Archive for the ‘2005’ Category
As with over half the current Ducati motorcycle range, the Ducati Sport 1000 is driven by the worthy air-cooled, two-valve 1000 DS (for Dual Spark). It’s straightforward, classically Italian motorcycle and pleasing enough and, though no cutting edge powerhouse, the Ducati Sport 1000 is perfectly suited to this role delivering enough retro-roadster motorcycle go when it matters and pleasing, characterful flexibility the rest of the time.
Build quality of the Ducat Sport Classic motorcycles is a league above most previous Ducatis. New paint processes and attention to detail result in jewl like motorcycles worthy of museum display. On the downside, like most Ducatis, the Ducati Sport 1000 must be kept clean and pampered. Straight forward mechanicals mean no reliability worries yet.
Light weight, sharp steering and more than adequate brakes and suspension make a bike that hustles. The Ducati Sport 1000 is the best (the high barred Ducati GT 1000 gets flustered while the Ducati Paul Smart 1000 LE seems heavier and more reluctant to turn) but all of these motorcycles are fun. The trade off is being a hard and cramped long-distance tool, but higher ST3 bars are a common mod.
Seven grand odd sounds a bargain for this motorcycle but it’s swings and roundabouts. The Ducati Sport Classics are basic, unsophisticated motorcycles gilded by style and polish. While still fashionable, they’re worth every penny, but if grubby, worn or out of style they’ll quickly seem nothing special.
The Ducati Sport 1000 is not so much about extras as the quality of the basic motorcycle – gorgeous: deep,molten paint, masses of polished and sculpted alloy and little design touches that echo inspirational 70s motorcycle forebears The Ducati Sport 1000 and Ducati Sport 1000 LE are plastered with them (the LE also gets Ohlins suspension) the more basic Ducati GT1000, though sweet, is the poor relation.
The Ducati Multistrada 620 houses the same engine as the Ducati M620 Monster but has considerably more weight to propel. In other words, whilst it’s good, it’s a bit lacking. The Ducati Multistrada 620 is revvy and fun, there’s plenty of low down and midrange power but the top end’s breathless. Power delivery via the fuel injection is as sharp as a knife: newbies, hold on!
The Big Daddy Ducati Multistrada 1000DS is a flash piece of kit and the Ducati M620 Monster is always popular so the Ducati Multistrada 620′s heritage bodes well for both its quality and lifespan. Be aware that Ducati parts and servicing veers towards the pricey side of reasonable.
The Ducati Multistrada has a low(ish), comfy seat, wide bars and effective screen combined with good brakes and handling, which makes for an enjoyable ride. There’s a slipper clutch to avoid gut-wrenching, slippery down changes and the gearbox is nice and slick. The Ducati Multistrada is comfortable enough for long journeys so why make the tank so small?
Hmm… the Ducati Multistrada 620 is not cheap. Numerous rivals out gun it on horsepower as well as price: just look at the Yamaha FZ6 Fazer, or the Suzuki GSF650 Bandit or Suzuki DL650 V-Strom… But we all know you pay a premium for the Ducati badge on the tank; the thing is, would you consider it over the similarly entry-level, even cheaper and definitely more sexy Ducati M620 Monster?
The Ducati Multistrada 620 is nicely finished but for the price you’d at least expect a fuel gauge (rather than just a warning light). Sachs rear shock, Marzocchi forks and Brembo calipers are all good and there’s an impressive list of aftermarket parts available. How about an engine upgrade kit? It increases the Ducati Multistrada 620′s displacement to 750cc: bet that’s got some top end poke.
Starting out to give the 2005 R6 more horsepower and a new fork, the R6 nearly became new motorcycle with new camshafts, bigger throttle bodies, improved fuel injection, revised intake funnels and more, resulting in a smoother, fatter powerband with three more horsepower at 13,000 rpm. To channel that power, a new, fully-adjustable inverted fork with 41mm tubes was added for the most precise handling possible.
