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Thinking about buying a Ducati ST3. Got experience to share?


John Ranalletta

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John Ranalletta

Looking to add a different style of riding.  Still 2 up but not as big as the GS which stays.

 

st2.jpg

 

Any feedback from members' experience with the breed appreciated; and, yes, I'm aware of valve & belt maintenance issues.  I had a 2008 Multistrada 1100S.  Scary good performance but brutal on the buttocks and heat monster.

TIA.

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@LBump to the red courtesy phone..

 

Never an ST (thought about it) but a couple Monsters and 1st gen 900SS’, engaging motorcycles for sure, also tempting to test upper ranges and deceptively fast, have to display some maturity. 

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I read this ad on ADV. Though it's not an S version and it doesn't have ABS, it is nicely setup and the suspension has been reworked. Suspension is the major difference between the Standard and the S, along with no ABS.

 

For the price he is asking it's OK. If not having ABS is an issue for you, then pass on it. There will always be another. Heck, I'll probably be selling one of mine :) 

 

I've had a ST3s since 2008 and currently have(compliments of my brother) a 2006 ST3s ABS in Black. Saddle bags only. And a 2007 ST3s ABS in Red with full luggage. I have traveled across country on one in 2009 putting about 7900 miles on it with out a hiccup.  The bikes have a great power to weight ratio band, are very nimble and are reasonably comfortable.  With a weight of about 470 lbs.the handling in the canyons is akin to... think about it,  look and start to initiate, and the bike turns. Very little effort. Coming out of an Apex is a hoot... it's a blast!  Downside is, if you're riding two up you'll probably bring the front end up.  For me the bike was best suited for solo riding/touring. It seemed to be balance the best with one rider though you can surely do two up.

 

 I  would say the maintenance, which is 7500 miles isn't too big of a deal. Helps to know the right mechanic without going to a dealer, or DIY.  Belts (Ducati brand only) every 15 k,. Syc. throttle bodies, fluids and check valves every  7500 and do an oil change in between.  All maintenance is described in various manuals and the Ducati MS forum. Remember you're dealing with a chain and not a final drive... they can get pretty messy and cleaning is time consuming.

 

This vintage is prone to having front pulsation from the front snow flake rotors; expect to change them sooner than later. 

 

Over all they're a model that Ducati should have kept instead of dropping. 

 

Glad to share any other information, just drop a line. :thumbsup:

 

Good luck with your decision!

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John Ranalletta
4 hours ago, Hosstage said:

Now I want one! Wife says I don't have enough life insurance. She might not be wrong.

 

There's a comedian who said, "My wife wanted me to buy more life insurance.  I guess, if I die, she gets a prize."

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10 minutes ago, John Ranalletta said:

 

There's a comedian who said, "My wife wanted me to buy more life insurance.  I guess, if I die, she gets a prize."


Yeah, especially if she knows what end of a monkey wrench to hold. :cuz:

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I had an ‘05 version for 3-4 years. Put 20K or so miles on it. I loved the glorious exhaust tunes, the light weight, the Ducati camaraderie, good fuel economy, and the design is beautiful. Have the ECU mapped, it made a world of difference for me on low speed, around town riding and part throttle smoothness. I went with Rexxer ECU tune.
 Did a lot of commuting on it, and 1 decent distance trip, MD to Rushmore and back.

That trip showed its weaknesses; for me, those were too little wind protection and too low a handle bar position. I had sourced a pair of Cycle Cat risers, but it was still too low for my liking. The small fairing was fatiguing for all day riding, and didn’t allow as low a temperature riding as I knew a larger fairing bike would let my tolerate.

It had a Sargent seat, which I really liked.

About a year after that trip I started looking around and ended up on my ‘18 RT, doubtful I’d go back as the RT is such a nice moto. Plus I have different Ducati to scratch that itch. The forum Ducati.ms is a great resource.

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Like that color, mileage is good, and price seems reasonable. :thumbsup: Though like everything else, I’ve noticed used bike prices have gone up. Good to be selling I guess. 

