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I am currently looking at buying another motorcycle in the next few months and am considering a sport touring bike. I currently have a HD FXDX that I have made into a comfortable all day ride, but I want something sportier. My son has a Ducati Monster, so I am familiar with the local dealership and I have been reading posts here off and on for a while, but I still have a couple of questions I hope you all can help me with.

I don't really want to spend the coin for a new MTS, or I would consider that, so I am looking at used STs of the various varieties. One thing that puts me off is the maintenance costs. Could someone give me an idea how much a typical service actually costs? Plus, while I have read the Newbe ST sticky thread, I am still a bit confused about how much performance difference there actually is between the different models. It sounds like I'd really like the ST4s, but it also sounds like I'd have to sell a kidney to have it serviced. Since it is a sport-TOURING model, I hope to put quite a few miles on the bike and I am afraid the cost of ownership will kill me.

Finally, another bike I am strongly considering is the Triumph ST. Could someone compare that bike to the Duc? I searched for a comparison on the web, but came up disappointed. I would have thought it would be a common comparison.

I guess I could get an FJR1300 or a Concourse 14, but I like something different.

Thanks
 

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A couple years ago I had the same issue. I was looking at the Honda 1300st, FJR, concourse as well. The UJM's just weigh 200 plus pounds more. Including the Triumph ST they are all great bikes. The ST3s just did it for me.

The Ducati does require more maintenance but it knowing that upfront is no big deal. I change my oil myself. The cost for the Amsol and KN filter is about $60. I had the belts done last year at the 2 year mark at 3500 miles and it cost me a little under $400. The belts are about $100 and the rest was labor. Not scheduled for the valves until 6k estimated cost is about $800. I might do it myself don't know yet.

The UJM bikes require little to no maintenance. I'm not familiar with the Triumph. The best to ride them and see for yourself. The ST3 does require less maintenance the older bikes if you follow the owner manual.

Good luck. Regardless what you decide they are all good bikes.
 

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Until 8 months ago, I was new to the Duc's. I have a Monster with a 998 Testastretta engine. I think your ST4 has a 996 desmoquattro or similiar 4V engine. I really like the behaviour of these engines. There is no redline on a tach that goes to 11krpm.

So far I've had 2 lightbulb failures, nothing else in 12k kms. Due to warranty reasons, my dealership checks the valves, but this will soon be my job. My 10k service check had all 8 valves on spec.

Half the fun (for me) is the service and maintenance that I will do myself. Maybe I am just lucky, but I am very happy with my motorcycle toy.

I have a buddy who has an ST4, and he calls it the perfect bike (although in fact, mine is).:D

In choosing, make condition and service documentation your main consideration (not just the up-front price). My bet is you would be happy.

Good luck
 

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The maintenance question depends on how capable you are with a spanner.
The cost of an ST4s is about the same as your HD.

I change the oil filters, plugs, brake fluid etc myself and just get the shop to do the valves and belts.

They sold me my bike and know how I use it (ring its neck all the time).
The first valve check was at 12 000miles and cost $280usd nothing had changed from new.

We have agreed the next one will be at 30 000 miles, if I don't decide to do it at 24 000 just to be safe.

Belts need to be changed every 2-3years and I would do this. That costs $200-250 usd.

The ST4s is probably the pick because the engine is the last of its kind and its really robust.

Final word of caution. The oil will go low tide if you wheelie them too much. It comes out the breather and into the air box. Just put more in dont panic.

My friend rides an 06 1050 sprint. Its a lovely bike. Bit porky compared to my ST4s, its 119hp on aces dyno. It matches the two ST4s in my group of mates through the midrange but gets creamed at the top.

The suspension is there abouts but he is looking at ohlins components to bring it up to the ST spec. Luggage system is kind of wierd too. Bottom line is that I love to ride it and always try to swap when its cold- heated grips.

Hope that all helps.
 

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DynaSport; I would guess that I am one of the very few people on the forum that has owned both a Triumph Sprint ST and a Ducati ST3.
I don't have any scientific comparison data except for the seat of my pants and the grin factor. I had a 99 Triumph ST for almost 5 years; never a problem; great riding position and certainly enough power. I sold it to my brother and unfortunately he crashed it within a few months. Mostly plastic damage so I am considering buying it back caused I miss it.
I now ride a 04 Ducati ST3; lots of grin factor; I never modified the Triumph but I certainly did to the Ducati (mostly bling mods); I had a problem getting it started after a winter lay over (it was on a battery tender...then bought a new battery..and still it did not start...took it to the dealer for it's regular start of season service and they said I just needed a new battery...$$$$...GROAN)
Anyway...I rode the triumph a lot more than I did the Ducati (less than 4K miles). No fault of the bike; I got married during the Ducati era and you know the new bride <blank>.

I am selling the Ducati if you are interested.....well that's what I tell my wife....I don't really want too.....but sigh....I moved from NJ to DE...from $200 to $1800 in insurance....
 

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Well I have owned an FXD in the past along with numerous bikes since then and I can tell you that the st4 is a way different ride obviously. So far its been a great combination of sport and utility for me. The st4 leans more towards the sports side of touring so you should consider that too. Your FJR/Triumph ST/Honda ST etc. lean more towards the touring side of sport which may be more suited towards your needs depending on the riding you plan to do and as stated they are a heavier bike although about the same as your FXD the weight is carried a little higher because of the style.

As for maint. any Ducati is going to require a little more then your Jap bikes but if you want a Ducati that is part of it but if you think it might be too much expense you might want to look in a different direction.

The expense depends on how much saddle time you plan on. Are you doing 30K a year or 10K a year. Most st's are going to require belts every 10-12K and valve checks at around 6K. So depending on how much you ride will depend on your cost + if you can do the maint yourself or not.

Goodluck with your decison and as stated previous go give them each a test run, its the best way to decide.
 

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I have owned a 2008 BMW GT, a 2009 HD Fatboy, a 2004 Honda ST1300 ABS all in the last year and all i have to say is ST's rule!

I am selling my 2003 ST4S ABS though for a 2004 that i just bought for more wind protection adn that's about it. If your interested check out Ebay or cycletrader...
 
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