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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 11:04 am   #1 (permalink)
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Lowest cost/maintenance ST?

I was hoping to buy a multistrada, but am probably getting married, so it isn't in the budget. My first bike (a Suzuki s50) is too small (I am 6' tall), has too limited a range, and has some mechanical issues. I really like the idea of a Ducati, and figure I can find a used ST for a few thousand more than I can sell my s50 for. I need side bags or other storage, so any other Ducati model is probably out.

Given the budget problems, I want something that will cost the least money to maintain and I have to do the work myself. I am good with mechanical things, but inexperienced, and short on time. Which ST model(s) and years should I be looking for? Any I should avoid?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 1:14 pm   #2 (permalink)
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Is a Suzuki s50 a 50cc bike ?
Are you suggesting you want to go from a 50cc to a 900+ cc bike in one straight leap ?
If the bike is something else that I dont recognise then the ST2 is the simplest of the ST series but if you want a cheap commuter bike the a Ducati is not really goint to fit the bill as far as I am concerned.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 1:21 pm   #3 (permalink)
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s50 = 50ci = 805 cc
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 1:26 pm   #4 (permalink)
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I want to clarify I am not looking for the "simplest" design. If you are saying the ST2 is cheaper/easier to maintain, that is fine. If I have a much harder time finding parts and removing fairings, but the engine has 1628 individual parts instead of 1753 individual parts, I don't want it.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 1:31 pm   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearbox View Post
if you want a cheap commuter bike the a Ducati is not really goint to fit the bill as far as I am concerned.
Well, there are different levels of "cheap". Obviously, I can get a crashed Ninja 500 for less, but I am comparing this to my previous plan of buying a brand new MTS1200 at a dealer. I would assume the ST would be well under half the cost (including maintenance). Even the MTS1200 is probably cheaper than commuting in a car.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 2:06 pm   #6 (permalink)
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Any Ducati requires a lot more maintenance than most any other bike.
But if you look at it as a chance to really enjoy a bike, then it should be just part of the ownership of a bike like a Ducati.
I came to my ST3 after 30+ years of BMW's, airheads / oilheads / hexheads. The oilheads require a lot less maintenance than a Ducati, BUT (don't you always like that?), BUT some of the major components of a BMW are problematic.
The final drives are major money if you have problems with them. The back end of the bike has to come apart to replace a $200 clutch disc. ABS problems? Looking at at some serious money there.
I'm enjoying my ST3, it rides very similar to an R11XXRS bike, power, passenger accommodation, luggage, etc. are pretty similar.
So if the required maintenance isn't what you want, I would suggest looking for a nice used R1100RS / R1150RS or even a more naked version, the R11XXR models. A buddy just picked up a very nice, low mileage 2002 R1150R for $4000.
Good luck!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 2:43 pm   #7 (permalink)
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Just buy one. You cannot figure out the value quotient without knowing the riding experience. What good is having a low maintenance bike that bores you to tears and keeps you looking for the "next one"? If you like to twist a wrench, there is more than enough on-line help available. Getting parts has been to my experience so far, absolutely no problem re either price, or wait times. Is that Suzuki a "Boulevard" model? If so, you may need some time to adjust to the forward riding position before you start to realise how much of your riding time you wasted on it, (j/k) once saddled up on a Ducati ST2/3/3s/4/4s.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 2:54 pm   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jduke View Post
...
The final drives are major money if you have problems with them. The back end of the bike has to come apart to replace a $200 clutch disc. ABS problems? Looking at at some serious money there....
At least one doesn't mind removing and replacing the side cases and mounting brackets, exhaust, r/wheel, final drive, shock, swingarm, inner fender, starter, centre stand, gearbox, clutch cable/rocker arm, clutch housing etc to repalce a 200.00 friction disc, but to do almost all of that to smear .75 cents of moly paste lube to the clutch splines every other year, can be a bit of a pain, not to mention lubing the final drive splines with every tire change. But then again, there's no chain maintenance. When I went looking for a BMW, I stayed clear of their ABS systems, but then again, that was for mid eighties models. I think the ABS at least got better, but not so with the drive train issues.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 4:21 pm   #9 (permalink)
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99 and up ST2 Mine has been the perfect low maintenance bike with none of the electrical gremlins of earlier years
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Old Mar 24th, 2012, 3:25 pm   #10 (permalink)
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Right now, I am a grad student with a full time job, serious girlfriend 30 miles away and house under major construction with me doing all the work. In 2 years, I will have a normal job, a normal house and a wife that lives with me. I don't mind maintenance, I just can't justify the time now.

The question is how long I keep my current motorcycle, whether I get an "in between" bike before a Ducati, and if I get a Ducati now, which model will suit me best.

Electric gremlins worry me, Ohio has a lot of salt on the roads, and I ride 12 months a year.

Riding position doesn't bother me, although I am getting tired of the "big man on a small bike". The s50 is a great bike for a 5' tall rider. I did my MSF on a Suzuki race bike (not sure what model, but 250cc) and was comfortable. Unless people are sleeping on their motorcycles, I am not sure what all the fuss is over ride position.

If I see a ST2, ST3, ST3ABS, ST4, ST4s in the classifieds for a good price, should I pull the trigger?
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