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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you may know the riding "season" is about over for most but I still plan on riding my bike to commute. My question is..Is it absolutely necessary to let the engine warm up before you ride? How long should I let it idle before I let the rpm
 

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I wonder this myself. My driveway slopes downhill into the garage, so to not bother the rest of my fam with the fumes and such, I'll drive it up out of the driveway (on fast idle), stop on the side of the street, get pissed after about a minute because I can't get into neutral (although once it's warmed up I don't have any problem at all even while it is stopped), then just take off and drop the fast idle down back to normal.

It seems to be fine idling after I've ridden nothing more than about 10 yards or so. Then again, it hasn't been THAT cold up here in Seattle.
 

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Aguacate said:
I wonder this myself.  My driveway slopes downhill into the garage, so to not bother the rest of my fam with the fumes and such, I'll drive it up out of the driveway (on fast idle), stop on the side of the street, get pissed after about a minute because I can't get into neutral (although once it's warmed up I don't have any problem at all even while it is stopped), then just take off and drop the fast idle down back to normal.

It seems to be fine idling after I've ridden nothing more than about 10 yards or so.  Then again, it hasn't been THAT cold up here in Seattle.
I notice the same thing, Avocado. I can let my bike idle for a few minutes and the engine still feels like it's about to stall if I strain it at all, but even without a warmup it idles perfectly as soon as I've ridden it more than about 10 yards.

Regardless of warmup, after the first burst of throttle I give it for a half a block of accelleration and the engine braking for the second half of the block as I approach a stop sign, it runs totally normally.

Maybe the engine braking is the key there... I definitely do try to avoid pushing it like that until it's had at least a minute or two to spin the engine a few thousand times.

I never wait until 130 degrees though. In my experience that takes like 10 minutes at idle. Totally rediculous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes alex, you are correct. Another issue was time. If i let it idle to 130, ill be wasting a lot of gas and a lot of time. I just keep it at half choke(fast idle) for a mile (to the front gate of our neighborhood) then not let the rpm's get higher than 4-4.5k for another 2 mile (until i hit the highway) then gun it the rest. I was just worried that it could be bad for my engine.
 

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you ride a ducati, universally known to have issues with flaking rockers. you should let it idle for a while to let the oil circulate (and coat the rockers/camshaft) before you take off, no matter how warm it is.
 

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b.h. said:
you ride a ducati, universally known to have issues with flaking rockers. you should let it idle for a while to let the oil circulate (and coat the rockers/camshaft) before you take off, no matter how warm it is.
'splain this univerasl 'knowledge' please.
 

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b.h. said:
you ride a ducati, universally known to have issues with flaking rockers. you should let it idle for a while to let the oil circulate (and coat the rockers/camshaft) before you take off, no matter how warm it is.
Running the engine with or without load doesn't change the pressure exerted on the rockers. Bringing the rpm's up will get the oil to the head faster than letting it idle slowly and it will warm up faster. Of course, you want to keep the rpms within reason and not load the bottom end to hard before the oil reaches the proper viscosity.
 

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Ddan said:
'splain this univerasl 'knowledge' please.
the ducati valve timing system uses overhead camshafts to actuate rocker arms which open and close the valves. "desmodronics"

the rockers have a special chrome-like plating which is intended to make them resistant to the wear and tear incurred from sliding across the face of the cam lobes. a nice film of oil between the rocker and cam surface is also especially helpful. other cylinder head designs have moving parts such as these bathed with a constant supply of oil. the ducati head/engine configuration allows the oil to drain from the vertical cylinder head when the bike is not running. if the bike sits long enough, it may take a few seconds (or minutes) for the oil to adequately flow back into the cyldiner head and coat all the moving parts. Hence, you could have metal on metal contact between the rockers and cam lobes. adding throttle makes the cams spin faster, creating more friction, heat, etc. on top of all that, ducati had a major issue with the quality of the rocker plating, supposedly due to outsourcing in the mid 90's. the plating on the rockers would simply "flake" off. leaving a bunch of gunk in the oil, and possibly also ruining the cam faces as well. the problem was seen mostly in 748/916/996 bikes, but I have heard of it in a some 2v bikes as well. as of 02' with the 998, a new rocker design seems to have fixed the issue....

but I still let all of my ducs warm up just a little while longer than other bikes ;D

this is just a broad summary. plenty of other info out there to be found if you're interested. but I hope this simple explanation helps.
 

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Best to run a pure synthetic oil (see oil thread) and just take it easy the first few miles. You will get the same lubrication cold as hot, just need to get oil circulating properly

I have been running Mobile 1 since MX4T is pretty hard to come by around here.
 

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OwnyTony said:
I just keep it at half choke(fast idle) for a mile (to the front gate of our neighborhood)
The user manual is specific about not doing that. The cable running from the fast-idle lever to the throttle body is tight. Turning the handle bars with the fast idle engaged will increase or decrease your throttle. If you have your idle up and you make a quick left, you could get an unwelcome shot of throttle. And on a cold day, cold tires might not agree with that too much.

As for the general lubrication of the system, I don't think that the engine needs to be to a full 130
 

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chipazzo said:
The user manual is specific about not doing that. The cable running from the fast-idle lever to the throttle body is tight. Turning the handle bars with the fast idle engaged will increase or decrease your throttle. If you have your idle up and you make a quick left, you could get an unwelcome shot of throttle. And on a cold day, cold tires might not agree with that too much.
Turning the handlebars increases the throttle maybe 500 rpm at the most...and not all the time (at least that is my experience on my bike).

