Author Topic: Ducati engine rebuild class...  (Read 3596 times)

Offline boatdetective

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Ducati engine rebuild class...
« on: January 17, 2011, 04:35:29 PM »
So I had the weekend off and signed up at a local Ducati dealership (Seacoast Sportcycle in Derry, NH) to take their engine rebuilding class. It was absolutely fascinating. All the mechanics in the shop raced, and that was the standard they used in doing their work. The engines themselves are really interesting from a nut and bolt perspective. My take away from the class?  I would never, ever consider going through the considerable hassle of trying to tear down one of these engines. I'm sure would be plenty familiar once you have more exposure (everything is, I guess). However, I have a very concrete idea of why valve adjustments and cam timing on these bikes can be so time-consuming.

From a business perspective, I think it was a brilliant idea on the part of the shop. I came away with a great appreciation for the skills necessary to keep these machines in top shape. At the same time, it makes me feel a lot closer to this dealership ( I'd always heard good things about them- now I know why).  They seem to work very hard at sponsoring events and getting people into the store.  The shop is spotless and very professional.

In any case, there's no used Ducati in my future (transmission service requires removing the engine and splitting the case!).  It really makes me appreciate the accessibility and design philosophy of Guzzis. The experience is by no means a loss - because they're also dealers for MG and Aprilia.


"Don't try this at home, kids!"





Lucy, the shop hostess

...and look what was peeking out from the bikes on the floor saying "take me home!"




Jonathan K
Marblehead, MA

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Offline RayB

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 04:56:16 PM »
The Pennsylvania Airheads chapter hold a tech session that is sold out every year. Even thogh they hold it in the cold weather. Classes include transmission service, carb - ectomies, etc.

Would be nice if we could sign up for something similar with Guzzis
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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 05:00:26 PM »
So I had the weekend off and signed up at a local Ducati dealership (Seacoast Sportcycle in Derry, NH) to take their engine rebuilding class. It was absolutely fascinating.


Sounds like fun.

I've always loved the Ducati "light and fast" design philosophy, and love the way they look and sound and ride.

Over the years, I've often brought up the "I'd love a Ducati but the maintenance puts me right off" ... upon which hordes of hardened Ducati enthusiasts immediately tell me that it's all an urban legend, that a valve adjustment including cams and belts off and shims out is an afternoon with a beer or two and the radio playing, no big deal, and it's all overblown, the maintenance thing.

I need to go to one of these things like you did.

Lannis

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Offline Hit Man

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 05:05:36 PM »
Nice perspective Mr. Detective - thanks for your thoughts on this, as I every so often get that desmo urge.   I think between you and Pete Roper, I might have it quelled (permanently).

Was your weekend experience with the water-cooled 4-valve only or did it include the 2V airheads?  I'd be interested in more of your experience/viewpoints from the weekend on stuff you learned (and heard from the other racers) about those machines and whats a bitc# to work on and what seems to be weak-points in their design etc.


...just in case I get that desmo-eye again.....
Griso: -noun  Slang.  hit man    e.g., to 'grease' someone   Origin: Italiano 2007 (plus Todd Haven-rip)

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Offline Guido Valvole

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 05:15:43 PM »
From the picture it looks like the desmo demo was on a 4-valve water-cooled engine. Definitely a "kids, don't try this at home" proposition without a lot of experience and/or help first. Overly complex

Two-valve air-cooled is another story, be it bevelhead or rubber band. I did my Darmah with help from a friend who had done valves before (and had a Darmah SS, Hailwood Rep, 600 Pantah, and a few others). And the all-important Bag-O-Shims. I had the thick, flat piece of plate glass and extra-fine emery cloth for fine adjustment of shims. As my 8th grade math teacher used to say, "tedious but not difficult". Heads did not have to be removed -- do that and life is gonna be a whole lot uglier.

Probably took less time than doing a valve service on a Honda VFR.

Still, excepting clutch and transmission work, a Guzzi is so very much simpler and easier. At least old smallblocks and Tontis.
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Offline BrianK

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 05:39:12 PM »
So I had the weekend off and signed up at a local Ducati dealership (Seacoast Sportcycle in Derry, NH) to take their engine rebuilding class. It was absolutely fascinating.


Sounds like fun.

