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Discussion Starter #1
Is it me or has the sport touring class of motorcycles kind of disappeared. I'm not talking about the FJR, Concours, Honda ST's etc. but the smaller more sportier breathern such as the st4...st3...Triumph ST...and Honda VFR. Really the only two choices now left are the Honda or the Triumph (which is a little porky too).

I've been eyeballin the new Honda VFR1200f and would like to take one for a little test ride when they finally reach stateside to see what the veefer has. I really hate the thought of not having a Ducati in the garage however but if I was going to defect the V4 at least has some character.....(One of my first bikes was a 1986 VFR and it was a great bike) Anyway I wouldn't even consider it except I would like to have something with a little more technological wiz bang for sport touring such as shaft drive, ABS, etc and a little better service intervals. Sure wish Ducati would replace the st with a new updated version with some farkles and a 1098 motor. I know blah blah blah.......maybe the Strada Aperta will be the cats ass and will fit the bill.......

Anyway I actually started this thread to see if anyone else is eyeballin the new Honda or am I the only one.

Chuck I know its not related to the st models but its sport touring and this is the crowd I was looking for input from.

cheers
 

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Sprint not so porky!

Hi there,

I feel I have to defend Triumph's Spint 995 andlater 1050cc models a bit. I had a Sprint 1050 for about 15mths from new and it's an awesome bike. As another thread has said, the Sprint engine has very similar linear power/torque characteristics as the Duke STs (speaking as an ST3 owner who has only ridden an ST4S once for comparison).

The Sprint has a higher c.g. than the Duke which is immediately noticeable when straddling the bike, but once on the move the slightly top heavy feel disappears.

Dry weight for the Sprint is 210kg, 123hp and 78 ft.lb of torque. My ST3 specs has the dry weight as 214kg.

Anyway, I sold the Sprint because I love the v-twins (L-twin), but it's a very creditable sports tourer. The 1050 model is a little too sports oriented as the pillion seat is much inferior to the ST Dukes.

cheers,
Dave
 

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As many of you know, I am once again [involuntarily] in the market for a motorcycle. I feel that many of the so-called sport tourers (Concours, ST1300, etc) are actually "touring lite" as opposed to full dresser touring machines such as the Goldwing or BMW K1200LT.

IMHO, the remaining true sport tourers are Honda's VFR (if it is still in production), Triumph's ST, and maybe a few Beemer models like the K1300S. I will most likely be looking for an 03 or 04-ST4s when I am ready to ride. Why Ducati quit making the best sport tourer on the planet is my rant you have heard before.
 

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yes I'm with Bill

I will most likely be looking for an 03 or 04-ST4s when I am ready to ride. Why Ducati quit making the best sport tourer on the planet is my rant you have heard before.
Thats why I still have mine...........but the Sprint 1050 is still a great bike. Doesn't quite fit the sports side as much as I'd like.

I would be keen on trying a k1300s :eek:
 

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Heck, I tour on my ZX14 with a soft tail pack. Hard bags available if desired. Not small but definitely "sport" and every bit as comfortable...or not...as my ST4S. 700 mile day the longest so far. 5500 miles in the last 3 months.
 

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Anyway I wouldn't even consider it except I would like to have something with a little more technological wiz bang for sport touring such as shaft drive, ABS, etc and a little better service intervals.
cheers
Don't look at any Ducati then. "I'd ride my bike to visit but you're so far away I need a valve adjust and belts check twice during the trip. Know any good mechanics?" :D I know, blasphemy, the truth hurts some times though. It's for your own good. ;) :rolleyes:
 

