Ducati 848 Problems: 6 Known Issues (Explained)

The Ducati 848 EVO is a bike made with close attention to detail and a powerful engine.

Although it doesn’t pack a punch s well as its big brothers on the track, it screams just as hard on city streets and country roads.

If you’re in the market for one, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to reveal the most common issues Ducati 848 owners have expressed and the steps they’ve taken to troubleshoot their faithful concrete-shredding stallion.

We’ve combed the forums for info on the Ducati 848 and come up with the problems you may face.

Let’s throttle into it!

1) Ignition Failure

The Ducati 848 packs a powerful V-twin engine.

Still, no matter how good the bike is, any vehicle requires upkeep, and even the best of the best goes through wear-and-tear.

A few riders have reported experiencing difficulty starting their Ducati 848s, and we aim to get into the details.

Faulty Ignition Coil:

The ignition coil works as a high voltage transformer.

It increases the ignition system’s initial voltage up from 12 volts to thousands.

The voltage required to generate a spark that spans the spark plug’s electrode gap depends on variables constantly changing variables. Simply put, the ignition coil kicks in to meet that demand.

Ignition coils are built to be reliable, but they can still wear out. Heat and vibration can short them out or corrupt their inner windings.

That said, the most common offender for coil degradation is the power overload created from bad spark plugs/plug wires.

It’s important to make inspecting and changing your spark plugs a part of routine maintenance.

Here are some ways for you to detect a faulty ignition coil in your bike:

    1. Difficult starting
    2. Misfiring
    3. Backfiring
    4. Rough Idle
    5. Replacement Spark plugs don’t fix the above symptoms.

Some of these causes are:

  • Damaged spark plugs:
    If your ignition coils operate at a higher output than average, then they are bound to get damaged quickly. This increased output may occur when your spark plugs are worn out. When a spark plug is wearing out, the coil is forced to produce more voltage to close this gap, and this extra strain can lead to overkill and an eventual failure.
  • Excessive vibrations:
    This is a potential issue on any bike. Bikes vibrate, and vibration can cause wear and tear on many of a bike’s components, including the ignition coil. If the ignition coil’s windings are damaged from vibration, it can cause breaks in your ignition coil’s secondary windings.
  • Overheating:
    Bike motors get hot. If you’re regularly riding hard for long periods of time, there is a high chance of damaging the ignition coils. And when the ignition coils are fried from the heat enough times, they cannot conduct electricity. Again, this is part of normal wear-and-tear and yet another reason why vehicles should be inspected and serviced regularly. 
  • Overuse:
    After enduring all the elements of riding listed above, the ignition coil is bound to wear out. The ignition coil’s wear and tear could damage the bond between the primary coil and the primary and secondary coil windings. Using the coil past the point of no return only damages it more and more, and overuse could strain other components in the process.

2) Poor Acceleration/Acceleration

Even a bike as monstrous and reliable as the Ducati 848 can’t escape the most fundamental requirements for proper motor function.

One of the most necessary conditions in any engine is combustion.

Like any other bike, the engine of the Ducati 848 requires adequate air and fuel mixture to run effectively; if either air or fuel is lacking, it can affect your acceleration drastically.

You can also experience this problem if you keep your bike inactive for a long time without using it.

Poor acceleration could result in delayed throttle response— a slow reaction when you jam on the throttle to increase your speed.

Some causes of weak acceleration/ throttle response are:

  • Type of Spark Plug:
    As with any other motorcycle, the Ducati 848 requires a specific type of spark plug to run smoothly. If an inadequate spark plug is used, then there’s a high chance that you’ll experience poor acceleration.
  • Dirty Spark Plug:
    The importance of the spark plug to your bike’s acceleration system cannot be overemphasized. Pitting, carbon and oil residue is like to cause an inconsistent spark on the spark plug. Hence, leading to poor acceleration.
  • Clogged Air Filter:
    As you may have deduced on your own, the air intake system is a huge factor in delivering the appropriate air ration into the combustion chamber. This all starts with the air filter, so if the air filter is clogged, there will be insufficient air entering into the combustion system, thereby causing poor acceleration.
  • Fuel type:
    Because your Ducati 848’s engine is sensitive to the different fuels you put in, you will experience abnormal engine behavior if you use bad gasoline. Suppose the gas gets stale while in the gas tank, especially ethanol and gasoline, the engine will accelerate poorly.

