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in theory, it should be possible to install a sealed battery in any orientation. the problem i'd guess has to do with it's location. i tend to agree with mark that maybe the rear cylinder on the s4 runs hotter than on the 2v'd bikes and is just too much for the battery?

personally, i'd recommend waiting for your warranty to expire before doing anything proactive. if it boils over, then woo hoo!!! use the warrantied labor time to degree your cams since they're pulling the bike apart anyways ;)

rather than swapping batteries with another that may just have the same issue if heat is in fact the culprit, i'm figuring on installing a heatshield under the battery tray. then maybe slip a couple small rods between the tray and battery to encourage airflow/cooling?
 

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strati, markv -
do you think it's a combination of low qual batteries and environment? or primarily environment?

i'm thinking of the location and it might be tough to heat shield from convection off the cylinders - maybe trap heat more than shield?

i like the idea of a shield under the battery, it would be nice to know, for the ones that failed, did they appear to be overheated from below or external source? or swolen from internal failure?

...worried -

tx-m
 
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