Honest evaluations of products you can use...

Project 900
Nichols Crankcase Breather

Many, if not most, Ducati riders are finicky about the appearance of their machine. But it's also true that most of us would rather be out riding than spending time with a hose, sponge and polishing cloth. If the above is true for you than you will want to know about the Nichols Crankcase Breather.

What is it?
If you are wondering what a crankcase breather is it's that little plastic and metal doohickey that sits behind your vertical cylinder with a black hose sticking out of it. You know, the one that's always covered with and surrounded by oily spooge. 

The purpose of the crankcase breather is to control the rapidly fluctuating internal pressures within the engine cases. It is a simple device that is supposed to let the pressurized vapors out while keeping the oil in.  The only problem is that the stock unit doesn't do its job very well. Thus the spooge.

If there is one thing Nichols Manufacturing is known for it is solving the little problems that somehow seem to get by Ducati's engineers year after year. (See Nichols Motor Mount Bolts) The Nichols Crankcase Breather is probably what Ducati should have made in the first place. It's a simple valve that lets the pressure out and keeps the oil in.

Machined  from 6061-T6 aluminum, then clear anodized, it seals positively with an O-ring. Inside, the reed valve is made from flexible and crack-proof thermoplastic. It looks great and, most important, it works. Install a Nichols Crankcase Breather and say goodbye to the spooge.

The unit come with a spanner which makes installation a breeze. You just loosen the fitting to the breather hose, remove the old spoogy unit, and install the new one in its place. It takes only a few minutes. That's less time than a single spooge removal session.


DUC's Recommendation
Frankly you shouldn't have to buy an after-market crankcase breather. The one that comes on the bike should work. This past year Ducati finally recognized the truth to Nichols' claims regarding the efficacy of stronger motor mount bolts and started to built them in standard on new machines. Maybe next year's Ducatis will will take a lesson from the Nichols Crankcase Breather and then they will stay spooge-free. But for now, if your bike's oily cases have you singing the blues, Nichols has the answer.

-Don Sucher

Nichols Crankcase Breather
Nichols Manufacturing, Inc
913 Hanson Ct. Milpitas, CA
(408) 945-0911



Return to DUC Tests
2001 DUC