The standard Bosch ignition system can fail when the outer covering on the pick up wires breaks down due to engine oil temperature. Continuity tests with the pickups in position can be misleading as shorting out against the adjacent pick up wire can exist and not be detected. Resistance testing can also be affected in the same way. Pick ups are the same as Mote Guzzi V50 if second-hand parts are required. Misfires are sometimes traced to pickup clearance problems. Lucas Rita ignition has been used with very positive results. Pick up mounting point for this system is situated outside of the double pulley on the cam belt cover. Being a dry running system engine oil temperature has no damaging affect. Timing adjustments can be done without having to remove alternator cover. Build quality is poor but has been improved by making pick up plate and cover in stainless steel. Double pole coils can be substituted with the Rita. When using strobe light to time ignition DO NOT remove inspection window from cover. Cover is under crankcase pressure and blows oil out when window removed. Spark plugs used are NGK BP7HS, B8HS, B7HV, B8HV (available from Club) Champion plugs are generally regarded as hopeless, with backfiring on start up being a symptom of impending failure. Magnetising of the flywheel has caused elusive failures. Flywheel rotor mounting nut can loosen in use causing knocking noise and expensive damage. Locking washer locating area has been machined out to fully locate washer and prevent it flattening during use. Regulator failure, (cheap modification done by using RS bridge rectifier and Lucas Zener Diode, also replacement unit available incorporating LED functioning
light.) Overcharging of battery, (larger battery fitted by cutting clearance space into rear mudguard and flattening tray edge) Front fairing indicators on SL model are same as fitted to small fiat cars. Cheap batteries are not recommended. Yuasa Yumicron or ‘GS’ used mostly. Standard Bosch headlight has sharp cut off pattern. Honda unit fitted as alternative. Oil pressure switch can rupture internally and cause idiot light to remain on whilst engine is running. On early models replacement switch can be used from Lucas for Volkswagen or Porsche/Audi range. Check whether thread is straight (Later switches supplied by importer have tapered threads). Neutral contacts have this switch removed and blanked off. Neutral indicator switches are prone to leakage through the contacts and from the threaded area. A number of machines have this removed and blanked off. Electrical system is generally reliable. Fuses vibrate loose. Continual battery discharge cured by earthing regulator unit to frame. Idiot light failure (RS bulbs can be used in original housings). Starter motor bushes contaminated by engine oil when seal between crankcase and motor fails, (brushes from fiat car cut down and used). Ducati Club France has printed two alternative wiring diagrams in their magazine, translation being done.
Regulator failed at 40,000km. Rebuilt one substituted. Charge warning light remains illuminated irrespective of revs until lights are turned on, at which point it is extinguished, irrespective of revs! Regular liberal applications of WD40 to all connections seems to keep things reliable. Don’t skimp on batteries, buy the best quality the minute it starts acting up.