Checking ignition coil and electrical system on Ducati 500 Sport (Parallel Twin)

Evening all,

This is my first post after recently joining the club.

I’m trying to get my Ducati 500 Desmo Sport going again and wanted to know some basic checks I can conduct on the electrical system. I have a multi-meter.

The key question I wondered if anyone knew my confirm whether my woes are with a faulty ignition coil.

The bike is electric start only and turns over well and freely but doesn’t get a spark. All lights, indicators, horn function perfectly. Upon checking the ignition coil I get a reading of 12.7V when the ignition is turned on at the key. It drops to 10.4V or so when actually turning over on the starter button. However I can’t get a spark? I tried removing / replacing the plug caps. Removing / replacing the HT leads. I even tried a different ignition coil which behaved in the same fashion. If power is going in but not coming out surely this is at fault?

Any advice / help would be much appreciated.

Many Thanks

Has the timing been set up correctly ??

Hi John,

Yes the timing is all setup correctly. However we did have to repair one of the electrical pickups - (broken wire). However we did this by connecting a bullet connector and heat shrinking. The connection / seal looks sound now. Is there a way to test this pick-up to be absolutely sure?

Many Thanks

Not sure, but if there’s power to the coils it’s strange that there is no spark, hopefully someone wil come along with more knowledge,

Yes that’s what I found confusing. With the ignition on at the key I was getting 12.7V at the input on the coils so I found it odd that there was no spark? There are two inputs on the coils but I could only really check one - maybe I need to do both, however I thought one might be a neutral? The one I was checking was coming down from the switchgear. Hopefully someone will help me get the the bottom of it.