Ducati ST4s (2002-2005, inc. ABS) Simplified Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals
This is the simplified maintenance schedule and service intervals for the Ducati ST4, Ducati’s fastest of the sport-touring series. Ducati made the Ducati ST4s between 2002 and 2005, overlapping with the Ducati ST4 by one year.
The Ducati ST4s / ST4s ABS is a sport touring bike based on the Ducati 996. In this sense, don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a Ducati ST4 with some nicer bits — Ducati sometimes uses an “S” moniker to mean upgraded suspension and wheels. Quite the opposite — the ST4s many of the same exterior bits as the Ducati ST4, but has a much more powerful engine.
The ST4s’ 996 cc engine has a 11.5:1 compression ratio and makes peak power of 86 kW / 117 hp at 8750 rpm, the highest power of any motorcycle in the Ducati ST range.
Ducati replaced the Ducati ST4s with the Ducati ST3s, which shared a platform with the Ducati ST3, but had much higher-quality suspension.
Ducati also offered the ST4s in an ABS variant. Maintenance for it is the same.
Here are all the Ducati Sport Touring maintenance schedules:
- Ducati ST2 (2-valve head)
- Ducati ST4 (based on the 916 motor)
- Ducati ST3 / ST3s (3-valve head, based on the 1000DS motor)
- Ducati ST4s (based on the 996 motor)
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Ducati ST4 Service Intervals
Like other early-generation liquid-cooled Ducati sport bikes, like the Ducati ST4, the Ducati ST4s has 6000 mile / 10000 km service intervals.
At every service for a Ducati ST4s, you not only have to change the oil and do a full multi-point inspection, but you also have to check the timing belts and check the valve clearances — possibly adjusting a few valves.
The Ducati ST4 has a four valve per cylinder engine. This means there are eight valves total, and sixteen clearances to check as it has a Desmodromic timing system. When adjusting one valve clearance, it’s common to have to adjust the other (a “feature” of Desmo timing).
Make sure you keep the timing belts updated. Belts on this generation of Ducati motorcycles are scheduled for replacement every two years, though many extend that out to five.
Finally, keep your fluids fresh — coolant, brake fluid, and clutch fluid all have a two-three year shelf life per the manual.
What you need to service a Ducati ST4s
Below is a list of items you need to do a basic service on your Ducati ST4s. This comes from the manual, service manual, and parts catalogues.
|Part||Ducati ST4s Spec|
|Engine oil||Ducati recommends high-quality SAE 10W-40 engine oil, specifically recommending Shell Advance Ultra 4. But other high-end engine oils are fine, e.g. Motul 7100 10W-40.|
|Oil filter||The Ducati ST4s takes a HifloFiltro HF153RC oil filter.|
|Spark plugs||Use a Champion RG 59 GC. The spark plug gap should be 0.6-0.7 mm per the owner’s manual (you can measure with a gapping tool). Re-fit an existing spark plug to 15 ft-lb / 20 Nm, or an extra half turn after seating.|
|Air filter||You can use a K&N DU-9098 air filter on a Ducati ST4s.|
|Coolant||Ducati recommends Shell Advance Coolant, an OAT coolant. A high-quality OAT coolant alternative is Motorex Coolant M3.0.|
|Timing belt||Make sure you regularly check and replace your timing belt on schedule. The part number for the timing belt for the ST4s is 73710101B.|
|Brake / Clutch fluid||Use a high-quality DOT 4 fluid, e.g. Castrol DOT 4.|
|Brake pads||The EBC brake parts to use are FA244HH at the front (two pairs) and FA266HH at the rear. EBC double-H brake pads are fairly universally praised for their good feel, high performance under duress, and long life.|
|Chain lubricant||Ducati recommends Shell Advance chain lube, but Motul Chain Paste is a high-quality and very portable substitute, suitable for those longer trips.|
|Grease||Ducati recommends Shell Advance Grease for many applications. But any high quality lithium soap-based grease will be a good substitute.|
Maintenance Schedule for the Ducati ST4s
Below is the maintenance schedule for the Ducati ST4s.
