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Hey guys, been lurking awhile, gathering info on the ST series, with an eye out for a MY 04/05 ST4S. An 2002 became available at a good deal, so yesterday I went to check it out.

What a motor. I was'nt ready for how smooth it was. It still had the 38t sproket, and I agree gearing down would not hurt.

But what I was'nt ready for was the riding position and the wind blast off the fairing. Do you get used to the lay down position for long rides, and do after market screens make a big difference? Also I have read that the MY 04/05 addressed these issues. To anyone (Bill) who has had both, how much difference is there in the later models?
 

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Hey guys, been lurking awhile, gathering info on the ST series, with an eye out for a MY 04/05 ST4S. An 2002 became available at a good deal, so yesterday I went to check it out.

What a motor. I was'nt ready for how smooth it was. It still had the 38t sproket, and I agree gearing down would not hurt.

But what I was'nt ready for was the riding position and the wind blast off the fairing. Do you get used to the lay down position for long rides, and do after market screens make a big difference? Also I have read that the MY 04/05 addressed these issues. To anyone (Bill) who has had both, how much difference is there in the later models?
You will find that if you give it about 3 weeks of riding you will get used to the postion and wind. Each bike I have purchased took a bit of time to get used to and fell right. I have a Double Bubble screen that changed the wind somewhat but overall you have to expect it is going to be there.
 

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My 01-ST4 and 02-ST4s both had Heli bars, so I may not have been leaned as far forward as you were on your test ride. On both of these bikes, the wind hit me in the chest, which served to raise my body up a little and relieve weight from my wrists. The wind force was not uncomfortable at freeway legal speeds as it was a steady push, not uneven turbulance. The wind force was strong enough to be uncomfortable the one time I had the ST4 into triple digits.

I felt no need for aftermarket handlebars on the 04-ST4s. I also noticed the better dynamics with the new style upper fairing. The bike felt as comfortable the one time I took it into triple digits as it does at legal freeway speeds, which is scary. On the way to the 2007 West Coast Madness in Torrey, UT, I blasted down one rather long, straight Nevada highway at speeds between 80 and 95. Once again, I felt no need to huddle under the windscreen like I would have with the 01-ST4 or 02-ST4s.

I found the riding positions of all three of my ST models to be very good. I have a bad back and the medical people say that the reverse curve position attained by your back when you sit on these bikes is the best position for it. If the 02 you rode still has the OEM seat, you will probably want to replace it with an MY 04 or later OEM seat or DP touring seat.
 

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+1 on the seat, I got an 05 seat, much more comfortable and no passenger sliding into you.

Get as late a model as you can find or change the screen on the early models.

Craig
 

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Ginger or Maryanne?

At the moment you have the following dilemma regarding the ST4s:

Go for looks: MY 02 and MY 03 with the addition of the Ducati Designs headlight system. You can make the bike more comfortable with aftermarket handle bars or bar risers, windscreen, and seat.

Go for comfort: MY 04 and later right out of the box. Nothing more to add.

You will be able to improve the looks of the MY 04 and later ST4s when Ducati Designs comes out with a new headlight system for the new style upper fairing.
 

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I'm the opposite. Probably due to my supersport background, I think the riding position of my 03st4s is too upright. I will eventually drop the bars and go with a lower screen. If the position is too upright I get a sore lower back.

I've never been able to work out how the HD riding position works. It would kill my back.

+ 1 on the gell seat.

Rossco
 

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I've never been able to work out how the HD riding position works. It would kill my back.Rossco
You will never get hard core cruiser types to believe that the forward riding position is more comfortable. It puts your back in anatomicaly better position and your legs, not your spine, serve as shock absorbers.

Funny story. My buddy Randy the X Man, whose videos I often post up here, swore for years that he was a cruiser guy. In November of 2007 he bought a Honda ST1300. Now he is mad that we did not somehow force him to buy it earlier.
 

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I'm the opposite. Probably due to my supersport background, I think the riding position of my 03st4s is too upright. I will eventually drop the bars and go with a lower screen. If the position is too upright I get a sore lower back.

I've never been able to work out how the HD riding position works. It would kill my back.
I also felt that the ST2 had too high of a riding position for the type of riding I do, so I lowered the bars and installed a lower windshield. I have Helibar adapters and Superbike clip-ons. For me, they are very comfortable and I've even done a SaddleSore 1000 with this arrangement.

For Harleys, I would agree that the ST has a better riding position, and in my case the ST is much smoother, but, it was my Harley that I've ridden cross-country and through 44 different states. The main reason for this is that the ST2 tires don't last anywhere near the 20k-25k miles I can squeeze out of a Dunlop Elite tire on the HD.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies! It is often mentioned that the 02/03 bikes are better looking, but I think the 04/05 look pretty sweet also. It has crisp lines that look more modern, but hey look is in the eye of the beholder, correct?

Problem is, there seem to be more 02/03 for sale than 04/05. Later models of ST3S are out there, but I think I want the 4S motor.
 

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When I was looking at STs, some folks noted that a Multi might be better suited for commuting due to its more relaxed stance and that some ST riders were transitioning for that purpose. I don't know if that is the case for the Multi, but I am trilled riding the ST to work daily. I often think about just heading down the road and forgetting about taking the exit to the office. ;)

Like some have said above, I'm a comtemplating the removal of my risers. I believe that my corner entries are wrong due to my body position. Every time I shift myself forward, as if the risers weren't there, the better the corner feels.

Good luck.
 

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I'm just off a BMW R1150GS and a BMW R1100S.

I find the ST4S very comfy and thats with a fake shoulder and knee,LOL.The seat is one of the most comfortable I've had and the windblast is not bad at all, I spend most of my time at 120-130kmh.The good thing is the seating doesn't bust your yarbles and the reach to the bars is for normal people.
 

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...The good thing is the seating doesn't bust your yarbles...
I trust you haven't been subjected to the "Ludovico" treatment. :)

I find the air flow off my stock screen is excellent, no buffeting. I wear ear plugs to compensate for the wind noise which also hits me at the chin bar-upper chest, but the "clean" air stream/flow is what I desire. Nothing worse than fighting buffeting or back pressure at high speeds from a taller but quieter screen.
 
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