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Discussion Starter #1
Have a Monster 696 and love it. Have a VFR setup for touring with bags, GPS, screen and seat and it is great, but a bit soleless. Considering a move to a 2004 ST3 (found a nice one locally). Anybody made the move? Any regrets? Thoughts? I use the VFR as my daily commuter for a lot of city riding and for long trips. I could also use the Monster more in the city. Any mechanical issues?
 

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Haven't come across many believing that delicious V-4 between the knees of the VFR800 lacks soul, but FWIW I adored an ST4s for many years and currently get a kick out of an '01 VFR. The ST3 is an outstanding bike, and more than a few reviewers liked it best among others in the Duc ST line. Never had a single problem with the ST4s. If the ST3 you are looking at appears to have been maintained well, taken care of, and not trashed, I would give it a long look.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haven't come across many believing that delicious V-4 between the knees of the VFR800 lacks soul, but FWIW I adored an ST4s for many years and currently get a kick out of an '01 VFR. The ST3 is an outstanding bike, and more than a few reviewers liked it best among others in the Duc ST line. Never had a single problem with the ST4s. If the ST3 you are looking at appears to have been maintained well, taken care of, and not trashed, I would give it a long look.
What I meant by it lacks soul is that everything is glass smooth...sort of like a Lexus. I also would have preferred a bit more low end torque and a slightly lighter bike (I came from a Yamaha FZ6). it appears that the ergo's are about the same...Don't get me wrong...the VFR is a great bike and I may just end up keeping it forever. I do have it setup perfectly. Just got the itch for a change...
 

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Get the tre, and don't look back. :) If it's not an s, figure in suspension upgrades, including fork damping kits and better shock and rear height adjuster rod (or a shock with ride height feature) asap. Want more "soul", then uncork the exhaust and you'll hear that lovely desmo music too. :)
 

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ST3 is the more civilised option. It had the rough edges smoothed out, maybe not quite the character of the ST4s which is far more raw and organic. In essence the ST3 is quite close to a VFR, which unsuprisingly was where Ducati were aiming with the ST.

If it was me I would probably ke the VFR.
 

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I had the same situation. My VFR was set up ideally, but like you, I found it soulless. It was certainly fast enough for my skill set, handled well, and had wonderful brakes, but it didn't make me smile like my ST3. OTOH, it turned out to be my gateway drug to Ducati. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am very happy to enjoy the best of both! :D
I appreciate all the responses. I don't really have a need for both (VFR and ST3) since they are bikes with similar intentions. What I am realizing that it is hard to have one bike that fits all duties when used bikes are not that expensive. :) I am contemplating between changing my VFR to an ST3 or going a different direction: sell the Monster and get an 848! The monster has been a blast, so that makes it hard as well...My VFR is my city commuter with the trunk in place. My fear is that the ST3 will not be as good of a city commuter. The one I am going to check out is a 2004 with the dry clutch modified.
 

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I appreciate all the responses. I don't really have a need for both (VFR and ST3) since they are bikes with similar intentions. What I am realizing that it is hard to have one bike that fits all duties when used bikes are not that expensive. :) I am contemplating between changing my VFR to an ST3 or going a different direction: sell the Monster and get an 848! The monster has been a blast, so that makes it hard as well...My VFR is my city commuter with the trunk in place. My fear is that the ST3 will not be as good of a city commuter. The one I am going to check out is a 2004 with the dry clutch modified.
I have a Monster 1100s for that reason. It's more of fun bike, handles better than the St4s and is far lighter.

I think you will find the ST3 is perfectly at home comuting as the the VFR, you just have to decide if it demonstrates enough difference for you to make the change. The VFR is also less costly to run because it doesn't need regular belt changes, but that's a minor thing if you like the bike. You already have the air cooled 2 valve Ducati experience, the ST3 is really a half way house compared with the raw feel of the ST4s. The ST3 is sort of sanitised, a great bike, better in many ways than the ST4, but lacking a touch of character.

But I don't think an ST4 is an ideal city commuter either.

Difficult one, that's why I suggested keeping the VFR.
 

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Haven't come across many believing that delicious V-4 between the knees of the VFR800 lacks soul.
I thought the same thing, but then realized the OP has a Gen6 VFR. :D

My '98 VFR, with a Staintune exhaust and the cam gear whine, I thought was filled with character and soul (especially compared to an I-4 metric bike)...I loved it. Compared to my 4S, ergos were nearly identical and power-delivery very similar (albiet the 4S had @ 25 more hp).

Souless? I now have an '08 ZX14, and while the power is abundant, seamless, and turbine-like...it has absolutely no soul or character like my VFR or ST did.
 

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But I don't think an ST4 is an ideal city commuter either.
I beg to differ. With a manual fan switch the ST is at home in hilly Seattle, the 'burbs, and slow traffic. I will caveat that with the fact that lane splitting is not an option. Would it love to be blasting along? Sure, but I love to ride through some big buildings to hear the thumping echo.

Have a good one.
 

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+1 on tonered's last comment. I use mine as a daily driver, to run errands and for extended road trips. In my experience reliability of the ST4s is on par with my last few bikes ('02 RS Warrior, '95 GPZ1100, '87 Magna, etc.), but the thrill and enjoyment of the ride is head and shoulders above anything else I've owned.
 

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I use my ST3 to commute...but I don't really run into too much stop and go traffic (Hopkinton to Framingham). I have LT's larger fan and override switch....that helps tremendously.

Hey twerth, did you ever post a video of your exhaust mod? I just got a used set of OEM cans and am considering letting more Ducati out. (sorry for the highjack!)
 

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Hey twerth, did you ever post a video of your exhaust mod? I just got a used set of OEM cans and am considering letting more Ducati out. (sorry for the highjack!)
I don't have a video, only the photos in the mod post. Are you looking for a sound file to get an idea of the sound? I might be able to do that if I can figure out how.
 

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Yes...the sound is what I'm looking for. I'd like something with more sound but not too much. :D
 

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Replaced my totaled 5th gen VFR with a 2004 ST3. The ST3 has been outfitted with stiffer fork springs and a raised rear. It currently has 20K on it. The VFR had stock setup with 24K. I find that the ST3 to be just a little more ridable, better handling and better looking. Maintanence is more work on the ST3 and buying it was about 1.5 times more than the VFR.
I much prefer the twin sound to the V4, but both make me happy.

The ST3 has the edge for me and I wouldn't go back if offered a top condition 5th gen.

Flip
 

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Yes...the sound is what I'm looking for. I'd like something with more sound but not too much. :D
I'll give it a try. I'm just coming off of my third and final (hopefully) surgery to correct a compound wrist fracture I got in a dirtbike crash. I can't clutch yet, let alone ride, but maybe I can get the Duc rolled out to the driveway so I can start it and make a short video. If I get it done I'll post a link in my original exhaust mod thread.

My advice though is just do it! The sound is awesome (at least on a 4s). I'd never go back.
 

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That would be great...but don't hurt yourself further! You gotta heal that wrist so you can salvage the riding season!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What is this LT switch and override button? Does the ST3 run too hot usually?

I am going to take my friend's ST3 for a ride tomorrow morning. The silver 2004 was sold. My friend likes his bike so much that he got a newer ST3S, so his is for sale. I'll post back feedback after my ride.
 
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