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Discussion Starter #1
About 15 miles from home at the end of a 300+ mile ride, I stop for some road construction at one of those "one lane at a time stop lights". I smell gas and the other folks with whom I am riding point out to me that there is something smoking. We pull off the road to find gasoline pouring to the ground off the bike. Ultimately, we saw that one of the fuel lines has gotten up against the exhaust header from the rear/verticle cylinder resulting in a hole being melted through the fuel line and fuel literally spraying directly onto the very hot exhaust header and all over the back of the engine, chain, swing arm etc. Wound up hauling it home to avoid becoming a rolling Italian bonfire.

This was the second ride after getting the bike out of the shop to have the Power Commander installed.

Anyone ever experienced or heard of such a thing?

Is there supposed to be some sort of heat shield on the fuel line hoses? One of the members of the group reported to me that they saw "something shinny, like a piece of aluminum foil" fly off the bike earlier in the ride. I note there are some white-ish colored rings around two of the lines that could be some sort of retainer system for some sort of heat shield/sheath.

I looked at my wife's ST3s to see if it has some sort of heat shield, but noted that the 3 valve head on the ST3 leaves quite a bit more room than the 4 valve head on the ST4, resulting in the fuel lines going over the top right hand side of the head on the ST3, while the ST4 lines are routed more downward, then under the belt cover. Plus the ST3 has a single pipe exhaust header, while the ST4 has a dual pipe header. All of this results in the fuel line being more exposed to the hot exhaust header on the ST4.

So, this issue appears to be an ST4 only issue, as best as I can tell.

More to the point, what is the inside diameter of the fuel line(s) and how long are they? I am going to replace the hoses with some sort of heat resistant hose. Any suggestions, thoughts, comments etc??
 

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Mr Leakered
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Whoa. Glad you're okay. The white rings are only there to mark which is the main line (M) and which is the return line (R).

Maybe there was a bit too much fuel line on there? Did the PC shop lift the tank? You may want to warn them for future work.

Mine are just plain black lines with no extra shielding.

Have a good one.
 

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I had a similar issue with my 851. Fuel lines were kinking as the tank was lowered. Thing is, you could not see the kink with the tank down! After some judicious re routing of fuel lines (and no thanks to repeated visits to the dealer) I solved the problem on my own.

Hope your problem is as easy to solve.
 

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I have heard of this happening to at least one other ST4 owner. When I refitted the tank on mine after the winter layup and service I noticed that the lines would kink with lying against the exhaust when I lowered the tank. A bit of careful re-routing sorted this.
The fuel lines are 8mm bore and you will need about 4 feet to do both of them.
 

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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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Even on my ST3s the fuel and vent lines are run between the belt covers and the frame. They are left long enough to raise the tank without pulling on them. And yes they must be routed carefully not to touch the exhaust pipe. I zip tie all four of my lines together which holds them over next to the frame. Thank goodness gas usually won't flash from heat alone, unless it's extreamly hot. It would normally take a spark for flame to set it off.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the information. Particularly, tonered for the info about the white rings.

Sounds likes a more attention to detail and a few carefully placed zip-ties will fix it.

You gotta wonder why the boys in Bologona didn't run the fuel lines out of the middle of the tank directly into the valley in between the cylinders to just avoid all of those hot exhaust pipes being close to gasoline inside rubber hoses????
 

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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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They probably could have. But then, on a "touring" bike most people would probably complain about it only holding 2 gallons of fuel. That and it wouldn't pivot up to get to the air filter.
 

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Be sure to get FUEL INJECTION rated hose. Most port injections run at close to 45psi.
Regular gas line will rupture.
 

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Recall notice - not sure if this applies to your problem

Most Recent Recalls For DUCATI ST4S ABS
Vehicle Component Manufacterer
2004 DUCATI ST4S ABS FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE Recall
2004 DUCATI ST4S ABS FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Units affected: 622 DUCATI NORTH AMERICA
Report Date: 2005-05-13
Summary: ON CERTAIN MOTORCYCLES, THE AIR BOX BREATHER HOSE MAY COME IN CONTACT WITH THE HORIZONTAL CYLINDER EXHAUST PIPE.
 

