Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

Registered
Joined
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I didn't want to highjack the the other guy's thread about top 10 things to look for on an ST4 so here is another. I hope to go look at 2003 ST4s in a week or so as long as it is still available but I have a couple of questions that weren't answered in the other thread. I assume since it is a 2003 it is going to have the dreaded immobilizer and should have red key to go with it. Did the ST's have the immobilizer issues that the other models seemed to have? I intentionally bought my 2001 M900Sie because I wanted injection but not the immobilizer. The other question is the flaking rockers. Was there a year range where this problem wasn't an issue or was it just a deal with the 4 valve engines in general? I am really hoping to check the thing out, one owner bought it new at the dealership down the road from me, 28,XXX miles, and says it is current on all maintenance with records. The best part is my wife likes it and is on board with the purchase so she can ride pillion with me 馃榿 馃榿 .
 

Super Moderator
Joined
5,008 Posts
Hi Cowens726...yes, the 2003 did have the immobilizer. See the link below...and pay attention to the third post. That doesn't mean you'll have problems with it...but just recognize the symptoms if it happens. Now-a-days, a good locksmith has the ability to clone a new black key...so the mystique of the Sacred Red Key is much less an issue.


Flaking rockers could be present too. Definitely remove and check the oil screen when you do an oil change and look for the tell-tale flakes. When it comes time for a valve clearance inspection, pull the rocker arms and check closely. Replated rockers are available.
 

Registered
Joined
3,261 Posts
Hey all, I didn't want to highjack the the other guy's thread about top 10 things to look for on an ST4 so here is another. I hope to go look at 2003 ST4s in a week or so as long as it is still available but I have a couple of questions that weren't answered in the other thread. I assume since it is a 2003 it is going to have the dreaded immobilizer and should have red key to go with it. Did the ST's have the immobilizer issues that the other models seemed to have? I intentionally bought my 2001 M900Sie because I wanted injection but not the immobilizer. The other question is the flaking rockers. Was there a year range where this problem wasn't an issue or was it just a deal with the 4 valve engines in general? I am really hoping to check the thing out, one owner bought it new at the dealership down the road from me, 28,XXX miles, and says it is current on all maintenance with records. The best part is my wife likes it and is on board with the purchase so she can ride pillion with me 馃榿 馃榿 .
Where are you located? I have a friend who traded an 04 ST4S in at ducati charlotte, NC it's a good price, belts were done last year and he was fanatical about maintenance on it. has 49k miles I believe he was the original owner when he traded.on a multistrada
 

Registered
Joined
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hi Cowens726...yes, the 2003 did have the immobilizer. See the link below...and pay attention to the third post. That doesn't mean you'll have problems with it...but just recognize the symptoms if it happens. Now-a-days, a good locksmith has the ability to clone a new black key...so the mystique of the Sacred Red Key is much less an issue.


Flaking rockers could be present too. Definitely remove and check the oil screen when you do an oil change and look for the tell-tale flakes. When it comes time for a valve clearance inspection, pull the rocker arms and check closely. Replated rockers are available.
Perfect thank you. I had read a lot about the immobilizers and they don't seem to be that big of an issue anymore but I was hoping not to have to even worry about it at all. Thanks for the heads up on the rockers. I have also read some of the threads mentioning this. Maybe I've missed something but what on the rockers is chrome plated? The surfaces that ride "follow" the cams?
Thanks again for the quick reply and information.
 

Registered
Joined
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Where are you located? I have a friend who traded an 04 ST4S in at ducati charlotte, NC it's a good price, belts were done last year and he was fanatical about maintenance on it. has 49k miles I believe he was the original owner when he traded.on a multistrada
Thanks for the reply, that's a little out of my search area, I'm in Oregon ha-ha. It would make a hell of a trip home though. Cross country on a new to me bike, sounds like it could be fun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zvez

Super Moderator
Joined
5,008 Posts
Yes, the chrome on the rockers that followed the cams would flake. Not an issue if caught early...cam damage results if ignored. Regarding the immobilizer, you can have that "feature" flashed out of your ECU. I'd consider it if I were going to be changing the fuel map. Might be too expensive to reflash just for that.
 

Registered
Joined
3,261 Posts
Yes, the chrome on the rockers that followed the cams would flake. Not an issue if caught early...cam damage results if ignored. Regarding the immobilizer, you can have that "feature" flashed out of your ECU. I'd consider it if I were going to be changing the fuel map. Might be too expensive to reflash just for that.
flaking rockers has been a duc issue forever, my first duc I bought in 97 a 748 had a couple. I never understood why ducati never did anything to the manuf process to eliminate, surely it's not still an issue?
 

Premium Member
Joined
5,615 Posts
By 2003 the flaking rocker thing was under control. There are updated rockers. I think the newest are colored silver instead of the bronze of the older ones. Not that it can't happen, I've had two since 2005 when I bought my ST4s, but it is not as chronic as when it was at its peak, which seemed to be maybe 1998 ish to 2001 ish. Another thing was beginning at that time. The internet and motorcycle forums... I think part of the problem was if someone found discoloration or wear of any kind on the rocker face it was considered bad and it was then broadcast to the world on forums. I think the story was probably bigger than the problem. It was bad enough, however, for Ducati to do something. For a while you could buy the newer rockers at a big discount. I came on the Ducati and Ducati centric internet forum scene in 2001 when I bought my 2001 900SSie. I remember reading cataclysmic comments on the Superbike forum like "all 16 rockers were found bad at my first service"... That would be an enormous repair bill and a bit hard to believe. Both of my current bikes have wear patches on most rockers and have had them for several valve inspections. They are fine. It's only when you can feel a sharp edge in the chrome plating where is has come off the rocker face that needs to be replaced. That has only happened to me twice in 15 years and with two DQ engines to maintain. Keep the valves adjusted and the oil changed. Watch the sump screen at oil change time and pull the cams at valve inspection time to keep ahead of it.
 

Registered
Joined
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
By 2003 the flaking rocker thing was under control. There are updated rockers. I think the newest are colored silver instead of the bronze of the older ones. Not that it can't happen, I've had two since 2005 when I bought my ST4s, but it is not as chronic as when it was at its peak, which seemed to be maybe 1998 ish to 2001 ish. Another thing was beginning at that time. The internet and motorcycle forums... I think part of the problem was if someone found discoloration or wear of any kind on the rocker face it was considered bad and it was then broadcast to the world on forums. I think the story was probably bigger than the problem. It was bad enough, however, for Ducati to do something. For a while you could buy the newer rockers at a big discount. I came on the Ducati and Ducati centric internet forum scene in 2001 when I bought my 2001 900SSie. I remember reading cataclysmic comments on the Superbike forum like "all 16 rockers were found bad at my first service"... That would be an enormous repair bill and a bit hard to believe. Both of my current bikes have wear patches on most rockers and have had them for several valve inspections. They are fine. It's only when you can feel a sharp edge in the chrome plating where is has come off the rocker face that needs to be replaced. That has only happened to me twice in 15 years and with two DQ engines to maintain. Keep the valves adjusted and the oil changed. Watch the sump screen at oil change time and pull the cams at valve inspection time to keep ahead of it.
I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner, thank you for the information. I'm hoping to pick the bike up at the end of this week
:D(y)
 

Registered
Joined
1,724 Posts
Yeah the flaking rocker thing has ever happened to me on the 03 ST4s. I do what SS does. Regular maintenance and inspection at every 10k km valve adjust by pulling the cams. Had the bike since new. Also never had an immobiliser issue. Go for it :)
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top