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Hey everyone, I thought I'd share what I'm working on over the winter... My 2003 ST4s ABS is getting it's shock rebuilt and I'm installing a Ducati Designs headlight.

I had planned on taking pics of the shock removal but once I got going I didn't want to stop to take pics. I will say that once I realized the ABS unit needed to be lowered instead of raised or pushed back, and it's main connector to be unplugged before it could be lowered, it wasn't too bad. I had the bodywork off already but the shock was out within 45 minutes and now that I've done it I could probably cut that time in half. That being said even though I was trying to be careful, I did scratch my frame a little in a couple of spots while trying to get the reservoir through, does anyone know the paint code or have a good supplier for the frame paint?

What's everyone else in the cold climate planning over the winter?

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The Ducati Designs headlight is a great addition to your ST. I had mine transferred from my '98 ST2 to an '03 ST4S I purchased last spring.
Both ST's are tucked away in the basement for the winter, waiting for the salt and sand to wash away in the spring. I will be getting as much downhill skiing in as possible while they rest! Then on to ECM XI in May!
Colorite may be able to help with the frame paint... Stay warm!
 

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The Ducati Designs headlight is a great addition to your ST. I had mine transferred from my '98 ST2 to an '03 ST4S I purchased last spring.
Both ST's are tucked away in the basement for the winter, waiting for the salt and sand to wash away in the spring. I will be getting as much downhill skiing in as possible while they rest! Then on to ECM XI in May!
Colorite may be able to help with the frame paint... Stay warm!

Thanks for the tip, Colorite has the frame paint, and the Senna gray I need as well! It's been too cold to wire up the headlight but it looks like that will be fairly straight forward, I can't wait to try it out!

I haven't been able to pack my ST away, it's the only street bike I've ever ridden in temps colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit but a good jacket, pants and a heated vest have made all the difference. Once I find a pinlock for my Bell I may be unstoppable.... except for snow. I'm crazy but not that crazy!
 

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The cold temps came pretty quick this fall in VT, our last ride had a Max temp in the mid 40's. I keep the ST ready to go until the road crews start spreading salt/sand, then put it away and move on to skiing.
The ST platform just seems to be the perfect balance between sport and sport touring(for me). I've looked at other makes/models but nothing else seems to fit the bill.
Long live our ST's!!!
 

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Another addition you might consider, if you don't already have them, are heated grips. My ST4S came with them and it is quite decadent! Toasty hands make a huge comfort difference in the cold.
 

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I tried the Colorite Senna gray on my ST4s, and it didn't turn out that great. It sort of matched, but the paint will never lay the same as in the factory. You've got to paint everything for it to match. That was my first repaint attempt, so maybe it was my lack of skill.

+1 on the heated grips. I've tried a couple and the Oxford grips are the bomb.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I forgot to mention the Oxford heated grips I recently installed, fantastic Schoeller gloves I got for free with the lined pants I found on marketplace, a balaclava and my Joe Rocket boots. The only part of me that gets even a little cold is my face. I wouldn't want to ride for hours in the cold but for short trips to dust the cobwebs off it all works really well.

It's supposed to snow here tomorrow, I will stay off the roads after the salt and sand is put down as well.

Right now I'm wishing I insulated my shed this year, I can run a heater out there for hours and it never warms up. I brought all of my bodywork in the house to clean, polish and store it. My wife just rolls her eyes and gives me a smile, I'm a pretty lucky guy.
 

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Yes, I forgot to mention the Oxford heated grips I recently installed, fantastic Schoeller gloves I got for free with the lined pants I found on marketplace, a balaclava and my Joe Rocket boots. The only part of me that gets even a little cold is my face. I wouldn't want to ride for hours in the cold...
I use a neck balaclava from a ski/sporting goods store. Bought it 15 years ago!! Fleece, still does the trick.

I pull it over my head, then pull the top up over my ears. Helmet goes on then I tuck the the top edge of the balaclava up inside so it reaches my ears again. Adjust the fleece to suit for nose/fogging comfort), and strap up the helmet. With a proper heated jacket/vest and riding jacket with adjustable neck closure there’s virtually no wind coming through.




2004 Ducati ST4s ABS “Senna”
2002 Yamaha FZ1
 

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Into summer here so winter project should have been completed. Unfortunately completing the large list of work on the V11 over winter had to stop as the ST4s ECU went on me so the guzzi had to be put back on the road quickly.

Pus 1 on the heated grips. A mod to the ST many years ago. The St is normally my winter bike and fortunately for us down here in kiwi land the temperature in winter is not as severe as other places so riding is a year round experience.

Removing the rear shock for the ABS bikes is a bit of a pain until you realise you need to start from the back and disassemble parts going forward until the ABS unit can be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's been bitter cold here and I've been fighting colds but I've finally made some progress! Ducati Designs headlight is wired up and installed, what a finely crafted, beautifully engineered piece it is! The Ducati community never ceases to amaze me.

I have been driving past a motorcycle shop named Motoconsult in Mansfield, CT for many years but never had a reason to stop in. After looking into prices for shipping my shock to Ohlins I decided to call Motoconsult to ask if he rebuilds shocks there, he told me he doesn't but he has a specialist not too far away and he was going to be sending him the suspension off an Aprilia soon, and if I wanted he would also bring him my shock. After thinking it over I decided I'd like to support my local motorcycle community and I'd rather pay him to drive my shock to Massachusetts than ship it, so I stopped in to talk it over. Wow, I was super impressed! I've never seen so many Ducatis in one place, never mind the other makes and models he was working on. I had no idea he was so busy there. Still, the owner Ben took the time to show me around the whole place and talk about his race bikes he's owned over the years, his son's racing bikes, and the many projects going on in his shop. I could tell he genuinely loves motorcycles and enjoys helping other motorcyclists, just like every other Ducati owner I've had the pleasure of meeting.
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I suggest you install a headlight switch that enables you to turn off the headlights while you start the motorcycle and let it warm up. Ducati makes (made?) these for the European market, but your dealer should be able to order one if they are still available. There are two models of this switch. One shuts off the low beam when the high beam is turned on, the other allows the low beam to stay on when the high beam is turned on.

Are you still using the OEM seat? Those were horrible on the pre '04 models. If you are, now would be a good time to start the search for a replacement. The best are the '04 and later OEM seat and the Ducati Performance touring seat, but members have used other aftermarket brands with success.

There is a modification you can make to the fairings of the pre '04 models that allows you to remove the side fairings without having to do the complete stripdown: removing the side view mirrors, dashboard cover, etc. Members can provide details if you are interested.
 
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