Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ducati ST3 discontinued

If you have been to the Ducati website lately you might have noticed something is missing. The ST3 is no longer listed in the 2008 model line up. It appears that Ducati’s sport-touring model has been abruptly discontinued just after 4 years of production. Kind of makes you wonder why since the ST3 was the most reliable of the Ducati ST bikes.

The first ST3 came out in 2004. The following year 2005 they made a bunch of improvements to the bike, two of which were a wet clutch and a nicer seat. In 2006 they came out with the ST3s model which had ABS among other upgrades. It seems like they were improving the ST3, so why is it gone?

The first sport touring model, the ST2, was launched in 1996 and in 1999 the ST4 joined the sport touring line up. The two models looked similar but had different engines and options. The ST3 replaced the ST2 in 2004, where ST4 was discontinued a year after the ST3 came out, if I recall correctly.

I have not found any official explanation on the web to why the ST3 is no longer in the line up for 2008 but I did find some clues.

If you search for “Ducati” on www.powersportsbusiness.com and read the press releases in order you will see a pattern develop starting with this press release dated April 2007: “The new 1098 Superbike led first-quarter sales. The new arrival doubled sales of the company’s Superbike family, with more than 600 bikes being delivered to customers. The Monster and Sport Classic families balanced out the final mix with combined sales of more than 600 bikes. The remaining sales came from the Multistrada, Sport Touring and Supersport families.”

In May 2007 Ducati Motor Holding announced a new CEO and in the Fall of 2007 Ducati Motor Holding presented a new strategic plan for 2008-2010 to the financial community.

And if you read the quote above and look at the Ducati website you will notice that the bikes that are gone from the line up are the ones being mentioned as not making as much money as the superbikes, monsters and sport classics. The super sport is gone, the 620 Multistarda is gone and the ST3 is gone.



The Ducati website - 2008 model line up

Can you blame them? The ST3 was never a really popular bike. I’d imagine most people looking for a sport tourer would not buy a Ducati. Face it, getting your valves checked every 6,000 miles costs a lot of money if one puts on a lot of miles per year touring.

How did I end up getting a ST3? The ST3 is a great bike for a shorter rider. The seat is not very tall and it's also narrow, so that allows a rider to get more foot on the ground. I'm 5'5" and I had to shave an inch of foam on the seat to be able to touch the ground with the ball of my foot. The ST3 is also light for a sport touring bike, which helps a shorter rider if they can’t flat foot the bike. I sat on other bikes and they felt really big and heavy, the ST3 fit me.

By the way, I found a great website that has a lot of info on the Ducati sport touring models - www.perryr.com/DucatiSTFAQ.html

6 comments:

Ducati Blas said...

I love my ST3 and think it offers a nice balance for those that want the Sport thrill with the tour frill I can have at it alone and when my spouse is in tandem doule the fum on a confidence inspiring platform like the ST3... Did I mention the seat is waayy comfortable! My neighbor on his Honda Vfr Interceptor has seat issues just a few miles into the ride. At least I got mine! :)

Anonymous said...

I was told by my local Ducati dealer that the ST3 was not completely canceled. He told me that they were no longer making them for the US market. However going to the Ducati site, on the Italian page I do not see it listed.

I used to have a Honda Blackbird and loved it. I had a Yamaha R1 and it was a much different ride. I never owned a ST3. I only sat on one. To me it felt like the Blackbird just a little thinner.

Personally I would love to have an ST3. However the 6k valve job and the fact that they were no longer going to be made for the US market made me reject that thought.

I am 6' and 220lbs. The bike felt right for me.

Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying immensively my '05 ST3 for the three years I've had it. I haven't been on any ironbutt events. I'd rather do 200 exilerating miles a day than 400 on a boring blinged-out standard. I got the thing because I wanted a Sport-Touring bike, not a Sport-Touring bike!

Paul E said...

It's too bad the ST3 is gone. I think it is a really beautiful bike.

nigel said...

i have done over 30,000 miles on my ST3,all the way to Greece and a trip to the Ducati factory to see were it was HAND built,it is very comfortable and the money spent on servicing is well worth it. i wouldnt swop it for a gold pig

James in Kelowna said...

Ducati screwed up in my opinion but I know I'm the 1%ile kinda' guy. I'm 6'2", 200#, 48y.o., former road racer and past owner of many supersport bikes. I flipped from my GSX-1000 to a Tricolore S4RS Monster, then a 1098 - an experience NOT to be missed but too hot to ride and painful in the city. I put about 5,000 kms on that and traded it for the 07' ST3. I'm in heaven now... this bike is comfortable (pipes down low means it runs much cooler & rarely hits 100F), has wonderful storage (all three GIVI bags when I'm touring) and just shy of brilliant handling. The Showa stuff is a bit lackluster and I'm shopping for Ohlins equivelants but all in all, I can still ride with the fast guys and handily take my turns up front. If you can only afford one bike, make it an ST3. Two thumbs up.