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Good question. The new VFR is very nice indeed, but it's no ST. Too much stuff; too refined, no "edge", too quiet, more like a BMW than a raucous Ducati. But interesting none the less. I like the looks, but they sure aren't sporty. The Sprint ST is a nice bike, but I don't agee with it's design/looks: side cases are designed to flop in and out to accommodate the underseat exhaust; rear section of the bike points to the sky, aft engine components just don't inegrate with the lines. Hyper rice burners like the FJR et al are heavy and hot, and the rider is too isolated from the road to get any thrill out of the ride unless one speeds well over the limit; but they go like stink. In the end, they look more like big scooters than motorcycles. BMWs K bikes are interesting, but overpriced, and fraught with seemngly unceasing design niggles/faults They just can't seem to get things right: the new K1300s bikes have a serious stalling problem, plus the side cases are half hard, half fabric when expanded.WTF? Yes, they go like stink: so what? Ducati's new Multi/Strada/whatever is as goofy looking as they come though the promise of its perfomance is more than interesting. It will at least have proper cases and with that superbike engine, will go like stink, and will no doubt handle brilliantly. But, I'm not into goofy looking bikes. Then there's the adventure bikes and quite simply they are not my tatse, though I commend their utilitarian competencies. The Suzuki big block Bandit with touring kit is also an intersting option if one wants a work horse to flog and little more.

Nothing in the current crop of new St/sT bikes *really* grabs my imagination enough to consider selling/trading my ST3, but if I *had* to pick a *new* one, I'd go with the trumpet and learn to live with the looks. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I figured I would get a few responses from this crowd and that was the intent of the post. I still love my Duc just wished they would continue with a sport touring line.....I'm with ya Bill, kind of wierd that one of the premier sport bike makers in the world stopped making a sport touring machine. I know some people have said that it was to focus on hard core sport bikes but that theory doesn't hold water since they still are making other bikes. Maybe the market segment is too small but I can't believe they wouldn't sell as many st style bikes as they can sell Multi's. In my minds eye I can see a massaged 1198 with a decent riding position, a little more wind protection and hard bags on it....now that would be killer. Bottom line is I'm not going anywhere yet but if the right scoot comes along I might have to take a look.

On a side note the new MultiStrada teaser site is up and running with a count down clock. Looks like they ditched the Strada Aperta name and also looks like they went with the 1198 motor since they are calling it a Multi 1200.....maybe this thing will be sweet.....:eek:

p.s. I wasn't knocking the Triumph it just looks a little larger is all or maybe just not right. I had a Speed Triple with the 1050 motor and it was a great bike. I actually have a soft spot for Trumpys.
 

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...snip...

Nothing in the current crop of new St/sT bikes *really* grabs my imagination enough to consider selling/trading my ST3, but if I *had* to pick a *new* one, I'd go with the trumpet and learn to live with the looks. :)
Well said. Agreed. ...so many bikes, so little time.
 

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..wierd that one of the premier sport bike makers in the world stopped making a sport touring machine. I know some people have said that it was to focus on hard core sport bikes but that theory doesn't hold water since they still are making other bikes. Maybe the market segment is too small but I can't believe they wouldn't sell as many st style bikes as they can sell Multi's....
I can't remember the exact wording Ducati used, but they more or less stated the ST model line-up was inconsistent with or insiginicant in Ducati's line-up, though I think they were full of it. What is more consitent for a company noted for fast, sexy road racing bikes? A killer ST, or a goofy looking adventure bike? (yes, the grapes are still sour :)) I think in the end if Ducati was a bigger company, we'd still have the ST, and maybe the SS. But things being what they are, ie Ducati has limited production capacity, they went with the wider market AV bike, and a hooligan 'tard; both sell well apparently. :rolleyes: :)

I look at the ST bikes that have come out since then and can't help but think not only is the ST market significant, but also perhaps expanding e.g's Honda's new "flagship" VFR, Kawi's "flagship" Connie 1400, BMW's K1300GT/S, Moto Guzzi's Norge and a few other concept ST bikes still out there.

The last word on Ducati ST bikes may be "keep 'em if you got 'em." A "parts bike" may be a better investment than trading for a new ST that you're not crazy about.
 

