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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I looked at a used ST4s yesterday and am (was?) interested in making an offer. Bike is a 2002 with under 20k miles. In ok shape. No crashes but it appears to have had a tip over in the past. I would guess maybe $1500+ to get it in excellent shape with tires, saddle, screen, minor repairs, belts.

But I just read this thread and I'm concerned the 2002 doesn't have a sound bottom end. Is it all bikes from this year run of ST4s or just a few unlucky ones. Is there anyway to know? Feels like a crap shoot now!!!

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/40-sport-touring/112644-2002-st4s-whining-noise.html

I know the Ducati drill, i'm riding an 900SS-SP now. I always thought the bottom end of these bikes were measured in 100's of thousands of miles. Maybe not!

Bob
 

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Mr Leakered
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To level set, the total number of duc.ms users is equivalent to one year of Duc's production (40,000 bikes). And on the whole, folks only tend to post bad news.

With that in mind, yes, the 2002 ST4s has a crank bearing issue. If it applied to every 2002 ST4s, there would be threads equivalent to the plastic tank issue. We have a hand full of examples on this forum.

It seems that folks can take care of this at home if they choose. Just get at as soon as you hear the supercharger.

Have a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't have the knowledge/ capacity to do a rebuild myself. Any rough estimate of cost to have a shop do the overhaul. Want to get an estimate before I commit. Any early warning signals this bike is good/bad before it gets the whirring sound.

Can best maintenance ie. syn oil + filters + engine flush prevent the onset.

Bob
 

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I was the one that originally posted that! There was no warning of the onset of the noise, it started on the way back from a 100 mile trip! It just got louder and louder. As for the cost of fixing, would not be cheap! It's a major rebuild!!! Everything comes off the engine as the case splits in half to get to the bearings. Oh my bike only has 15,000miles on it and change the oil on both my ducati's every 2000 miles with good quality oil!!!
 

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Still needs a life.
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I was with Mark Turbo on a road trip in eastern Oregon when his went bad at 72,000 miles. Again, no warning, just the sudden super charger sound. Mark's exended warranty insurance paid for the rebuild by MotoCorse of Portland.
 

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I wouldn't mind so much at that mileage! Personally I could not justify spending the price of the bike on a repair..... But that's just me! I won't be buying another one! Infact I might not even buy a Ducati again :(
 

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Bob,
I have had my '02 ST4s since mile #1 in May of '02...knock on wood, she has been a pleasure. Couple of minor gremlins: corrosion in LCD display - fixed; battery replacement; failed main relay - recent; but over all it has been just normal services, synthetic oil and fresh filters regularly, belts, plugs, tires etc. I am not tempting the "god of the crank bearing" but I have been enjoying the bike since I got it and hope to enjoy it for many more years.

As you look at the bike for sale, you should fire it up, let it warm and hear it run through a few thousand RPM...

Look at the maintenance records. With insurance, you ought to be able to test ride it. No maint record = lower value. Buying anyones used bike involves some risk. Some states cover some of the risk through lemon laws. Otherwise a sound purchase agreement should help you. Really concerned, work a mutual agreement to inspect via a reputable mechanic...that still won't cover prediction of "future" issues like a crank bearing problem but may uncover any early symptom of other problems.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Maybe the way to go is insurance if it's available. No service history unfortunately.

I'm not hearing the whirr sound.

I'm really surprised Ducati is having a problem with the ST bottom end. The 996 is a well developed engine and bottom ends should be almost foolproof.

The ST on paper seems like a perfect long distance sport touring motorcycle. Light weight, responsive, proven components. The only negative is frequent and expensive maintenance. Reliability, or lack of, is a non starter for me.

Is the lower end overhaul budget the price of a bike, over $5000 US?

Bob
 

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From what other posts I have read on this, it would take a mech about 40 hours work! Not sure what the average rate is there? Factor in parts aswell, the bearings are about £130 just for the mains, while the case is open it is worth replacing the gearbox ones aswell!

John
 

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I have a 2002 st4s with 31,000 miles on it, never a bottom end problem. +1 on having the seller take the bike to a mechanic you trust to at least have your mechanic look over the bike for any apparent problems or neglect.

Listen, if people went to websites and didn't buy something because a few problems were reported, Toyota would be out of business. You already know if you by a Ducati, it involves some maintenance commitment. Go with your gut.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Age doesn't concern me and I had budgeted upgrades. My SS900 is 18 years old and while I just spent over $2k this year on a pretty much complete refurb, I trust it pretty much to get me there.

But a catastrophic bottom end failure that's too expensive to repair has me stumped.

Is it the roller bottom end rather than bearing shells, I wonder? Is it bad QC at Ducati. I can't imagine it was a design failure or the whole line would be suspect.

Since I value stone cold reliability for a travel bike, maybe I should just do a "boring" VFR" and leave Ducati to play bikes.

Honestly I was excited to buy the ST, seemed to fit the bill, but ...i need to trust it.

Bob
 

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The Futura gives you the same Italian sport touring experience with far better reliability and ease of maintenance if you are worried. I was looking for one, but already had the RSV-R and wanted something different. So far I'm very happy with my decision.
 

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Bob, might I inquire as to the asking price of the ST4s you are considering?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bob, might I inquire as to the asking price of the ST4s you are considering?
Asking 5.5, but tires are shot! Needs a full service and some bodywork repairs required to bring up to good condition. I figured $7500 out the door.

I'm thinking a later model ST might be the ticket. I do love my Duc, though the Aprilla Dan mentioned is a cool bike.

B
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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I think every bike has issues but once you have ridden a 4s you will re-evaluate whether it would be worth the engine rebuild (like thye cost of refurbing your 900ss).
My old 02 have 50,000 mls on it without any issues (was actually stronger IMO) and I cannot think of a bike that is as versatile and rewarding as the 4s , certainly not a bl**dy VFR............750/800 or even 1200 !
 

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To be honest I just think I got a bad one! In future I will go for something with some miles on it! This one only had 13,000 miles on it which is nothing for a 10 year old bike! Ok it doesn't have much history but it looked well looked after. Probably just stood in a garage somewhere.for months on end.

I agree with everyone else about the ride, they are amazing!! If the ST2 had more power then that would be happy as a pig in poo!

John
 

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Bob:
"Asking 5.5, but tires are shot! Needs a full service and some bodywork repairs required to bring up to good condition. I figured $7500 out the door."

You have some bargaining to do, regardless of the possible 2002 bearings. That asking price is high.

Wislon
 

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5.5. As in asking price is $5500 US. ?
You mentioned body work...like rash or cracks or stone chips?
As far as tires go, I'd plan replacement and not weigh that heavily against asking price.
Regarding service however that is another story ... belts valve oil coolant etc....that is worth a grand and strong negotiation against asking valueof the machine. I would press for info on date locn of last service (not just oil change).
 

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I've had an ST2 , I have a ST4s in a million pieces spread over my garage floor , I'm now riding an ST3 . Soon as I get the 4s back on the road the 3 is out the door .
 
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