Welcome to Vinnie's Ducati ST4s web site!  

 

 

 

Thanks for checking in. 

I will keep trying to post and share my experiences, thoughts, and information on my 2002 Ducati ST4s.  This is a photo of my son on the ST4s next to me on my 998sFE.  I have owned my Ducati ST4s since May 2002.  Before this bike, I had various Honda and Kawasaki sport bikes including a '85 VFR500F Interceptor, '93 CBR900RR, and '89 ZX750 Ninja.  My most recent addition to the Ducati fleet is a 2004 998s Final Edition.  Purchased it on the 1st of October 2006. 

I purchased my ST4s, from Sonny Collier Ducati in Nashville, Tennessee, May 2002.  In December 2005, they went out of business.  The Ducati dealership has been assumed by Bloodworth BMW.

Over the course of the past few years, I have accomplished several mods to my bike between my "absences."  Among them are the Termi Carbon Fiber Exhaust and DP air filter, the heavy duty wiring mod for the battery and starter, a Yuasa Battery, K+N (Evoluzione) Crankcase Breather filter, license plate re-locator (Evoluzione), Headlight Gizmo, and 14T front sprocket.  In addition to that I have replaced the clutch cover and sprocket cover with carbon fiber covers and put carbon fiber vent inserts in the fairing side panels.  New Mods: Ducati Designs Headlight; 525 D.i.D. with 15T front sprocket and and 42T rear; Ride Height Adjuster; and red silicone hoses from Desmo Times.  Replaced RR with MOSFET Shindengen FH020AA Voltage Rectifier Regulator, added second cooling fan and made both fans manual control.

As far as other great sources of information on the ST4s, I'd also like to recommend Ducati.MS.  It is on my links page but deserves a plug as it is a pretty comprehensive Ducati forum (bulletin board) for all types of Ducati bikes and riders.  I do wish they would focus the Sport Tour category by model because there are so many threads. 

Lastly, I think Ian Ballantine's site www.st4s.com from Australia is no more.  Tough break Ian, if you decide to put it back up, I will visit!

 

 

8 September 2019:  Front wheel bearings replaced. Test ride completed. Overall, I definitely feel improved braking and less shudder / judder vibration under braking in my ' 02 ST4s (w/ 28,200mi). The replacement of my front bearings was not difficult, key is locating the notch in the spacer and then working the drift around to keep the bearing square on removal. The old bearings seemed fine, as I inspected them again after removal, no axial or radial play, no rough or sticky spots. After installing the All Balls front bearings, I noticed a slight improvement in the reduction of vibration under braking. BTW, I never noticed pulsing at the lever, still don't.

All brake testing is with clutch lever pulled in, and clutch disengaged... (coasting):

1. Under aggressive braking, as I pass 60 MPH, I get a brief bit of vibration, which disappears before the speedometer needle pass through 55 MPH. It is transient and much less pronounced with new wheel bearings.
2. Under light braking, I can pass through the 60 MPH window with no vibration / shudder / judder.
3. After acceleration, and then without braking, just coasting with clutch lever pulled, there is zero vibration at any speed. If I begin braking at 55 MPH or slightly faster, I get no vibration.
4. The vibration now seems associated with approx 60 MPH indicated and firm braking application.

I am going to call it done - I'll give it a 98%...the Brake Tech Axis SS Rotors are a major improvement helping get rid of the shudder / judder that progressively manifest with the OEM rembo Snow Flake rotors.

15 August 2019: Fitted BrakeTech Axis Cobra Stainless Steel full floating front brake rotors and recommended FERODO ST Front Sintered Brake Pads, to the ST4s expecting to get rid of the braking shudder / judder that crept in over the years.  The honing and work on the stock Brembo snowflakes didn't get rid of it, so resorted to new rotors.  If this doesn't do it, then I don't know what the problem is!

17-26 Jun 2019:  Completed 2210 mile trip on ST4s from Home to Charleston WV, Downingtown PA, Manheim PA, up to Watkins Glen NY for 4 day race weekend then to Youngstown OH, Lexington KY, and back to home!  Great time on the trip!  For the most part, it was free of rain (only about 4 hours total of wet riding, predominantly in WV). 

