I'm looking at a 2001 ST4 with 7300 miles. When I asked him for service records he replied "Oil/filter changes by me (100% synthetic/Ducati filter). It will need the 7K service…been holding off if I sell or keep."
How much am I looking at for service?
I have a ST3 and just got a 6k service estimate of $1k plus time for valves adjustments. The belts need to be done every 2 years or 6k miles if I remember it right. I had my belts changed last year and the cost was about $375.
I hope this helps. Ducati requires more maintenance but they are worth it. Knowing that up front you know what you're getting. Good luck. Stew
Factory recommended interval for the belts is 12K or 2 years, whichever comes first. Your bike is due for both valve inspection and belt change. If I'm not mistaken, your motor is the 916 Desmoquattro. My first question is, are you interested in doing the valve inspection/adjustments yourself? If your mechanically inclined or wish to learn how, this is an option available to you. I just assisted in the first phase of doing the valve adjustments on a buddie's 748R. He removed the parts nescesary to access the tiny valve covers on the desmoquattros. That is when I showed up and also Ducatimike from EMS. He makes the shims and some handy tools for doing the service. I needed this one last sit in tutorial eventhough I no longer own a Desmoquattro, trading my 916 for a 2v Desmodue last year. In the meantime I had a Testastretta workshop at my house with 999s and a 998 present. I had the 999S in my stable at the time. Prior to that I had sat in on another valve adjustment on a 916 and did this latest one to solidify some things I learned earlier. Eventhough the Desmoquattro and Testa powerplants are different, there are things in common and worthwhile learning. Another issue is time between services, it could be a year or more and memory does fades. I needed repetition since I'm not a gearhead, even on this latest service it felt like I was starting over, from the beginning in some aspects. At some points, especially with the Desmoquattro you feel like saying screw it and taking the bike down to Nichols in Milpitas. In fact, that is a reasonable alternative taking into account the time it takes and the other issues that can be handled at the same time.
If you put on a lot of miles then I think its wise to learn how to do your own valve clearances and adjustments. Synching the carbs is not a big deal so you can do it all yourself if you are so inclined. My plan is to do my own valve clearances then take the bike to either of the below shops and have the remaining misc service requirements done. I suppose one hour shop time would be adequate to do this.
Are you in El Dorado Hills? If so taking your bike to Nichols is a viable option because they are super honest, excellent mechanics and reasonably priced. Those of us in Sacramento that were very engaged with the Ducati brand felt Nichols gave us a break for hauling our bikes down there just to help on the cost for fuel. They bailed me out more than once. However, there are two other shops available as well. One is Modesto Ducati, historically having a very good reputation like Nichols and the other is the new kid on the block, A&S BMW/Ducati in Roseville. Actually, Nichols refers people to Modesto if any Dyno work needs to be done. Its good to see they have a working relationship with eachother. There is a fourth shop/dealer in the Sacramento area and I purposely left their name off the recommended list.
There is one other issue that may or may not have inflicted your ST4, that is the notorius flaking rocker syndrome. You can only determine if the chrome has flaked on any of your rockers by inspecting the cams. Since your bike is an 01, it fits the year profile being generally 916 (rarely model year 95) from 96-98, 748 from 97 through 02, 996 from 99 through 01. There are a few other lessor issues or can be construed otherwise like the flywheel nut backing out, cush drive bolts backing out evidenced by metal shavings on your rear wheel.
I would call Nichols and ask for Jim. Another thing I like about them is the fact they will spend as much time on the phone with you as it takes to resolve the relevant problem and its never about upselling you. Tell him John or Terry Crocker from the Ducati Owners Group of Sacramento referred you. I last spoke to him in Sept of last year when my 916 shut down on the road. For some reason the cylinders were filling up with gas, wierd problem. I hauled it down there and while visiting my wife's Uncle in the hospital afterwards, Jim called me to let me know my bike was fixed! Say what? He got right on the bike knowing I was going to be in the Bay Area for another hour or two and maybe if he got lucky he could ascertain what the problem was and fix it before I headed back to Sacramento. Thus saving me the lost of another day and the expense for transporting the bike by trailer. Sure enough he discovered the problem was the ECU being out of whack so he realligned it and buttoned the bike back up. Made my day. He charged me only one hour shop time when I'm sure some other shops would have padded the time clock, assuming the problem was diagnosed quickly in the first place. This is the kind of testimony as unknowing consumers/customers is music to our ears. Three cheers for Nichols Sportbike Service.
When I woke up this morning I had determined that I should ask for recommendations for shops in the greater Sacramento area. At present I do not have an appropriate place to do the work myself. Really appreciate your taking the time to give such a helpful response to a noobie. One thing I wasn't sure of though. When you say the bike fits the profile that sounds like a bad thing; but "generally 916 (rarely model year 95) from 96-98" sounds like '01 should be OK. Am I correct in taking this to mean that '01 916s are relatively safe from this problem; but not totally unknown to have it.
I almost forgot to answer your question; no I am not in El Dorado Hills I am in El Dorado a small town between Shingle Springs and Diamond Springs.
According to my mapping program Modesto Ducati is significantly closer than Nichols and there are some nice backroads on the way so I think I will go there.
I didn't know anything about the flywheel nut and cush drive bolts backing out being an issue. Thanks for all the help.