New Pipes On The Duke

20201115 – new pipes on the Ducati

Well they have been sitting in the shed since the weather was good enough to ride the bike. So now it’s turned crappy, seems the perfect opportunity to put my new exhaust on the Ducati….

It was something I regretted not doing when I owned the Versys. The stock exhaust sounds dull and asthmatic, not the image I want people to associate with me. But in the 11 years I had her, I never got around to changing it for something loud and sexy. Which is something I definitely want to be seen as!

So now I’ve finally made the Ducati my main bike, it needs new pipes. A few weeks of Ebay-ing and I found a set that were really cheap (compared to buying new). They had arrived and looked a bit small, but I put them in the shed and then never got around to putting them on, until today.

I first set about unbuttoning the backside of the Ducati. A few fiddly bolts and she was nearly nude. One of the Allen heads had rounded, but luckily, was easily accessible with a saw to cut a slot. A bit of WD40 and a sharp twist with a flat head screwdriver got it out. All the rear lights and number plate are bolted to the exhaust so they had to come off too. Then I set about removing the stock exhaust. This huge box of metal must weigh double what the new ones weigh.

The new exhaust went on very easily. Just a few pipes slipped together and a few bolts nipped up and it was done. It’s made by MIVV and is a full stainless steel system so I won’t have to worry about it rotting. It’s also very simple and sleek design that doesn’t overpower the bikes look. They are just a lot less restrictive, and a lot lighter, so I should get a double bonus to my power to weight ratio on top of a nicer sound!

The moment of truth arrived, everything was back together and tightened up. I had kept the battery out of the bike for the last few weeks, on the trickle charger to try and keep it in as good condition as possible. But the battery is only good for one or two attempts at starting the bike. Its a smaller capacity battery than Aimi’s SV650 has and mine has to turn over a 1000cc lump, that’s hard to start at the best of times. In the end I cheated a bit and held Aimi’s battery across the terminals of mine to give it extra oomph and that did the trick.

It took a bit to get going, but when it did it sounded great! It’s SOOOO MUCH LOUDER and seems quicker to rev too. Maybe because it’s breathing easier?

But it didn’t last long. 

The bike wouldn’t sit on tick over by itself and was running a bit rough. I’m pretty sure one of the cylinders wasn’t firing consistently. Eventually it died when I let the revs drop too low and it wouldn’t start again. But that was because the battery is shit.

I checked the plugs and the front cylinder was wet meaning it was flooding with petrol. I think that was the one not firing consistently. So I’ve got some work to do to get her running properly.

I think I’m going to leave her till the weather gets warm again and I can work on her without my fingers freezing into blocks of ice. I don’t have a garage, and there is no power where I park the bikes so not even the chance of a heater, let alone lights to work in the winter evenings.

But, I can modify the rear tail lights wiring to suit the new exhaust. And I can investigate why the battery is so crappy, and maybe some of the electrical issues. I think I might be able to solve some of them before spring.