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I do almost all the maintenance myself just like other's here. A valve adjustment on most bikes is actually fairly easy. The Duc is a bit more complex, and have to admit I've done a 2 and a 4 valve, but not a 3. Regardless it's very doable by a IDY type of rider. As other's said, if you do your own maintenance you truly understand the condition of your bikes.

At least in the case of my ST4s, the dealer once told me as much as two hours of the service can relate to stripping the bodywork, and admittedly Duc body work is more of a pain than my other bikes.

Ride what you love, and reduce or eliminate the service costs by doing it yourself. Hopefully every MOron is changing their own oil.
 

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All I've ever had to do with my Concours is oil, gas, and tires. And I do the oil myself.
 

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Thoughts on BMW, Buell and Ducati

Maintenance costs are one of the reasons I went with a Buell instead of a Ducati. If I had ridden both of them on the track I would have chosen the Ducati over the Buell and paid the extra maintenance costs, I liked it that much better.

So now, when this Buell gets worn out I’m probably going to purchase either a Ducati 1098 or a BMW K1200S. I have ridden the Ducati 999 and BMW K1200S and love them both.

On the same track where I have to go from 2nd to 3rd to 4th and back down to 2nd around the track on my Buell I can be in 3rd gear the entire lap on the Ducati and still post a faster lap time with less drama.

My Buell has been cheap on maintenance though, with my only problems being a worn through warning harness, 3 broken horn mounts and broken kick stand bolt all repaired under warranty, and I do like not having to mess with a chain so the belt is a plus. So may in the end go with the BMW K1200S since it is shaft drive and a little easier on the body.
 

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The issue with any bike when trying to scope the maintenance costs is simply how much you intend to ride it. E.g., if you do 12000mi/yr, then you know *part* of your answer.



Case in point, I commute 40mi/day, in all weather, roughly 220 times a year (other times I work from home or take a car).



That would be 8800mi/yr on the face of it, plus the occasional (and I do mean occasional -- 2 kids) rides for fun which, if I'm lucky, total 2000mi. So, 10,800mi. With your maintenance cycle, that's almost two full services in the dealership. There are a couple of other issues to consider along those lines, however.



Your ST, much like my Hayabusa, will easily need at least one tire change in that period, and probably two. That's cost of tires -- probably ~$250-300 -- plus mounting, which can vary but bank on an hour's labor, so the total can safely be north of $350.



Lastly, the number one headache isn't even the raw cost. Your dealership is busy, no matter who they are, so you'll have to make an appointment with them or leave the bike for a period so they can fit it in (say, a week or so). In summer, that appointment may be weeks off. So, when you have tight maintenance intervals the primary issue isn't even the money, it's timing. You have to watch your miles and know exactly when you're going to need tires, oil, and engine work and line up the shop time, or find it's not safe to ride while you wait.



Everybody has to do oil changes, but in my case (unless I want to do the filter) I don't even have to take off the plastic to do that and it's commonly a 15min task I can do anywhere. That's a lot of time I don't have to spend ferrying the bike and waiting for shop time. Blissfully, my Hayabusa now runs Metzler Z6 tires, which wear about 8000mi (what I used to use was done in less than 3000, but that's a common problem with big sportbikes), and my valve intervals are, practically speaking, 20,000mi.



So, since I do my own oil, my only mandatory shop time is somewhere around every 8,000mi, as opposed to oil, valves, *and* tires spread across the year at different points.



You have no idea how much of an improvement that was over my old BMW or KTM, both of which had 6,000mi major services and were a hassle to change the oil for, so I spent lots of time heading back and forth to the dealer. This is a serious issue if your dealer is at any distance, BTW. I have a Ural, in contrast, that wants valve adjustments and oil every 1,500mi, but OTOH its a 2-valve, mechanically adjusted airhead and I can reach them with a single bolt and adjust them out in the open in about 15min. It still has three fluids, however -- engine, tranny, and final drive, but that's also easy to reach.