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On 8/3/2022 at 11:48 PM, John Ranalletta said:

Looking to add a different style of riding.  Still 2 up but not as big as the GS which stays.

 

 

 

Any feedback from members' experience with the breed appreciated; and, yes, I'm aware of valve & belt maintenance issues.  I had a 2008 Multistrada 1100S.  Scary good performance but brutal on the buttocks and heat monster.

TIA.

Morning John

 

I had both an ST-2 then an ST-3 for while (both in ticket-me-red) , very pretty motorcycles.  I found them both great for short trips or commuting but (for me personally) very lacking on comfort for longer trips. 

 

My pillion just hated the rear seating & air flow so I pretty well rode it by myself.  

 

Valve adjustment was a pain but but doable at home. 

 

I had to chip both of mine to get them to be ridable at light throttle around town, after chipping they both ran great (too good by the number of tickets I got). 

 

Clutch rattled like he!! on both  but that is just a dry clutch Ducati thing, I spent time to shim the clutch & remove the clutch rattle on the ST-3, rode it a week that way, then decided I missed the clutch rattle & put it back to original. 

 

If you get that ST-3 do a regular cam belt check/service/replacement as the cam belts are routed around small base sprockets so the belts take a beating. The engine is an interference type engine so if a cam belt fails it will bend the valves &  ruin a piston. 

 

The older Ducati ST-2 & ST-3 (both 2 phase & 3 phase stators) had unsealed connectors so that is something that you should address as moisture exposer will lead to higher resistance in the connector terminal pins, then the added resistance makes heat, then the terminals turn brown & fail. (catch this before it fails).

 

The battery access is also a pain so you will need to TRY to find an AGM battery that will fit as checking/fill the water in the original lead/acid battery gets old in a hurry. 

 

I also added a voltage monitor (LED on the dash that changed color based on charging output) so I could monitor the charging output. 

 

I also retorqued & LockTited  the cam drive cross shaft that runs through the crankcase on the L/H (gear reduction side) as I found the nut loose on my ST-2.  

 

Both my ST-2 & ST-3 had issues with hot engine cranking, I did a voltage drop test on the short cable going to the starter & found a large voltage drop during hot engine cranking (stock cable is undersized), on the ST-2 I just added a 2nd parallel stock cable & all was good, on the ST-3 I made up a larger diameter cable & that worked fine. 

 

The exhaust note on the Ducati with good cans is sweet so that is both good & bad, it is pleasant to listen to, the down side is you want to keep running it up through the RPM range to hear those cans talk & that brings on the police noticing your red streak doing twice the speed limit. 

 

Every time I buy an old Ducati I can't wait to get it & ride it (I have only bought used ones), then after about a year I can't wait to sell it. The good part about a ticket-me-red Ducati is they re-sell pretty easily.

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3 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

Located this one in STL

That one is a "Senna" paint scheme...... commanded a premium at the time as some profit was donated to Ayrton's charity........ IIRC:18:

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With the larger rear sprocket that thing will wheelie like a champ...... you will prolly change that back to stock pretty quickly. I had an ST2 for about a year.... not an around town bike......fabulous SPORT tourer.

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16 minutes ago, 9Mary7 said:

With the larger rear sprocket that thing will wheelie like a champ...... you will prolly change that back to stock pretty quickly. I had an ST2 for about a year.... not an around town bike......fabulous SPORT tourer.

Morning 9Mary7

 

Yes, yes, ___I usually ran a larger rear sprocket as well as taking an extra link out of the chain (new chain at sprocket change)  as that shortened the wheelbase. With the added fueling computer chip that greatly improved low end throttle modulation my ST's  would wheelie for about as long as you were brave enough to hold the front wheel lofted . 

 

I can't tell you how many times briskly pulling out into oncoming traffic that I had to throttle back so the front wheel would come down on the pavement so I could complete the turn in the direction I wanted to merge. The wheelie was easy the hard part was backing off the throttle with cars coming at you at speed.   

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Just now, 9Mary7 said:

Yes! With a passenger it was almost comical.....:5210:

Morning 9Mary7

 

Not to my pillion as she hated both my ST-2 & ST-3.  She was not nearly as thrilled with wheelies as I was. 

