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Ducati ST4 Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Ducati ST2 & ST4 motorcycle review - Riding
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Ducati ST2 & ST4 (1996-2003)



Detail Value
Used price range View Ducati ST4 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 916 cc
Power 105 bhp
Top speed 155 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The forgotten Ducati family – sports touring motorcycles. While Monsters rule in town and the Superbikes jostle for supremacy on the track, few think of these practical yet exciting machines when Ducati is mentioned. It’s a shame as the Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 are excellent machines. The Ducati ST4’s more powerful 916cc engine is the biggest difference between it and the Ducati ST2.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Ducati ST2 relies on an old power plant derived from Ducati’s old 907 Paso. Like most Ducati motorcycles it’s a 90 degree V-twin. It’s liquid cooled and while not incredibly powerful is torquey with superb midrange. The Ducati ST4 is a newer bike with the more advanced and powerful 916cc engine from the iconic Ducati 916.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The sports and street machine DNA is obvious in these motorcycles – they handle well – stable yet reasonably quick to steer. Neither the Ducati ST2 or Ducati ST4 should be out of it’s depth on a track day. Bumpy roads can upset the Ducati ST4 but adjusting the suspension can help. Vibration can spoil the party but if properly serviced it shouldn’t be too noticeable. Powerful brakes.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Panniers are a cost option on the Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 but otherwise standard equipment is reasonably generous on both motorcycles – they are on the sporty end of the sports-touring continuum. Riders always seem comfy but the pillion perch seems to suit others better than others so get yours to try before you buy a Ducati ST2 or Ducati ST4.

 

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Despite the Ducati reputation for iffy reliability, the Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 are fine if well looked after. Owners tend to be kinder to their motorcycles than those who have sports Ducatis plus the motorcycles get used constantly – occasional use can be bad for them. Full service history is still essential when buying any Ducati ST2 or Ducati ST4.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

There’s a lot of competition, both from other premium prices sports touring motorcycles like the Honda VFR800 and the Triumph Sprint ST but also from the increasingly excellent budget middleweights like the Yamaha FZ6 Fazer. The Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 still represent decent VFM – just don’t pay OTT dealer prices. Find a Ducati ST2 for sale. Find a Ducati ST4 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

1996: Ducati ST2 launched in October.
1998: Revised rear suspension, longer gear lever.
1999: Ducati ST4 launched.
2000: Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 get grey frame and wheels, new clocks, improved side stand, braided steel brake lines.
2001: Suspension rebound adjustment removed from Ducati ST4.
2002: Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 get catalytic converter and aluminium clutch housing.
2003: Minor styling tweaks.
2003: Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 discontinued in September.

Other Versions

Ducati ST4S: similar to Ducati ST4 but with re-tuned 996cc engine and superior suspension.In production from 2002 to 2004.

Specifications

Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.3 secs
Max power 105 bhp
Max torque 66 ft-lb
Weight 215 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 916 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload, Rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, Rebound
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Ducati ST4 motorcycles for sale

Ducati
ST4

17900 miles

£2,495

Ducati
ST4

8935 miles

£2,450

Ducati
ST4

16388 miles

£2,699

Ducati
ST4

14590 miles

£1,850

Ducati
ST4

18500 miles

£3,700

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(8 reviews)

  • 7 years on, it still great

    venturer

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    7 years on and my ST4S 2004 facelift 996 engined Sports Tourer still has a few tricks up it sleeve and it still cuts it as a real road bike, with pace to shame a few modern bikes, obviously it's a little slower each year then the newer bikes but i've not noticed anyone riding them any quicker and no no has made a replacement bike that is any better in my distorted mind.

    06 March 2013

  • 2000 ST4

    jrflanne

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
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    Value
    Engine

    A very nice and sedate bike. I took it on a little tour up to Michigan (about 1200 miles 1 way) and did 750 miles in 1 day. I was concerned about fatigue on the interstate but the ST4 is remarkably comfortable. On the way back, I stumbled onto a great stretch of road. 200 miles of hills, curves, no cops, no traffic and the Duc performed great. Bike gets good mileage and really the only complaints I have are the crappy side stand, the complete whip to get the fairing on and off to do anything, and really the financial responsibility one undertakes when owning a Ducati. The ST4 does not like to start in cold weather (below 40-45F in my part of the world) and the electronics are a bit questionable. I swear I will sell it every time I do an oil change (who ever heard of having to remove the mirrors to do an oil change?), but then I swear I will keep it until the tires fall off every time I ride it.

