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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again guys. This is yet another call for your thoughts, experiences, opinions and conjectures.

Obviously today is a difficult day for people in the northeast. Best wishes to you...

The question is, what is it like to own, ride and live with an ST4s? Reliability? Maintenance, etc. Ever have days when your bike is down for repair? Waiting for parts? Problems?

Weak spots?

I think I have found a candidate bike that might be a player once it is cleaned up.The bike would be the 2nd in the garage with longer range tours on my BMW RT. This bike would be for local more sporty rides. No track days not boy racing, just fun spirited canyon runs and sight seeing.

What does a Ferraci exhaust system sound like?

Love to hear form those with experience.
 

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I came from BMW, over 30 years from Airheads to Hexheads. My 2004 ST4s ABS requires a lot more maintenance and more often but I knew that going in and actually looked forward to getting my hands dirty doing valve checks, clutch changes, chain / sprocket changes. About all you can do with the Oilhead/Hexhead series is change the oil and adjust the valves.
As long as you know and expect to either do the work yourself or pay handsomely to have the work done then you should be okay with the bike.
I find the riding position and power to be along the lines of an RS/S type bike. More power but no worries about a $1500 driveshaft failure.
If you can get the service history great, if you can't be sure and factor in about $1200 to $1500 to get everything up to date.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
jduke... Thanks for the input.

I appreciate it. I do my own maintenance and have for years. I re-did the 900 Supersport by myself and had no real problem except getting the information needed to solve some non-obvious issues.

Do most of you re-gear up or down at the sprockets? MY SS was just way "tall". It needed to have the power band brought down some... some, did I say some... try 2-3k rpm.

Valve adjustments... this an easy owner's job? Adjustable valves or cups/spacers? Every 6k miles or 10 or? Throttle body synch with a Twin Max or ?

Can I use a dogbone to adjust the ride height? I predict wanting it to be lower.

What else?

p.s. got a lot of friends in Savannah. Plus my son is a SCAD graduate....
 

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I've had two Ducati's, an ST3 that really needed different gearing to come alive and an ST4s that needs it too. I don't think I can wait for the chain and sprocket to need replacing but will probably do something in the next few months. Stock on the ST4s is 15/38 and I will probably go to 15/43.
If anyone is interested in a stock 15/38 setup let me know and I'll make the change sooner.
 

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Mr Leakered
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If you adjusted the valves on an SS, then an ST4s is just more of them and slightly more inaccessible. I started with 6k intervals that at 54k I started stretching to 7.5k. It feels like I can go further, but that extra 1.5k is enough. A twin max is more than enough for the sync, but you'll also need a simple computer setup and a multimeter to setup the EFI. Simple really.

There are shorter tierods for the rear suspension, but the front would need to be dealt with. Although, the ST is not very friendly to lowering due to the routing of the horiz header. It gets banged pretty easily at the proper ride height. A seat shaped for you might be the better approach.

Have a good one.
 

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My ST4S came with a lowered seat! It is about an inch lower or so. You can have it if you pay for the postage, it's just taking room in my shed.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can have it if you pay for the postage, it's just taking room in my shed.
Maybe I should wait on the seat to see if I buy the bike...

My bad grammar... I did/do valves on the BMW's not on the SS. Adjustments or Shims?

Laptop computer do the job? What sort of software are we talking about.

and... what else?
 

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Mr Leakered
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Ducs use shims. Due to having both opener and closer shims, due to the desmo actuation, the half rings can cause a bit of havoc if you are buying shims one at a time. So, I highly recommend a shim kit. For maint bits, look to desmotimes.com, cacycleworks.com, emsduc.com, bevelheaven.com. They have the tools and parts.

The 1st service will cost about $1k in tools and parts. Afterward, $100 to $200 depending if it is a belt replacement or not.

The ST3 and ST4s uses a software trim in the ECU. To adjust it, you need a software interface. See the ducatidiag thread for the nearly free software that will get you there.

Not to mention the free harmonic software to set the belt tension.

There is a lot to read up on. The best comprehensive source is the desmotimes 4v maint manual. Info is here in threads and searches.

Have a good one.
 

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Reliability ?


The only problem I've had with mine is the line popping off the fuel pump. That's the only thing that ever left me strandard, and after installing good fuel lines and clamps (and replacing them every two years) it hasn't happened again.

I did a 6500 mile trip last year and several 1k - 2k + trips, no problems, not even a hiccup.


* well I did have a headlight blow out once but .....
 

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Still needs a life.
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Check my threads in the Rides forum to see all the places I have taken my various ST models. Some of those places were more suitable for a dual sport than a sport touring. No problems with the bikes, just problems with hidden road hazards.

