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1260 Multistrada 1260s Strange Oil Trace - Is It A Leak?

Discussion in 'Multistrada' started by SuzaFan, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Hi all,

    I am completely new to the Forum so hi to everyone.

    I bought new Multistrada 1260S in April 2019 and have been enjoying it a lot.

    Then, I suddenly discovered something what, it turned out, nobody can detect what it is.

    I send my bike to 2 different Ducati service stations and both of them had no answer - they told me - ride more and see if this will continue and increase or it will disappear.

    I will post pictures and explain a bit.

    This are the pictures taken at the moment when I discovered this (after ca 3.200 km on the clock).

    I don't know when it appeared, either just at that time or it was there for a longer time, or from the beginning.




    First, we all suspected (were almost sure) that it was faulty valve cover gasket.

    But after they wiped the oil trace and checked the bike, it turned out that valve cover was completely dry and they couldn't discover where it was coming from.

    After that, I was riding more and I was forcing it to leak (higher revs, higher speed), but only what I dot whas this below.

    When I wiped that again, I got myself a dentist mirror and checked completely closely the exhaust gasket(exhaust - manifold).

    Now it looks like this:



    It is definitely coming from there - from the bottom part of exhaust gasked on vertical cylinder- at the service, they are telling me that it is the leftover of some grease from the factory, melting. They cannot find anything else and they are persuading me that this is not a leak.

    When I closely look the gasked, it seems a bit greasy and these are some burned spots on the exhaust around it - might be some grease - maybe they put grease in the factory when they assemble exhaust and manifold together?? - and they put too much this time

    But still, can it be exhaust gasket leaking? I don't know how it looks when exhaust gasket is leaking - for me it would be strange to see oily, liquid texture - it shoud be just burned and dry if exhaust is leaking.

    This what I am getting is oily and liquid - and it is not getting around the bolts and everywhere around gasked like on the first picutres, now it is just a tiny oily trace at the middle of the exhaust gasket- and not even close to qty like it was when I first discovered it,

    Do you have any idea what this could be?

    Thanx in advance,

    Greetings from Croatia,
  2. I guess you’ll just have to ride the bike some more and see what happens. Keep a very close eye on your oil level, although sometimes these bikes can use a little oil...but it wouldn’t present itself like that. Seems strange to have a lump of grease melting from there but maybe not impossible.

    Ride it, see what appears. A leak from the exhaust would show as a dry powdery black or darkish brown dusty type stain, not like an oil leak. Keep checking it’s not oil from somewhere else.

    I’m sure someone else will be along soon to give you other suggestions. Keep us posted.
  3. Hi,

    thanx for the answer.
    OK, so it seems that it's definitely not exhaust leak...
    Especially as it was oily all around the exhaust and bolts, on the first pictures...
    I will definitely keep a close eye on this situation, oil level seems ok for now.
    Only downside is I will have to wait till Spring to test it properly...
    It is really weird, 2 different Ducati services were not able to detect the cause of this...
    I was actually forcing them to disassemble everything and to change the exhaust gasket, but they said that there is no sense till we are not sure...
    My thinking was - if replace, wipe everything and it appears again, we know it wasn't any grease...if it doesn't appear, it was grease melting...
    Btw, how big job is it, to replace exhaust/manifold gasket on vertical cylinder - maybe I could do it myself?
  4. Hi, I’m sure you could replace the exhaust gasket yourself but why do so at this stage.

    a) as said above there’s no oil path behind the gasket to be leaking so, if it is a leak, and it must be coming from somewhere else, and, perhaps more importantly,

    b) your bike is still under warranty with Ducati. If you start messing around with it by disassembling parts of the engine you may very well invalidate the warranty.