19 May 2019:  Honed front brake rotors to see if I can get rid of the front brake shudder or judder o whatever you call that annoying vibration in the front end of the ST4s under braking.  Used a medium, Flex-Hone Tool bought on Amazon by Brush Research -- Flex-Hone For Rotors.  Also mounted up a new rear tire for the ST4s, Pirelli Diablo Rosso III.  I think that I should have gone back to the Rosso II for the rear tire but I forgot that intention when I ordered it on line.  Also put on a new front tire, Pirelli Diablo Rosso III in anticipation of an upcoming trip.

12 Jan 2019:  Designed and fabricated an engine stand...will hold most all Ducati engines, and holds the three I am concerned about, the ST4s (996), S2R 800, and 998 engines.  Drawings and images are on the Mods page.  I used SketchUp for the design and model.

26-27 Dec 2018:  Accomplished some winter maintenance tasks: completed install of new Voltage Rectifier Regulator, also installed a voltmeter onto the instrument cluster.  Replaced the neutral switch that had failed, it was worn down and no longer making contact inside the gearbox when in neutral.  Cleaned up my electrical distribution bus bar.  Pulled the fuel tank, replaced the fuel filter and inspected the interior of the tank thoroughly, still looking good!

1-5 October 2018:  Annual ride in East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and Virginia; super lucky with weather and the BRP was completely open, even though the south/western end was recently tarred and chipped, road was in great shape, as always so was the Cherohala and HWY 129.  Had a great time visiting my cousin on the way back, a beautiful log home high on the mountain overlooking the upper Nantahala River.

Kelly and Me on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Lane Pinnacle pull off, 3890 MSL, 3 October 2018

Caney Fork Overlook, 5650 MSL, 2 Oct 2018

1-3 Sep 2018:  Labor Day weekend maintenance to get ready for annual October trip with Kelly Hines, over to the East TN/West NC/ and VA.  Oil change with Shell Advance 15w50 and K+N Oil filter, chain clean, front tire, overall clean up and inspection.  She is ready to go!

10 Feb 2018:  Another cooling system overhaul completed; system flushed (used Liqui-Moly cooling system flush) and rinsed, refilled with Engine Ice.  Temperature sensors replaced, and replaced radiator pressure cap.  Note the part number for the pressure cap is incorrectly shown in the Ducati Parts Catalog.  Got it straightened out with Ducati North America by working with Ducati, Omaha...they are super.  I am always very happy to deal with Ducati Omaha.   Checked the water pump impeller, all looking good.  Refitted water pump housing.  Straightened radiator cooling fins and fitted my custom installed right side fan with Muzzy metal fan blades. 

2 Dec 2017:  Doing some ST4s clean up and while cleaning the chain, noticed my front sprocket retention plate and front sprocket was a little sloppy...sure enough the dreaded wear of the retention plate and the inboard side of the channel on the output shaft.  Figured it out, chain alignment was indeed off.  I had been overconfident in aligning using my Desmo Times plates and the swing arm stamped marks.  Put my Motion Pro chain alignment tool on and uh oh, it was definitely out of alignment!!!  I was using what I thought were symmetrical marks on the swing arm, despite numerous forum comments warning of the error.  Photos are on the Maintenance and Issues page.  I had a spacer made to fit behind the front sprocket (read US Desmo "Desmo Leanings, Spring 2011 issue").  Found the article on Ducati.ms Sport Tour forum, where others have had this problem.  Photos of the spacer also on Maintenance and Issues page.  New chain guides and of course new sprocket retention plate fitted, all better. 

 

October 4th, 2017: Asheville, NC

1-6 October 2017: Second annual Autumn ride of the Blue Ridge Parkway!  From Chattanooga, to Robbinsville, NC then through HWY 129 (Dragon) North and South over to Cherokee and onto BRP all the way to North end (start point), back down BRP to Cherokee again, and back to Robbinsville and then on to Chattanooga TN, to reload and slab it home.  Over 1500 miles covered and a great time!  New back tire along the way,  Thank you Wheeler's Performance in Robbinsville, NC... great job, fast and very reasonable price...awesome!  Some fairly warm coolant temps at idle when weather was warm and but with the cold mornings ST4s was cranking a little slower that I expected; otherwise starts have been strong since last year's battery replacement.  Fantastic trip!!!

