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Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by erappaport, May 24, 2006.
Hi folks, anyone got any 650 Elefant pics they want to show off ?
Revisiting moto literature of the past, Motorcyclist/Jan ‘86…
Greetings Elefant braintrust!
I'm looking at a '94 e900 this week with pretty low miles (about 4500!). I have a couple general questions I hope someone can answer:
First, generally, what would you inspect when looking at a seldom-ridden elefant?
Do I need to take off panels to check the rectifier? He said the dealer (who maintained it) "did some electrical upgrades" but he didn't know much more than that.
What would you listen for when running/riding?
It looks like a Canadian-spec elefant -- it has no Cagiva or Ducati decals, just the big "elefant" on the burgundy tank, with silver lower fairings -- is there any real difference other than paint scheme between a US-spec Ducati e900 and a Canadian Cagiva 900AC?
Also, I guess, yeah, I wonder about ballpark value. He's asking 3800, which seems high... unless it really is a 4.5K mile showroom condition elefant?
Thanks for any help yinz can provide.
So, elefant sighted in my garage today. Turned out the seller (see post above) was very willing to deal. Rode it home and man, what a bike. Just purrs.
Nice Find! - even $3800 is a very fair price given the condition and mileage of the bike. These are only going up in value at this point.
I'll take a swing at the "what to look for" list - this assumes you are new to Ducati's
- Inspect and check cam belt tension (too loose is better than too tight) There are multiple sources on how to do this.
Google the "5mm wrench method" If maintenance records are available, great. If not, don't take the PO's word on this.
- Belts need to be replaced periodically, based on mileage and /or age. They'll go longer than people worry about, but the tension is important.
- "Groaning" or "screeching" sounds when you let the clutch out from a standstill means the clutch plates need attention.
- Check the valve clearances if that has not been done. Your bike is low enough mileage that this may have not been done yet (I recall the first check was at 6000 miles)
The valves clearances tend to move the most early in the life of the engine. As the mileage accumulates, the clearances tend to remain stable.
- If the dry clutch rattle is excessively loud, your clutch basket and plates may be worn out. (probably not an issue with such a low mileage bike)
- The clutch bearing in the pressure plate can seize, causing the clutch rod to spin and damage the slave cylinder assembly.
- Check that none of the cylinder head studs are broken. All ducati engines of this era were prone to broken studs - if they are silver
in color, they are probably original. If they are black, they have been likely replaced already. To check, put a wrench on the stud nut and
give it a tug. If it's tight, great. If it's loose, there is a broken stud. Some of the nuts require you to grind down a wrench to fit into the space.
- Most of the electrics live under the upper front fairing. The fuse holder assembly on the right side is prone to overheating and melting. Many owners
have replaced this assembly. The voltage regulator connector is prone to failing as well, and many folks replace these.
- The rear cylinder leads a hard life from getting little air flow. It's not uncommon to have an oil leak from an oil return passage o-ring that lives under the
cylinder head. Look for oil pooling on the crankcase behind the cylinder. It's more annoying than anything, and the motor has to be dropped (relatively easy)
to remove the head.
- The good news is that these bikes are relatively easy to work on.
- This guy is a good source for spare parts and upgrades: https://elefantadventurebikes.com/
- Google and facebook have Elefant user groups that can be helpful with questions.
- Get a copy of LT Snyders ducati repair manual, along with the Haynes manual. The factory repair manual is also available.
I'm sure I've left something out and hopefully others will chime in..........
Enjoy the bike, they're great iconic bikes that have lots of character and you will likely not see another one on the road.
@vtduc that's super helpful, thank you -- I am going to go through it more carefully this weekend and check the electrical stuff, examine the cylinder head studs, oil leaks, etc. I rode it home (only about 35 miles, but some highway, some stop'n'go traffic) and it ran beautifully. I don't know if it's just me coming off a very light-clutch DR, but there did seem to be some groaning when taking off from a stop. I think that might just me learning technique, though? We'll see.
I have been studying elefantadventurebikes a bunch, so I can try to identify what the previous service tech did to the rectifier, etc. The records are there, but pretty vague in terms of describing what, exactly, was done after the rectifier overheated. It looks like they replaced it with an "ss monster" rectifier... which is maybe the same as the original? I don't know. Also tried to join the google group, but haven't heard back yet. Sadly, I don't do facebook, so I'm missing out there probably.
It wants to fly, though. My wife followed me home, and I had to really work hard to keep her in my mirror.
Again, thanks for the response. I'll report back with pics and questions for sure.
That is a really good find. Seems like a very reasonable price. The advise above is good, get to know the bike. They're easy enough to work on
providing you're not hamfisted. I would assume with that low mileage that the belts are probably original. They're old, change them.
Lube your throttle cables, you can't get replacements., change your fluids, etc and enjoy it. I've owned mine since 2004 and have 90,000 kms. on it.
Thanks, Tom. I am only slightly hamfisted, but am just now reading through the Snyder book and starting to go through stuff. If I get break on the honey-do list, I'll get to tear into it this weekend. Mostly just to pull off the belt covers to check the tension (and verify that they were replaced), check valves, install some elefatadventurebikes electrical stuff that I can tell was never done. I'll take pictures along the way and probably have some questions. Like: how to take the gas tank off. I'm sure it'll become obvious when I get the side fairing bodywork off. But any tips/advice on that front, don't hold back!
Again, much thanks.
The fairings are generally pretty straightforward. The front headlight fairing requires that you remove the last screw on both sides of the windscreen. The left rear side panel (under the seat) has an integrated toolbox. There's a screw hiding inside the toolbox that attaches to the frame. The specification sticker with tires pressures, etc. hides in there too. The tank is pretty standard in that it sits on rubber knobs on either side of the frame. You just pull back after undoing the rear retaining bolts. There is a fuel hose running from the right side fuel tap to the left side. The hose has to be loosened on one side or the other to pull the tank.
You may want to invest in some spare rubber wellnuts as yours may be perished by now from age. A good trick is to put a little grease on the screws that install into the wellnuts. If the screws corrode / seize up, they can be a real pain to remove.
There's another thread called "The elefant technical thread" that might get more traffic to answer mechanical questions.
Best of luck.
Had some time to make some progress. Brake fluid refresh, changed the oil, finished the electrical stuff, and next up is the cam belts.
And all buttoned up.
Due to the pandemic, DMV will only issue historical plates through mail-in services. So, for now, I am stuck waiting on them to get the paperwork checked out and for the plate. I did find a couple of issues: the plastic behind right-side the passenger peg is cracked. I gorilla-taped it for now, but I would loooove to find a replacement. I know, I know -- that's probably not gonna happen.
And whoever last removed & replaced the plastics, you need to find a different career path. I have never come across so many cross-threaded bolts in one place before. Most were on the side fairing, and thankfully only one in the tank, but what kinda Ducati mechanic cross-threads six bolts? And I blame the mechanic, because the PO surely didn't do so much as change his own oil.
Looking good! I've seen the part you're after from international sellers on ebay a few times. If you set your search parameters to "worldwide", you'll cast a larger net.
Also, the elefant 750 shares many of the same parts as the 900. Terminology (language) can be tricky, so you'll probably just have to search for Cagiva elefant and weed thru the listings.