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Old April 10th, 2018, 12:03 AM   #1
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Joined: Jun 2016
From: Australia
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I Ride: HS 821, SF 848
Question Engine burning oil and losing power

Not long after the 30000km service (done at 31000km) I noticed increasing oil consumption on my 2014 HS. I had to top it up every now and then but it didn't seem excessive at first and I blamed it on long distance trips. Apart from this the bike was running super-smooth.

Around 4000km later I topped it up again before a 3-day trip, but within 2 days of riding (900km) it fell from above the top indicator line to below the bottom one, so I had to top it up again with about 600ml oil just to get home safely. People riding behind me also told me they could smell oil burning.

The following day I started the bike in the morning and I could see a fair bit of white oil smoke coming out of the exhaust. After a few seconds it went away and the bike worked just fine, but after only a few km it suddenly lost much of its power. It still worked, and there was no warning light on the dash, but it simply didn't accelerate like it did before. I could open the throttle all the way and it accelerated like in slow motion. It's hard to explain, it's like towing a heavy trailer or driving a truck uphill, you can give as much gas as you want, it just doesn't go any faster. It's like the engine is only running at half power, but it doesn't really sound any different.

I then pulled over and had the bike towed to the nearest Ducati dealer, because it still had warranty left. Last week they asked me to come in and pick up the bike because they couldn't find a fault with it (diagnostics computer showed no error). Straight away though I could feel that the engine still has no power, brought it back to the dealer and asked them to take a closer look at the engine.

Anyone having had a similar issue with their bike? What could be causing that problem? A few fellow riders already suggested it could be valve seals, or broken piston rings.
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Old April 10th, 2018, 01:44 PM   #2
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There's really only a few ways to lose oil:
-Evaporation
-Getting past the rings
-Getting past the valve guide seals
-Getting into the intake via the crank case vent
-Leak

Probably not evaporation. You can check the other 3 by checking the airbox for excess oil, and checking the bike when you first start it (oil will tend to seep past the seals after sitting a while).
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Old April 11th, 2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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From: California
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I Ride: '13 Hyperstrada, '06 DR650, 2017 KTM 690 Duke
I wonder if your dealer mechanic actually took the bike out and RODE IT?
It may not show a fault code ... but it sounds a bit like it's running in the
"Limp Home" mode.

It's clear something has pooped the bed on your bike. Have the Service manager ride the bike. Also, massive use of oil is also NOT NORMAL.

The Engine needs to be stripped and measured, re-built. Of course they don't want to do it ... as they lose a shed load of money on the deal. They will do everything possible to wiggle out of their obligation ... and blame the faults on YOU! It's what they do.

May be time to hire a very competent Solicitor, draft a very strongly worded letter. Meantime, get documentation of ALL encounters with your dealer. Get everything in writing. Make sure you start your claim before your warranty runs out.

All the best! Hope it's an easy fix. Mine front cylinder was rebuilt ... been perfect ever since. Ducati and warranty company fought like HELL to get out of it ... but finally did the work after threatened with LAW SUIT.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 07:36 PM   #4
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Thanks both, that is very helpful advice!

I hope it won't drag on for months to get it fixed. I'll post an update when there's news.
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