the season draws to a close up here in scotland so I thought I'd update my review on my ST3s ABS.
The ST range is THE most expensive of the Ducati units to service, even more so than the super-sports. I was shown the OEM service price list by the Ducati Service Centre as the lady was most suprised!
A major service is £353. I had a new set of tyres put on at the same time and saw barely any change from £600!
A bike problem with this bike is the fuelling. The closed loop system combined with the Euro3 emissions requirement means it sufferes from snatchy throttle at low speeds and the need to ride the clutch round corners/roundabouts or suffer the dreaded '50p' look. It can also result in a lot of blowing back through the air box and stalling at idle once the bike becomes warm. Not even the Ducati Service Centre could solve it, as it's so integral to the ECU/O2 sensor loop.
In the end it was solved only with the installation of a Power Commander and Lambda controller, with 6+ hours of dyno time and a custom map tweak. Worth it? YES!! I wish I had done it sooner. The bike is smooth, responsive and accelerates like a demon!
What else would I change? The standard exhaust note - my last bike was a twin; a (1700cc) Yamaha MT01 with Akrapovic pipes. Now that sounded like a bike! My wife says the ST3 sounds like a lawnmower in comparison and she's right. Only after 5K rpm does it sound a little more throaty. I wish the OEM units had been blessed with a removable baffle.
Overall though, despite being expensive to service, temperamental if left unused and difficult to source 'extras' for, she is a beauty. The paint is thick and creamy, the 21Ltr tank is fantastic, the Ohlins & ABS a must-have. She draws admiring glances as the sun shines off her bright red paintwork and dropping 'Ducati' into the bikes-you-own conversation turns others green with envy.
Get the 'S' version with ABS if you can but, they are rare as pixie-shit, so expect to pay a premium - and no, you can't have mine!