Even the most reliable motorcycles require routine maintenance, and the Ducati 848 is no different.

Ensure that you change old gas in the tank and clean out the air filter and spark plugs regularly to maintain optimal acceleration.

3) Low Mileage

The efficiency of the Ducati 878 lends the bike the potential of high gas mileage.

We’ve encountered a few complaints from owners regarding the bike’s mileage decreasing once they’ve broken the bike in.

Upon looking into these claims, it became apparent that there are too many factors contributing to these claims for us to consider it an isolated “flaw.” Let’s take a look.

Typically, bikes that experience this reduction of mileage are bikes that are due for servicing. ANy given machine is performing a myriad of functions at once, and each of these functions requires energy to perform, and the source of that energy in a motorcycle is its fuel.

If a motorcycle is past its suggested service, the oil is likely bad.

Poor lubrication causes many issues, many of them related to its components working harder to the extra resistance caused by the increased friction that poor lubrication causes.

One of these issues is the increase in energy required by these components to perform their basic functions; the motor burns more fuel to generate that power.

Dirty engine oil solidifies and clogs vital parts of the engine, limiting their movement, creating more resistance, and burning more energy to function.

An easy example of this is the gear shift lever; difficulty shifting gears means more power is required to move up and down the gears, as needed.

Another huge contributor towards an increase in energy spending is low tire pressure.

Bike tires require a certain amount of air to stay functional and deliver maximum performance. If the air-requirement isn’t met, the bike is using more energy to maintain its momentum.

We’ve also established that many cases in which owners expressed a decrease in gas mileage after the bike was broken in resulted from riding cautiously during the break-in period.

The owner’s manual suggests riders take it easy while the engine’s metal components have a chance to expand to their intended dimensions.

Once the bike is broken in, Ducati 848 owners are excited to test its capabilities. This often results in riders being trigger happy on the throttle, and ripping the bike harder obviously burns more fuel than riding at a moderate pace.

4) Faulty Voltage Regulator

Although this problem has since been solved via recall, we’ve included it for owners of used 2007-2008 Ducati 848s whose bikes may not have been upgraded appropriately.

The gist of the recall is as follows: the Ducati 848’s presenting engine heat was causing damage to the bike’s charging system, namely the Voltage regulator.

Once damaged, the Voltage Regulator was malfunctioning, causing battery damage as well.

The bike’s voltage can get up to 18.42 volts while running, which is quite high for a bike. As a result of this faulty regulator, riders may experience stalling at idle as well as flickering headlights.

Also, the temperature of the bike could get up to 210 degrees while idling. This failed regulator could further lead to other advanced issues if not checked and changed on time.

The recall prompted owners of 848s produced in 2007-2008 to take their bikes to their local Ducati dealership to get the voltage regulators swapped out for an upgraded unit.

Ducati mechanics are also instructed to install a heat shield by the battery box to guard the new regulator against engine heat in the future.

If you’re the owner of a 2007-2008 Ducati, whether you’re experiencing battery issues or if you’re unsure if your bikes been fitted with the heat shield and upgraded Regulator, your local Ducati dealership can run your VIN and let you know if you’ve got the parts you need!

The following two sections aren’t issues, but a few complaints we’ve found are more of a matter of preference. We’ve included them here to provide thorough feedback to someone in the market for a Ducati 848.

5) Overheating

The Ducati 848’s engine is water-cooled, so it maintains its running temperature well.

That said, the pipes still generate heat, and some less seasoned riders have complained about the discomfort this causes them while sitting still on a hot day while the bike is idling, at light or in traffic, etc.

