The Supersport has now got nearly 4000 kms on it, and I have loved riding every one of them. One of the first things that I bought was a tank bag, a Givi magnetic one that holds 15 litres. It is the same as the one that can be bought at a Ducati dealer for this bike and fits very well. I have also fitted a USB socket to the front of the bike to plug the tank bag in.
As this bike is such a great all rounder it will benefit from more luggage space. The Ducati panniers that are a very expensive optional extra, just don’t seem as well made as I would expect them to be.
They also sit very high and to the rear of the rear axle. I prefer weight to be low and as far forward as it can be. So I had some thoughts.
One thing that I did not really want was a set of pannier frames on the bike when I have not got any luggage fitted, it would ruin the looks of a very beautiful bike. So I took the ST2 panniers and frames and started to modify.
I have removed the rear footrests from my bike as I never carry passengers, that allows me to fit the panniers slightly further forward and use the footpeg mount as a pannier rack mount. After cutting the brackets off the standard Ducati ST Pannier mounts I made new brackets to suit the Supersport. There is a strong point at the forward end of the rear numberplate/light hanger that is attached with 8mm bolts, so I used that along with the rear footpeg mount, also 8mm.
The prototype fits very well and looks fine on the bike. The best bit is that it is very quick to attach and remove the mount. So I made a time lapse video to demonstrate.
If anyone wanted to replicate this mount but wants to keep the rear foot pegs, then that would not be a problem, but the bikes rear indicators would need to be move backwards somehow, and the front mount would need to be longer.
As with any panniers on a bike they should not be overloaded (max about 10kgs) and high speed should be avoided.
I will update when I have refined the mounting. The silver pannier inserts are removable and could be painted.
With LEDs there is always something new just around the corner, and the new stuff creeps up very quickly. I had heard about COB LEDs but only started researching them last week. COB stands for Chip On Board LED. Rather than go into an explanation here I recommend that you have a look at this link: CLICK HERE. That should give you an over view.
I was on ebay like a rabbit and came up with some COB strips 15cm long and advertised as being 6 watts. A pair was less than four pounds sterling (5 Euros). I ordered a pair of white and a pair of red to play with. the red ones came with a black aluminium frame and the white with a silver frame. The frames can be removed and swapped around or they can be used without the frames.
The explanation to the picture as as follows: On the left is a frame that I have removed from the first COB which is a white COB despite being yellow when switched off. The second COB is also a white one with the frame still attached. The next two are red COBs with black frames. These can ba attached with any modern waterproof double sided tape. If they are to be used where the rain could get to them then I will take all the frames off and cover the soldered terminals with a blob of silicone seal.
This blew my mind a little, I wired one of the reds up to a 12 volt battery and was amazed by how bright it is. Not only is it bright but it also gives out a good spread of light.
This is one of the white ones and it is even brighter than the red. These are such a leap forward that I would imagine that using one of these as a DRL on the front of the bike will make you very noticeable. I do not believe that they use as much as 6 watts, but they seem to be very efficient. You could not use these as an aid to driving in the dark, they are not designed for that.
The red one fits perfectly onto the rear of the standard ST pannier as an auxiliary brake light – it is far too bright to be a rear marker light. If you want it to function as both then a small 510 ohm resistor will dim it down enough to operate as a rear light and then bypassing the resistor restores it to full brightness.
I have considered fitting both the red ones into the ST standard rear light with one row coming on dim through a resistor, and then both rows coming on bright when the brakes are applied. I will look into that and report back.
The Ducati ST was made in three main models, the ST2, ST4 and ST3. The major difference between them is the engine. They are all in the sport touring (ST) class and all have the same bodywork at the back and all fit the same panniers and frames. When the pannier frame is fitted it fouls the rear indicators so they must be removed from the bike and relocated onto the frame. This is fine if you run with the panniers on all of the time, but if you take them off and just keep the frames fitted then the back end of a very beautiful bike looks like dogs dinner with the indicators and frames sticking out.
My solution to this was to mount the indicators in a different position on the bike so that the frames can be fitted and removed, with or without panniers with the indicators left where they are. To do this I started with a smaller set of LED indicators (£8 from ebay) and an aluminium mount that I made myself. The reason for the mount was to make sure that the indicators were not too close together, these are 30cm (12 inches) from tip to tip.
This picture shows the mount with the LED indicators fitted to it. Note that the indicators come with bullet connectors that are compatible with the Ducati wiring.
The whole mount was then fitted with two bolts attached to the plastic just forward of the numberplate mount. The cables have not yet been routed in this picture.
The other thing to do is to remove the rear part of the pannier frame where the indicators used to mount. This is just a 10 minute job with a hacksaw and some black paint, it does not affect the pannier fitting at all.
This one has not yet been cut but the place to cut is the right hand side of the piece of wood so leaving the rubber button that touches the pannier. After this mod there will be no bits of ugly frame sticking out of the back of the bike. (Edit: I have just cut the ends off, 8.5 to 9 cms seems to be about the correct amount.)
You may find that the indicators flash more quickly with the LEDs fitted. There are two options to get them back to normal flash speed. The first is to order a three pin electronic indicator unit (relay) for less than €3 on ebay. The second option, which I used , is to remove the 10 watt bulbs from the front indicators and fit 18 watt bulbs. In my case I had some spare orange coloured bulbs so I also removed the orange shields from the front indicators when I fitted them.