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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok...I've got the bug and I'm on the hunt for an ST. I've got about $6K max to spend and with that it looks like I can only get a pre 2003. My dilema is that the ST4S seems to be going for $6800 or greater while I can get a ST4 in my budget.

So I have done the research and know the difference between the two on paper....ie... the main thing being 107 versus 117 HP (this will be a commuter primarily on the interstate so suspension is not that big of a deal.)

Has anyone spent a fair amount of time on both? I would love some input on if that extra 10HP really makes a big difference in the experience. This bike will NEVER see the track so I am really interested in street driving and seat of the pants feelings between the two.

Anyone have experience that can comment?
 

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The ST4 is based on the 916 motor, and the ST4S is based on the 996 motor. Also, the ST4S has some farkles (braided stainless lines, more carbon-fiber) that ST4 owners frequently add to their bikes. I think you won't go wrong whatever you decide.
 

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I have an 99 ST4 with about 44,000 miles on it. Have owned it for about 5 years and put on most of those miles. I have ridden a few the 4S models and an ST3. I do not feel the ST4 is underpowered at all. It wont wheelie like the ST4S, but who cares. The 916 motor, in my opinion, has the perfect combination of torque and horsepower. If you want to wind it up, it just keeps revving and delivering the power. And of course the sound, very sweet. I have never had a problem keeping up with more powerful bikes. On one trip across Nevada I opened it up to about 140 mph. The bike goes.

Mike
 

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From what I understand, the suspension upgrades are well worth the extra $.

I'll upgrade mine ASAP.

Look harder for the "S" within your budget. People are willing to deal in this economy. Good luck. Fred
 

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I have an 99 ST4 with about 44,000 miles on it. Have owned it for about 5 years and put on most of those miles. I have ridden a few the 4S models and an ST3. I do not feel the ST4 is underpowered at all. It wont wheelie like the ST4S, but who cares. The 916 motor, in my opinion, has the perfect combination of torque and horsepower. If you want to wind it up, it just keeps revving and delivering the power. And of course the sound, very sweet. I have never had a problem keeping up with more powerful bikes. On one trip across Nevada I opened it up to about 140 mph. The bike goes.

Mike
An St4S can wheelie? News to me.
 

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An St4S can wheelie? News to me.
Depends how much you weigh, how you sit on the bike, and how hard you twist the throttle. I weigh 185 lbs with my riding gear and mine wheelies whenever I want it to-which is not often to be honest.

John
 

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I would pay more to get an S if it was just as available when I was looking, mostly for the suspension, but I am happy with how my ST4 handles and I am not pushing it to its' full potential anyway.
 

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On the 'S' bikes, there is ABS to consider and some people do desire it. But I never wanted ABS. Additionally, the 5-spoke wheels on the 'S' are lighter as is the alum swing arm. However, even with these "upgrades" the STxS bikes still weigh more than the STx but a couple of pounds. In my mind, the 'S' should weigh a lot less, not more. Especially considering that the 'S' bikes out the door cost $2k+ more.

However, for me suspension is a pretty big deal. The suspension on the stock ST3 leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not heavy (170lbs) but I would still bottom out the forks at times. But, not to fear as you can upgrade suspension to however you want and you can do it cheaply if you know where to look. For example, I put on an Ohlins in the rear and setup fully adjustable Showa forks with Ohlins valving for a lot less than you would think. Actually, a fair bit less than half the price difference between the STx and STxS. My current suspension setup is at least comparible or better than the 'S'. All it took was a little bit of parts sourcing.
 

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Good point about the suspension. The 4S does have better suspension components comparted to the ST4 and ST3. If I ride my ST4 smooth, it still clips along pretty well through the twisties.

Mike
 

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Keep looking! I bought an '02 ST4s last fall, with about 7500 miles on it, for $6k, and it came with a jacket (only 10 sizes too big!), an Arai helmet (fits!), a PC3, and some other stuff. So if you're not in a hurry, they're out there! I found mine on Craigslist, through Google.

Come to Winston-Salem if you want to ride it!
 

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ST4/ST4s

I had a '99 ST4 & now have a 2004 ST4s. I put 17,000+ on the ST4 & I now have 23,000 on the ST4s. Yes, the 4s is nicer, but it isn't a huge difference (IMO). I think you could be happy with either one.
Gregg
 

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Do a search..............

..........on www.cycletrader.com There is a 2004 ST4s ABS (red) in Georgia with an asking price of $6000.
Gregg
 

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The 4s gets a bit more grunt and slightly better looking forks, wheels, front discs, rear hugger - but no better working.

