Technical advice: Stalling on downshifts

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MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related.

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Q. I got a Ducati Monster 1100S a couple of weeks ago and I am loving it.

But every now or then, when I am downshifting, the engine dies on me. It has happened five or six times so far, so not a huge deal, but it happens extremely fast just after I dip the clutch.

The bike was a demo that sat on the floor for four months with five miles on the clock when I got it. I was just wondering what could be doing this?

As it is a problem I cannot replicate willingly, I am really not excited about leaving the bike with the dealer for many days (it is a bit far away from my home), and I was thinking of just continuing to ride it and see how it goes.

Pedro, MCN forums

A. When an engine is new like yours it is fairly tight so there’s more internal friction.

When you have two hefty pistons like your big V-twin has that internal friction combined with the vacuum effect can add enough drag so that it slows the motor down so quickly that it stalls.

Easing the tickover up to the top of the range will help, as will blipping the engine on downshifts, but the best remedy is to get out there and ride it so that it loosens up. The problem will probably then disappear.

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Chris Dabbs

By Chris Dabbs