January 2017:  Winter time and should be doing some maintenance but work and helping wife recover are keeping me out of the garage.  Also, spent some time getting my server upgraded and now contemplating the forlorn Ducatiwiki.net .  The host appears dead, think it was a German hosted site.  Not much info but some web back up pages via way back machine (web.archive.org) but you can only save the top level of the wiki and then have to manually execute the links and attempt to save those pages...time consuming approach.  Also, sadly the ST FAQs site of Perry Rosenboom has been down for a long time now and I have no idea how to reach him or the current copyright holder.  Would love to freshen that document up.  Yahoo Groups ST List is still running as is the Duacti.ms forum but participation seems down as these bikes age and with them the Ducati ST genera.  If you hit this site and are interested in seeing the wiki resurrected, let me know via grimah1w at hotmail dot com

Want to keep these sources of information alive!

 

October 2016:  Lots to catch up on, ahead of the 1-4 October Trip (Chattanooga to Robbinsville, NC, to Boone NC to Renick WV, to Chattanooga:

1.  20,500 miles / 27 September 2016 service :  New front and rear tires (Pirelli Diablo Rosso II rear and III front)

2.  New Yuasa Battery (cascaded two year old battery to 998s FE)

3.  Oil and Filter.   K+N 153 filter and Mobile1 20w50 V-twin  (I don't think I will use that again, like the Mobile1 4T racing better)

4.  Added Right Side cooling fan, relocated manual fan control switch

5.  Added aux electrical buss, switched power for a 30A relay controlling the buss.

6.  Belts replaced -- Exact Fit -- tension set at 100Hz

Great trip with Kelly Hines covered over 1000 miles, perfect weather, lots of fun!

 

February 2015:  Tapered roller bearings, purchased the bearings from DesmoTimes but, ordered Ducati OEM seals and an extra thrust washer after reading all the traffic and advice about the seals that come with the AllBalls tapered roller Bearings.  The seals that come with the kit just do not look right an apparently if not installed backwards (up lip facing down) then the seal will tear and fail.  I am not convinced that they wont fail if installed in that manner either.  Full report and documentation will be posted on the mods page soon!

February 2015:  Installed DD headlight, big improvement although I still do minimize night time riding.

In late January 2015, I sent my rear Ohlins shock and the Showa forks off to Cogent Dynamics for rebuild/service, heavier duty Ohlins rear spring, and for the forks, the Ohlins cartridge and stiffer Race Tech springs.   Receipt and list of materials, here.  Looking forward to mounting them up and getting them dialed in.  For now, it is cold and winter maintenance tasks continue!

July 2013:  FYI entry=> I rate the service at Bloodworth Motorcycles BMW/Ducati of Nashville, TN as poor.  Have yet to have a positive experience with them and my Son's most recent experience (end of July 2013) was again very poor.  It is first and foremost a BMW dealership.  Service department is rock bottom for Ducatisti.  It has spurred me to work harder on my competency as a Ducati maintenance tech without formal schooling, for that I guess I can be grateful.  ;-)

8-13 May 2013: Big ride, ECM at Fontana Dam, NC then to V.I.R. near Danville, VA, then back through Ashville, NC to home.  Beautiful weekend, great weather, cool in the mountains, just the way it should be!

29 April 2013:  Tires mounted front and rear, Pirelli Diablo Rosso II front 120/70ZR-17 and Pirelli Diablo Rosso II rear 180/55ZR-17.  Motorcycle Superstore (117.99 / 147.99) respectively, free shipping! :-)  Full maintenance DIY checklist and task list here.

October 2012: Added SW Motech Tank Bag along with electronic power ring to the ST4s (as well as for the 998).  SW Motech is a German company and I was fortunate to have my friend in Germany purchase the items for me and send to the USA.   ThrottleMeister is US distributor but their markup is pretty significant. The model I purchased is no longer available (as of 2017) but similar capabilities are still offered.  I really like the bag a lot and having 12V supplied to it is very nice for extended travel, water proofing is great too.  I did make a minor modification to the bag, adding some aircraft aluminum to the interior base to stiffen the bottom of the bag and keep it well clear of the tank when loaded.