    I think your best off thoroughly cleaning off all traces of the oil and then keeping a close eye on it to see if it reappears. I appreciate this may not be fully possible until the spring now but any good day you get take it for a blast and see. If it reappears then leave it with your dealer over the winter to fix.
  5. Head gasket leaking at oilways inside head and oil is creeping out wherever it can?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Yes, good thinking.
    I will just wait and monitor if it stars reappearing constantly...
    Then I will leave it at the dealers

    Wouldn’t bike then be smoking like hell through exhaust?
    If oil would be coming to head?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Yeah, maybe. All depends on direction of flow from head-gasket failure. May or may not make it to combustion chamber I suppose.
  8. And yes, after I wiped everything, it reappeared as a tiny trace, just below exhaust (coming actually from the exhaust gasket) but that is all above head gasket...
    However, we’ll see when I keep on riding
  9. Oil can travel around, blown by the wind, dribbling here and there. I have a leak that's coming out at the rear of the horizontal belt cover. Dealer thinks it's the cam seal, has the parts and will be having the bike in early December. Initially I thought it was the oil lines that go to the cooler. Good luck in finding the source of your leak.
  10. Get some talc and dust it over the areas above the leak and this will show where it is coming from.
    Pics 2&3 show it is dripping from above and is running down the exhaust stud.
    #10 Siddo, Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. I would venture to say that it is oil leaking from the head gasket. There are a couple of O-rings there from which, if they leak, oil could find it's way out.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. Hi,

    thanks for your opinions.
    I don't know if I mentioned, but the oil trace (after we wiped everything) is coming very tiny from one single point just on the lower side of the exhaust, where it is connected to the manifold.
    It literally looks like oil is coming from the exhaust gasket. (very weird)
    And this is all above head gasket.
    I think the only way to discover this will be to leave it like it is and make a proper, spirited, longer ride in Spring unfortunately.
    Then I see a scenario - nice weather comes, I start riding, we discover it is not some old grease being melted, but a proper leak, they disassemble the bike and than I will be without it for 2 weeks while they get this sorted... (spare parts arrive etc...)
    Btw, if they need to change head gasket, does whole engine need to get out? How complex and difficult job is it? Open the engine, remove head of the engine:tired_face::weary_face::broken_heart::broken_heart:...
    I will start crying if they need to disassemble my whole, brand new bike (now only 4.000 kilometers on the clock):sob::sob::sob::sob:
  13. Only start crying if it turns out to be porous heads like they had on the early Multis. They leaked water not oil though and I'd say it's exceedingly unlikely to be that...

    I'd be inclined to ride it until the first service is due and see what it does, having noted the problem with Ducati now. Then let them sort it as part of the 1st service - by which time it may have just disappeared.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Not ACF-50 or similar?
  15. There isn't (or shouldn't be) any oil in the exhaust to leak out, only exhaust gases. Any oil in the exhaust would be evident as blue smoke, probably mainly at cold starts. It occurs to me though that the threaded hole for the exhaust stud could be drilled too deep and has broken through the inside wall. This could allow a small weep down the exhaust stud that would appear to emerge from the exhaust gasket.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  16. That's exactly what I will do - ride it normally till next regular service...and I noted the problem with Ducati already, we officially opened the file and never closed it...

    This doesn't sound too good... anyway, I think they will definitely need to remove the exhaust pipe to see what is behind...
    How big job is this? Do they need to remove rear swing arm for that?
  17. what do you mean by that? I don't quite understand?
  18. ACF-50 is a storage coating often applied to bikes to protect parts from corrosion. I think Stanford was suggesting visible oil may be that kind of coating running off.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. That would actually be the best case scenario and that is the thinking that I officially have from dealership till now...
    They were telling me that their suspect is that this is some kind of grease/protection from the factory nad that it was melted...
    What I need to do is get some proper mileage and see then...
    If the situation like on the first pictures appears again, than we know we need to send the bike to the dealership...
    If there will be just this tiny trace, and decreasing, then it really was some leftover...
  20. Good suggestion re the AC-50 except this is a bike bought new in April this year in Croatia, winter is only just upon us and AC-50 is an owner applied product not a Ducati factory or dealer applied product. Suzafan I’d ignore that suggestion for now. Hopefully it is grease from engine assembly working it’s way out but just keep an eye on it for now.
    • Like Like x 1

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