We’ve broken the maintenance schedule into three main parts:
- Regular inspections, which you do every 600 miles / 1000 km,
- The general testing checklist, and
- The scheduled maintenance table
Ducati ST4s Regular / Pre-ride checks
This is the list of regular checks on your Ducati ST4s every 600 miles / 6000 km or 6 months. Do these along with the regular scheduled maintenance, too.
|Ducati ST4s regular pre-ride checklist|
|Check engine oil level, top up as necessary|
|Check brake and clutch fluid level (level can drop as brake pads wear); top up as needed|
|Check and adjust brake / clutch hydraulic controls|
|Check tire pressure and wear|
|Check brake pad wear. Change, if necessary|
|Check chain tension, adjust as necessary, and clean/lubricate chain.|
(See below for more notes on chain maintenance)
|Check the coolant level|
|Check battery charging system for correct functioning|
Ducati ST4s General Testing
Perform this list of tests with every inspection.
|Ducati ST4s general testing checklist|
|Check wheel hub bearings for smooth operation / no play|
|Check rear wheel flexible coupling for no play|
|Check sprocket retaining plate tightness|
|Check centre and side stand for smooth operation / good lubrication|
|Check cooler electric fan for correct function (with engine on and warmed)|
|Check indicators and lighting devices to make sure they all work|
|Check clutch and brake hydraulic controls. Lubricate / adjust as necessary|
Ducati ST4s Scheduled Maintenance
Below is the full table of scheduled maintenance for the Ducati ST4s.
- At the end of the maintenance schedule, keep following it in the pattern shown — every 1 to 2 services.
- When there’s a distance-based or time-based interval to follow, follow the earlier of the two. Some things only have distance intervals (e.g. changing spark plugs), whereas some have both (e.g. changing timing belts).
- The break-in schedule isn’t shown below as the Ducati ST4s is no longer sold longer new.
|mi x 1000||6||12||18||24|
|km x 1000||10||20||30||40||Every|
|Perform full general testing checklist and pre-ride checklists (see above)||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Change engine oil||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Change engine oil filter||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check / clean engine oil filter at intake||✓|
|Check engine oil pressure||✓||✓|
|Check cylinder compression||✓||✓|
|Check / adjust valve clearances||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check timing belt tension||✓||✓|
|Change timing belts||✓||✓||2 years|
|Change fuel filter||✓||✓|
|Change spark plugs||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Change air filter||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check throttle body sync and idle speed||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Change brake and clutch fluid (Castrol DOT 4)||✓||✓||2 years|
|Change coolant||✓||✓||2 years|
|Check steering bearing play||✓||✓|
|Clean fuel tank||✓||✓|
|Check torque of critical points affecting vehicle safety|
(See list below)
|Change front fork fluid||✓||2 years|
Torque points to check
Here are the items whose torque points Ducati recommends you check according to the maintenance schedule. Torque values are from the service manual.
|Engine to frame screw fixing nut||60||44|
|Front wheel nut||63||46|
|Rear wheel RH and LH nuts||83||61|
|Steering head screws||23||17|
|Bottom yoke screws||20||15|
|Handlebar clamp fastening screws||20||15|
|Fork pinch bolts||19||14|
|Frame to shock absorber screw||42||31|
|Swingarm pivot shaft screw||43||32|
|Chain eccentric adjuster screw||8||6|
|Oil pipe connector on cooler||32||24|
|Oil pipe connector on casing||32||24|
|Front brake caliper screw||43||32|
|Front brake disc screw||25||18|
|Rear brake caliper screw||25||18|
|Rear brake disc screw||25||18|
|Rear brake lever shaft||29||21|
|Rear wheel spring coupling pin||46||34|
|Fairing fixing nuts||Light||Light|
Maintaining Your Chain on the Ducati ST4s
The Ducati ST4s, like other Ducati sport touring bikes, is a bike that you are likely to use in all kinds of conditions (traffic, mountains, rain, etc.), maybe even in more extreme conditions than other Sport Touring bikes since this one has the 996 motor. This is an extra reason why you should maintain the chain of the ST4s well.
