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Ducati ST3 Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Ducati ST3 (2003-2007)



Detail Value
New price £7,650
Used price range View Ducati ST3 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 992 cc
Power 102 bhp
Top speed 150 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The ignored Ducati family – the sports touring motorcycles – got a big boost with the arrival of the Ducati ST3 model in 2003. Its three valve per cylinder engine was new and unique in the Ducati range – previous sports touring Ducatis made do with other motorcycles' hand me downs. A refreshing, different sports touring motorcycle with decent reliability so far.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Ducati ST3 has plenty of Ducati character from the 90 degree V-twin (Ducati call it an L-twin) and more than enough poke to waft rider, pillion and luggage along without any bother. A Single cam operates three desmodronic valves in each cylinder. The Ducati ST3's 50mm throttle bodies inject fuel giving a power delivery with smoothness Honda can only dream of – fuel consumption’s good too with 50mpg very possible.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Ducati ST3 is an easy motorcycle to ride in any conditions – the most versatile Ducati. It’s stable and neutral but nimble enough when you get to those mountain twisties. Brakes are strong.
Weight of 203kg is less than many competitor motorcycles and being a Ducati, it carries it well. Front forks only have preload adjustment and are quite soft. A re-build can firm them up or go for the Ducati ST3s model.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Ducati ST3 has headlight aim which is electronically controllable from the instrument panel – Ford Focus cars have it but not many motorcycles. The Ducati ST3 does. Also a fuel consumption read out, fuel range as well as all the regular stuff. Seats, screen and riding positions are well thought out and panniers are available. A huge range of official accessories are available for the Ducati ST3 including lots of carbon bits, high flow air filters and more.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Could it be that the Ducati ST3 is a relatively new motorcycle or that owners are the sorts that look after their motorcycle – but this seems like a reliable Ducati. Finish is excellent too. Servicing still shouldn’t be ignored and maybe time will see problems develop with the Ducati ST3 but we’re hopeful it’s a sign the Italians have finally sorted their act out.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Cheaper to buy than a Honda VFR800 or a BMW R1200S.Unfortunately insurance is pricey and proper servicing is too (skimp at your own risk!). The ageing but extremely competent Aprilia SL1000 Falco aces it on price, especially when discounted but it’s more sporty and suffers niggles. Find a Ducati ST3 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

2003: Ducati ST3 launched, replacing both the previous Ducati ST2 and Ducati ST4 and featuring new 3-valve engine, revised styling and a host of other mods.
2005: Power increased from 102bhp to 107bhp. Wet clutch.

Other Versions

Ducati ST3S ABS: As Ducati ST3 but with fully adjustable forks, Ohlins rear shock and ABS braking.

Specifications

Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.7 secs
Max power 102 bhp
Max torque 69 ft-lb
Weight 214 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 48 mpg
Tank range 220 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 992 cc
Engine specification 6v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(5 reviews)

  • One Season On ...

    brynhils

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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!

    01 November 2010

  • an underated classic

    bayntuns

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Just got a clean 7K mile '07 ST3s, and 1,000 miles on I am enjoying it more than ever. Mine came with the factory paniers, and you do have to watch out for them as the bike is wider than you think when filtering with them fitted. The suspension is fully adjustable and proper setting is worthwhile. I set mine back to the default settings in the manual after my first ride out and have tweaked them since, and the ride is much better. Compared to some other sports tourers the equipment level is quite poor. On the other hand none of those are Ducatis, and they don't have that engine or that sound! If you can find one buy it, but make sure the belts have been done and budget around £750 for a service every two years!

    23 September 2010

  • One year on...

    ST3Kev

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    Bought a 2005 ST3 one year ago and still love riding it. Use it every day on a short commute but also done a Winchester to Cornwall for the weekend !. It starts every time, I've loaded it with luggage (colour coded panniers came with it) & I've added a top box. For general riding / traffic filtering remove the luggage & swing the cans up (one bolt per can) and you've got a slim sports bike. Suspension is on the soft side and if you push it hard you will get slight steering wobble but if you use it for what its designed for then a 300 mile run is easy going added to 50-60MPG. The engine is lumpy below 3000RPM but accelerate above that and you're rewarded with a sound that is 'hell unleashed upon the world'. It really is two bikes in one, far sportier than a 'Pan' & far more comfortable than a 'Gixer'. Its 'clutch clatter' gets it noticed and even a guy in a 355 stopped & wanted a chat about it!. In conclusion I love it, its not perfect (but nothing is) but I'm pleased I bought it, what would I change it for..... god knows, maybe the S version.

    29 March 2008

  • Never mind submitting a review

    82412

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
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    Engine

    Where's the one I submitted TWO YEARS AGO? It was on the old website!

    13 March 2007

  • BEST SPORT TOURER

    losmarques

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Have it for 2 years and 37.000km whent to Hinckley in England on it and France and Spain use it for every day comute in center Lisbon, so far its a perfect all rounder, low maintenance also.

    11 March 2007

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skidoff

skidoffsays

Having owned quite a few Ducati's before purchase the ST3S.  I needed a bike to be comfortable, quick and be able to tourer.  The ST3S is all of that.  I have owned the bike over a year now, and its great for racing around country lanes, touring, went to Holland last August, and town riding.

build qualitity is good, Ducati have come along way.

I recently fitted a pare of race cans, although the sounds is great the fuelling needs sorting. its pops on the over-run.  Its power commander time.  I had a power run last year, local dyno centre and its knocking-out 106 BHP at the back wheel. 

Servicing is always expensive on Ducati's. but its worth it, I was quoted main dealer 12000 mile service £550.   Cannot go back to a Jap bike now.  There are boring to ride unless its a SP1. 

16 January 2011 17:27

brynhils

User's Badge

brynhilssays

Model History is incorrect

The model history should list the ST3s ABS from 2006. It was unfortunate that Ducati saw fit to leave this model on the shelf in 2007, deciding instead to concentrate on the Multistrada.  With a 21Ltr fuel tank and a real-world range of 200+ miles it makes an effective commuting/touring tool.

03 April 2010 17:16

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