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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of doing my first long trip (500 miles each way), and aside from concerns/hopes that nothing goes wrong on the bike, I was thinking about asking for advice from people who've done this many times on an ST - what to prepare, any spare parts to have on hand, usefulness of a Throttlemeister or similar, etc.

Also, I've begun to notice that in hour-long trips on the interstate, the vibration is really getting to me. I'm pretty tolerant of vibration, and my last two bikes (BMW F800S, BMW S1000RR) are both bikes where owners complained about vibration in the bars, and I never understood where they're coming from.

But the ST4 shakes a lot more. A lot.

I'm assuming this is normal for the bike, but thought I'd ask in the off-chance that it may not be...and that my engine may be out of balance? At WOT near redline (11,000rpm indicated, I'm assuming that's 10,000 actual), it's ear-splitting and the vibration is both fast and nearly violent.

Since I have no real basis for comparison, I figured it wouldn't hurt to double-check, and if any of you long-distance riders have any other ways to cope with handlebar vibration, other than unweighting the arms and using an extremely light grip (I haven't yet found a seating position that allows me to do this for very long).
 

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You'll probably get a lot of responses, so I want credit for having no life and getting here first. Take that tonered!

If your engine vibrates that much, my first advice would be to stay well clear of "redline". I think its really 9,500 on the ST4, but no matter, you should stay more in the 4-7K range. Things that vibrate tend to fly apart at high RPM.

No, the ST4 should not really vibrate. If it had low miles, it might be a bit vibey but after 5-10k miles it should be very smooth.

Lots of thing can cause the vibes. My first thought is loose engine mounting bolts/nut. These are notorious for loosening up and when they do, not only might things vibrate, but the engine cases may fail at the mounting bosses. Search the forums or check groups.yahoo.com/ST2_owners (if you have an ST, you MUST join this group) for threads about this.

Vibes and rough running at low rpm are not uncommon. The 916 motor really likes to be above 4k, kinda rough/jumpy below that. Lower gearing (42-43 tooth rear sprocket and very good tuning) can minimize this. At high RPM, more dynamic things come into play. If the throttle bodies are not balanced the engine can run rough and vibrate. If the cams are not timed properly (like from a belt slip or loose belts) it will really vibrate, and potentially, launch a valve into the pistons and grenade. A proper valve adjustment and new belts every 12k is a must for these bikes. Loose flywheel, loose clutch hub, you name it. Its a great motor but is a thoroughbred and needs to be treated as such. If the bike has not had a major service in 6-12 months, it should have one before you ride it any distance. If you are not a Ducati mechanic, find a good dealer and get to know them.

I'll leave some room for others here.

Good luck,

pg
DD
 

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Do you have the standard 15/43 gearing ?
Swapping to a 14 tooth front will help enormously and won't cost you more than around 30 bucks, but make sure to use new bolts with the new sprocket if you do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks! I'll start with the engine mounts, and anyways, I'm at 22,500 on the odometer, so at 24K I'll put her through a complete service - that should sort out anything else.
 

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I just pulled in from a 1955 mile trip from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia about 2 hours ago.
I swapped out my 15 tooth front for the 14 tooth and I'm so glad i did this bring the motor up to 4000 rpm at 60 mile my ST4 runs so smooth at 4200-5500rpm so try to keep it around that rpm range. For spares i had a bunch of common tools, a spare 4 leg relay, can of chain wax, spare fuses, and cheap analog volt meter. Thankfully it all stayed packed except the chain wax that was used every night when we stopped so it had time to soak in to the hot chain and clot overnight for less fling off.
 

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While I don't have an ST4, my ST3 is really smooth. The bike almost feels like its floating in the 4K to 5K range then mild engine vibrations to let me know it's still there. Not the vibrations that you're describing.

Do the vibrations stop if you pull in the clutch? You might be able to at least determine if it's engine/transmission versus chassis vibration.
 

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+1 to throttlemeister, did a trip MA to NC and back in 3 days and couldn't have done it without some cruise. Cramp buster works in a pinch but not near as good. Same here about tools packed a bunch used none. Have fun.
Never thought about changing sprockets for a trip but sounds like a good idea. I ran 5500-6000 usually.

I also wrapped both grips with grip tape for bats to help with vibration and give me something easier to grip. Throttlemeister weight on ends will help also.


Sent from my iPad using MO Free
 

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For long trips

I like to add gel inserts into my boats, I find this helps fight vibration a bit. Also wax earplugs to cancel out the wind noise.

Be Safe,
t_bare
 
J

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Tech Check

Really 10,000 rpm's,I wouldn't go 5 miles if i had all those problem's.For your saftey and life take her to a ducati tech for a complete saftey check,is $90 for a 1-hr check worth your life,hell yeah.Shade tree guessing is not cool. Please be careful and take some pics of the ride.:)
 

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It looks like people have covered your causes of vibration, so I'll chime i on long distance comfort.

The bars are honestly pretty good, heavier end weights might help, but killing the source of the vibration would help most.

My biggest long-distance gripe right now is the seat, the old (mine is a 98) style seat is too narrow at the base and too squishy.

I'd get that engine checked out ASAP, i had some vibrations when my TBs came out of sync.
 