So, the maintenance picture is actually pretty involved. Ducatis are vastly improved in terms of their historical, Italian-esqe reputation, but those intervals, particularly in a heavily-faired bike, are a significant time sink in practice.

 

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I hope your dealer turns out to be better than mine. I do think you'll like the Uly. But it doesn't have that Duc mystique. While your at it, see if you can't snag a ride on a CityX. It ain't as useful as a Uly, but it sure will make you smile.
 

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Man, you make me feel like an idiot. Every time I take the fairing off on my VFR, it seems to fit a little worse, and I have about one less fastener before. Still, the basic idea is about right. Pretty much anyone can change their own oil, adjust the chain, or pull the wheel and tire and take it to the dealer.I leave it to the dealer to do valve adjustments every 16-20 K and get my wallet lightened to the tune of six or seven hundred bucks. I've been told the new ST-3's now go 12K. Can anyone confirm that?
 

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Well.... I guess what you are saying is that the Suzuki is much cheaper to maintain compared to your old BMW or KTM.



I think there was a little misunderstanding with my post. I am aware of what the costs are to maintain the Ducati ST3 over a one year period at roughly 12,000 miles/year if i take it into the shop for the minor and major tune-ups - as well as the tires, oil, time spent, etc....



What i'm trying to ascertain is the cost of the ST3 compared to other bikes (assuming the same milleage per year). Many people recommend various bikes, but I'm not hearing specifics about costs of ownership.



It sounds like the Hayabusa only needs servicing at every 8,000 miles. Is that correct? And if so, if you don't mind me asking, what are the costs for taking it in? Is that typical of Suzuki's in general?



JP
 

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If you buy a VFR do not, I repeat do not take it to golden gate cycles. Unless they have improved 1000% in the past few years...
 

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The trick was defining "needs servicing", which it looks like we've covered. With its long valve adjust intervals, the threshold for "need" ends up being just the tires, and that boils down to about every 8,000mi. For the boxer BMWs, LC8 KTMs, and Ducatis, the valve adjustment intervals are in the 6,000mi territory.



For the KTM and Ducati ST's, because of the complexity of/access to the valve train, adjustment is at least inconvenient for a DIY owner (especially w/o a garage).



What I'm trying to convey -- as a full-time motorcycle commuter of several years -- is that a bike is fun and useful when it's both affordable (in terms of fuel, parts, and labor) and available to use. Every trip to a dealer is a big dent in both.



If I brought the bike in for oil and tires in a 12,000mi year, that would be four scheduled trips to the dealer, and in order to save from doing a fifth I would probably end up changing my tires early. That would absolutely suck, IMO. Add to that, all bikes (including mine) occasionally have unplanned issues that add to that schedule.



The long valve adjust interval is typical of water-cooled, overhead cam motorcycles in general -- particularly inline fours -- that don't have the Desmo valve train of the Ducatis or are not especially high compression designs. The notable exception (from what I've been told) is Kawasaki inline fours, which require slightly more regular attention.



Also, many powerful street bikes eat tires, as do large trail bikes such as the BMW GS and KTM Adventure. 8,000mi out of a set of tires is very good endurance for tires on a Hayabusa, ST3, or almost anything else in that group.



As to the last part of your question, shop costs here (in and around Seattle, WA) are in the $90/hr range, FWIW, and that's only a little more than where I used to live CO, and before that MD). The Duc and BMW dealerships here are on-par with that, which is also consistent.

 

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He's so cool; he lowers the ambient temps in the shop by 15deg F in the summer.

And he's such a sweet guy, all the mechanics ask him to dandle his fingers in their coffee to save on sugar............

;^D
 

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Oil........?
 

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By all means, try a test ride. Unless you do a lot of freeway droning, the MTS will surprise you with how good it feels. I have been riding a Monster for the past 5 years and I used to think my next bike would either be a newer Monster or an ST3 or 4. I test rode a Multi and have been wanting one ever since, so much so that I just bought one last week and I pick it up tomorrow!
 
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