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Don't know if any of you folks have read the wrap-up of the "long-term" test ST3 in March's edition of CC, so I thought I enter a quick post. Generally, it was a positive though muted review of the ST3, not really singing its praises, and no significant criticisms either: Rather bland actually, but not quite damning with faint praise either. A "post Bruce" effect I would imagine.

What I found interesting was the clear statement that for touring purposes, the ST3v engine was better suited then the 996 superbike derived ST4v due to the mid range. (ST4s have better top end rush) Nothing ST3/4 owners didn't already know, and apparently something which can be remedied with final drive gearing changes. It did also mention that '06 prices for the ST3 have dropped 1K cdn(!), and that made the price differnce between the ST3 and ST3s 3K cdn. I now know that if I had the choice, I'd have still purchased the ST3, as 3K diff is too much IMO. The ST3's suspension's not bad and can be improved over time, for probably *less* money.

Ver-batim in reference to the demise of the ST4 from Ducati's '06 line-up: "It's no great loss, really, as the ST3 engine with it's abundant mid-range torque is better suited to touring use."

Now, as the author of the article pointed out, we get to the part that readers were *really* interested in reading: how did it fare mecahnically? Despite the editors' attempt at catastrophising a rattling sound into a major engine failure, ie crank bearings, it ended-up being two missing bolts from the inner fender, ie a .24 cents repair. In other words, they had no mechanical breakdowns in 10KK/6K miles.

Ver batim in reference to the reliability: " After 10,000 kilometers, nothing broke, it always started, it didn't leak or consume oil, and once the fuel injection was sorted, it ran perfectly."

I wish they would have spoken to the psychology of catastrophising a simple rattle into a major break down, as I experienced a similar situation on my now gone Harley, wherein a minor missing bolt had me thinking in terms of major engine repairs. Something to do with pre-conceptions I would imagine.

I really don't give much credence to magazine articles these days, as I'm going to buy what I want, but thought I'd post this little tidbit none the less. (example, in the same edition, sir A. Cathcart states that he could hustle through some twisties the new, Europe-only Yamaha MT-03 as fast as an R-1 due to the thumper's excellent midrange torque. Even if available in Canada, no way I'd buy one even, if it *is* an R1 killer in the twisties)
 
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