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Ducati North America Technical Training

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Ducati Technical Excellence Course Training Level 1
With all the new technology wedged inside a new Ducati motorcycle the time has come for updated training standards to ensure that your Ducati's ready to go whenever you are.
Service. It’s one of the most vital aspects of any business. Whether you’re selling hamburgers, hawking used cars or peddling designer jewelry, the key to success revolves around service. The two-wheeled world is no different; hence if you wish to succeed, especially during these trying economic times, one must make service a priority. And that’s exactly what Ducati North America has done for 2009.

With the massive influx of technology – electronic fuel-injection, Ducati Data Acquisition (DDA), Ducati Traction Control (DTC), immobilizer anti-theft system, not to mention Ohlins suspension components featured on new Ducati motorcycles (standard on S models and the Desmosedici D16RR) – the time has come for new service standards. This ensures that each and every Ducati dealership mechanic will be proficient in servicing, maintaining and repairing your Ducati motorcycle.

Highlighting the new program is an updated three-level training curriculum hosted by Ducati North America and held at one of two Wyotech motorcycle training facilities in Ormond Beach, Florida and Fremont, California. The program is taught by certified Ducati motorcycle authority Bruce Meyers, founder of renowned New England-based Ducati Performance shop BCM Motorsports.
(See for yourself how Ducati North America's updated Wyotech training works in the Ducati Techincal Training video to the right.)

Inside the classroom students receive hands-on experience working on both new motorcycles (1198 Superbike, Monster 696) and older generation machines (999 and 749-series Superbikes). In Level 1 students are taught how to complete all the service basics including pre-delivery inspection (PDI) and 7500-mile service. They also learn the fundamentals of the charging system, fuel-injection, suspension basics, and immobilizer anti-theft system set-up.

Students learn the inner working of Ducati motorcycle engines in Level 2, required for a mechanic to provide warranty repairs on a Ducati motorcycle. Technicians learn how to undertake a complete engine overhaul and operate Ducati’s Diagnostic System (DDS) tool, allowing for advanced system analysis. In order to be eligible for Level 2 training, the student must have completed the updated Level 1 program and undergo annual update certification to keep their Level 2 status.
At Wyotech  Ducati technicans recieve plenty of hands-on training working with all types of Ducati motorcycles both new and old.
At Wyotech, Ducati technicans recieve plenty of hands-on training working with all types of Ducati motorcycles both new and old.

To become a Ducati master mechanic, students must complete Level 3 training, which is separated into four modules. The first module consists of training in the inner workings and set-up of Ohlins suspension components. Instruction is held at Ohlins USA headquarters in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The second module consists of engine dynometer training enabling the dealership to further diagnose problems and further tune the motorcycle if necessary. The remaining two modules are comprised of advanced electronic troubleshooting and operations management training.

All training courses are open to all Ducati dealership technicians with Ducati North America paying for schooling (and lunch), while the technician’s dealership is responsible for travel and lodging expenses. Classes are kept small in order to ensure each student gets the right amount of attention (our class had 8 students) and fill up fast so make sure to register early.

Motorcycle USA enrolled in the five-day Level 1 course held at Wyotech’s Ormond Beach, Florida campus (a few miles north of Daytona Beach) to see what the updated training experience is like.

Class begins Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. with a brief introduction by Meyers followed by an introduction from the students in the classroom. After Meyers gives an outline of the week’s activities. The first day is spent learning about the Ducati brand and how you as a technician fit into its image. You also review key workshop practices that will not only save you time but allow you to be more efficient, thus making you more money. Also reviewed are the ins and outs of properly completing a PDI.
Here the Ducati Diagnostic System  DDS  tool is used to reset the throttle positon sensor  TPS  to its default setting.
The Ducati Diagnostic System (DDS) allows mechanics to literally plug into a Ducati motorcycle and run various diagnostic functions. Here it is plugged into a pair of engine throttle bodies.

Where the majority of the first day is a lecture, the second day is more hands-on. In the morning you learn how to use the basic functions of the DDS device. The tool is basically an oversized PC-compatible Gameboy that plugs into contemporary Ducati motorcycles and allows the user to check and set the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS), view engine fault codes and adjust fuel trimmer (ratio of fuel that the fuel-injector puts out), amongst other things. It uses a graphic-style interface so its operation is straightforward, however, it does take some time to understand how to navigate through its assorted menus and functions.

