Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Last summer I totalled my 2002 BMW K1200RS. Put myself in the hospital for a bit. When I got the check from the insurance company I decided to buy something different to handle my sport touring mount. It came down to three. Honda VFR, Triumph Sprint or ST3. I had already owned a VFR (1998) and my son-in-law has a 2005 sitting out in the garage. A GREAT bike , but why duplicate. It was a coin flip between the ST3 and the Sprint. I found a great deal right here on this board for a 2005 ST3 with 2400 miles for $8800 so I jumped on it. Picked the bike up on October last and hadn't registered or ridden it until yesterday. I used it to commute the 60 miles each way to work. 50% highway, 50% back roads. Here's my initial impressions.....
It's still to early to give a full review, but my first impression is that the bike is very light and gets blown around alot on the highway. This is fine for a sport bike, but a bit annoying for a touring bike.
The throttle on my bike is very "notchy". It doesn't add power smoothly. Very "On or Off".
On my particular bike the shift lever needs to be adjusted, it's too high and the upshifts are not smooth because of this.
I expected more "zoom"! Maybe I was spoiled by the K1200RS or my Aprilia Tuono, but although the ST3 is plenty fast, it isn't "eyeballs back in your sockets" fast.......if you know what I mean. I think it is geared way too high. Which is fine if you cruise at 120 MPH. Like my Tuono, it could use a couple more teeth in the rear sprocket, but because of the on-off throttle situation, this would only increase the notchyness throttle response. I'm going to have to look into this whole area.
That's the negatives.
The positives......Very comfortable for an aggressive sport touring bike, very smooth engine at speed, nearly no vibration. It's an all day ride. Very good handling, will run circles around the K in the twisties but the Tuono will eat it's lunch IMO. Excellent suspension. Good in the corners but yet very supple over rough roads, expansion joints etc. Great sound! The bike feels very solid and well built.
So that's my first impressions..I'll need a bunch more saddle time to form a real opinion........ I'd love to try a Triumph Sprint for a day to see how these two bikes really compare. In comparison to the Honda, the ST3 is very similar. The ST3 seems much faster than the Honda. The VFR is so smooth you don't realize you are accelerating as fast as you are. The VFR has it's own "notchy" throttle issue and the let on of the variable valve stuff can get your attention. The VFR is a fantastic motorcycle, it's biggest drawback is it's lack of "soul".....I know soul is very hard to quantify, but it don't have any. But I'm not sure you should reserve soul for some other type of bike rather than a tourer. In my book a tourer is a tool. I do all my touring on a Suzuki V-Strom.......Talk about no soul! But it gets the job done better than any other motorcycle I've ever ridden long distance. The ST3 has gobs of soul. As do most Italian motorcycles. The Italians own "soul"
I'm sorry, I'm rambling....That's it for now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
you can do some searches here as most of your "negatives" are addressed and can be corrected from this board(except the balls back in you socket, should of got the ST4S;) ). Like you I have ridden the tuono, vfr, v-strom, both K and R bmw's and my friends triumph RS. I do enjoy my Ducati above them all. Now with that said it does depend on the riding you are doing and for me the Duc does it all well.

As far as your decision between the triumph and the duc I think you made the right one. With the chance of getting flamed here I would like to say my friends RS just doesn't have the "soul" the Duc has and the build quality seemed pour. He enjoys it and that is all that matters!!

One question for you is why did it take so long for your first ride? Do you live in snow country?
 

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,619 Posts
See if the notchiness goes away as you rack up more miles and the bike gets broken in. I like "soul" in a touring bike, especially "destination" type touring where you ride a distance to get to a specific area, then spend several soulful days riding around the area, such as a trip to Deals Gap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
"Why did it take so long....."

Yes, I live in New England and didn't want to waddle the bike on sand and ice. Figured I'd wait till the weather broke to register and insure it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
I have an 04 BMW K12RS and an 05 Duc ST4s. I put several thousand miles on the BMW and then I bought the Duc. My initial impressions of the Duc were not great - "on or off" throttle response, you say "supple" i say "wallow" around the curves especially if the road is not smooth, and I have no need for 6th gear unless I go over 95mph. After putting 5000 miles on the Duc, it is much more broken in or maybe I am. The throttle "problem" was me. I was used to the BMW. Now I can handle the Duc throttle much better. I adjusted the shifter (easy to do when you loosen the 2 bolts and spin the adjuster) so I can shift much better. The shifter is lower now. The Duc shifts better than the BMW. I took the Duc back to the dealer and he adjusted the suspension to my weight. THe ST4s also came with Ohlins. Now it's much better in the turns. I think the BMW rides on rails through the turns, but the Duc is better than it was. The motor does have some serious power. I felt safer or more stable on the BMW when opening the throttle. Once you get used to the Duc, maybe you will open the throttle more. It won't be an ST4s, but it will be better. With a looser hold on the grips, I don't get knocked around as much in the wind as I used to. I still have no need for 6th gear.
Put more miles on the Duc. I bet you will ike it even more.
 

