996 (2000) - losing drive & cutting out


I own a Ducati 996 (2000) which seems to have an electrical problem – the bike is warmed and running well and suddenly loses drive and generally stalls or lurches between cutting out and re-catching– this can happen at any speed and under acceleration or not. The problem used to be more intermittent but now seems to be happening every time and usually around 10-15 minutes into the ride. Once it stalls it won’t restart immediately and the fuel pump not priming once the key is turned – however after 10 or 15 minutes of cooling down it primes and runs again normally until the problem re-occurs again after a similar amount of time. This problem has only occurred once when I tried to start the bike from cold when again the fuel pump didn’t prime when the key was turned although the bike turned over.

I appreciate electrical problems are difficult to diagnose and I’ve tried a couple of authorised local Ducati dealers who weren’t even interested in having a look which is quite disappointing and the problem is driving me mad!- it sounds like a similar problem that BJB_2112 posted back in 2011 although in my case the loss of drive is abrupt and not gradual.

Any views or advice would be very much appreciated - thanks a lot.

We all hate intermittent electricals.

I had one where the fuel pump was not working all the time and I ended up putting in a bypass wire from the relay under the seat directly to the fuel pump as the voltage along the original (Brown & White on the SPS) wire was low.

Tell us your approximate location and we may be able to suggest one of the well-respected independent specialists out there if the Main Dealers are not interested.


Thanks Steve - much appreciated - I’m near Hertford in Hertfordshire.

However as an update I took it out on Saturday and it stalled again on me at speed - but this time although it would restart and idle well as soon as I went near the throttle it stalled - only by snap opening the throttle and keeping it above about 5000 revs would prevent it stalling but as soon as it fell below that level it cut out.

So it was an RAC job to get towed home. Trying again yesterday its just the same so in some ways I’m actually quite hopeful that now it’s properly broken it might be easier to diagnose and hopefully fix.


Maybe a (intermittent) fault with the fuel pump itself?

Sometimes the best thing is to fail completely, it is then easier to fix than a running bike

Hi Mark

I’m not too sure about any independents close to Hertford, but my local is Neil at Cornerspeed who can always be relied upon for a straight and honest opinion.
The other suggestion I have is to call Ian at Rhodes & Track in Northampton, I remember Ian from his days at Baines where he serviced my 900SS back in the nineties.
He advertises in Desmo.

Hope you get it sorted before the summer arrives.


Hi Steve,

Thanks very much for the suggestions and thanks to everyone else who has offered help. Now that it seems to be properly broken I’ve finally managed to get my bike looked at later next week - not a Ducati specialist but the mechanic used to have one and is also more of a specialist in electrical issues - they also looked after my first bike a 750 SS. However if they don’t manage to sort it I’ll definitely follow up your suggested alternatives.

I’ll post an update when hopefully the problem is sorted - fingers crossed!.

Thanks again


It does sound like a fueling issue, but on these engines (I had one in my ST4s) all sorts of things seem to interfere, from the crank position sensor to the ECU (which I had to change at no small expense).

A lot of problems are caused by a weak battery, as this seems to send the ECU in a tailspin and exacerbate everything else, so the first thing I’d do is test it UNDER LOAD - that is while cranking, or with a load tester (around £23 at Machinemart, or probably free at any friendly garage). If it’s in any way suspect replace it with a good make, e.g. Yuasa (cheaper on ebay) and see if it makes a difference.

Dear All,

Just thought I would post a reply to let you know progress on the 996.

My mechanic changed a few small (and relatively inexpensive) things such as some of the relays but to no avail. So I bit the bullet and ordered off ebay a second-hand ECU and EPROM chip - as soon as they were fitted the bike burst into life again and so far… has been perfect (touch wood!). That was about 3-4 weeks ago but I held off posting this reply until I had given it a few longer runs. So far so good…I’m starting to feel more confident that it’s not going to suddenly cut out and die during overtaking!

Thanks again to everyone that helped.


Great news, and I’m Pleased to hear that you got it fixed before the weather turned.