More seasoned riders understand that this is the situation on any motorcycle since the engine on a bike is exposed, and the pipes are by your legs.

One pro tip is to kill your bike when you’re at a stop in the hot weather.

If you’re in traffic, you can walk the bike forward while traffic is inching and then hit the starter switch when it’s time to bounce.

6) Low headlight

Some owners have complained that the headlight of the Ducati 848 is low and that they’d prefer something more LED-oriented.

This is a matter of taste, and many manufactures stock their bikes with a simple headlight, offering LED upgrades to those who desire them.

If Ducati doesn’t provide the light, you’re looking for. There are myriad aftermarket offerings for light upgrades fitted specifically for the Ducati 848.

General Pros and Cons for the Ducati 878


The Ducati 848 is an entirely stable motorcycle that gives you much-needed confidence when riding.

Apart from its amazingly packaged build, it comes with a powerful engine that makes it stand out.

The V-twin engine is impressive and less aggressive than other bike models. Also, this engine has an impressive sound that is desired that most riders.

Its suspension is responsive. Ducati 848 has a suspension that is not only responsive but also soft while using it.

Furthermore, this bike is built with top-notch quality materials. Consequently, this will make this bike model durable.

Another impressive feature is the responsive brake system. The Brembo radial brake of the Ducati 848 makes riding a seamless affair.

You would also appreciate the seating position of the Ducati 848 as it gives a comfortable place while riding.


  • The display panel is a bit too small.
  • It is relatively expensive if you are buying a new bike.
  • There is a general radiator problem.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Ducati 848 has an excellent handling system and a powerful engine.

Another superb quality is its fully adjustable chassis. The cheap units used in its making do not reduce its value.

However, the slightly narrow rear wheel gives it better agility and lighter steering.

“It is no longer the poor relation to its big brothers, like the Ducati 748 and Ducati 749 model used to be. Although the more powerful Ducati 1098 model is faster in a straight line and around a track, the Ducati 848 is every bit as fast.”

The Ducati 848 may be an expensive bike; however, you are guaranteed a bike with high specifications. With its torque being 66ftlb at the rear wheel, the motor of the Ducati 848 is powerful and possesses a smooth power delivery.

“Modern-day Ducatis don’t tend to suffer the electrical and mechanical maladies they used to, and like the 1098 model, Ducati has slashed servicing costs on the 848.”
[Source: Motorcyclenews.com]

The Ducati 848 is a bike with only the necessary components needed to deliver effectively.

Additionally, the build of the Ducati 848 is accentuated by the slender build of its L-twin engine.

This gives riders a comfortable riding experience as well as a comfortable leg position.

“To be fair, the 848 model isn’t quite as aggressive as its immediate predecessor — the rider triangle allows for a slightly more upright position — but it’s still a naked sub-superbike with a one-track mind that is obvious. Even to the most casual of glances.”

Although the Ducati 848 has a conventional clutch system, it still works smoothly with regular maintenance routines.

“Gotta say I’m a little disappointed by the lack of slipper-clutch technology here, but I’m sure Ducati did that to keep the price down.”
[Source: Topspeed.com]

What is the Resale Value on the Ducati 848?

DUCATI 848 EVO 2012 5919 9,159
DUCATI 848 EVO 2013 8800 8,380
DUCATI 848 EVO 2011 19,087 8,995
DUCATI 848 EVO 2011 10,325 6,495
DUCATI 848 NH 2010 4184 9,995

NB: The above prices are estimated and may vary based on individual preferences and your location.

Final Thoughts

The Ducati 848 has traction control (eight-level DTC) that allows you to wield control over this super powerful bike.

Additionally, this system controls the speed of the wheels by lowering the power of the engine.

As a result of its powerful features, a used Ducati 848 is still valuable.

However, if you experience some issues with your Ducati 848, you should ensure that you take it to the auto mechanic immediately.


Motorcycle News, Topspeed

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.