If you purchase an ST4s, you will definitely want to swap the 38T rear sprocket for a 42T or 43T one.
 

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Goes like a bat out of hell when you want it to, does pretty well on trackdays with the right tires, a ball of fun on canyon roads, fairly good protection from the elements, decent carrying capacity with the panniers, can be a bit hot in the summer and hot weather tends to make mine spit at low rpm/small throttle angles. Went with a 14 T in front and makes the bike more liveable in this part of the woods.
 

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Until I got the starting sequence sorted out I would wonder if it would. Apart from that, get on and ride. 22,000 on the clock and its had the slave clutch and a battery. Display mists up if it gets wet, I have put Vaseline around the seal, so fingers crossed that's sorted.
 

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i have an 03 ST4s abs, 36k klms on it. no problems yet & touch wood none will occur as its maintained strictly to the book.

its a blast to ride. did some long tours with the wife, done allot of 1 day rides with the friends on much newer & faster jap bikes. The duc keeps us just fine.

i would find it hard to change to another bike. I have a monster 620 which is great for small runs, around town, but the ST is simply a fantastic bike.
 

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Great bike with starting issues

Have ST4S. Love the bike. Only issue is repeaded starting issues that have been well documented on this forum. Unfortunately I do not ride the bike as much as I would like since have been stranded more than once when could not restart bike.
Might want to read starting threads carefully since they contain many helpful suggestions that have improved reliability for me. Thanks to all who contributed.
 

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Start the bike as soon as the Ducati ST4s logo has rolled across the screen. Leave it too long and the anti theft device kicks in.
On the earlier ones you can't start them on the side stand so get ready to go before starting up.
If its cool, then apply the merest hint of fast start, leave the throttle alone no matter how bad it sounds.
Once it chugs into life then apply more fast start until its around 3K and then reduce it to 2K run it like that until the first temp reading appears on the display 45 degrees.
If you want to be away, then reduce the fast idle to a comfortable tick over and leave it set until the bike has properly warmed.

When its cold you need a bit more cold start and once it catches it needs reducing a touch and then increasing again.

It really is an art and it is dependent on how the engine reacts on a particular day. Just make sure you leave the throttle alone, no matter what happens until the engine is properly running.

If it fails to start, switch it off and leave it for 5 minutes before following the sequence.
 

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I've got some leftover "eyes of newt" my first wife forgot to take. You're welcome to it.
 

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Mr Leakered
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Or, just push the button and ride off.

Here's a recent thread in the Monster forum:
http://www.ducati.ms/forums/42-monster/149617-choke.html#post1456541

If you click the link, you'll find vids I made of an afternoon and morning cold start. You'll note in the vids a distinct lack of a fast idle lever. It's been gone for a while now. I haven't needed to use that lever in the last 39,000mi, or immediately after my first valve service and EFI setup.

I don't let the bike warm up. I start it with all my gear on except helmet and gloves. Once they're on, I ride away.

Have a good one.
 

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i've had my 04 facelift st4s for 7 years and 1 month, there was no other bike on the market that could match it then and 7 years on there still isn't "one" bike that can match the ST4s imho.

as for ownership experience, if you what a real motorbike and like working on bikes, it's rewarding, win win situation.

i also like my rose tinted spectacles.

ps. i had the bike out a week or so ago and i still say stuff in my head when i'm riding it, like, "this bike goes like f*ck/that was an outrageous but safe overtake/it's just sounds magic/whats that new engine sound, forget it, put the ear plugs in next time/what a bike/i'm keeping this/the engine,exhaust just sounds excellent/i'm riding a ducati, a life dream come true/1000cc v twin is the perfect road bike engine" and a whole lot of other stuff. When i get back, i park the bike in the garage get a cold beer and clean all the flys off the front of the bike. ownership experience who owns who :)
 

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i had the bike out a week or so ago and i still say stuff in my head when i'm riding it, like, "this bike goes like f*ck/that was an outrageous but safe overtake/it's just sounds magic/whats that new engine sound, forget it, put the ear plugs in next time/what a bike/i'm keeping this/the engine,exhaust just sounds excellent/i'm riding a ducati, a life dream come true/1000cc v twin is the perfect road bike engine" and a whole lot of other stuff. When i get back, i park the bike in the garage get a cold beer and clean all the flys off the front of the bike. ownership experience who owns who :)
This is about as good as I've read regarding the ST experience - sort of a Jack Kerouac style tome. My 2003 ST4s is my final bike - no others interest me at all, and I'm ready to turn 69 sooner than i'd like. Hope I'm still riding at 80!
 
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