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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gang, got a rude awakening in my email box this morning.

The new to me 2005 ST3 has a leisurely 1,645 miles of Sunday rides on the clock. I'm flying out from SFO and picking up in Ashland KY on August 9th and riding it through the Southeast/South from there.

Per device on this forum it's been suggest strongly to swap out for age not milage reasons: Timing belts, tires, oil.

Just got quoted $170 for labor to do the tires, I assumed KY stood for Kentucky, but now I'm guessing it's the brand of Lube this shop uses on it's customers? Got quoted $255 in labor to do the belts which I'll order from Ca Cycle works. Is $255 reasonable for the labor to do the belts? I'm kinda at the mercy of this shop as I'm headed straight from there to Wytheville VA on day 1, and then taking the Blueridge parkway down to Asheville NC on day 2. I could delay swapping the tires until I can get Asheville as there's a number of shops there. Not sure about how much I should be concerned about 12 years old tires loosing grip, and the last thing I want to do is sacrifice safety for $. Thoughts?
 

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The last time that was done on mine, the labor was $103 (1 hr) for belts, and $310 (3 hrs) for valves. I'm guessing the belts would have been more expensive if that's all that was done as I'm sure some of the labor involved to break everything down and reassemble was spread between the two.
 
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Have you asked them about installing belts they didn't sell? Usually that would get a shop a bit bent. The tbelt service doesn't seem bad given the time to remove and replace the body work.....

I can get my ST4 front and rear tires off and on in about an hour and my shop charged $40/$45 to install each tire so maybe $170 isn't to bad. It's not quite like a car where with air you can have 2 tires on and off in 2-3 minutes.

Exactly my thoughts. I'm just offended on general principal by being charged $170 for labor to install 2 tires on a bike I'm buying from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Have you asked them about installing belts they didn't sell? Usually that would get a shop a bit bent. The tbelt service doesn't seem bad given the time to remove and replace the body work.....

I can get my ST4 front and rear tires off and on in about an hour and my shop charged $40/$45 to install each tire so maybe $170 isn't to bad. It's not quite like a car where with air you can have 2 tires on and off in 2-3 minutes.
They had no problem with me shipping the belts in from Ca Cycleworks. I've called around to my local Ducati shops and it seems 2.5 to 3 hours of labor is roughly what they charge for belts, a big part of the labor just in taking off the fairing. So the $255 isn't a surprise. I've logged more than 100,000 miles on the street & had dozens of sets of tires mounted and balanced on my CBR's and Triumph Daytona 675 and have always paid around $65 to $80 for labor, less obviously if I bring in the wheel ($20/$25). Is there some extra labor involved in tire removal on an ST3 or do shops just add $100 to any service involving a Ducati.

I'm only sort of kidding here. As a winery owner, anytime I get a quote for plumbing, HVAC or electrical I make sure to omit the part about it being a winery and just say it's a storage warehouse. My HVAC quote when I called in for the project was over $15,000 as a winery. Called back a week later with the same exact project-parts etc and was quoted just under $3,000 as a "warehouse"
 

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The new to me 2005 ST3 has a leisurely 1,645 miles of Sunday rides on the clock. I'm flying out from SFO and picking up in Ashland KY on August 9th and riding it through the Southeast/South from there.
IMO, you better take a fully-armed credit card and allow plenty of extra time. Also, from my 30 years in the world of airplanes, many crashes happen due to decisions made hours/days/months ahead of the accident. Additionally, get-home-itis has probably done in more pilots than any other single cause.

I bought my 1998 ST2 just shy of 2 years ago with 5800 miles on the clock, also a Sunday rider. Granted I've just been piddling around with it in occasional spare time, but it now has a grand total of 6600 miles. Failures/problems to date:

Two blown voltage regulators.
Rear wheel locked up. (Goo in the rear master cylinder + maladjusted plunger rod)
Front sprocket broke loose, chewing up the chain guide. (fractured retainer plate)
Overheated engine. (Goo in the cooling system)
Broken fast-idler.
Poor starting. (added heavier cables)
Bad battery. (left me stranded)
Poor lighting. (Replaced with Ducati Designs kit)
Failed clutch slave cylinder. (Goo plus bad O-rings)
Oil leak.
Jammed on oil filter.
Stuck oil screen. (still stuck - can't figure out how to remove it)
Many failed wellnuts. (rubber dissolved (roadside repair would have been impossible))
Nasty throttle-closed backfires (aftermarket exhaust w/o performance chip - sourced a performance chip off EBay).

Notice how many of these problems were age-related. No way, no how could I have bought this bike hopped on it and ridden 2000 miles home. It would have been lucky to make 200.

What's more important to you, the money or the trip? Maybe you'll be luckier than me, but age is an equal-opportunity destroyer.

