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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As there has been a lot of talk about the noise some of our beloved Ducati Scrambler 1100's make I decided to dive in to it and make a central thread to keep things more organised. Please chime in and those who fear they have it please post video's and what the dealer is saying about it. Part of the reason is also that I want to clear things up and stop people from making each other crazy on what's really going on.
I would also love to know if the engines that get rebuild actually show damage inside the old cilinder to give more insight on the problem and maybe take away some of the uncertainty that is going on with people that are faced with this problem.

This is my take on it for the moment but I'm by no means educated on the matter or a mechanic.

I've been reading up on the piston slap issue and as it turns out it's a very common problem that happens in a lot of engines of lots of brands, doesn't matter if it is a V2, V6, V8 or 4 in line configuration.Also there are many known (car)engines that have been known for their piston slap issues and what the results are in the long run.
Ducati's have been having it like forever on the horizintal cilinder for some reason at least that's the cilinder where the sound is the most noticeable.
The sound normally is the worst when the engine is cold and lots of times when the engine gets warmer the piston becomes a tiny bit larger and the sound gets less or dissapears.
When the slap is bad it will cause wear on the cilinder wall but this isn't always the case and I've read stories of people riding around with that noise for ten thousend and even hundred thousend of miles without any real problems.

From what I've heard the new part is said to have some teflon part on the inside or outside of the piston wich makes me wonder if this does anything at all to cure the real cause of piston slap(wich I seriously doubt) or just masks the sound by deadening the wall of the piston so it doesn't sound as clangy(wich I reckon is more likely).

Reading into it has made me way less worried and makes me think there isn't that much going on but that the phenomenom is just very audible on this air cooled engine compared to other (water) cooled engines, where the same might be happening inside with the same results in the long run but you just don't hear it, making the whole thing more like a product propperty then a real fault in my opinion.

I'm by no means an engineer or something so most of this is all based on my understanding of what piston slap is and how it's caused and not on my own findings or having seen engines that have been torn apart in real life.
I wonder what others think of this and encourage them to read up on it as well or ask people that really know what they are talking about to give theire opinion on the matter.
The fact that Ducati isn't very communicative about it is what causes a lot of uncertainty.

 

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Skippy, its as if you read my mind! I actually made contact with Ducati North America this afternoon and spoke to a representative and filed a complaint. Given the amount of time its been in the shop (60 days, with no resolution) they are looking into the situation further on my behalf, through the regional Ducati representative.

I also spoke to the other shop owner about bringing it to him for a second opinion. The owner knew EXACTLY what the issue is, and said that Ducati has put out a service bulletin on the issue, and he even provided me the upgraded part kit number from Ducati, (#12022761BB if anyone needs it) which this information is included in the bulletin. The kit consists of a new piston and cylinder, and supposedly, its a straightforward job that takes about 2 hours. Apparently from the factory, there are some tolerances out of spec in the 1100 engine and this kit not only fixes the damage, but also resolves the issue from recurring.

Bottom line is, Ducati corporate knows there's an issue and has advised how to fix it, but independent owners/dealers may either be ignoring it, or aren't keeping current with the bulletins. Needless to say I will let them investigate the complaint (which they took very seriously btw) and see what happens. I will certainly keep you guys posted.
 

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I'm no engineer either, but I am inclined to believe the reason the horizontal cylinder is more susceptible to this issue is due to gravity. The vertical cylinder/piston has a slight advantage in comparison as its not 'laying on its side' like the horizontal cylinder/piston is. Some of my buddies say the same thing about Subaru boxer engines, as the pistons/cylinders are all horizontal, so it causes them to wear faster due to gravity. But not catastrophically. Perhaps the teflon coated piston is just addressing the noise and not really the mechanical slap, but I am sure that would still give most the piece of mind that there are no concerns about riding it. I know I would be happy with that!!

The tech I spoke with and trust assured me the fix is simple although he wasn't real clear if its doing any damages. He didn't seem overly concerned to ride the bike, so its likely not any real reason to worry, especially if your bike isn't making the noise. My concern mirrors yours, which is the approach by Ducati with the selective honoring of which bikes will be addressed, and which wont. For argument's sake, they could just put it out as a standard recall, check your bike and move on. If the sound is within spec/tolerances, make a note, or if not, address it with the new parts - and moreover, document it so that if it does creep up slightly outside of warranty, you're covered for a bigger window of time. The fact that they've fixed some 2018s, changed the part numbers (you can't even order the parts that were in the 2018s) and also corrected it for the 2019s, I feel that not only documents the issue, but it also means they owe the 2018 owners at least an official recall. It's not like they found out 10 years later, then I would say Ducati shouldn't be responsible.

As we said, this is already a low volume product, from a premium brand which means the numbers of owners have to be a very small segment of their overall sales. In my area, I've not seen another Scrambler 1100 ever, and typically people tell me that mine is the first one they've ever seen in person. So, in an area with a lot of riders and bike events having 400+ bikes, and a lot of other Ducatis, and not a single other SCR 1100...I would say the number of owners is extremely small. Even more reason why it should just be addressed.
 