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I'm really excited about the new Multistrada 1200. Don't care what it looks like. It's how it rides that matters. The old Multistrada was an excellent touring machine. A better all-round bike than my ST4s. I love my ST4s but having spent 10 months and 15,000 glorious miles touring an 1100s Multi last year, I prefer the Multi. I expect the new Multistrada 1200 will make an even more capable tourer than the existing Multi. :D

2010 will probably be my last year riding my '02 ST4s. I'm at 80,000 miles now and I'm going to try and get it to 100,000 miles in 2010. Then I'll switch to the Multistrada 1200. Not sure what I'll do with the ST4s yet. Won't be worth any kind of trade in! I may give it a final wash and detail and put it on display, or I might turn it into a track bike. If someone wants to give it a good home, I'd think about selling it too. :cool:
 

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I had an 02 VFR800 and thought that it was a great bike - comfortable and definitely capable as a tourer. I'm sure that the VFR1200 will be a great bike also. Too bad KTM is not going bring the 990 SMT to the US.
 

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I think there are a lot of decent sport-touring bikes out there. Some better than others, most need a few tweaks, even the vaunted ST series. Some are less raw and possibly engaging than others, but have their own charms and attractions. I thoroughly enjoyed fast touring on my VFR800, R1100S, the ST2 and ST4S, and most recently my Multi 1100S. All had quirks, but all were fast, stable and fun to toss around. I've sampled most of the late model BMW F800 and R1200 bikes and they are all very capable, IMHO. Maybe not as fast as the big Duc but stunning in their own way. I'm sure I could find a way to be happy with the new VFR, the Norge, several Beemers and a few Ducatis. even a Concours 1400 or K1300. Spruce up the goodies and toss on some bags and go do 5000 miles. The new Multi 1200 looks like it will be an exceptional bike; how could it not be? Most of us riders are far less capable than the bikes we ride. Just need to adapt to the differences and focus on the enjoyment.

pg
DD
 

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Hi there,

I feel I have to defend Triumph's Spint 995 andlater 1050cc models a bit. I had a Sprint 1050 for about 15mths from new and it's an awesome bike. As another thread has said, the Sprint engine has very similar linear power/torque characteristics as the Duke STs (speaking as an ST3 owner who has only ridden an ST4S once for comparison).

The Sprint has a higher c.g. than the Duke which is immediately noticeable when straddling the bike, but once on the move the slightly top heavy feel disappears.

Dry weight for the Sprint is 210kg, 123hp and 78 ft.lb of torque. My ST3 specs has the dry weight as 214kg.

Anyway, I sold the Sprint because I love the v-twins (L-twin), but it's a very creditable sports tourer. The 1050 model is a little too sports oriented as the pillion seat is much inferior to the ST Dukes.

cheers,
Dave
I'm not knocking the Sprint St in any way but, the Dec 2006 issue of Sport Rider compared the Sprint St, the ST3S and the VFR and the dry weight of the Sprint was 250kg and wet was 264kg. Compared to the ST3S it was 25kg or 56 lbs heavier full of gas and ready to ride.
 

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On a side note the new MultiStrada teaser site is up and running with a count down clock. Looks like they ditched the Strada Aperta name and also looks like they went with the 1198 motor since they are calling it a Multi 1200.....maybe this thing will be sweet.....:eek:
Well, I'll send you all some pictures from EICMA. I'm taking the day off work on the 10th to head on down (less than an hour if the traffic's OK), my girlfirend's threatening to wear all kinds of weird stuff for the photo ops. My 19 year old daughter may come along as well.

Tom
 

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Not sure what I'll do with the ST4s yet. Won't be worth any kind of trade in! I may give it a final wash and detail and put it on display, or I might turn it into a track bike. If someone wants to give it a good home, I'd think about selling it too. :cool:
You could always donate to some poor soul who lost his in an accident.
 

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I can't remember the exact wording Ducati used, but they more or less stated the ST model line-up was inconsistent with or insiginicant in Ducati's line-up, though I think they were full of it. What is more consitent for a company noted for fast, sexy road racing bikes? A killer ST, or a goofy looking adventure bike?
Ducati's historical problem with the ST was that it was never really promoted well. It was in line with the company's Raison d'être, but I don't think they ever figured out who was in the target market. That segment overlapped; serious tourers, who could be put off by needing a dealer network (that is spotty compared to Honda, et al) for frequent service, or sport riders who liked the extra convenience and didn't mind that it was essentially a Superbike/Monster hybrid.