In the afternoon you get your hands dirty learning the intricacies of a 7500-mile service, which includes checking and adjusting Ducati’s proprietary Desmodromic valve actuation system on both 2-valve and 4-valve engines. And despite what we initially assumed, with the right tools and instruction (thanks Bruce!) you’ll be surprised at how simple it is to maintain and adjust a Ducati valvetrain.

Next to having the valve clearance in spec, having the correct belt tension is crucial to avoid engine damage. So Day 3 sees you continuing with the 7500-mile service and learning how properly adjust timing belt tension. Ducati simplifies the process and takes the guess work out of this with its Mathesis timing belt tension tool. The easy-to-use tool plugs into the DDS device and uses a sensor to measure the amount of belt tension. Simply attach the tool to the engine, line up the LEDs with the edge of the timing belt and flick the belt with your finger, thereby causing it to vibrate. The results are displayed on the DDS tool and allow the technician to achieve the correct belt tension every time.

The following day, students wrap up the 7500-mile scheduled service by learning how to reset the non-adjustable throttle position sensor (TPS) on current-generation Ducati motorcycles as well as ascertain its adjustment on older motorcycles.
Ducati Technical Excellence Course Training Level 1
Despite what you might think, Ducati's unique Desmodromic valve actuation system is very straightforward and with the proper training simple to service and maintain.

Next, you’re trained on how to synchronize the motorcycles throttle bodies with a column-type vacuum gauge (available from Motion Pro). This is followed by hooking the motorcycle up to a CO exhaust gas analyzer in order to ensure EPA (and CARB for those of us in California) compliance. The afternoon concludes with a basic run down of a Ducati’s suspension components and how to inspect seals and measure fork oil volume.

On the final day Ducati’s immobilizer anti-theft system is discussed and technicians are briefed on how to program motorcycles immobilizer control unit and how to reprogram replacement keys. Component replacement is also discussed if in the event the customer loses all keys to his or her Ducati motorcycle.

Following this is a review session which covers all of the topics discussed throughout the week and provides an opportunity to ask questions on anything that the student is still not 100% clear on. After that a quick 50-question test is given and if passed you’ve officially become Ducati certified, enabling you to move onto the next level of training.

After experiencing first-hand Ducati’s revised technical training program I’ve got to say they are definitely onto something with this new format. Perhaps even more impressive is the level of devotion that service technicians have for Ducati motorcycles. There’s no doubt that Ducatis utilize unique engineering technology including its desmodromic valvetrain thus requiring a specially trained mechanic.
Ducati Technical Excellence Course Training Level 1
Our class poses for a picture on the final day of class. Joining us is American Superbike rider Larry Pegram who campaigns a Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing Ducati 1098 R.

And the techs share that same fundamental Ducati passion. Not only did my classmates show almost fanatical enthusiasm for the bikes we worked on, they showed genuine interest in learning the nuances of servicing this unique brand of motorcycle. To me it was surprising, but then again, it’s this type of zeal that helps forge the bond between rider and his Ducati machine well after he drops the kickstand down at the end of the day.

It’s this sort of passion and the enthusiasm shown by Ducati personnel at the service level which continues to shun the sour economy and prove that with the right people and the right product a motorcycle manufacturer can still be successful even in these trying times.
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Ducati Technical Excellence Course
2009 Ducati 1198 First Ride
Do you have what it takes for a career as a professional Ducati motorcycle mechanic? Then the Ducati Technical Excellence Course might be for you. The program targets the most talented Wyotech students and facilitates a more direct route to becoming a Ducati service technician.

After a selected student graduates from Wyotech, the person will be positioned in a premium A-Level service department for six months. At the dealership they will obtain tangible experience working on Ducati motorcycles under the watchful eye of experienced mechanics. If successful, at the end of the period they will have earned their Level 2 training certification.

