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Discussion Starter #1
My ST3S (ABS - important) was experiencing an increasing problem with vibration/shudder when braking from highway speeds, and a little pulsing when stopping at slow speeds, which looks to be pretty common from posts here. I tried the simple fix - brake cleaner and scotchbrite on the rotors with no change at all, so I booked a visit with the local dealer (GP Motorcycles in San Diego).

They pulled the rotor, pads and calipers and lubed and made sure all the moving parts are moving, which improved the situation considerably, but there's still some vibration, just less, so apparently there are multiple problems. GP had the rotors on their flat plate and tell me they are a little out (references I saw on the web said .001-.004 is enough to cause a vibe), so apparently the first owner (8k miles for him, 2 k for me) bunged them somehow. That said, there are no genuine Duc rotors available nearby and they are ~$500 each, so we're now looking for alternative sources. A call to everybody's favorite BrakeTech says they don't have one for that supports the ABS 'tone ring' on the left rotor. Probably not impossible too drill and tap mounting holes on a plain rotor if there's rotor material in the right place, and BrakeTech's don't look like they'd work for that. Reportedly the aftermarket brands sell a pair for less than one OEM.

EBC web site says they have rotors for the 3S, as does Galfer. I know EBC has a good rep for pads, and that seems to be GP's favorite source after BrakeTech. Does anyone out there have experience with either or both of those sources? Recommendation(s)? I'm not trying to do this on the cheap...brakes = staying alive, so I'll pay what I need to in order to get full functionality.
 

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I live in Chula Vista - Try calling Sonny Angel's Motorcyles in National City - If you don't know of them, they're a former Ducati dealer and do great work on Ducati's at reasonable prices - call 619-477-8120 ask for Donny; he may have some input for you.
 

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Floaters?

Hello
This may not be the direction you want to pursue, but I added full-floating buttons to my '03 4S ABS rotors and never felt a bit of shimmy or shudder after that. Little racket when schlepping the bike around, but that's OK, my BrakeTech rotors do that, too.
I used the TPO buttons on mine, took about 2-3 hours to grind the OEM rivets off and replace 'em. I think they were about $130.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks

I live in Chula Vista - Try calling Sonny Angel's Motorcyles in National City - If you don't know of them, they're a former Ducati dealer and do great work on Ducati's at reasonable prices - call 619-477-8120 ask for Donny; he may have some input for you.
Thanks - sounds like an interesting tip!
 

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Had the same issue, Ducati replaced the rotors and pads and the problem returned at the exact amount of kms. Tried all the remedies, the only positive results came from a good cleaning but it would only be temporary. So, I purchased a set of Gafler Wave rotors and pads, I have more kms. on them than with the OEM rotors with no issues. The Gafler rotor and pad combination are less touchy on initial bite every bit as strong at moderate speeds very good feel and modulation but are extremely strong at speed.

Jerry
04 ST4s
 

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so apparently the first owner (8k miles for him, 2 k for me) bunged them somehow.
It's a common problem on these bikes. I seriously doubt the previous owner had anything to do with it.


EBC web site says they have rotors for the 3S, as does Galfer. I know EBC has a good rep for pads, and that seems to be GP's favorite source after BrakeTech. Does anyone out there have experience with either or both of those sources? Recommendation(s)?
I bought some galfer wave rotors & pads a couple of weeks ago. I've only got about 500-600 miles on them so far, so they haven't been on the bike long enough for me to offer any long-term info opinion, but so far they're working well.
 

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took about 2-3 hours to grind the OEM rivets off and replace 'em.
Took me less than one hour, but I used a drill press, a drift and a hammer (you only need to drill enough to allow you to break the rest with the drift and hammer).

And that was to remove the wheel, remove the disks, modify the disks, and have it all mounted back on the bike. Did it during my lunch break.

Tom
 

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I had the same problem as most , if not all of us.
I decided to go step by step i.e. cleaning the bobbins first.
Then I replaced the pads with EBC ones. The problem was coming back after a few hundred Kms.
Then I decided to try and make the rotors Full Floating vs the OEM Semi Floating.
It seemed to me that these rotors should have been FF from the first place and the factory decided for other reasons to have them SM, with only different bobbins instead of other mods as well.

So I took the rotors apart, in the inner side they have a wavy thin shim. With a flat thin screw driver, I bended the tags outwards, so these shims stoped playing their role of keeping the outer (braking) part of the rotor firmly attached to the Alu centre.

I have performed this mod two weeks and 600 Km ago, the problem seems to decrease with the use, but it needs some time before it goes completely.
There was some sort of markings on the rotors with the SF bobins and it has to have some kind of bed in period.
 

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Here I go again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I purchased used (NEVER AGAIN) rotors, EBC.
Shudder is back.
I had a few weeks of bliss and now it starts again????
I've ordered full floaters from a local BMW dealer from a 650 motoX model that swap out to an ST4S.If along with new pads it doesn't work the bike is gone.
I put the bike up on a stand and found its the left rotor with a high spot. I took a full hr with scotch brite on the sucker, it helped but its still there. Once you have this problem you become obsessed with it, so even minor problems seem huge.
Ive checked steering head bearings, wheel bearings, wheel, calipers, thoroughly checked where the rotor carrier attaches to the wheel, even wheel balance. I'm checking things probably that have nothing to do with it. How this bike seems to do what no other bike I've owned is beyond me.
 