It was too good a place to resist mounting powerful new 310mm front disc brakes, radial calipers and a radial master cylinder to even further exploit the R6′s amazing front-end feel. The added rigidity of the new fork led to a redesign of the main frame to accommodate new rear suspension linkage.
- Engine upgrades in the form of 40mm throttle bodies, revised fuel injection and ignition mapping, new camshafts and intake funnels, etc., all result in a 3-horsepower increase at the same rpm as before with more power across the board.
- New, fully adjustable inverted fork with 41mm tubes further reinforces R6′s main strength: precise handling. New, cast top triple clamp and forged lower clamp also increase rigidity, and work with revised handlebar positioning.
- To complement the new fork, the rear section of the Deltabox III main frame was revised internally to work with revised swingarm linkage and mounts for improved handling.
- Lighter, 310mm front brake discs replace 298mm units. New radial-mount four-piston calipers and radial master cylinder provide greater braking power and feel.
- 120/70-ZR17 front tire replaces previous 120/60-ZR17 for improved handling.
- Twin, ring-type radiator fans are now used to ensure optimal engine cooling. – Revised headlight lens and revised under-cowl for even better style.
- Ultra-compact, lightweight, 600cc DOHC 16-valve liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder puts out 123 horsepower.
- Competition-bred suction-piston-type fuel injection features short intake ports and a special vacuumcontrolled intake system to ensure instant throttle response all the way up to the 15,500-rpm redline.
- Compact slant-block engine design uses stacked gearbox shafts to create a low center of gravity and balanced weight distribution.
- Ram-Air Induction System delivers cool, high-pressure air for optimal combustion and greater horsepower at high speed.
- Lightweight forged pistons on carburized connecting rods for superb strength and reduced reciprocating mass.
- Linerless, ceramic-composite cylinder bores mean greater heat dissipation for consistent power delivery and reduced friction.
- Close-ratio 6-speed transmission delivers seamless power and maximum acceleration.
- Special three-axis gearbox design stacks input/output shafts to keep overall engine size to super-compact dimensions.
- Curved radiator follows the contour of the frame and bodywork for an ultra-sleek look and excellent cooling performance.
- Specially designed, one-piece cylinder and crankcase assembly provides superior engine rigidity and light weight.
- Engine is a fully stressed chassis member to allow for a super-light frame design.
- Compact, large-capacity clutch ensures consistent, fade-free performance.
- Rifle-bored camshafts with specially designed valve lifters and computer-perfected timing for reduced spinning mass and quicker acceleration.
- Large-capacity internal water pump and separate liquid-cooled oil cooler ensure optimal engine cooling efficiency.
- 4-into-2-into-1 aluminum exhaust optimizes engine performance, reduces overall weight and is tucked in high for maximum lean angle.
- Radical Deltabox IlI aluminum chassis is light, stiff, and extremely compact for razor-sharp handling.
- Controlled Fill die casting produces an incredibly sleek swingarm that is remarkably strong and light by pinpointing exactly where material needs to be. Pivot position and swingarm length (576mm) are optimized for great traction feel.
- Fully adjustable (preload, compression and rebound damping) 41mm inverted telescopic front fork with 4.7″ of travel offers race-bred suspension performance with ultra-precise rider feedback.
- Fully adjustable (preload, compression and rebound damping) piggyback rear shock with 4.7″ of travel delivers exceptional rear wheel tracking and stability.
- Removable CF die cast rear subframe is light and strong.
- Durable, lightweight, aluminum clip-on bars provide optimal vibration damping
- Narrow 4.5-gallon fuel tank provides excellent rider ergonomics and aggressive seating position.
- Multi-function digital and analog instrumentation features: digital speedometer, analog tachometer, dual tripmeters with odometer, upward-counting fuel reserve meter, water temp gauge and lights for neutral, high beam, low fuel and turn signals.
