RITA advance

Hi everyone,

Just wanting to check the advance angle on the RITA - only problem is that I can’t remember what it’s supposed to be. Still struggling with charging so I want to get it started and balance the carbs so that I can fiddle around with a multimeter once it’s ticking over reliably.

Recommended angle please?

Many thanks


Hi Hugh,
Do you mean the degrees at fully advanced with the spacer put in between the rotor and the pickup?
if so it’s 32-34 degrees, 32 was standard on the Bosch ignition, RITA’s run well on 34.

Steve R

Thanks Steve - it’s actually at 36 degrees so I’ll knock it back to 34. The instructions say 36 - 38 which is way out!

How are you keeping?


Oh b0****x. just snapped off the long bolt that secures the adjustor plate onto the housing. Things just going from bad to worse and I still can’t work out how to wire in the RR51.

Al from Ducatisti forum is onto the case but not fitted one to this model - can anybody that has actually done this to a ‘standard’ loom offer any help?

Why couldn’t I have left the damned timing alone? 36 deg looks fine to me now :imp:

36 degrees is a bit much for modern fuel, it would probably ping like a bugger.

I’ve fitted a RR51 from memory the 2 yellows go to the alternator, red to the +side of the battery and green to the -side.
The white wire’s for the charging light on the later Ducati’s, I can’t remember if I used it on my Bevel as I made my own loom.

I’ve stopped using RR51’s after having problems with one on my 851/916, it was back feeding from the battery to the alternator, I could actually hear the stator frying without the bike being turned on and it was overcharging the battery.
The other RR51 on my BEVEL had a tendancy to boil the battery, so I assume the same thing was happening.

Elextrex supplied me with replacements FOC, the 1st one I tried did exactly the same, so I’ve given up on them and now fit Shindengens from the early single phase 916 etc models.

I think Keef had similar experiences with the RR51’s??

Steve R

And there was me taking your word for it that the RR51 was OK! See previous post

Would the purple and black be the right one - have a look at my post on ducatisti.co.uk - unfortunately I added it to the wrong forum which has confused things somewhat!

"Re: Electrex RR51/900SS

Postby Mr R on Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:44 am
Hi again Hugh,
I’ve been running one on my old bevel for 2 or 3 years now with no problems,
I’ve also got one on my 851/916 special again I can report no problems.
Are you sure the alternator and the wires coming from it are OK, the bike should run without one fitted until the battery runs out.
I’ve not heard a bad word about them.
I did suspect a problem once and they sent me another one FOC, it turned out that it wasn’t at fault so I’ve now got a spare and this was more than a year after I’d bought it!

Steve Robins"

Would the purple and black be the right one - have a look at my post on ducatisti.co.uk - unfortunately I added it to the wrong forum which has confused things somewhat!

ducatisti.co.uk/forum/ducati … ility.html

Any help at this stage would be brilliant - I am slowly losing the will to carry on…


Hi Hugh,
My original post was over 3 years ago and as you can see things have changed.
I know lots of people who claim that they haven’t had any problems with the RR51’s, I was one of them but have had problems since then…

So you could be one of the lucky ones.

Just forget/bypass the original wiring and remove the old reg/rec, mount the RR51 and fit the red to the positive, green to the negative, the 2 yellows to the alternator, then run a wire from the positive side of the battery to the main fuse…
You should then have a working charging system, that has a seperate sub-loom that plugs into the main loom via the fuse box*.
The white wire is for the charging light on the 748,851/888/916’s etc and when plugged into the looms on these bikes it works as it should, only lighting up the gen’ waring light when the charging systems isn’t working properly, as I said before I don’t know wether it’ll work on the old Bevel loom as I run a much simplified self-made loom on my 900.

IIRC the ‘Gen’ light on the 900 stays on all the time whatever the charging systems doing, it doesn’t come on then go out when the systems charging, or only light when the systems failing.
But I do know that if the metal ‘Gen’ light bulb holder touchs earth it’ll blow a fuse.

*I run the RITA and coils in the same way, a seperate sub-loom that plugs into the main loom via the fuse box.
This way any problems with the charging or the ignition can only be in these seperate looms/systems.

IMHO trying to plug a new charging sytem into a 32 year old loom is asking for a shed load of problems, you could be going around in circles/chasing problems almost forever…

There’s miles of wire in the original loom that doesn’t need to be there, they weren’t very good looms (or most of the switch gear etc) when they were new.
I lost count of the original ignition switches I went through over the years, until I fitted a Honda item which I later simplified to use only 2 wires, mounting it by the LH side panel so the wires didn’t need to run all the way upto the headlamp, from there to the ing’ switch and then all the way back again via the headlamp.
The same goes for the parking light function, who’s ever used that? There’s wiring in there for a kill switch that was never fitted…
It’s just more things to go wrong that didn’t need to be there in the 1st place.

Steve R

I see what you mean…

Just connected the battery to F1 as you suggested - no life in it at all!I’m also left with a P/Bk wire that goes to (I think) the GEN light - surely this needs to be connected somewhere?

So would you suggest that I go back to an original (functioning) reg/rec or is there a viable alternative?

BTW the GEN light hasn’t worked for ages - but it seems that it hasn’t for quite a few owners anyway, and doesn’t seem to indicate very much!

As a matter of interest, how would I go about installing a new loom - a big job, I know, but possibly the only answer :cry:


If the battery is fully charged the bike should run even if the reg/rec and alternator weren’t connected.
Your problem is obviously somewhere else in the electrics, you need to get a multimeter and find out where the power is breaking down.

Steve R

It does, but the battery isn’t charging. I have put another stator in, but it’s still not charging and it does appear that the alternator is putting out a charge as I get 14 plus volts out when the engine’s running.

The problem with testing with a multimeter is that I’m just not confident that I know where and what to test. Like I said before, I am fine if it moves but if it can give you a shock I don’t where to start and I don’t know of anybody locally that’s interested in touching such an old bike, hence the frequent posts on here!!!


Hi Hugh,
If you were closer I’d come and have a look, I’m not an electrician but it’s not Rocket Science.
If you were to buy a new pattern loom, you’d just get a new version of the original piece of crap as Keef has found out.

If you want to go down that route though, (Against my advice) just cut the old loom off leaving a couple of inches of the old loom connected to everything, so that you can see which colour went where, put the new loom on the frame and swap one wire at a time.
This’s what I did when I fitted a new loom to my 1st T150V Trident when I was only 18, before that the only electrical thing I’d touched was when I changed a bulb or a fuse, it’s just the application of common sense mate.
Making one is quite simple, I could send an easy to follow diagam that does away with all the un-needed crap.
But you don’t come across as very confident, you can’t get a shock until you connect the battery to try your work!!

So you can either get the bike in a van and take it somewhere that will do the job, or you could try this guy who has a good reputation.
But I haven’t used him myself, so if anything goes wrong in the future don’t come back and say Steve Robins said he was good…


Steve R

P.S. the RITA was designed/made for the early 860GT’s and they used a different ignition that did advance by 36-38 degrees.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for that - are you serious about a new wiring diagram? I can ‘do’ electrics, i.e. put in wiring, it’s just working out the faults that a problem. If you did it at 18 then I should be able to do at now I’m 26 and even better when I’m 51!!

If you are serious, then maybe I could have a look at it and work out whether it’s a practical proposition. It might just be the steep learning curve I need!

Have a think about it and let me know. Buying a new loom from Ducati never crossed my mind - a bit like giving up Woodbines for Navy Cut :smiley: