899 moisture damage to camshafts!

Only just joined this group and now find myself in need of help.
My 899 is in for a service(Desmo one) and just had a call this evening to say camshafts and followers on one cylinder have moisture damage and need replacing!!!
Bike has 15,000 miles, full DSH and I know the previous owner extremely well so no issue on that score. Am going in Saturday to inspect the parts.
Has anyone else had the same issue?
Also need new bottom rad as mine has failed due to corrosion. WTF. It’s a radiator, designed to get wet and sits in an air stream, Are they so badly made that they’re now a perishable item?

If moisture has damaged the cams/valve gear? The bike must have been left standing for quite some time.
My guess would be that the rear cylinder top end is the one that’s suffered?
If the bike was only (or mainly) used for short runs the condensation will have built up inside the motor thus causing the damage.
As for the radiator… They are extremely lightweight so will suffer from external damage.
When I leave any of my bikes standing for looong periods, I spray the external surfaces with corrosion inhibiters and always turn them over quite often to spread oil around the internal surfaces.
I’ve owned Ducati’s for over 42 years now and have never suffered from internal corrosion of the internal motor’s parts, even when bikes haven’t been ridden for over a couple of years.
This advice goes for all makes of bike and not only Ducati’s, the radiators are Japanese made and the same as fitted to all Jap’ bikes.
I understand that you’re unhappy, but it’s not the fault of Ducati or their engines design.

Steve R

Thanks for your reply.
I have put double the 15,000 mile amount on several GSXR750.s over the years. Some kept outside under a cover over a few winters; dormant due to snow etc for many months. These bikes all had at least one valve service; most 2. None of these suffered any radiator or cam shaft damage.
My 899 is in a heated and insulated garage that is integral with my house. I do not ride through winter on it, nor do I intentionally go out when it’s raining. Nor do I go off road or through deep fords on it!
It is the vertical cylinder that has the damage; the other one is fine.

So am I some what surprised that the lobes are so badly damaged. An independent examination is planned.

Biot, the first sign of condensation would be visible in your oil level eye glass, a mlky layer on top of the oil, it is highly unlikely that the condense would be low enough on the PH scale to corrode the metal surface on a machined engine component, and even if the fluids were acidic it would need several months to effect the parts. just an opinion

Have shown the pictures to an engine development engineer who has 40 years experience. He immediately said soft cams; surface hardening not done correctly.
Be interesting to see what Ducati say!

you’ve done the right thing, seek advice, sub standard manufacturing will effect the surfaces of any engine, although surprised the engine hasn’t failed in 15000 miles if this is the case. What year is the bike

It’s a 2014 model that is very well maintained so it’s looking like component failure to me. I’ve talked to 2 different cam shaft manufactures and a race development engineer who all said the parts crap (other words also used!!!).
Have got a test lab lined up to do some Rockwell HRC testing of the lobes. Then I’ll see what Ducati want to do.

If it’s a 2014 bike then I do not think Ducati will do anything, if it was just out of warranty then maybe something goodwill but so far out of warranty I think you will struggle, always worth it, depending on the service history of the bike with official dealers and your history and loyalty to the brand.

Well Ducati have replaced the damaged cams and followers. Which is good of them!!
Off to Brooklands next weekend for the Italian auto day on Sunday. Happy days.

That is pretty good, always worth a shout to dealer first