In February 2021, I bought a 2019 959 Panigale with 164 miles on the clock from Ducati Detroit.
BACKGROUND ABOUT PURCHASE:
Previous owner was a well-known Ducatista and a long time Ducati Detroit customer. Had a heart attack and passed before he could turn it into his next track bike. Dealer felt bad for the spouse with a garage full of bikes and bought the bike back. Had the full Akrapovic system + EVO upmap already installed and offered it for sale at an attractive price.
Thought the Panigale would do well to keep my SuperSport off the track and on the street for commuting and light touring. Reflected on my impressions at the Ducati factory, the improved quality control, the network of Italian manufacturers. Boom….match made in heaven, Panigale shipped to my garage.
Put a few street miles on the 959 to get to know it.
600 mile service in early June 2021.
Took off all the street bits and installed gorgeous SharkSkinz.
I have a track bike…I’m in love...Let the honeymoon begin.
Second Yamaha Champ School in late June. Invited by Nick Ienatsch to become a Coach.
On the way back home, stopped off at Virginia International Raceway to get in a track day. Had a hoot learning my lines and gradually picking up the pace during the morning session.
THE PROBLEM BEGINS:
Broke for lunch and found some droplets on the tail cowling. Looked all over the bike and couldn’t find telltale signs of where coolant could have come from. Seasoned rider looked also and opined the droplets didn’t come from my bike. Cleaned it up but potential problem didn’t leave my mind.
Got back out on the track. Third lap in, instrument cluster told me I was hot. Backed off on speed and bike didn’t cool down. Pulled in, let the bike cool off, checked the burp tank (good), re-started bike and quickly climbed to HIGH. Shut the bike off, loaded up and headed home to Florida.
Peeled off her dress at home in the garage. Got bike to operating temperature, fan kicked on but exhaust air was cool. Assumed circulation problem, probably thermostat failure.
TIME TO GET HELP:
Dropped bike off at EuroCycles of Tampa Bay.
Technician diagnosis? Weephole is losing fluid. Parts and labor $1400.
Warranty expired in May 2021. Now July 2021. Bike had just been in for 600 mile service.
Ducati goodwill? Dealer tried and was told nope.
Tech took water pump cover off today and found the below.
Looks to me the idler seized while the water pump continued spinning knocking off all its teeth.
Have to take radiator and rear ehaust manifold off to get to all the places the plastic bits could have migrated.
Dealer now telling me the bill is $2400. If a pulley did seize, may require even more invasive surgery to find the problem. My diagnosis, not theirs.
Although Service Manager agreed with me this was clearly an OEM part failure, I had to convince him to call back to Ducati NA to request assistance.
Standing by for Ducati NA response.
HOW WILL THE STORY END:
I own two Ducatis, I’ve visited the factory, I’m on the Board of Directors for a motorcycle non-profit that has a national reach and I’m on track to become a Yamaha Champion Certified Coach (C3) that will only increase my reach to riders.
I want to be a good Ducati ambassador. No kidding, I really do. Not the snobby kind but the kind that just likes to share in the passion without the condescending tone.
I want this to work out well and believe the warranty team in Mountainview, CA simply doesn’t know the particulars of my case.
THE WARRANTY TEAM WILL WRITE THE CONCLUSION:
Anybody know the extension to the Ducati NA warranty team?
I intend to put together a pleasant note requesting some assistance as this seems way out of tolerance for a race-bred bike at such a young age.
For the record, I’m not a racer and my bike has ever been raced. Just a track day nerd like most other guys.