- Dual Gatling beam 60/55-watt multi-reflector headlight features a sleek profile for superb aerodynamics and visibility.
- Dual LED taillight design reduces both weight and size while providing excellent visibility and a sleek profile.
The ST3 sports a powerful, 3-valve, Desmo L-twin engine. Matched with its Superbike-derived trellis frame, adjustable suspension, comfortable two-up riding position and optional colour-matched luggage, the ST3 is at ease on both twisty mountain roads and cross-country motorways. Improved reliability and low emissions make the ST3 a confident choice to tackle wild mountain passes and endless stretches of highway. Producing 107 hp at 8750 rpm, the ST3 has more than enough power for the long haul and inspires confidence, even when two-up and under the full weight of luggage.
Ducati launched the ST2 under the label “Sport Tourismo”, many people thought the company had finally cracked or maybe developed a sadistic sense of humour. But the bike worked, and it gave Honda and its VFR a bit of a wake-up call. Over the next few years it spawned both the ST4 and ST4S with bigger and more powerful engines, until at the end of 2003 it got a complete makeover and a new 3-valve engine, and metamorphosed into the ST3.
The most striking thing about the new ST3 is the front fairing which is much sharper and angular than the old design, but still houses separate projector headlamps for main and dip beam which are much improved over the originals, and can even be adjusted electrically when you’re sitting on the bike. And in the saddle the other thing you notice is the size of the fairing which at first is a bit like sitting behind a glass barn door. Strangely enough it doesn’t seem to offer any more wind protection than the smaller original when you’re on the move, although I wasn’t able to test its rain-deflecting properties as amazingly it didn’t rain the whole time I had the bike on test. The rest of the bodywork is unchanged, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the old panels weren’t interchangeable with the new. However, underneath the fairing panels the ST3 now sports an acoustic waistcoat, no doubt as a result of the ever more stringent environmental regulations that regularly appear from Brussels.
By pressing a couple of buttons at the top of the unit, the odometer will also show trip distance, average speed, instantaneous and average fuel consumption, fuel used, the number of miles before you need to fill up, and the number of gallons left in the tank. Unfortunately, whatever kind of display you choose, the system resets to show total miles traveled whenever the ignition is switched on. But on the plus side it’s easy to switch the display between miles and kilometres for those continental jaunts.
Thumb the starter button and the engine turns over in a typically lazy V-twin manner that makes you think the battery’s gone flat. But after a couple of seconds the engine rumbles into life and then settles down to a strangely erratic tickover, that could indicate a problem with the fuel injection system. Pull in the clutch, which is surprisingly light for a Ducati, snick it into first, and you immediately notice the difference in the engine. This is a really willing unit which pulls hard right the way through the rev range. The extra inlet valve on the 3-valve head really does the business. Gone is the old wheeziness in the upper part of the rev range and yet it still develops masses of torque from low revs that makes overtaking a breeze. Pick up is good at all revs and the engine never really seems to be working hard. In fact it’s so relaxed that its quite easy to be cruising along at three-figure speeds and then suddenly realise there’s another cog in the box. There’s very little vibration at any speed, just the usual V-twin rumble to remind you that this is a Ducati.
On the road the ST3 still has the good handling characteristics of its predecessors. For normal riding the suspension is firm and reasonably well-damped and the bike turns well and holds a good line through the corners, although it does need a firm hand to get it well leant over. Stability is excellent and the bike never feels as though its going to get out of shape through the corners. This is a bike that likes to be ridden, although it’s equally comfortable clocking up the miles on the motorway or autoroute, just so you can get to the good bits a little bit sooner. The new lighter clutch also makes it a much better experience to ride around in towns and in traffic, although the typically limited Ducati steering lock means that you still need a very wide piece of tarmac for that feet-up U-turn.