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unM0derator
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2,853 Posts
Most Recent Recalls For DUCATI ST4S ABS
Vehicle Component Manufacterer
2004 DUCATI ST4S ABS FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE Recall
2004 DUCATI ST4S ABS FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Units affected: 622 DUCATI NORTH AMERICA
Report Date: 2005-05-13
Summary: ON CERTAIN MOTORCYCLES, THE AIR BOX BREATHER HOSE MAY COME IN CONTACT WITH THE HORIZONTAL CYLINDER EXHAUST PIPE.
Nah, that's the little dangly part down near the bottom fairing panels. I had this done, and they just shorten it and the tube is raised up behind the two lowers now.

Nowhere near the vertical cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Took back to shop. They install a complet new set of fuel lines and tied them off so that they cannot get up against the header again. No charge. Didn't actually "confess" but admitted they were the last one to have the tank "up". Profuse apologies etc.

These guys have always treated me right, so I think this was an honest mistake and won't ever happend to me or anyone else again.

Highlights the need to be very careful when lowering the tank after having raised it. Need to check the fuel lines to ensure that they aren't crimped or moved over close to the header.
 

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Grr

Ok add me to the club, yesterday I was riding home after what was a really good day. Then I get caught off by 4 cars in a row on the freeway probably doin around 75 mph (no one behind me off course and only maybe 2 car lengths between me and the car in front of me and 2 other lanes of empty traffic) but anyhow then we get drive by bombed by what must have been an entire flock of birds ... I'm mean my windshield my jacket it bounced off my helmet and coated my wifes facemask (whew thank you full face helmets) covered her and then not 10 seconds later... my leg starts feeling wet and then tingly... I'm thinking noway did I get that much bird poo on me and then I start to hear a gushing sound Shhhhhh I'm like "oh no I blew a radiator hose this is bad" , "so I look down and I"m like "OH NO I BLEW A GAS LINE THIS IS BAD" my wife notices about the same time and starts beating on my jacket like I didn't notice yet... gas is just gushing out cruising down the freeway I have no idea what to do.. pull over or try and ride it out and hope not to catch fire .. about a half mile up is the exit ramp, i rode to it and to the light turned it off and pushed it across the intersection to the gas station... figured since we were both covered in gas odds are nobody would be smoking there. Anyhow it sucked so bad it was kinda funny, because everything just went wrong all at once.
 

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Wow, thank you forum once again. I bought a '99 ST4 last year and replaced the fuel filter this week. I fired it up yesterday and saw a bit of smoke coming from under the tank. I lifted the tank and sure enough the fuel breather hose (CA model) was starting to melt on the vertical cylinder. A little different from the recall notice but I'll call a dealer to see if they can do anything a little more permanent than my planned zip tie solution.
 

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Mr Leakered
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8,811 Posts
One question for you guys. How were your lines routed previously? I checked mine and they all route to the outside of the crankcase breather with no possibility of getting near the header due to this.

Just curious.
 

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Basically out from the fuel pump to the rear of the bike then down the right side. I'm not at home, so it's tough to be more descriptive. Any chance you could share a photo of the routing on yours?
 

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Mr Leakered
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I just upload a Blackberry pic:

http://www.ducati.ms/gallery/showimage.php?i=5468&c=3

The tube behind the cap screw partially hidden by the frame is the header. The black tube just forward is the breather pipe. All fuel lines are routed between the breather and brake resevoir. Please note that the previous owner removed the charcoal canister and associated lines.

I hope this helps.

Have a good one.
 

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It did, and it made a lot of sense when I went back to the bike. After reading this thread, I decided to wrap the lines in "cool tape" for an added measure of security but there don't seem to be any issues now.
 
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