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,619 Posts
Oilhed said:
Does that improve the fuel mileage, too.
I don't know. The fuel mileage on my current ST4s (04) has not been as good as that of my old one (02), which had a 40T rear sprocket. I don't want to draw any conclusions yet because the 04 has had performance issues since I got it and only recently has been running as smoothly as the 02 did. I will be taking a four day road trip the end of April, which should be a good opportunity to compare mileage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I went from an '03 Tuono to my ST4s...

primarily because I wanted a more comfortable ride with more protection from the elements without having to give up the sportiness of the Tuono. I had changed the rear sprocket on the Tuono, installed a Akro TI can, A PCIII, and the EVO race airbox to open it up. That bike was bad to the bone! Great sound, unique looks, and man, was that engine strong! My problems with the Tuono were two: not enough coverage by the fairing at speeds over 70 mph, and it was just too strong for an old man in the first 2 gears...I'm way past trying to master rear-wheel steering at this point! Other than that, it was a great bike, and I would have kept it had the SO agreed with that.

The ST4s is more comfortable in every respect, and with the bags, gives you a lot more versatility for errands, etc. The Ohlins suspension on the ST4s is much better than the Tuono's, and the bike handles better for me as a result. The engine doesn't feel as strong, primarily because it's so much smoother, and the front end on the ST4s is longer and stays down much better. On the same dyno, with the same mods, I'm within 2 HP 115-117, and have 2 ft/lbs. more torque on the Duc. Without having to worry about the front end coming up, the ST4s is much easier for me to ride fast than the Tuono. The biggest improvement for the ST4s has been the gearing change, for me to a 14-40 combination, which makes the bike much more usable in every gear, especially the higher ones. Makes it feel like an entirely different machine!

Bottom line, the Tuono was a super performer, and I miss it! The Ducati is much better, all-around, and I wouldn't go back. You shoulda bought an St4s if you wanted performance comparable to the Tuono!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Since we’re talking about ST3’s I though I’d post up since I’m new to Ducati. I bought my ST3 new last September and it will turn over 6,000 miles this weekend.

My other bike is a Honda CBR 954RR and all bikes before it have been Honda sportbikes. Since I really like the light weight and performance of sportbikes, I really love how light the ST3 is. Too me it rides and sits very much like a very comfortable sportbike and that is why I bought it, I wasn’t ready for a big and heavy sport-touring bike. The ST3 is great in the wind compared to my 954, which is 100 lbs lighter and really gets blown around.

The throttle definitely isn’t as smooth as an in-line-four. First gear is kind of choppy and the power is ‘off/on’. It look me a while to adjust from in-line-four to v-twin. At first I didn’t like the v-twin/ST3 at all, but that was because I didn’t know how to ride the bike properly, I was trying to ride it like a in-line-four. Once I got to know the bike and what RPM’s it preferred, it became a really fun bike to ride, although I still think it’s harder to ride then my 954RR, takes more concentration and the shifting is not as smooth as what I’m used to, the shifter on the ST3 likes to be kicked in to gear really hard and precise, where my Honda, if you just press the gear shifter it automatically falls in to the next gear, I call the Honda now a lazy rider’s bike because everything on it is so simple, effortless and almost automatic. I did have to adjust the shifter on the ST3, as I did with all the other bikes since my foot is really small.

Even though the 954RR has 25 more HPs than the ST3, I find that the ST3 pulls harder from the start, it’s probably an illusion, since it’s a v-twin and has more torque, but the acceleration feels kind of labored and is only good for short bursts of speed, then you have to shift. The 954RR is not as aggressive at accelerating, you really have to get on that throttle hard, then the bike moves like a bullet and keeps moving fast, whether you shift or not. So comparing them to each other, I don’t feel the ST3 is that much slower then my 954RR, the extra torque compensates for the bike having less HPs.

Cornering is very similar between the 954RR and the ST3, both bikes feel light in the turns and turn quick and smooth. The suspension on my 954RR is a bit better and the ST3 feels a bit “mushy” on bumpy roads. The ST3 feels very much like a sportbike in the twisties but is a lot more comfortable in the straights and on the dreaded interstate.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top