17/18 August 2012:Have been dissatisfied with running temperatures of the ST4s so I have replaced most of the cooling system components: new hoses (red silicone from Desmo Times), new Thermostat, Ducati OEM, new Engine Ice after flushing and rinsing with vinegar and two distilled water rinses.  Inspected the water pump impeller, visual inspection was normal, no corrosion, no damage to blades, and not sure what else to look for.   System refilled and burped etc.   Fitted the Ducati Designs Headlight (finally) from Paul Geller.  Great kit.  easy to accomplish.  Used two washers that were not supplied to raise the DD headlight inside the Ducati headlight housing to center it  in height when the nose cowling/fairing was installed.  ~1/16 thick washer made the gap even all the way around.   Works fine even with the headlight Gizmo installed, so now I have a headlight that actually works and it comes on after I shift from neutral to gear so no drain at engine start.   Also installed new sprockets and chain combo.  525 D.i.D. with 15T front sprocket and and 42T rear.  Got the D.i.D. chain combo tool with it...anyone need a 525 chain done???  Lastly, replaced the stock ride height adjuster with an aftermarket (non-seized) link, looks nice and rear ride height is now set so that the rear wheel is ~10mm off the ground when the bike is on center stand.   Full maintenance DIY checklist and task list here.

7/8 February 2012: Valve adjustment, belt change, coolant change, spark plug change, oil and filter change.  All completed with no issues.  Valve clearances were checked and were well within specifications.  Belts replaced and set to 110Hz.  Full maintenance DIY checklist and task list here.

19 November 2011:  Returned from overseas to a gift from the wife, nice DP Carbon Fiber inserts to panel...have been wanting then for years even more since they pretty much went unavailable...she found a gent in Australia who had them in stock and now they are mine an installed!!!   Photos soon!  Also received my shipment from LT aka Doc Snyder at Desmo Times!!!  My winter maintenance program will make for some fun hours tearing the ST4s down and doing Belts and valves!

10 November 2010:  ST4s has been a treat to be on lately here in middle Tennessee.  The Scala G4 communications system has been a real nice addition!  My wife really enjoys the ability to talk a little on the ride, pointing out some of the wonderful sights we see on our treks.

2 October 2010:  Last day in Tampa!  Moving back to TN.  ST4s is packed up, blocked, braced and locked in a Baxley wheel chock stand.

17 April 2010:  Sorry for the absence and lack of updates!  Purchased a Rizoma timing belt cover for the ST4s.  Would like to see more of it than is visible with fairing installed but what I do see I like!   Photos of it in Modifications.  That ride in September alluded to in paragraph below was awesome.  Would rather have been on ST4s for some of it though!  The 998 got a bit fatiguing after second trip through Hwy 129, 1st and second and the front tire had given its best work on the Cherohala Skyway.  Now its profile looks like a triangle.  Anyway, back to the St4s!!!  Tampa starting to heat up.  I have noticed that the thermostat housing gives up a drop or two of coolant but is not coming from the hose connections.  Have triple checked them, tightened, reset, retightened and still after a warm ride, the same result...almost like it weeping through a crack??? not visible to naked eye.  Will update once I get that sorted.  For now, after a ride, I park and next day see a small contribution of coolant to the floor of my garage, about the size of a dime. 

13 Sep 2009: still hot as ever here in Tampastan.  Rainy season still in effect, it will probably be a couple more weeks until it is reasonably temperate and dry enough to take the ST4s out and stretch it out some.  Planning to spend last half of last week of September in Knoxville, TN area with the 998s FE and ride the hills with Ben and Steve, then catch UT football on that Saturday.  Hoping for good weather!

24 Jan 2009: fan modifications applied to my St4s!  Purchased LT Snyder's six bladed aluminum fan and placed a single pole single position switch into position between 12vDC lead at fuse panel and the fan's positive lead at the connector.  See Mod Page.  Also, learned that GIZMO folks' website is offline.  Not sure how to reach them for those wanting the Headlight Gizmo shown on my Mod page.  Sorry.

2 Nov 2008: temperatures have mellowed here in Tampa and now the humidity/high temp factor is gone, I can get the ST4s out and stretch the legs some...dang roads are straight as arrows and filled with cage drivers.  Have found my way over to Euro Cycles of Tampa, nice shop, good folks.

Sep 2008: Moved to Tampa FL.  Brought ST4s with me but left the 998s behind in TN to stay at the house.  Doing split base operations for now.  It is way to hot here in Tampastan to do much riding this month, looking forward to fall.

May 2008: Front tire replaced with a Diablo Corse III.  Also scored a Sargeant Seat on a very good deal from Alain at Corse Motorsports who had a customer who wanted to sell his (still in wrapper from Sargeant).  Unfortunately the owner who had planned to put it on his ST3, had a motorcycle mishap and was selling his ST3 and all bits.  Fortunately he is OK and recovering well.