    16 October 2008

  • scratch or tour

    cob427

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    i have always had jap bikes, and in a moment of apparent insanity decided to try a ducati. i am glad i did,the bike has somthing you dont get from jap bikes. i cant realy explian it, but when you start it up all that mechanical clatter and thumping v twin vibe,there,s just more sense of ocasion. starting some jap bikes is no more exciting than starting a lawn mower.dont get me wrong jap bikes are very good but riding my duke makes me understand what people mean when they say it,s got soul.my bike didn,t come with service history which is potentialy a big mistake with a duke.when i took mine to an indepndant duke specialist it cost me £500 for an engine service and a couple of other miner service items.the st4 leans more towards the sport side than touring with regards to riding position and it,s handling abilities, but its still a very comfy ride long or short distance.mine came fitted with a top box which is a good thing because there,s not much space to keep anything without one. under seat storage is reserved for the tool kit only so i leave that at home and take a pressure gauge and a couple other small items in it,s place.i have just fitted some ducati sport exhausts and it sounds great.it,s a joy to ride what ever mood your in whether you just want a steady ride to youre favourite destination or showing sports bikes the way down youre favorite set of twisties.i dont think i will ever go back to four cylinders,that v twin grunt and good spread of power up to the rev limiter make me feel iv,e been missing out on somthing all my jap bike riding years.A couple of minor gripes, standard screen not tall enough for decent weather protection and a heavy clutch lever.with regards to the cluch i was advised to try clutch springs from a 748 which only made a small difference but still worth while. by with confidance if it,s got service history, but dont pay good money for some thing without it because it could be expensive when you do get it serviced

    23 December 2007

  • Italiano Sport Tourer

    flyingdragons9999

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Wow! come with center stand (thumb up), useless windscreen in rain (thumb down). Please check defintition of "Tourer" for more design upgrade and improvement.

    08 May 2007

  • Love'em or hate 'em - An Italian Masterpiece

    m0box

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have had a desire to own an Italian bike for years, but was put off by the old reliability issues, but I threw caution to the wind and ended up with a 3 year old demonstrator. Once fired up, that delightful tune demands you just keep on playing it. Sure, at tickover they sound like the gears are not on the shafts they should be, but once under way and over 3000 revs, joy - pure joy. The grin factor is just huge. Frame is excellent and you feel like your riding on a rail in the road. Brakes also very powerful, yet have good feeling. The seat is great for both rider and passenger, but round town the forward inclination puts a lot of weight on your hands. The clutch is heavy. Commuting in London gave me tennis elbow in the left arm. Motion is needed to help take the weight of your hands, or strong back muscles! Apart from the main bearings having to be replaced at 12,000 miles, the "Duke" has been superb. I love it on the open road, hate it round town. Strengths: Good gutsy motor, solid frame, super brakes. Comfy seat, 50mpg average even when caneing it hard, Italian Styling. Weaknesses: Heavy clutch, you have to get used to the riding position.

    15 September 2006

  • Superb,2004 facelift model with open pipes.

    venturer

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This bike has it all, starting with the 996 motor, you can thump about on single track roads 2 up, grunt past cars 2 up with under 7k on the clock (that would leave an on the redline vfr750fv for dead) 1 up on fast A roads 115mph is basic stuff and not having to use more than 7k on the clock, ride it like a two stroke and it is a very fast bike on single track roads, bumpy B road, fast A road anywhere you like. how good is this bike, well its replaced my VFR750FV and my CBR954-RR3 both are for sale. Strengths: Everything. Weaknesses: Fuel consumption when gunning it, servicing costs are well out of order, eats rear tyres.

    01 May 2006

  • One of the best bikes I have ever owned - reliable, economical and FUN!

    Aero65

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Having owned the ST2 from new in 1998, I have nothing but praise for it's performance, handling, braking, economy, reliability and build quality. If they are properly maintained, Ducatis are as reliable as any other bike. I took mine for a 3000 mile ride to Prague and Budapest and when I returned, nothing had needed any attention apart from routine chain adjustment and lubrication. Tickover was as sweet as it had been on the day I bought it. The only non routine maintenance has been replacement of the clutch slave seal, a quick and inexpensive job. I have no hesitation in buying another. Strengths: Just about everything really. Weaknesses:
    Fiddly fairing removal for servicing. Dzus fasteners saves a lot of time.

    09 March 2006

  • My Review

    rewby

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Having owned my st for a year, I have found it more than capable of either touring two up with full luggage or a blast through the twisties. Reliability has not been an issue with 6000 miles notched up without a hiccup. On the downside the seat can be a bit hard though my pillion says its comfy. Strengths: Mid range punch Mirrors Good hard luggage handles well decent brakes. Weaknesses: service costs, seat .

    08 February 2006

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skidoff

skidoffsays

I owned an 1998 ST2 and a 2005 ST3S. 

The old ST2 did have problems, the seat was to hard, it didnt like to start when cold and the vertical cylinder leaked oil. Wheel bearings need replacing on a regular basis, to get to the battery was a nightmare, whole fairing had to come off with the mirrors. I wouldnt recommend the older ST2 to any one!  unless it had upgrades.  The silver framed ST2, 2001 model was better, beefed up electrics etc. but only sach rear shock.

The ST3S, was a great bike, better dash, better seat, and top of the range suspension.  Although the engine was a little rough at low speeds, but most Ducati's are like this, its the L Twin motor.

Like all Ducati's over priced when new, but can be had quiet cheap secondhand.  Dont buy without service history,  Its something about Ducati's that call you back to purchase another.

09 January 2013 22:53

flyingdragons9999

User's Badge

flyingdragons9999says

Little Pony

Owned this iron pony (ST2) since 1997. Satisfaction only when throttle above 3,000rpm. Love : pillion comfort, good panniers. Hate : Hard to open fairing to charge or change battery, water condensation (water mark) on LCD display.

08 May 2007 06:11

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