Although the height-adjustable clip-on bars are a nice feature for a touring bike that’s designed to be sporty, I’d much rather have some properly sprung, adjustable front forks that allowed me to quickly set up the bike for either 2-up touring or solo press-on riding. How about transplanting the forks off the ST2? And before you get too carried away with those adjustable bars, Ducati forgot to include the tool to loosen the clamp bolts in the toolkit!
The rear suspension is a much better sorted affair, but even here there are some anomalies. The spring rates are good and everything’s adjustable – if only you could get to it! The compression adjuster is masked by the left-hand heel plate, you’ll need to remove the right side of the tailpiece fairing to get to the rebound adjuster on the remote reservoir, and adjusting the preload is something else. Ducati thoughtfully provide you with a C-spanner to do the job, but the adjuster ring is masked by the remote reservoir on one side and the frame tubes on the other. You can’t even change the preload by altering the length of the tie-rod like you can on the ST2 and ST4, as this is a one-piece casting on the ST3. The only practical way left is to use a drift and a large hammer, so make sure you pack these in your tank bag every time you head off on holiday.
I started out on this test, looking forward to riding an evolution of a very capable bike that had been such a pleasant experience to own, but after two weeks of living with the new ST3 I wasn’t too sorry to see it go back. Now it could well be that the injection problems and the grabby brakes were a one-off on the test bike, which after all had probably been given a hard time by fellow journalists who are not known for lavishing loving care and tenderness on the bikes that they use. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that the suspension set up on the ST3 is a step back rather than an improvement on the ST2, and is less than you’d expect from a bike that’s targeted at the sporty side of touring.
Features & Benefits
The ST3 sports a powerful, 3-valve, Desmo L-twin engine. Matched with its Superbike-derived trellis frame, adjustable suspension, comfortable two-up riding position and optional colour-matched luggage, the ST3 is at ease on both twisty mountain roads and cross-country motorways.
Improved reliability and low emissions make the ST3 a confident choice to tackle wild mountain passes and endless stretches of highway. Producing 107 hp at 8750 rpm, the ST3 has more than enough power for the long haul and inspires confidence, even when two-up and under the full weight of luggage.
Type L-twin cylinder, 4 valves per cylinder Desmodromic; liquid cooled
Displacement 992 cc
BorexStroke 94 x 71.5 mm
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Power 78.8 kw – 107 hp @ 8750 rpm
Torque 10 kgm @ 7250 rpm
Fuel injection Marelli electronic fuel injection, 50 mm throttle body
Exhaust 2 aluminium mufflers with catalytic converter
Gearbox 6 speed
Ratios 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3rd 27/20, 4th 24/22, 5th 23/24, 6th 24/28
Primary drive Straight cut gears; ratio 1.84
Final drive Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 42
Clutch Dry multiplate with hydraulic control.
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Wheelbase 1430 mm / 56.3 in
Front suspension Showa 43 mm upside-down adjustable preload fork
Front wheel travel 130 mm / 5.1 in
Front brake 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston caliper
Front wheel 3-spoke light alloy 3.50 x 17
Front tyre 120/70 ZR 17
Rear suspension Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Sachs monoshock
Rear wheel travel 148 mm / 5.8 in
Rear brake 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear wheel 3-spoke light alloy 5.50 x 17
Rear tyre 180/55 ZR 17
Fuel tank capacity 21 L / 5.5 US gal (includes 6 L / 1.5 US gal reserve)
Weight * 203 kg / 447.1 lbs
Seat height 820 mm / 32.3 in
Instruments Electronic instrument panel using CAN communication protocol with CPU, multifunctional digital display (including speedometer, clock, water temperature, fuel gauge, instant/average consumption, consumed fuel, remaining distance), analog rev counter, self-adjusting pilot lights (depending on outdoor light), headlight angle adjustment, immobilizer system
Warranty 2 years unlimited mileage
Tank Colours Red, glossy black, light grey
Frame and Wheel colours Metallic dark grey, black (for black tank only)
Versions Two seats.