The ‘sportiest’ sports tourer yet

Published: 08 April 2001

DUCATI’S new ST4S has uprated suspension, new brakes and the 996 V-twin engine and our first ride reveals that all adds up to the most sporting sports-tourer yet.

On Wednesday (April 12), Kevin Ash rode the new " S " version of the bike for MCN at a proving ground near Milan, Italy.

He said: " It’s a great way for people to get that 996 engine without having to have the riding position. "

The new bigger-bore engine (the ST4 had a 916cc engine) means power is up from 105bhp to 117bhp. And, significantly in a sports-tourer, torque is stronger throughout the rev range.

Ash says that when he first went out on the bike it was clear the standard suspension settings were too soft. But swift adjustment, and the raising of the rear ride height, took the handling to a new level.

" After that it handled really sharply with great ride quality, " said Ash during a lunch break during the riding launch of the bike.

The front forks are now titanium nitride gold Showa items and the rear shock is Ohlins.

The front brakes have been improved by thickening the discs to make them better at coping with heat.

" The ST4 was much under-rated as a sports tourer. It was and is a great bike. And the ST4S is a big improvement on that, " Ash concluded.

It has a list price of £8500.

We’ll be adding pictures from this first test soon. Kevin Ash’s full report will follow, too.

Does this sound like your kind of bike? Follow the link under Related Stories to have your say. You’ll find a thread called Ducati ST4S First Test in Talk News.