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #8
IMO, you better take a fully-armed credit card and allow plenty of extra time. Also, from my 30 years in the world of airplanes, many crashes happen due to decisions made hours/days/months ahead of the accident. Additionally, get-home-itis has probably done in more pilots than any other single cause.


What's more important to you, the money or the trip? Maybe you'll be luckier than me, but age is an equal-opportunity destroyer.

YMMV
I don't think 'get-home-itis' applies here. I've got plenty of credit, friends along the way. 9 days to get from Kentucky to New Orleans, where the bike gets shipped the rest of the way home. Sorry to hear about your experience, sounds like you got the lemon of all lemons. But to answer your last question, the only thing of importance is the adventure. Arguably the only reason to live at all is for the experience but that is a long topic and for another thread. Based on your cautionary tale it would seems that any sane person should never buy a used bike or head out onto the road in search of new experiences. Luckily, I am not now, nor have i ever been a sane person. What I am having done in advance of the ride is...Oil and fluid change, new belts, new tires. The shop has gone over the bike with their mechanics, and what will be will be. Hopefully I'll be sending in pics and ride report posts from along the way.
 

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I hope you mean every ounce of fluid from brakes to coolant. KY has a terrible climate to store machinery. A new battery should be on that list too. I would also be concerned about rust, especially with critical items on the wheels and brakes. The spark plugs and air filter are also suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I hope you mean every ounce of fluid from brakes to coolant. KY has a terrible climate to store machinery. A new battery should be on that list too. I would also be concerned about rust, especially with critical items on the wheels and brakes. The spark plugs and air filter are also suspect.
This bike has been stored in an indoor, temp and humidity controlled 'museum'.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dna

Years ago, my people boarded canoes and traversed oceans, we crossed nations on our feet and on the backs of beasts. Without maps, gps, water filters or all night diners. My people were Vikings, Scots, Irish, Hawaiian, Jews, Native Americans. My Grandfather returned from WW11, on the beach in Normandy, battle of the Bulge, the Forests of Ardennes and built/raced Triumphs and Harley's. My Dad returned from Vietnam to ride and restore Triumph Bonnies'. I have had friends die in my arms and survived things which I thought would kill me. I got on my first bike at the age of 23 months. And have spent 36 of my 43 years on this rock exploring the world. As my wrists no long allow me to ride a track-centric bike I join the Sport touring ranks. After some good, and then disappointing interactions, I honestly hope I'm wrong but maybe this site isn't for me. What's the deal with these nervous folks who'd rather ride to the end of the block and post up at their local Starbucks and pretend to be motorcyclists? I certainly hope this is not the case with most of this community. But, wow I guess a few bad apples can really turn the stomach.
 

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I've reread this thread and have no idea what you are going on about with your last post. I've found this forum nothing but extremely helpful. Don't ask questions if there is a risk you may not like the answer.
 

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Years ago, my people boarded canoes and traversed oceans, we crossed nations on our feet and on the backs of beasts.
So then why do you want a motorcycle? Your ancestors will be dismayed when they learn of their soft, wimpy progeny.
 

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Years ago, my people boarded canoes and traversed oceans, we crossed nations on our feet and on the backs of beasts.
LOL. People died a lot too...

Folks here ride. The brand has a stigma of unreliability, warranted in modern times or not, that is hard to overcome. A Ducati ST with an older ST2 era or Desmoquattro era engine is an odd beast in that it's hard to wrap your mind around a touring bike that needs to be stripped down every 6K miles for a major service. The ST3 isn't much better, as it has the same maintenance interval. In practice, if well maintained, these are as reliable as anything else out there provided you are aware of the common things that can go wrong and look after those. You can't leave them alone though. Not keeping after the maintenance is a recipe for joining your people and going it on foot.
 
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LOL. People died a lot too...

Folks here ride. The brand has a stigma of unreliability, warranted in modern times or not, that is hard to overcome. A Ducati ST with an older ST2 era or Desmoquattro era engine is an odd beast in that it's hard to wrap your mind around a touring bike that needs to be stripped down every 6K miles for a major service. The ST3 isn't much better, as it has the same maintenance interval. In practice, if well maintained, these are as reliable as anything else out there provided you are aware of the common things that can go wrong and look after those. You can't leave them alone though. Not keeping after the maintenance is a recipe for joining your people and going it on foot.
Your comments ring true. I've been in the BMW camp most of my motorcycle life and their reliability (like the ST) is a direct result of how well the maintenance is kept up. Similar style Japanese machines seem to go decades on the same brake fluid and belts and such , but not our Euro machines. I find the maintenance schedule on the ST3S to be reasonable and doable by a mechanically competent owner.
I believe that the warnings posted in the previous comments are well intentioned.
 