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Not relevant except for the time of ownership that’s been mentioned. I’m twenty eight years into this relationship. She’s a pampered garage queen but I still giggle when I peek in on her at night. Ok, that’s just weird, right? :rofl:

image.thumb.jpeg.1210110e02a94298195cf72a26fc38db.jpeg

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I had an ST4 for about 6 months.  My gf rode it.  It was too small for me at 6'5".  But the most important reason for moving on to something else was the heat coming up under the seat.  Ducati cranks the rear cylinder back, which puts a lot of heat into the seat and legs.  That made it uncomfortable for touring in the summer, which is the prime riding season in CO.

 

Cap

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John,

 

I had an '05 ST3 for many years and loved it's power, handling, and comfort. This and later year ST's had Ducati's improved seat was perfect for me and is highly regarded. In July of '18 I rode it to the uN in South Dakota and my only complaint was how it got pushed around in Wyoming's high winds. I'm 6-0 with a 32" inseam and ended up installing a peg lowering kit that gave me about 1.25" of additional leg room. That mod made a huge difference.

From the uN:

WYO%20windsock-M.jpg

 

On the way to the uN, somewhere near Muddy Gap, WY.

IMG_2068-X2.jpg

 

At the rally.

IMG_2071-X2.jpg

 

Fall Torrey, 2019, our dear departed friend Eddd to the left.

JESV4025-X2.jpg

 

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5 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

Thanks, Pat.  Located this one in STL. Might drive over for a look see. 

https://motoeuropastl.com/Motorcycles-Ducati-ST4s-ABS-2003-Saint-Louis-MO-91dcf495-83c7-4c96-b0d9-aeda013452f0

 

If continuing your search; consider if you want the Ducati rattle clutch.

IIRC the later years have the wet clutch 2005, 06 and 07 in the ST3 version with 992 platform. And the last year of the 2005 ST4 996 platform.

 

The bike listed above has the rattle clutch. Personally I couldn't get behind the dry rattle clutch thing.  Plus, the wet clutch works better for touring and around town riding.

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As an alternative I had the Aprilia counterpart for several years, really great bike. Easier to live with maintenance-wise, just as fast and the stock seat is very comfortable (the windscreen/fairing is too). To some the angular styling is polarizing but IMO the flat graphite transforms it.

 

IMG_1490.JPG

 

IMG_1472.JPG

 

Another opinion, albeit a guy on the Aprilia forum.

 

Well here are a few comments concerning the ST4 and Futura.
Futura-lights are much better. The Duc had rather pissy electronics in general, and the lights were completely inadequate. There is a fellow that sells replacement lamps. Like $600.

The Futura is an excellent handling bike but I do think the Duc surpasses it. Like the Futura suspension better.

The Duc carries its weight lower than the futura.

The Futura has a dead level torque curve. The ST4 has a nice power hit around 7 grand.

Ducati sounds better. Duh.

The Futura seems to be a better put together motorcycle. The Duc rattled when going across bumps. The Ape does not.

I bought the ST4 with about 19,000 miles on it. I bought the Futura with about 19,000 miles on it. The Ape seems to hold up under mileage better than the Duc. It seems engineered, if you know what I mean.

Loved the Duc, except for all the work I had to do to it. And the warts. The Futura started after 10 months in climate controlled storage. It was not hooked up to a battery tender after all that time. The Duc would go dead after a couple of weeks and would refuse to turn over under 40 to 45F, depending on its mood. I think that speaks to the quality of both bikes.

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I had an st2 briefly, so can’t comment on the propulsion system, but I will echo what others have said about the pillion position - Laura did not care for it (and she’s pretty accommodating). I found it not ideal for puttering around town, but LOTS of fun in places where motorcycles are fun. I also found that at about 90mph the riding position was perfect with the oncoming air taking nearly all the weight off my arms. 
 

I ended up breaking the frame and selling it sort of broken (with a full explanation to the buyer of course). I replaced it with an 1100S which is a little less fun but a little more comfortable for the pillion, and other than that largely similar. 

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