It was a good bike, and I still refer to the 4s as the "Comfy 996," however, most people looked at it through touring glasses, and by the end of it's sales life, it was a dated design with serious touring drawbacks because of the maintenance required. The last major technical improvements came in 2003-4 with CAN-line electronics, trip computer and ABS. Afterward, the technical progress was mostly backwards, and the model suffered as a result, including an evolutionary dead-end 3-valve head that was never used again. The bikes were still fun and great, but Ducati had let the technology wither on the vine.

An iron-butt friend (who bought a GS) was seriously looking at the ST4 at the time, but did those 49-state ultra-tour rallies, and said he's fine with changing the tires and chain on the road (as in looking at non-FD bikes), and doing oil and other small maint. But doing a valve adjustment and the tools necessary to properly do the work were a non-starter. Certainly, a ST or other touring bike was at odds with the service intervals of the Desmo engine.

In the end, Ducati only managed to sell the ST line to the tune of 7-12% of total vehicle sales for the company. In 2007 they only produced 1000 or so bikes. At that point, their allure had waned, and without a Testastretta refresh, potential buyers were unimpressed. It was the Scaglietti of the motorcycle world. A kick-ass GT, but unheard of by most people.

Fast forward to today:

If Ducati ever comes out with another sport tourer, it would need to have the bar set very high. Things have progressed since the ST stopped production (actually, significantly, even before the ST was done). The new VFR and BMW bikes have a lot more refinements than Ducati is likely to spring for.

It would be a serious endeavor to best what is out there now, and it would be a bike that Ducati is completely foreign to: long service intervals, more gadgetry (other than race-derived tech), greater comfort and class-leading reliability. Plus, the R&D costs to develop the framework around those assumptions are too big.

Ducati gets by with incremental and evolutionary improvements in their technology, which is relatively cheap to design. A completely new engine (like the D16), can only be supported by racing sponsors. Ducati simply isn't big enough to absorb the cost on their own, anymore. As well, getting the Testa to have a 20,000 KM service interval is just unrealistic. I look forward to the improvements in the new MS1200, but I have to wonder if the reason that they didn't directly take on the VFR1200 and K13 was that people still expect that a Dual Sport has low mileage service times.

Let's face it, an advanced ST was and is too much for Ducati to take on, and they knew it. They bowed out instead of continuing to push a bike that had become inferior due to neglect. A new bike would have represented too much of a gamble for the limited market share that they occupied (considering the success of the Multi), and so Ducati retreated into a more stable position where they could do what they do well: selling sport bikes that people accept as needing frequent wrenching, and image.

Now, I love my ST4s, I will keep it forever. But, look at it from a pragmatic point of view, and it becomes clear that Ducati is not the company to be building such a bike. I wish that they had the capital to design a more bullet-proof ST engine, but the economy and their market share will not support it.

Sad but true.

What someone really needs to do, though, is to figure out what it really takes to shove a 10/1198 motor into the ST chassis. That way the high-milers can get a retrofit down the line.
 

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Like everyone else here, I'd love to see a refreshed Ducati ST, to put alongside my ST4S, but another bike I haven't seen mentioned, and that I'd consider, would be a Yamaha FZ1. My son had a Gen 1 FZ1 that was a kick to ride. We'd occasionally switch between his FZ and my ST4S and I could see it being a very capable and fun ST bike. You can get factory lowers for it, and I've seen pics of what appears to be FJR bags on them (or you could just go Givi). Not a bike that comes off the floor as an ST bike necessarily but not a big stretch to make it one. That R1 based engine really romps and had good mid-range when tuned for the FZ1 application.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I'll send you all some pictures from EICMA. I'm taking the day off work on the 10th to head on down (less than an hour if the traffic's OK), my girlfirend's threatening to wear all kinds of weird stuff for the photo ops. My 19 year old daughter may come along as well.

Tom
Tom,

Cool..........you lucky sob. thats one show I would love to get around to. Also please get as many pics as you can and not just the glamour shots we'll see of it from the moto sites.
 
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