Problems with a Ducati ST4?
Best Answer – Chosen by Asker
ST4 is a wonderful bike. There are somethings that you really need to scope out on before buying a Ducati.
– Was the bike garaged or kept outside? Rarely will you hear about one being parked outside for it’s life, but it DOES happen, and outside wear is rough on a bike, period.
– What are the conditions of the shock and forks? Is there ANY seeping at all coming from them? If there is they’ll need rebuilt. You can expect seeping forks and shock to last a season or two tops before they fail and affect performance.
They’re also not cheap to fix.
– Belts. On a ducati – every 2-3 years should be changed. Interference engines 180%, don’t skimp on these. If the owner doesn’t know when they were changed, you should have them changed asap.
– Valve adjustments – will need to be checked every 6000 miles and depending on the condition of the shims and the rings holding everything in place, actually adjusted. Either way, if you can’t do it yourself, guess where your bike gets to go every 6000 miles, that’s right, to a shop.
– Tires for decent tires will set you back about $150-250 for a rear, and $125-180 for a front varying on your taste of tires and size. 160/170 is a common size for them.
– The dry clutch actually lasts quite a while. I’ve put over 10,000 miles since my own ownership of MY Ducati and the clutch still works awesome as ever. No issues.
They will actually slip less and cool better if the dry clutch is ventilated (which you’ll find that is a very common modification to be done, but makes it loud as hell).
– Frame condition – on the 90s bikes, especially late 90s, such as the ST4 and the SS models, if they sat in any place that happened to be prone to any weird condensation and salt, keep an eye on the frame. If you see ANY corrosion, any issues with the frame or any pitting, paint worn off with rust, anything, skip on this bike. The integrity of these style of bike frames are insanely important.
Also keep an eye on the battery condition. Some owners let the hoses of the batteries go loose and acid sometimes spills over off the battery and onto the frames, causing corrosion.
– Swingarm condition – Check the same as the frame, make sure it’s in fabulous condition. No pitting, no issues, corrosion, etc.
– Other basics include how does it run? Does it start okay? Idle okay? Does it struggle to start? Have any electrical issues?
– Electrics – Check a few plugs randomly on the bike, pull the plug wire off and check for corrosion, and also maybe one off of a blinker and see if there is corrosion. If you see any it’s a good indication you’ll be facing wiring issues down the road. And let me tell you, Ducati makes fabulous bikes, but good god they are a headache to work on with wiring. You’ll be learning latin and italian soon