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I have an opportunity to replace my 00 ST4 with a new 05 ST4s - one of the last available here in South Africa. Alternatively for much the same cost I could get a new 06 ST3.
As my wife is very happy with her 04 ST3, I am inclined towards buying the ST4s.
So, if I buy the St4s, what would be the biggest difference I would notice from my ST4 ? Is there a big improvement in the handling and power ?
Another thought - although costing more, would anyone recommend the 06 ST3s in order to get the Ohlins shock, ABS, etc.?
 

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I would get the 05-ST4s for the better suspension package and the ride height adjuster.
 

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I've been looking at the ST3s for the suspension improvements over the ST3... Don know the pro/con between the ST4 and ST3.
 

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Emerson said:
I've been looking at the ST3s for the suspension improvements over the ST3... Don know the pro/con between the ST4 and ST3.
The ST4 was the predecessor to the ST4s. The ST4 had the 916 Superbike engine and Sachs rear suspension. The ST4s has the 996 Superbike engine and Ohlins rear suspension. The ST3s has the Ohlins rear suspension, the ST3 does not.
 

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I had been in a similar situation recently.
I bought an 05 ST3 at the very end of 2004, and although I was fully satisfied with it, I wanted to upgrade by replacing it with 05 ST4s for the better suspension and the bit more power. But when I glanced at 06 ST3sABS with the black wheels and red chassis plus ABS, I knew immediately what to do.
It arrived a week ago, but I haven't had a chance to drive it yet, because its snowing heavily here in Hungary, Europe.
As far as I know ST3sABS has the same suspension package as ST4s. There are two main differences apart from the price: 10% less power, but ABS on both wheels. ABS of front and rear brakes are managed separately, not integrated as by Honda for instance.
Reasons to go for ST3sABS vs. St4s:
i) I'm very happy with 3-valve engine
ii) new colour combination
iii) ST4 production finished
iv) lower price

Good luck!
Roland
 

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ST4s and ST3 for same price? That's a very good price on the ST4s. I wouldn't presume to make the choice for you I just think you need to be fully aware of the advantages/disadvantages of each model.

ST4s
Pro: * More hp from 8k on up -- this is where this motor really comes to life
* Better stock suspension components, ie fully adjustable fork, 2-way adjustable Ohlins rear damper. The Ohlins is rebuildable however requires VERY expensive special tools to do so.

Cons: * 15 year old design high maintainence motor, especially the closer shims due to half rings
* Expensive maintainence unless DIY mechanic
* Snatchy throttle below 4500 revs -- some say this is untrue although I've ridden several 996 motored Sbks's, S4R's and ST4s which ALL suffered from this to varying degrees.
* Potentially poor resale value as model is discontinued.

ST3
Pro: * Strong, ultra smooth, relatively low/easy maintainence. Same torque and hp as ST4s up to 8k revs then really flattens out. Very strong and smmoth down to 3k revs, no snatchiness. Extremely fuel efficient.
* Relatively low maintainence costs, particularly by Ducati standards and easy DIY service

Con: * Non-adjustable fork damping. 2-way adjustable rear damper of moderate quality, non-rebuildable. Adjusting rear preload requires spanner wrench, included in tool kit.
* Lacks top-end thrust of a 4v motor

If you can accept the higher maintainence needs and costs of the ST4s, given the same bike cost, its a better buy. I'm personally not a fan of the ST3s for simple reason I do not feel ABS belongs on ANY bike, particularly not a sport bike. The original retail pricing of the 2 bikes was more than sufficient to make up the difference in suspension bits, allowing one to install a far better, more adjustable and easily rebuildable Penske 8900 series rear damper as well as custom valved and re-sprung forks. Combine this with a Metmachix alloy swingarm and you end up with an ST3 that is smoother and offers better feel and feedback than the ST4s, for still less $$...and I personally prefer the smoother Desmotre motor. If a stock ST3 and ST4s were however available to me for the same price, I might have chosen differently. Both are exceptionally capable bikes, either one will certainly suit whatever needs you demand or require. Best of luck in your decision. Take care.
 

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I agree with all of the above except the cost of maintenance. My local dealer lists the same rate for both the 3 and 4 valve engines and another less expensive one for the 2 valves. Personally I think it’s a bit early in the three valver’s life to make the case for cheaper maintenance costs.

Both the ST3 and ST4s are great bikes and I ‘m sure you’d be happy with either one, but unless you are completely enamored with the new for ’06 paint schemes (which, Incidentally, I do find very attractive) for the same money I have to agree the ST4s is the better buy.
 

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I'd say it depends on 2 things primarily...

1) Price. If you can buy the ST4s for the same thing as the ST3, buy the ST4s for the suspension and engine;

2) Do you ride agressively? If not, then the ST3 has ample power and torque for you. If you like a bike that performs better, then buy the ST4s and gear it down to make the power band more usable. The bike is geared way too high stock, and gearing it down makes a tremendous difference in the performance.
 
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