To let everyone know, the GPR dealer for France (his ebay link is in a previous post) has got back to me to try and see what the problem is. He has asked a number of questions which I will try and answer here;
The bike is fitted with a standard Ducati pannier rack as fitted to all the Ducati ST’s, mine is painted gold not black, but it is the rack supplied by Ducati. When this is fitted the exhausts move down on their mountings by about 4 to 5 cms.
The standard Ducati exhaust has a solid mounting that keeps the end can just slightly outward of the mounting nut so that there is a clearance from the swinging arm. It has a rubber in the mount to allow for vibrations.
With just the GPR link pipe fitted, you can see that it is only a very short distance away from the swinging arm which must be allowed to move up and down. When this pipe is fitted to the standard Ducati header as shown there is no movement left or right, it is solid.
And this is the result. You can see that the can is only just clear of the swinging arm and can go no further inward. The link pipe is solid and will not move outward to meet the hole in the end can. This link pipe will fit onto the other side of the bike because the swinging arm is narrower as there is no chain and sprocket on that side, but both link pipes have be manufactured exactly the same.
The French importer tells me that he has sold many of these systems and never had a problem so I can only assume that this non-fitting link pipe has been made wrong or somehow it must be my fault.
As I have spent most of my life working on military aircraft and fitting all sorts of parts, I thought that I would be capable of fitting and exhaust!
UPDATE 24 Feb 2015
The mails have been flowing between me and the French dealer for GPR. It seems that I don’t know how to fit exhausts, my pannier racks are non standard and my panniers are after market ones. As all ST2, 3 and 4 owners will know by looking the rack and panniers are standard Ducati items. The dealer does not seem to understand that the exhausts get mounted higher or lower depending on whether you have the rack fitted or not, and when mounted lower they can very easily foul the swinging arm on the left side due to it being wider on that side on the ST. He accused me of telling lies because I have shown pictures of the exhausts fitted without the luggage racks – we all know that the exhausts mount much higher and take the cans out of the reach of the swinging arm in that position. He sent me an email with loads of pictures of the exhausts fitted to Ducatis, but again has missed the point as only one or two pictures have them fitted with the luggage racks! He then says “So why 6 days after you pretend that it don’t fit and you don’t arrive to fit them ?!?!?” so he still does not understand LUGGAGE RACK.
It seems that the poor fit is all my fault when you read the aggressive emails that I have been sent. He tells me that he is a fellow biker but in reality he is just a businessman selling a product.
The end of the story is that I now have everything fitted! It took a little time and patience to bend the link pipe and the header pipe on the bike outwards, the link pipe is very hard to bend and has left a slight kink (dent) in it but it brought it 15mm further out from the swinging arm and allowed the end can to be fitted without everything being under stress. Two bits of metal were in the packaging allowing the cans to drop down another 15 mm at the mounting and the standard panniers can now be fitted.
What started as an observation on how the factory could make these a better and easier to fit has ended up with aggressive emails coming from the dealer and him getting a negative feedback for his attitude.
I have had further contact from the seller who has apologised for his emails and explained how people have come up with all sorts of con tricks to try and get either a refund or a reduction in an exhaust that they have bought, he was naturally cautious when he read my post. He offered a partial refund which I refused as I do not write this blog for any reward and do not investigate and test stuff for money.
I now believe that the seller was just being wary of the many scam artists out there, although I believe there are many fewer in France than there are in the UK. I am waiting for his request to change the negative feedback that I left (in haste) and I will change it to positive.