I've always loved the Ducati "light and fast" design philosophy, and love the way they look and sound and ride.

Over the years, I've often brought up the "I'd love a Ducati but the maintenance puts me right off" ... upon which hordes of hardened Ducati enthusiasts immediately tell me that it's all an urban legend, that a valve adjustment including cams and belts off and shims out is an afternoon with a beer or two and the radio playing, no big deal, and it's all overblown, the maintenance thing.

I need to go to one of these things like you did.

Lannis



The hordes are right, with respect to the 2V motors.  When I read the original post, I jumped for joy and shot over to Seacoast's website.  Looks like they deal with the 4V motors only, which I understand are significantly more complex to work on, and hold no interest for me in any event.

For someone interested in the 4V motors, or maybe just a cool weekend, the $195 class is probably a good value.

Offline boatdetective

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 05:51:25 PM »
definitely a four valve engine (749S). 2 valve would save you cam timing on the second cam. However, there are still a bunch of fiddly things to be done. This all has to be couched with the fact that this bike was being blueprinted to within an inch of it's life. Everything was measured in to sooper tight tolerances. That's a good general thing to remember- everything you see is shimmed and it is all to very close tolerances. The back and forth process of getting thing just right so they will work when the engine comes up to temperature is what takes time and patience. It's cool engimaneering. - it was especially interesting to have Aprilia parts right next to them on the bench to see their philosophy. There was a Tuono factory on the next lift- Holy Jeez, what a bike!

Just to point out, once more, that the guys (and owner) couldn't have been nicer and more professional. It was definitely information overload, but what could be better? I might not be as keen on getting a duc- but would I buy a bike from this dealer? You betcha. If i found a bike, would i bring it in for a look over? yep.

Oh yeah, and the idea of Regional Wrench meetings is a great one.       
Jonathan K
Marblehead, MA

1981 V50III "Gina"
2007 Griso 1100 "Bluto" (departed but not forgotten)
2003 EV "Lola" gone to the "Ridin' Realtor" in Peoria
2007 1200 Sport "Ginger"

"Who's the cat who won't cop out, when there's danger all about?"  -Isaac Hayes

Offline scooterjock

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 06:44:11 PM »
The Ducati 2V valve adjustments are not that bad.  I bought a videotape from ProItalia that shows how to do it.  After buying and fabricating some tools, and making up a spreadsheet, I have done the valves on an Alazzurra and a Monster.  The later engines are easier, because the opening rocker will slide over once a spring clip is removed.  The older engines require you to extract the rocker pins (with all of the related shims and thrust washers), which is more difficult.  A buddy of mine loaned me an old Alazzurra head, and I practiced on the bench, before doing the job on the bike.  Your major costs will be a metric micrometer, and a shim kit.  I fabricated wedges, plugs, rocker pin extractor, and alignment tool out of common parts, and made a belt tensioner out of a fish scale.  Another thing, as the motor gets more miles on it the valves "bed-in", and fewer adjustments need to be made.  In fact, sometimes all you have to do is install new closer shim keepers.  Not as scary as it seems.
Bill

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Offline Hit Man

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 07:01:32 PM »
Are you stuck buying the $300 shim kit, or can you open things up, measure what you need and then scoot on down to your local Ducati dealer and just buy the individual shims that you need?
Griso: -noun  Slang.  hit man    e.g., to 'grease' someone   Origin: Italiano 2007 (plus Todd Haven-rip)

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1973 Honda CL350 K5  - long chain
1989 Suzuki Katana 750 (long gone)
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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 07:39:29 PM »
Are you stuck buying the $300 shim kit, or can you open things up, measure what you need and then scoot on down to your local Ducati dealer and just buy the individual shims that you need?

"Local" Ducati dealer?   

WAAHHHHhahahahahahh ... whew.

That's almost as likely as "Local Moto Guzzi Dealer" .... I can't stand it, I'm going hysterical again .....  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D :D :D
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Offline Hit Man

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 07:45:20 PM »


"Local" Ducati dealer?   

WAAHHHHhahahahahahh ... whew.

That's almost as likely as "Local Moto Guzzi Dealer" .... I can't stand it, I'm going hysterical again ..... 
 