After which, upon the anniversary of their original Wyotech graduation, the mechanic then has the option to enroll in the master mechanic Level 3 curriculum if he or she wishes. For the right person, this could be the fastrack to a rewarding career as a Ducati motorcycle mechanic.

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Big Sven -Overcomplicated demos  November 7, 2010 07:46 AM
I've never owned a desmo, but knew guys who raced the old 250-350 single roadbikes from the 60's. I also knew a guy called Jim Redman who raced a genuine factory 125cc desmo racer. So I know the oil must be absolutely clean. Just ONE speck of dirt the size of the valve clearance would trash the lot. Redman converted his engine to springs in the end, he needed the bike to earn money, not bankrupt him by grinding to a halt. By the way, a lot of the valve-gear from an AJS 7R was an almost perfect fit. Wonder who was copying whom? I knew a guy called Allen Dudley-Ward, a known tuner in the 50's, and he was scathing of the utter complexity and cost of the Ducati system. I think he'd been chugging a few beers with a guy called Reg Orpin (?) and said man actually recalled the brunt of the 'wet' discussion when he sobered-up, and made a simple system that fitted onto a Velocette pushrod motor, and quiet a few systems were sold. Previously limited to 6,200rpm because of the very heavy rockers, the desmo Velo now revved to 7,500 and was now on a par with a good Goldie. Be worth a few bob today, that system. In the early 70's, whilst racing mx in Sweden, I met a Jap engineer working for Kayaba, and we got to talking bikes. Mine of information - and he was sober! There was an engineer in Japan (working for a major bike company, Kawasaki, perhaps) who had totally remodelled a 350cc Velo for fun canyon-riding around the Mount Fuji area, 5-6 speeds, desmo-valves, dripping magnesium and titanium. The entire desmo system was ti, which, though it can't take extreme loads is very good as a sliding bearing. It only had to cope with the heavy valves. The bike revved safely, and all day, at 9,000rpm, would top 10,000 if pushed, but the flywheel was only slightly lightened and could explode the bottom-end if held too long at that speed, and it didn't want to stop when braking! I forget how light it was, but it was as fast in the canyons as the 5-speed 750 Triumph special owned and ridden by the Honda guy (how Triumph knew they could make such a motor later on). The Orpin system proved that OHC systems were obsolete, and especially the Ducati system. A simple desmo pushrod-system is far superior. I have, in my dotage (now retired) devised a 'pushrod' desmo-system of great simplicity, as easy to service as a simple pushrod was. Mostly made out of pressed-steel it would be very cheap to make. The cam is also made out of pressed-steel. Behind a cover on the lower 'pushrod' tunnel it can be changed by removing just one bolt (after removing the cover) and sliding it off, to slide on another cam as easily. Quick and easy to tune the engine to the track, quick and cheap to make a new cam. It's only doodles on paper just yet, need to invest in a CAD program. Father Xmas, perhaps? With a lottery-win I'd get serious and make a 500cc 4-stroke desmo mx-engine out of pressed-steel, the lot. I consider the ditto offerings out of Japan as utter crap, a 4-stroke needs a good flywheel, not the tiny discs they use. My engine would have a much lower head and therefore c of g, aiding handling greatly.
justin -current  June 29, 2010 10:51 PM
i am a student currently at the fremont wyotec and i am learning more than i ever imagined. some ppl said its a waste of time and $ but i disagree, its what you put into it and your level of dedication. i will be attending the euro concentration shortly. -justin see you on the track!
lamar -hi  August 17, 2009 11:49 AM
i was wondering where is the nearist wyotech in long beach because i want to go it when i gruate
Devil Machine -brain enema  April 30, 2009 02:55 PM
I have a Monster that I've kept running for 46000 miles. I do ALL of the service myself. It's true, when you find out how easy it is to service a Ducati, you'll realize that anybody who says Ducatis are hard to work on either doesn't know what they're talking about, or they want to charge you $100 an hour to work on it. Sure, the bike requires more frequent maintenance than my girlfriend's CBR600. But the last time she asked her local shop what they would charge to service the engine, their reply was 8 hours just to CHECK valve clearances and 12 hours if they had to adjust any. Honestly, I think Ducatis are downright enjoyable to work on.