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2006 Ducati Sport Touring Range

Ducati ST3 | Ducati ST3s ABS

In response to massive public demand the three-valve per cylinder engine takes centre stage in the ST range for the 2006 M.Y. The standard version is thus joined by the ST3s ABS, in place of the previous ST4s, the flagship of this family up to the end of last season.

This means that the price list is simplified, with two versions offering the original equipment package plus a series of major innovations.

The 2006 model is equipped with a new automatic idle speed control system and, above all, features Euro 3 homologation in compliance with future emission control regulations. This major breakthrough, which anticipates the date of enforcement of the more stringent emission limits by more than twelve months, was achieved by adopting an integrated ignition, injection and exhaust system, with a special 3-way catalytic converter and heated Lambda oxygen sensor. Thanks to this design strategy, the ST3 and ST3s ABS machines scheduled to roll of the lines at the Ducati Borgo Panigale plant will be among the world's first bikes to comply with the emission limits due to take effect on 1 January 2007, so they can be ridden even in cities that restrict non-complying vehicles.

The evolution of the injection and ignition system, combined with automatic idle speed control, are among the most recent milestones in a continuous process of updating a range of machines specifically designed for touring enthusiasts seeking comfort and a high level of protection from the elements without sacrificing performance muscle. The earlier editions had already received various modifications designed to meet the more practical needs of a Sport Touring machine. For example, the wet clutch, which is smoother, quieter and more progressive than the unit installed on more highly tuned Ducati motorcycles while also offering much longer than average service life; in addition, a large number of updates have been made to the machine with the aim of optimising the level of protection and, consequently, the overall comfort on long high-speed journeys.

Evolved and further refined with each new edition, the Sport Touring range achieves perfect balance with the arrival of the three-valve per cylinder engine, as demonstrated by the fact that this twin cylinder powerplant won immediate approval from the market thanks to its broad flat torque curve and low fuel consumption.

The state of the art achieved since 1997 when the first ST was unveiled is such that Ducati has been able to attain a position of excellence in a segment in which rival motorcycle makers can boast many years more experience than the Bologna company. The current high standing on the touring market is largely due to Ducati's reinterpretation of the sports touring motorcycle and the implementation of a number of innovative devices. Consider, for example, the many adjustment facilities on the machine including the position of the handlebars, electronic control of the headlight beam angle and two alternative positions for the exhaust system. The two tailpipes can be mounted in a low-slung position so that the machine can be equipped with a pair of panniers, or in a raised position to increase the lean angle for riders seeking extreme lean angles. There are also many apparently minor aspects, such as the simplified fitting system for the fairings, which reduces times and costs for servicing and repair work, and management of the electronic system with a CAN line, with the network carried on just two wires in place of the classic harness.