         
I got multiple choices where I live. (four)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 07:54:34 PM by Hit Man »
Griso: -noun  Slang.  hit man    e.g., to 'grease' someone   Origin: Italiano 2007 (plus Todd Haven-rip)

MGNOC
AMCA
VJMC

2007 Griso  - with the long pushrods
1971 Ambo - long in the tooth
1973 Honda CL350 K5  - long chain
1989 Suzuki Katana 750 (long gone)
1989 Suzuki GS500E (long gone

Offline Travman

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 07:49:54 PM »
Are you stuck buying the $300 shim kit, or can you open things up, measure what you need and then scoot on down to your local Ducati dealer and just buy the individual shims that you need?

"Local" Ducati dealer?  

WAAHHHHhahahahahahh ... whew.

That's almost as likely as "Local Moto Guzzi Dealer" .... I can't stand it, I'm going hysterical again .....  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D :D :D

It happens.  I drop can drop my Ducati off at my local Ducati shop and walk back home in 15 minutes.  My Triumph/Moto Guzzi shop is close too, only a 20 minute ride up the road.    
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 07:51:29 PM by Travman »
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Offline scooterjock

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 07:54:10 PM »
You have to measure and change out the closers before you measure and change the openers, so this can wind up being two trips to the dealer.  When my dealer was 2 miles away, no problem.  Now my dealer is 50 miles away, up to 200 miles total, therefore the shim kit.  Aftermarket kits can be bought for a little over $200.
Bill

MGNOC: 14591 & L771

2003 Harley FLHTCUI
1999 Moto-Guzzi V11 EV
1998 Ducati M900
1991 Harley FXRS-CONV
1987 Cagiva Alazzurra 650SS
1983 Honda XR200R
1981 Guzzi G5
1979 Honda CBX

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 08:44:52 PM »
Are you stuck buying the $300 shim kit, or can you open things up, measure what you need and then scoot on down to your local Ducati dealer and just buy the individual shims that you need?

"Local" Ducati dealer?  

WAAHHHHhahahahahahh ... whew.

That's almost as likely as "Local Moto Guzzi Dealer" .... I can't stand it, I'm going hysterical again .....  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D :D :D

It happens.  I drop can drop my Ducati off at my local Ducati shop and walk back home in 15 minutes.  My Triumph/Moto Guzzi shop is close too, only a 20 minute ride up the road.    

Carl Lucci's doesn't hardly qualify as a "Moto Guzzi" shop any more, does it?   

YOUR local Ducati shop is also MY local Ducati shop, and I'm 200 miles away from you ... hence the derisive laughter icons ...   ;)

Lannis
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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2011, 09:31:58 PM »
You have to measure and change out the closers before you measure and change the openers, so this can wind up being two trips to the dealer.  When my dealer was 2 miles away, no problem.  Now my dealer is 50 miles away, up to 200 miles total, therefore the shim kit.  Aftermarket kits can be bought for a little over $200.

Unless it's a racer, the light closer springs hold the valves against the seats for startup, so you should be able to survey the opener clearances and shims first.

Nice that shim kits are avaiable so inexpensively now.


Offline sign216

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2011, 09:59:11 PM »
Thanks for the report Jonathan.  I was thinking about going, but had other commitments and stuff. 

One of the primary selling points of my smallblock was the ease of maintenance.  And it's lived up to that promise.
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Offline boatdetective

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2011, 05:56:29 AM »
This got me thinking. If there was a Guzzi engine rebuilding seminar,  would it be held in somebody's garage with a pile of Craftsman wrenches, screwdriver, and hammers?
Jonathan K
Marblehead, MA

1981 V50III "Gina"
2007 Griso 1100 "Bluto" (departed but not forgotten)
2003 EV "Lola" gone to the "Ridin' Realtor" in Peoria
2007 1200 Sport "Ginger"

"Who's the cat who won't cop out, when there's danger all about?"  -Isaac Hayes

Offline gusanito

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2011, 06:17:29 AM »
Are you stuck buying the $300 shim kit, or can you open things up, measure what you need and then scoot on down to your local Ducati dealer and just buy the individual shims that you need?

You don't need to buy the whole kit. You can get individual shims from this place at half the dealer's price.
http://www.emsduc.com/
The trick to keeping down time low is to document the shim sizes on your bike.  That way when you do a check, if you have to replace one you know which size to order. I check the valves every 6k miles and haven't had to replace a shim in ~18k miles. Once the keeper rings bed in, adjustments are minimal.