All in all theres really nothing in it but the 4s is just a bit more desirable.
You could easily ride either in isolation and never want for more.

Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Keep looking! I bought an '02 ST4s last fall, with about 7500 miles on it, for $6k, and it came with a jacket (only 10 sizes too big!), an Arai helmet (fits!), a PC3, and some other stuff. So if you're not in a hurry, they're out there! I found mine on Craigslist, through Google.

Come to Winston-Salem if you want to ride it!
Wow that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. I'll keep looking for a S version then. I have to admit that that hugger looks awesome once the bags come off!! Winston Salem is not far from me. I'll let you know once I get one
 

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An St4S can wheelie? News to me.

Well. I just went through a little experiment. I put the stock air box and pipes back on for a day. I have a 15/43 final drive. With the stock parts, the bike felt a little soft to me. Aside from it being weird quiet, it did not have the urgency under full throttle that it did prior. It was not as wheelie prone in 1st or 2nd gear. Really had to work at it to get the front up. It’s not that wheelies are a judge of a bikes performance for me; it is just something I noticed and relates to this comment. The bike was nice to ride this way, just different.

Reinstalled the open air box but still with stock pipes. Surprisingly better, but still a little soft on top. Still quiet, but kind of nice quiet at part throttle. I kept hitting the rev limiter because my “ear tach” was not calibrated. Wide open and the air box is loud! Hadn’t noticed before, the DP pipes kind of masked it. Nice progressive power wheelie in 1st gear, not much in 2nd. I like this combo. Longer rides may see this set up.

Back to DP pipes and open box. Loud. Full throttle in 1st is abrupt. If you rip the throttle, the front comes up so hard the tank threatens to hit you in the mid section and knock the wind out of you. 2nd gear, nice progressive power wheelie.

Moral of the story? Yes they do wheelie (maybe you were joking with the comment?). How much depends on your set up.

On topic… I took the ST4s over the ST4 because of the nicer suspension and wheels primarily. The 996 didn’t hurt either. I like the 5 spoke rims, better front rotors and aluminum swing arm. The suspension works very well. Is it that much better? I doubt it, but at this point they are all used bikes and the price difference isn’t enough to fret over really. New, I may have had to think about it a little. I’d say grab the bike that is in the best over all condition for the money you want to spend and ride. You’ll likely be happy with either. If it comes down to one of each, and the price difference isn’t too much for you, the ST4s is really a no-brainer.
 

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Well. I just went through a little experiment. I put the stock air box and pipes back on for a day. I have a 15/43 final drive. With the stock parts, the bike felt a little soft to me. Aside from it being weird quiet, it did not have the urgency under full throttle that it did prior. It was not as wheelie prone in 1st or 2nd gear. Really had to work at it to get the front up.
You can't do a test like this without tuning the bike in each trim. Specifically, going from the DP pipes/open airbox back to stock trim it would be necessary to also change the ECU back to stock and make sure the fuel trimmer was properly adjusted.

A properly tuned stock ST4s with 15/43 gearing will have the front wheel pawwing high in the sky with throttle alone (and on your ass if you don't watch it). Tuning for pipes and open airbox will add a little oomph but the difference is not night and day (sound volume excluded). The booming exhaust note and loud intake roar makes the difference seem larger than a stopwatch will record. I have two 2002 ST4s's, one I converted to the DP Performance kit after 12,000 miles and the other is still in the stock configuration.
 

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You can't do a test like this without tuning the bike in each trim. Specifically, going from the DP pipes/open airbox back to stock trim it would be necessary to also change the ECU back to stock and make sure the fuel trimmer was properly adjusted.
Completely understand and I've been down that road on a number of other bikes...

I was goofing around and using seat of the pants dyno. My bike has a stock ECU. I bought it with the DP kit already installed, so I don't know if the fuel trim was adjusted. It is rumored that before the ECU was available with the DP kit, the norm was an increase in trim (10%) done by the dealer at install. I do not know if this is the case with my bike, I'll assume it is. I picked up a stock air box and pipes along the way and just wanted to see how things went with them installed. I do know, with no other adjustments, the open air box as a single bolt on component made the biggest improvement. It spins faster to redline. Dramatically faster. The same was true of the 900SSie I had both before and after I had a custom tuned PC3 map done. Clean air (not more) makes a big difference at high RPM.

There is no doubt that a custom tuned map gives the best results, but all other things being equal, I found it interesting the difference in just these bolt on items compared to stock. I’ve had this bike long enough to detect a real difference in the way it runs and rides to note any changes beyond just the sonic ones.
 

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I *meant*, come to W-S if you want to ride mine, to see what it's like... :p
 
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