April 2008: another trip to the Dragon, HWY 129 and point beyond, including the Cherohala Skyway, it was a beautiful ride and now it is time for a new front tire :)

28 Oct 2007: - Wx cooler, ST4s is all reassembled.  I pulled all the body work before sending it in for the 12K service, saves time and money :)  After getting it back from Alain's I did a thorough cleaning of the body work that had been hanging in my garage and put her all back together; looks great!

27 Sep 2007:  12K service completed :)  Once again, Alain Ledgerwood mechanic and owner of Corse Motorsports in Nashville did a great job.  It was also very reasonably priced.  Great job Alain and Corse Motorsports!

22 April 2007: - Plenty of developments, My 998S FE is freshly serviced (6000 miles) and has new Michelins front and rear; total price ~$1300.  The ST4s is coming up on its 12,000 mile service, these get pretty expensive, so I am in a bit of a delay.  Steve has undertaken a major project and successfully converted his Matrix 620ie to a Matrix 800 S2R.  It is pretty awesome.  Now he has the look he wanted and the power he had been searching for, plus, it is a one of a kind.  I have done a bit of re-organization of this web site and added web space dedicated to Steve's Matrix S2R 800 and the 998S FE.

19 November 2006: - LCD Module partial failure and repair.  I disassembled the LCD display module and repaired it today.  Found water inside and corrosion of the circuit card.  Dried the interior of the housing, removed the corrosion, an resealed the unit... it is working perfectly again!!!  WOOOT!  See photos and description of the repair in the Maintenance and Issues section.

2 November 2006: - For my birthday, I notice that my LCD display is now only functioning partially, hurray!

1 October 2006: - Purchased a 2004 998s Final Edition.  It sure is pretty.

22 September 2006: - Back to East Tennessee the Dragon (hwy 129) and Cherohala skyway.  Weather was a bit uncooperative.  A bit damp in a few corners on Hwy 129 but it did not spoil the fun.  Different story on the Cherohala when we got to 4500' MSL we punched in (aka clouds obscured vision if we had been flying an aircraft it would have been instrument meteorological conditions (IMC)).  By the time we got to 5000' MSL it started to rain in addition to being cold and very windy.  We donned the rain gear and my son on his Monster and I on my ST4s crept along until the descent an then in the valley we rode home in the rain.  Couple of photos are on the photo page taken while we were still in nice weather.  The next day it rained like crazy although we still went and watched University of Tennessee (my older son Ben is a student there) defeat Marshall.  It was a fun trip!

10 June 2006: - New Pirelli Diablo Corse front tire.  Saw Alain at Corse Motorsports again, this time for a front tire and time to pick up oil and a filter.  9000 miles changing oil and filter.  Using  Mobil 1 MX4T 10W-40.

14 May 2006: - My son purchased a 2004 Ducati Monster 620i.e. "Matrix Edition" from a Grad Student at U of Illinois.  Great looking machine!

6 May 2006: - Added this block after returning from East Tennessee and riding some of the magnificent roads there.  My son and I had a great time!  The highways of Tennessee have gained notoriety for being maintained in superior condition, all the roads we traveled in TN were great.  Not quite to the standard of German roads but in most cases much better than say Northern California.  Nice black top, great terrain, so many corners it felt like we were riding in loops at times.   We rode the Cherohala Skyway and on to US Highway 129 through Deal's GapPhotos from the trip are on the photo page.

30 Apr 2006: - New back tire, sticking with the Diablo; preparing for the trip later this coming week.  Corse Motorsports, did me right.

20 May 2004: - 6000 mile service also replaced steering stem bearings and seals (Ducati Warranty) service total $534.

May 2002: - Purchased 2002 Ducati ST4s from Sonny Collier, of Collier Ducati, in Nashville, TN.  (Sonny eventually sold his Ducati dealership and after passing through a couple of hands it wound up with Bloodworth BMW and Ducati in Nashville.)  I rate Bloodworth service as poor.  Have yet to have a positive experience with them and my Son's most recent experience (July 2013) was again very poor.

   

If you have any comments or questions on this site or the ST4s that you would like to direct to me, please e-mail me at grimah1w@hotmail.com

 

This page was last updated on 09/14/19.