Use a good-quality chain lubricant like Motul chain paste which is easy to pack on journeys. Ducati recommends Shell Advance Chain but many products are similar.
Ducati recommends you follow the following chain maintenance schedule:
|Chain maintenance item||Every|
|Check chain condition and lubrication||600 mi / 1000 km|
|Check chain tension and alignment, adjusting if necessary|
Tension spec: approx 32-34 mm of slack
|6000 mi / 10000 km|
To measure the chain tension, put the bike on its center stand. Rotate the wheel until you find the tightest part of the chain (if any).
Push the chain upwards lightly with your finger. Measure the distance between the topmost point and the bottom-most.
If it’s too tight or too loose, adjust it by loosening the nut of the wheel shaft, and then tightening or slackening the adjuster screws until the tension is correct and the chain is aligned.
Grease the thread of the wheel shaft nut and the adjusting screws, and adjust them to:
- Wheel shaft nut: 61 ft-lb / 83 Nm
- Adjusting screws: 6 ft-lb / 8 Nm
- Do these items (checking/adjusting slack, and checking/applying lubrication) more often if you ride your Ducati ST in dusty or rainy conditions.
- Always lubricate the chain after washing the motorcycle.
Tire / wheel size and pressure for the Ducati ST4s
Below are the wheel and tire sizes for the Ducati ST4s, as well as the recommended tire pressure specs from the manual.
|Wheel||Tire size||Tire pressure (cold)|
Including luggage, but solo
|Front||120/70-ZR17||2.1 bar / 210 kPa / 30 psi|
|Rear||180/55-ZR17||2.2 bar / 220 kPa / 32 psi|
Naturally, adjust these tire pressures as suits your riding style and the conditions, as well as if you are carrying a passenger or lots of luggage (or both).
About the Ducati ST4s
The Ducati ST4s is one of Ducati’s relatively short-lived Sport Touring range of motorcycles that began with the ST2 and finished with the ST3s, with the ST4s somewhere in the middle.
The Ducati ST4s has the most powerful engine of the whole Ducati ST series. Its engine is based on the Ducati 996 superbike’s motor, a four valve-per-cylinder desmodromic liquid-cooled L-twin. It’s a revvy motor, and makes peak power of 86 kW (117 CV) at 8750 rpm, meaning that the Ducati ST4s more than gives most sport tourers a run for their money — especially considering how lightweight the ST4s is.
Ducati made a few updates to the Ducati ST4s during its tenure between 2002 and 2005. In 2003 they made some minor technical updates, including letting you start it with the side stand down, but needing you to hold the clutch in.
In 2003 Ducati also introduced ABS to the ST4s as an option. Ducati made a lot of noise about how this wasn’t an intrusive system — the Ducati concept of ABS is really a last resort. Track riders confirmed that ABS didn’t interfere with their stopping distances.
From 2004, Ducati radically re-styled the Ducati ST4s, and made a bunch of under-the-covers changes. Ducati applied these same changes to the Ducati ST3, also introduced in 2003.
These changes include:
- A CAN bus electronics system. This is a much more advanced wiring system than the standard “wiring loom” design of most motorcycles. A CAN bus means fewer wires, and thus fewer things to go wrong.
- Re-designed fairings, windscreen, and headlamp
- Height-adjustable handlebars
- Adjustable levers
- Handle bars mount to the fork tubes below the top triple rather than above it
- Many other changes
And in 2005, the ST4s got a wet clutch, saying goodbye to a long history of dry clutches.
Reference — Maintenance Schedule Screenshots from the Ducati ST4s Manual
The above information all came from the service manual, owner’s manual, and various parts catalogues for the Ducati ST4s / ST4s ABS.
You can see some screenshots from the manuals below.
You can get manuals for Ducati motorcycles directly from Ducati, though they only keep a backlog of manuals from the last 10 years.