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Years ago, my people boarded canoes and traversed oceans, we crossed nations on our feet and on the backs of beasts. Without maps, gps, water filters or all night diners. My people were Vikings, Scots, Irish, Hawaiian, Jews, Native Americans. My Grandfather returned from WW11, on the beach in Normandy, battle of the Bulge, the Forests of Ardennes and built/raced Triumphs and Harley's. My Dad returned from Vietnam to ride and restore Triumph Bonnies'. I have had friends die in my arms and survived things which I thought would kill me. I got on my first bike at the age of 23 months. And have spent 36 of my 43 years on this rock exploring the world. As my wrists no long allow me to ride a track-centric bike I join the Sport touring ranks. After some good, and then disappointing interactions, I honestly hope I'm wrong but maybe this site isn't for me. What's the deal with these nervous folks who'd rather ride to the end of the block and post up at their local Starbucks and pretend to be motorcyclists? I certainly hope this is not the case with most of this community. But, wow I guess a few bad apples can really turn the stomach.
As a new member, you've hardly had the time to get the pulse of what this site is all about. Frankly, your diatribe has me scratching my head. What was the point?

The responses on this thread have been nothing but helpful (most of them) and honest (all of them). Did you do any research BEFORE you purchased your new-to-you motorcycle? If you did, you would realize that Ducatis are maintenance intensive and, yes, sometimes temperamental. Others may have had better or worse experiences, but we're all willing to share our's for what it's worth.

As for your original question, shops get over $100 per hour now. Mounting and balancing a tire takes at least a half-hour each and on top of that, you have to remove the brake calipers just to get the front wheel off. Belts? Have you ever attempted to remove and refit the bodywork? Try it sometime and then see if you still think the price is inflated.

I get the feeling you were not prepared for what is involved in the ownership experience of a Ducati. However, most of us would agree, the connection and joy we get with such a soulful machine is worth it. That's why we own them.
 

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Based on your cautionary tale it would seems that any sane person should never buy a used bike or head out onto the road in search of new experiences. Luckily, I am not now, nor have i ever been a sane person. What I am having done in advance of the ride is...Oil and fluid change, new belts, new tires. The shop has gone over the bike with their mechanics, and what will be will be. Hopefully I'll be sending in pics and ride report posts from along the way.
Really? I don't know you from Adam, made no comment about sanity, against adventure, or taking measured risks. In the reply it seems you have taken measures, and have the time and resources to deal with what comes. Knowing that in advance, I would have not posted a cautionary tale to what seemed to me to be coming from a "newb".
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I've reread this thread and have no idea what you are going on about with your last post. I've found this forum nothing but extremely helpful. Don't ask questions if there is a risk you may not like the answer.

I asked about what to expect to pay for belt replacement and why a shop would charge $170 for a tire change, what I got seemed to me was an advisement against undertaking the journey. The belt change expense seems reasonable but I wanted to know what other people were paying. I'm looking forward to doing my own work on the bike once it's back in my garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
LOL. People died a lot too...
Not keeping after the maintenance is a recipe for joining your people and going it on foot.
This is true and made me chuckle a bit
 

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As a new member, you've hardly had the time to get the pulse of what this site is all about. Frankly, you're diatribe has me scratching my head. What was the point?

The responses on this thread have been nothing but helpful (most of them) and honest (all of them). Did you do any research BEFORE you purchased your new-to-you motorcycle? If you did, you would realize that Ducatis are maintenance intensive and, yes, sometimes temperamental. Others may have had better or worse experiences, but we're all willing to share our's for what it's worth.

As for your original question, shops get over $100 per hour now. Mounting and balancing a tire takes at least a half-hour each and on top of that, you have to remove the brake calipers just to get the front wheel off. Belts? Have you ever attempted to remove and refit the bodywork? Try it sometime and then see if you still think the price is inflated.

I get the feeling you were not prepared for what is involved in the ownership experience of a Ducati. However, most of us would agree, the connection and joy we get with such a soulful machine is worth it. That's why we own them.
I'll try to be more clear next time. Yes, I'm a new member here. I've been lurking for the past 6 months. Reading and researching hours a day. Thanks for your specific explanation of the work involved, as this is exactly what I was asking about. To be bluntly honest, and am going through intense motorcycle withdrawals as I sold my bike 3 weeks ago and need to ride frequently or things go dark pretty quick. I'm not sure what in this thread gave you the impression I'm not prepared for the Ducati ownership commitment. I'm looking forward to learning from this community and welcome all knowledge. I clearly must have misinterpreted the cautionary tales as advisement to not undertake the journey at all. This really confused me and kinda rubbed me the wrong way, thus my 'head scratching' response.
 
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