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While I don't have an ST4, my ST3 is really smooth. The bike almost feels like its floating in the 4K to 5K range then mild engine vibrations to let me know it's still there. Not the vibrations that you're describing.

Do the vibrations stop if you pull in the clutch? You might be able to at least determine if it's engine/transmission versus chassis vibration.
Important to isolate whether engine or chassis is causing the problem.

Run it up to full revs in a low gear , say 2nd (should be safe from the law) and see if the vibration increases with revs.

Then go to the same speed in 3rd or 4th and see if the effect is the same.

I have found that a front wheel bearing can cause dramatic vibration at higher speeds (100 mph +) but otherwise be fairly unnoticeable.
 

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While I don't have an ST4, my ST3 is really smooth. The bike almost feels like its floating in the 4K to 5K range then mild engine vibrations to let me know it's still there. Not the vibrations that you're describing.

Do the vibrations stop if you pull in the clutch? You might be able to at least determine if it's engine/transmission versus chassis vibration.
Desmoquattro is a different beast. Much more movement and vibration that you notice. The SC is buttery smooth (the desmotre is in reality a water-cooled desmodue with an extra valve in the head), but both my previous and current 4s is much more noticeable in this regard.
 

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Desmoquattro is a different beast. Much more movement and vibration that you notice. The SC is buttery smooth (the desmotre is in reality a water-cooled desmodue with an extra valve in the head), but both my previous and current 4s is much more noticeable in this regard.
But never 'Violent'......cruising on part throttle mid-range should be nice and smooth (twin not four).
 

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1. Check the motor mounts, I think everyone should check their motor mount bolts yearly

2. Lower your gearing as already mentioned these things run smoother at 5000-5500rpm cruising down the freeway, they aint no Harley!

3. Proper gloves and new grips

4. I'm cheating but my Ducati-Performance gel seat rocks!!!

Enjoy your ride!
M
 

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I'm on an ST3. A Sargent Seat and 14T sprocket helped a bunch, my throttlemeister will be here Tuesday. Sounds like you're on the right track, get your vibration checked out soon and Hydrate..water only for several days before the ride, also sip water during the trip don't drike a lot of it. and HAVE FUN!
 

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Kismet - Once you have the vibration sorted then just chill and enjoy the trip 1000 round trip is no trouble for these bikes , 5 tanks , or less of fuel.

I would not stress about spares (chances are you wont have the one you actually need anyway) but do make sure you have checked her over including tyre wear , brake pads and chain adjustment.

If you oil the chain a tiny amount at each fuel stop then the chain should not need attention either (or fit a Scotoilier or similar).

Otherwise things that may get you out of a hole , Zip-Ties , Gaffer Tape , Spare Bulbs , couple yards of small tubing in case you needd to scrounge some fuel and I find taking some surgical type gloves handy as getting oilly hands ruins the inside of a good set of riding gloves.
 

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You'll probably get a lot of responses, so I want credit for having no life and getting here first. Take that tonered!

If your engine vibrates that much, my first advice would be to stay well clear of "redline". I think its really 9,500 on the ST4, but no matter, you should stay more in the 4-7K range. Things that vibrate tend to fly apart at high RPM.

No, the ST4 should not really vibrate. If it had low miles, it might be a bit vibey but after 5-10k miles it should be very smooth.

Lots of thing can cause the vibes. My first thought is loose engine mounting bolts/nut. These are notorious for loosening up and when they do, not only might things vibrate, but the engine cases may fail at the mounting bosses. Search the forums or check groups.yahoo.com/ST2_owners (if you have an ST, you MUST join this group) for threads about this.

Vibes and rough running at low rpm are not uncommon. The 916 motor really likes to be above 4k, kinda rough/jumpy below that. Lower gearing (42-43 tooth rear sprocket and very good tuning) can minimize this. At high RPM, more dynamic things come into play. If the throttle bodies are not balanced the engine can run rough and vibrate. If the cams are not timed properly (like from a belt slip or loose belts) it will really vibrate, and potentially, launch a valve into the pistons and grenade. A proper valve adjustment and new belts every 12k is a must for these bikes. Loose flywheel, loose clutch hub, you name it. Its a great motor but is a thoroughbred and needs to be treated as such. If the bike has not had a major service in 6-12 months, it should have one before you ride it any distance. If you are not a Ducati mechanic, find a good dealer and get to know them.

I'll leave some room for others here.

Good luck,

pg
DD
Haha! No life here either. =)

The motor should be smoother the higher you go in the rev band.

An EFI setup and TB sync may cure it, esp if the bike is new to you. This is quite easy to do at home. With a good sync, the entire rev band should be smooth, ie the mirrors should not shake.

Have a good one.
 

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Take one or two spare relays with you. Duralast Relay PN #19283 (AutoZone or Advance or the like parts store). Cheap and handy just in case... Make sure your tool kit has proper length and size allen wrench to remove instrument surround and fairings, plus sockets for mirror bolts etc.
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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Oh and one more thing I was recommended to carry by my loacl shop was the Red Key.
If you do have an issue the shop I was told the shop cannot access the diagnostics without it (Wrap in tissue and stick it in the bottom of the tool-box in a zip bag along with a spare battery for any alarm key-fob you may have)
 
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