George
Quincy, Fl

Offline lucky phil

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2011, 06:42:24 AM »
You have to measure and change out the closers before you measure and change the openers, so this can wind up being two trips to the dealer. 
Incorrect.
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Offline tool flinger

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2011, 07:37:42 AM »
 ;D

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Offline Dean Rose

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2011, 08:07:01 AM »
Are you stuck buying the $300 shim kit, or can you open things up, measure what you need and then scoot on down to your local Ducati dealer and just buy the individual shims that you need?

"Local" Ducati dealer?  

WAAHHHHhahahahahahh ... whew.

That's almost as likely as "Local Moto Guzzi Dealer" .... I can't stand it, I'm going hysterical again .....  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D :D :D

It happens.  I drop can drop my Ducati off at my local Ducati shop and walk back home in 15 minutes.  My Triumph/Moto Guzzi shop is close too, only a 20 minute ride up the road.    

Your local GUZZI shop will never see one of my bikes. I have heard good things about the DUC shop up there though.


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Offline sign216

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2011, 08:39:07 AM »
This got me thinking. If there was a Guzzi engine rebuilding seminar,  would it be held in somebody's garage with a pile of Craftsman wrenches, screwdriver, and hammers?

That's the tool kit, but I've gotten by on less.
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Offline sign216

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2011, 08:59:33 AM »
Mr. Moto Guzzi Sales Manager, are you seeing the golden opportunity here?

I'd pay, to participate in a shop class!................. (a few Moto supermodels would be nice!)



Raises a question.  I know what the Ducati girls look like.  What do the girls look like for a Guzzi appearance?
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Offline Travman

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2011, 10:51:07 AM »
Are you stuck buying the $300 shim kit, or can you open things up, measure what you need and then scoot on down to your local Ducati dealer and just buy the individual shims that you need?

"Local" Ducati dealer?  

WAAHHHHhahahahahahh ... whew.

That's almost as likely as "Local Moto Guzzi Dealer" .... I can't stand it, I'm going hysterical again .....  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D :D :D

It happens.  I drop can drop my Ducati off at my local Ducati shop and walk back home in 15 minutes.  My Triumph/Moto Guzzi shop is close too, only a 20 minute ride up the road.    

Carl Lucci's doesn't hardly qualify as a "Moto Guzzi" shop any more, does it?   

YOUR local Ducati shop is also MY local Ducati shop, and I'm 200 miles away from you ... hence the derisive laughter icons ...   ;)

Lannis
Carl rarely has new Guzzi's on the floor anymore, but often there are two or three used Guzzi's there.  There is a 2007 Norge there right now.  He will order them if somebody gives him a deposit.  I know he sold a few that way last year.  But yes, the Moto Guzzi side of his business seems very slow. 
Travis King
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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2011, 03:29:10 PM »
How about an official Moto Guzzi fashion show?  I'd even go to a travelling circus if they had some Moto Guzzis doing tricks in one of the rings. (a few Moto supermodels would be nice!)

The Ducati guys have figured out how to get the girls in the class...  which is better.  Yes this was a real class, and yes that is an 8V Ducati cylinder head.



« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 03:31:17 PM by Pescara »

Offline sign216

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2011, 04:00:41 PM »
How about an official Moto Guzzi fashion show?  I'd even go to a travelling circus if they had some Moto Guzzis doing tricks in one of the rings. (a few Moto supermodels would be nice!)

The Ducati guys have figured out how to get the girls in the class...  which is better.  Yes this was a real class, and yes that is an 8V Ducati cylinder head.





They are beauties!  They look more like Guzzi girls, than Ducati girls.  Someone needs to introduce them to the right Italian cycle.
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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2011, 06:09:43 PM »
Since they are Italian beauties as well as motorcyclists, they are probably already familiar with their dad's Guzzi  :D

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Re: Ducati engine rebuild class...
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2011, 09:20:55 PM »
Since they are Italian beauties as well as motorcyclists, they are probably already familiar with their dad's Guzzi  :D

And since they're girls, they're probably there partly because the instructor is a stud-muffin ...  ~;   :D  Or maybe I'm just projecting "our" motivations onto them?   ;D
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