I always ride with the fast idle on slightly (say 1500 rpm or a little less) until the bike will idle normally without it...usually a couple miles. I've never had a problem with the fast idle giving it too much gas or cutting off the gas around corners.

I start the bike...put on gloves...ride off, keeping rpms below 5k until it will idle smoothly without the fast idle lever. If you use a fully synthetic oil, the oil temp shouldn't have any bearing on the lubrication, and all the moving parts should be adequately covered *very* shortly after starting the bike.
 

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b.h. said:
the ducati valve timing system uses overhead camshafts to actuate rocker arms which open and close the valves. "desmodronics"

the rockers have a special chrome-like plating which is intended to make them resistant to the wear and tear incurred from sliding across the face of the cam lobes. a nice film of oil between the rocker and cam surface is also especially helpful. other cylinder head designs have moving parts such as these bathed with a constant supply of oil. the ducati head/engine configuration allows the oil to drain from the vertical cylinder head when the bike is not running. if the bike sits long enough, it may take a few seconds (or minutes) for the oil to adequately flow back into the cyldiner head and coat all the moving parts. Hence, you could have metal on metal contact between the rockers and cam lobes. adding throttle makes the cams spin faster, creating more friction, heat, etc. on top of all that, ducati had a major issue with the quality of the rocker plating, supposedly due to outsourcing in the mid 90's. the plating on the rockers would simply "flake" off. leaving a bunch of gunk in the oil, and possibly also ruining the cam faces as well. the problem was seen mostly in 748/916/996 bikes, but I have heard of it in a some 2v bikes as well. as of 02' with the 998, a new rocker design seems to have fixed the issue....

but I still let all of my ducs warm up just a little while longer than other bikes ;D

this is just a broad summary. plenty of other info out there to be found if you're interested. but I hope this simple explanation helps.
My question was more on the universality of the problem. It is widely accepted that the rocker problem is an issue with the 4 valve motors, and is due to problems with the plating process. I haven't read or heard anything that connects the flaking to a lack of lubrication or warm-up.
 

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It's kind of common sense...... unless you can find someone to argue that revving a motor, while all the oil is sitting in the crankcase will have a positive effect on already questionable rocker plating

from Sigma Performance:

Now lets think about this, a typical Japanese DOHC engine will have nice little buckets over the valves; a pool of oil sits in a pocket above the bucket and the cam runs directly in the pool, oil is therefore present from the first second of running. With a Ducati Quattro Valvole, especially after it has sat around for a while, oil can take up to 90 seconds to arrive. The Ducati oil delivery system has no one way valve so as the bike sits unused the oil retreats slowly to the sump. When you start the engine the oil has to come all the way back up the long oil lines, it is not going to get there appreciably quicker if you rev it. The cams will not notice any difference if you are sitting 'off load' or are trying to ride it; but you do have some choices that will make life easier for the valve gear.


http://www.sigmaperformance.com/rockers.html
 

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b.h. said:
It's kind of common sense...... unless you can find someone to argue that revving a motor, while all the oil is sitting in the crankcase will have a positive effect on already questionable rocker plating

from Sigma Performance:

Now lets think about this, a typical Japanese DOHC engine will have nice little buckets over the valves; a pool of oil sits in a pocket above the bucket and the cam runs directly in the pool, oil is therefore present from the first second of running. With a Ducati Quattro Valvole, especially after it has sat around for a while, oil can take up to 90 seconds to arrive. The Ducati oil delivery system has no one way valve so as the bike sits unused the oil retreats slowly to the sump. When you start the engine the oil has to come all the way back up the long oil lines, it is not going to get there appreciably quicker if you rev it. The cams will not notice any difference if you are sitting 'off load' or are trying to ride it; but you do have some choices that will make life easier for the valve gear.


http://www.sigmaperformance.com/rockers.html
The buckets, on a Japanese shim under bucket overhead cam engine, do not hold oil. They are facing the wrong way. The cams do not sit in a bath of oil either. The oil drains back to the sump, just like on a Ducati. In either case, some oil remains on the components depending on the type of oil and the time it sits. It might take 90 seconds for the oil to reach the head at idle, but will reach the head much faster if the revs are brought up a bit. I usually keep the revs just below 2k while putting on my gear. Then I start riding and keep the revs below 4-5K until the temp reaches normal.
 

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silentbob said:
... Then I start riding and keep the revs below 4-5K until the temp reaches normal.
You people with your tachs... :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So what we have gathered so far is....
1. Let the engine run/idle for atleast 90 seconds.....a reasonable time since you can wisely use this time to put on your cold gear while the engine coats its self with oil
2. Keep choke/fast idle on until the engine can idle with out it
3. Dont over do the RPMs as you want to make sure the oil has circulated and proper viscosity
4. Get it to op temps, turn off choke/fast idle and ride how you "ride"
Would you guys agree? And for us guys that do keep our eyes on the tack, well at least for me, i do not want to cause undue stress to the motor if its not close to "normal" operating conditions.
 

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Tweeder said:
i let mine sit @ 2 grand till i get my gear on than take off
I guess I should have warmed it up longer today at the mall, but I hate to keep cars waiting for my space. :eek:
 
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