2000 Ducati ST2

  One of the best memories of Italy is the motor traffic in the small, crowded streets of small coastal towns. On one occasion, I followed a Ferrari 550 Maranello through a canyon of five and six story buildings just wide enough for one sidewalk, some cafe tables, and a couple of small lanes of traffic. The sound reverberating against those walls was music, the sound of a lifetime. The only thing that came close, and far more frequent, was the sound of the Ducati motorcycles with their V-Twin engines breathing through desmodromic valve trains. Having my post-mid-life crisis (the first one was addressed with a Porsche 911) and not being able to afford a Ferrari, I needed the next best thing.

  Click for a Larger Image This is the second of the Ducatis that live here. This is an ST-2. ST means "Sport Tourismo." That means Touring. Which means this bike can be used for more than high heart rate, frenetic excursions through the legal or even sane speed limit boundaries. This bike is slower. But its a Ducati. And nothing sounds like a Ducati!

  The ST2 is a water cooled, two cylinder, two-valve engine. 944 cubes. Makes all its power below 8000 RPM (the Duc 848 peaks at 10,500). Has upside down Showa forks and a Showa monoshock. Both are fully adjustable. That's good to make me think I can tell the difference. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Like Duc 848 and nearly all other modern Duc's, the ST2 has a hydraulic clutch. This is an aftermarket clutch slave cylinder, since the original equipment Ducati slaves are known for giving up. This one is an Evoluzione (see Ducati Hydralic Repairs to witness the replacement of the slave on the 848 with an Oberon). Note the rear cylinder inside the trellis frame (which comes originally from the 851 superbike of the late 80's). It still has some fins.

  Ducati puts yellow springs on their rear shocks. That way they can be seen. That tells the causual viewer that the shock is an important, and very cool, engineering aspect of these scooters. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Analog gauges were still used in 2000. It does have a little LCD display for the fuel and clock and a couple of other things. Note the remote hydraulic resevoirs for the clutch and front brake masters. The most important parts of this motorcycle are the handlebars that are three or four inches above the top triple clamp instead of two inches below it like the Duc 848. That's why it can be used for Tourismo.

  Because this machine comes from 2000 and uses the classic crankcase of the 80's and 90's, this scooter has a dry clutch. That means it makes a lot of noise. Its sort a Ducati signature. And to make sure that people know that its a signature, even though they first think the machine is about to explode, the PO spaced the dry clutch cover away from the case so those clanking noises can come out to be heard by all. It was pretty cool for the first two or three thousand miles. But now its closed. Ahhh. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is Scooto-Rosso posing with Duc 848. Clearly of two different eras. One is round and smooth. The other pointed and purposeful. Both are very, very fun. Very different ride characteristics, with the red bike much easier and forgiving. But not near as solid or planted in fast corners. Both are perfect for what their intended purposes. And both sound beautiful.

  The ST2 looks a bit better from behind. Big red tank (cover). Giant full tire fender. Low exhausts. Lower rearsets, higher bars. Better visibility. More upright seating on a wider seat that actually has some foam. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image I keep my spare parts inventory managed since both machines use the same oil filter and oil. And I have to take the lower fairing off to change the oil. That shows the giant battery.

  Here is a new Michelin 180/55x17 which had to go on following an interesting event during my first Tourismo Trip in August 2014. That's a new fender for $25 also. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Somewhere in West Virginia in early September 2014. It had started raining and I was with Harley D. I don't like rain riding so we stopped at the feed store. But it was closed.

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