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Here I go again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I purchased used (NEVER AGAIN) rotors, EBC.
Shudder is back.
I had a few weeks of bliss and now it starts again????
I've ordered full floaters from a local BMW dealer from a 650 motoX model that swap out to an ST4S.If along with new pads it doesn't work the bike is gone.
I put the bike up on a stand and found its the left rotor with a high spot. I took a full hr with scotch brite on the sucker, it helped but its still there. Once you have this problem you become obsessed with it, so even minor problems seem huge.
Ive checked steering head bearings, wheel bearings, wheel, calipers, thoroughly checked where the rotor carrier attaches to the wheel, even wheel balance. I'm checking things probably that have nothing to do with it. How this bike seems to do what no other bike I've owned is beyond me.

Hope things work out for you, but it looks to me like it's NOT the rotors. Think about it, seriously, what are the odds that you'd get two sets of warped rotors back to back? When you say you "checked" everything, I'm guessing that means a thorough cleaning of the calipers and pads, and a lubing of the pistons, and cleaning/lubing the buttons of the Gold series rotors.

Good luck, I hope you get satisfaction, but I think your ST4s' days have been numbered since you tried that K13s. ;)
 

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rotors

Stryder,My ST4s (2004)also had sever pulsations on braking.I got it with 2300 miles used,ran perfect no issues.One day I took very hard ride with very agressive braking.Pulsating brakes appeared.Rotors replaced under warranty by dealer(dealer fought with Ducati to honor this problem)Rotors were WARPED.New rotors problem solved.Rode bike to So Cal to visit brother.Angeles Crest Hwy.hard ride downhill agressive braking-rotors warped-again!Dealer replaced rotors again under extended warranty.The rotors were not true causing pulsation.Wether this is caused by semi-floating buttons I dont know for sure.My feeling is the buttons are some how contributing to the problem.On my third set of rotors I lubed buttons with WD40 and rotated each button until spinning freely.5000 miles later/hard agressive braking rotors are still true! The fact is two sets of rotors were warped enough to need replacing.Thanks Jim.
 

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stryder,
I even disassembled the entire caliper, everything looked good inside and definitely the pistons and seals are good.
I'm of the opinion JPSpinfisher is right and these bikes need full floaters.
Why these particular bikes do this is a mystery, certainly everyone in Ducati Canada deny any problems.They must never go on the internet.

I've owned over 30 bikes with disc brakes and never have had a bad rotor shimmy or shudder.
 

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The problem is from brake pad deposits on the rotor surface, you can try all the fixes suggested but it will return. I have had the same problem with other bikes but these Ducati/Brembo combination are the worst that I have seen. The only true cure is to change the rotor/pad combination. Cast iron rotors are the best (like in the auto industry) but come with a cosmetic issues (rust). I have been having very good success with the Gafler Wave rotor/pad set. If you like the bike, change the brakes! You don't get rid of your car just because the brakes need replaced!

Jerry
04 ST4s
 

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+1 on the pad deposits, even have that problem with one of the rear disks on my car (I rarely use it).

Cast iron Discacciati floaters with Ferodo race pads are nice (yes, on the street, but I live in the Alps so my brakes do get hot), and also OEM stainless converted to full-float with EBC HH pads are also nice.

Tom
 

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I know EBC has a good rep for pads,
Not with me they dont, not on the ST4 anyway (used them on other bikes over the years with no problems though) they gave it a horrific brake judder. I cant be going through writing it all out again, but suffice it to say, I changed to another brand, and the horrific judder disappeared.
 

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pad deposits

The dealer cleaned and even "surfaced" my bad rotors,Both times.To no avail.Many here have cleaned their rotors ,using various methods,problem returned.Not trying to be argumentitive,but if pad deposit is problem wouldn't these cleanings solve problem?I would think cleaning throughly would reduce rotor surface to rotor only ,getting rid of pad deposits?Thanks Jim.
 

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stryder,
I even disassembled the entire caliper, everything looked good inside and definitely the pistons and seals are good.
I'm of the opinion JPSpinfisher is right and these bikes need full floaters.
Why these particular bikes do this is a mystery, certainly everyone in Ducati Canada deny any problems.They must never go on the internet.

I've owned over 30 bikes with disc brakes and never have had a bad rotor shimmy or shudder.

Others have had good luck with full floaters, I hope they do the trick for you. Some have replaced the bottons to full floater type, I wonder if that's be easier/cheaper? I agree, it's a mystery. I have a K75 too, another bike with a reputation for shuddering brakes for some units, ie 2 piston Brembos, where switching to that full floaters was the fix. But, like my ST3, it too hasn't been a problem for me. Maybe you just ride too fast/brake too hard. :)

Good luck with the new rotors. :)
 

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The dealer cleaned and even "surfaced" my bad rotors,Both times.To no avail.Many here have cleaned their rotors ,using various methods,problem returned.Not trying to be argumentitive,but if pad deposit is problem wouldn't these cleanings solve problem?I would think cleaning throughly would reduce rotor surface to rotor only ,getting rid of pad deposits?Thanks Jim.

Did they resurface the pad surface too?
 

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The dealer cleaned and even "surfaced" my bad rotors,Both times.To no avail.Many here have cleaned their rotors ,using various methods,problem returned.Not trying to be argumentitive,but if pad deposit is problem wouldn't these cleanings solve problem?I would think cleaning throughly would reduce rotor surface to rotor only ,getting rid of pad deposits?Thanks Jim.
The best cleaning that I have experienced was after trailering my bike in the rain, after sitting for a day or so there becomes a bit of surface oxidation. When driven after, as soon as the brakes are applied they become clean and presto, no more shudder, for a while.
Give-up on the stock brake combo, you can't win, it just ruins the fun of ownership.

Jerry
04 ST4s
 
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