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As i informed you in my other post, i have the problem and when i went in service for 1k, the mechanic told me they were called in the factory to learn how to solve the problem if there are any complaints.

He also told me it is not a "real" problem but if the owner want to open a claim they willy act.

It is strange for me this behavior from Ducati because some people are indolent and cannot make a real difference.
 

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I definitely think I have it. I am probably going to email the dealer so that they have it on record and can take a look at it when I bring it in for the first service.

 

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Do BMW Boxers suffer from gravity induced 'piston slap'?
Not sure. That is a great question. I've only heard good things about the BMW Boxer engines, that they're relatively bullet proof with just routine maintenance. While out riding one day I ran into a guy on an R Nine T and he said he always loved Ducatis, but got rid of his last one for the BMW because the Ducs were "too high maintenance." Guess the joke is on me. LMAO.
 

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I definitely think I have it. I am probably going to email the dealer so that they have it on record and can take a look at it when I bring it in for the first service.

Definitely take it in to get it checked out. Sounds like the noise mine was making. Good luck man.
 

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You can fix a BMW boxer engine at the side of the road with a knife and fork. But usually they don’t break down.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not sure. That is a great question. I've only heard good things about the BMW Boxer engines, that they're relatively bullet proof with just routine maintenance. While out riding one day I ran into a guy on an R Nine T and he said he always loved Ducatis, but got rid of his last one for the BMW because the Ducs were "too high maintenance." Guess the joke is on me. LMAO.
Nah, had plenty of Beemers and they weren't half as much fun as the Ducati Scramblers I owned the last years. Also they had plenty of problems, recalls and aren't exactly cheap to maintain. There have been lots of series with abs problems, shaft drive problems, ring antenna problems forcthe imobiliser and the list goes on and on. They are good at solving it with recalls though and somehow keeping their name as a reliable brand but all their model series have loads of well documented problems.
Some people have good experience's with one brand others with others.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
You can fix a BMW boxer engine at the side of the road with a knife and fork. But usually they don’t break down.
In the 50's 60's and 70's maybe and only compared to other (English) brands...
The only serie that was really really reliable from BMW was the original 8 valve K100 and the K75.
 

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Many Ducati's have been suffering from this problem for decades.
+1 for what Skippy said. Specifically, the Monster 1100 had similar issues. Not sure about the watercooled engines though.
 

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I know this isn't an update on the 1100 piston slap issue, BUT, is it me or am I hearing the same piston slap in these vids of the v4 and the scrambler 800?

Completely different engine @7s, 48s:


Scrambler 800 @26s:

Stock v4 @15s:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I know this isn't an update on the 1100 piston slap issue, BUT, is it me or am I hearing the same piston slap in these vids of the v4 and the scrambler 800?

Completely different engine @7s, 48s:


Scrambler 800 @26s:

Stock v4 @15s:
All we can tell by this video's is that Ducati pretty much makes terrible sounding engines on video... The Desmodronic system always will be loud and it's hard to say what we are actually hearing. Just ride it and as long as they don't burn oil or leave big clouds of black smoke behind them I'm hoping/praying we'll be fine...
 

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I agree. What I would really like to hear is a person with an 800 (who claims our engine sound isn't normal) record a vid of theirs doing a walk around the front of the bike *close to the engine* at idle. I have a hard time believing that they don't have this slap sound.
 

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I had 800 and it doesn't sound like this. There is nothing in common, just some similarities about the desmodromic rattle.

Two days ago, as i planed in the spring, i went to the dealer and i just opened a small debate about this and immediately they open a written claim.

This is my last chat about this problem and as I mentioned in several posts, the sound is very obvious and i don't want to offend anybody, but i know a guy in my city who has the same problem and his hearing is absolutely inexistent.
Though i also know another owner who doesn't have this problem.

Once again, my suggestion is to listen carefully and do not intend to refuse there is a problem because you will miss the point.

Regards,
Dragos.
 

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I had 800 and it doesn't sound like this. There is nothing in common, just some similarities about the desmodromic rattle.

Two days ago, as i planed in the spring, i went to the dealer and i just opened a small debate about this and immediately they open a written claim.

This is my last chat about this problem and as I mentioned in several posts, the sound is very obvious and i don't want to offend anybody, but i know a guy in my city who has the same problem and his hearing is absolutely inexistent.
Though i also know another owner who doesn't have this problem.

Once again, my suggestion is to listen carefully and do not intend to refuse there is a problem because you will miss the point.

Regards,
Dragos.
I hear what you are saying, but it doesn't rebut the fact that I hear this same slap in the 800 video I posted. I also hear the same slap in a few of the demo videos of the 1100 and not a single reviewer mentions it (maybe they don't want to?). I admit it is a bit louder in my video of my bike but I am focusing the cellphone recording around the sound, where the other vids are distant from the bike. The sound seems like it is still there on the other bikes just not as prominent.

I will see if I take the vid from the same distance if it would be easy to discern a difference from the other vids and post it later.
 
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