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New bike Ducati ST4s, touring sport.....

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Toecutter, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Started my search early June after writing off my BMW R100R Classic – a beautiful bike, whilst a 95 model, retro styling and modern enhancements made for a fun ride. However three 1,000+km days riding to and from Townsville, had me wanting something that “next time†would be a bit more forgiving on the body, so the search for a Sports Tourer began.

    Managed a ride on a VFR and Firestorm and loved the bark of the VFR once VTEC came on, but up to that, a fairly controlled ride. The Firestorm whilst it rode well, its lack of range meant that any sort of touring would be dictated by petrol stations.

    Also managed a ride on an immaculate Ducati ST2, and while the 80 odd horses on board gave a fairly predictable ride, was searching for something a bit different, that would give a smile every time I jumped on.

    So short-listed down to a ST3s or ST4s – the “s†whilst small, gives these bikes top suspension and bit sportier engine. The 3’s were in fairly short supply being a newer model.

    So the hunt was on for a red bike, with pipes and luggage and found an 03 ST4s with just over 18,000kms that already had the BIG ($1,000+) 20,000km service (belts changed – valves every 10,000kms).

    ST4s come with the renowned 996 donk, albeit, a bit detuned for more torque down low. For anyone interested, here’s someone else’s review http://karstenfilsoe.dk/McDK/MotorcykelMCNST4S.htm

    And also specs between ST2, ST4 and ST4s http://www.mcnews.com.au/NewBikeCatalogue/2003/Ducati/ST/ST_Range_Overview.htm

    Picked up last Saturday, and met up with netrider crew for a beer and chat. Managed to find a few back roads on the way there, bike handled well and power when needed was insane.

    Latest refill and a mix of highway and suburban riding got an impressive 290kms for 15 litres. The gearing is a bit high, with the engine turning over at 3,250 at 110kmh in sixth, and with a snatch of the throttle, will shake the instruments a bit (though feels fine riding). At 130kmh (well I was near Eastern Creek) is 4,000rpm and no problems accelerating at this rpm. Ducs don’t have “redlines†on their tachos, but supposedly around 9,000 – so plenty to go :shock:

    Bike has no vibes to comment on, feels great throughout the rev range, and good-sized mirrors all fine as well.

    Mentioned earlier the VTEC growl, the ST4s emits a fantastic noise when accelerating - with a combination of engine and carbon fibre pipes

    Need to play around with the suspension a bit, as enjoy it being a bit softer for back road riding.

    Whilst the ride position is more “sport†than “touringâ€, enjoy leaning forward and have the wind hit me in the chest as opposed to in the head where it’s been for other faired upright riding style bikes. Don’t know if I could commute on this bike, as a bit of weight on the wrists until moving, although have seen risers available.

    The only negatives are the pathetic headlight – what a joke, and why the supposed “Ferrari of motorbikes†can’t spend an extra $50 at production stage to give a decent lighting set up is disappointing. And HUGE reserve, tank is supposed to be 21 litres, take out a litre for the plumbing, and the light comes on and first time put in 14 litres – give us riders some credit with say three litres, or around 50kms to go

    So a very happy owner, and if in the market for a touring sport, try and get a test ride on one

    Some pics



    And a few more here
  2. Now THAT'S a nice bike, Alex (although I DID love that old black BMW).
  3. Alex,
    Nice.. :cool: :twisted:
    Hmmm,'Always loved gorking at the finish and build
    quality of these Duc's but never got around to trying one on.
    How doya think a lanky old bugger would fit? :wink:
    Oh yeah...service costs?,Although I'd still be DIYing I think.
  4. Think ya'd squeeze on, but not that much to spare big fella :wink:
  5. AWESOME Alex !! ( Damn Capitalists ) :p
    The reason for not fitting good headlamps is that it would make the Ducati the "perfect' bike. That would leave no room for improvement and would leave the Ducati engineers with nothing to strive for ? :wink:

    Well Done and Good Luck