2007 Ducati Sport Touring
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In response to its great success and massive public approval, the three-valve per cylinder engine once again powers the famous ST range for the 2007, represented by the ST3 and partnered by the ST3 S ABS, the flagship of the family.
Further refined with each new edition, the Sporttouring range achieves a perfect balance with the the three-valve per cylinder engine, which won immediate approval from the market thanks to its broad flat torque curve and low fuel consumption.
Both models feature Euro 3 homologation, a compliance which the ST actually acquired way ahead of most of its competitors. This was achieved by adopting an integrated ignition, injection and exhaust system, with a special 3-way catalytic converter and heated Lambda oxygen sensor.
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 who seek comfort and protection from the elements without sacrificing performance muscle. Earlier editions of the models had already received modifications designed to meet the more practical needs of a sport touring machine. For example, the smoother, quieter wet clutch and many updates made to optimise the level of protection and the overall comfort on long, high-speed journeys.
The level of quality achieved since the ST was first unveiled in 1997 is such that Ducati has attained a position of excellence in a segment in which rival motorcycle makers can boast many years more experience. The current high standing in the touring market is largely due to Ducati's reinterpretation of the sports touring motorcycle and the implementation of adjustability. From handlebars height adjustable by 20mm to optional heights for the exhaust system, the ST pulls out all the stops to satisfy every rider. Silencers can be mounted in a low-slung position enabling the machine to be equipped with spacious panniers, or raised to increase clearance for those seeking extreme lean angles. There have also been many more minor features introduced, such as the simplified fitting system for bodywork which enable the reduction of maintenance costs.
In fact, as a result of constant investment in engineering and quality control, every model in the 2007 range will benefit from a new maintenance programme in which servicing intervals have been extended, less parts are required and fewer operations have to be performed. The result is that the bike's overall scheduled maintenance costs are reduced by up to 50%.
The ST3 S ABS represents the flagship of the Sporttouring family.
While it shares many features of the ST3, the ST3 S ABS goes much further in terms of chassis components. Although frame and engine are the same, the differences lie in the suspension and brakes, which are designed for higher performance and feature ABS. Fully adjustable upside-down Showa forks with TiN coated stanchions ensure sure-footed handling up front while an Íhlins shock not only helps smooth the way at the rear, but also uses a remote preload adjuster to enable rapid changes to suit luggage load or road conditions. Ducati's now well proven ABS system needs no introduction. Specifically designed for riders who insist upon the same level of control in emergency braking conditions as that available in most cars, the ST3 S ABS offers a system which actuates with a much finer operation threshold so as not to restrict more extreme riders.
The ST3 S ABS is equipped with stylish five-spoke wheels instead of the standard ST3 three-spoke design. Further differences are evident in the technically more advanced suspension systems and the proud logo on the bodywork claiming its 'S' and 'ABS' status.. Otherwise all features are shared by both versions, from the colour range to the height adjustable handlebars and multifunction instrument panel.
Although performance is identical to the standard ST3, certain components have been enhanced to emphasise the sporting nature of this 'S' version touring machine and to help it achieve thrilling performance levels. In this context, the Trellis frame uses suspension derived directly from competition-oriented Ducati models. Front forks are by Showa with the stanchions TiN coated - a process normally reserved for competition machines designed to reduce sliding friction to the absolute minimum. Needless to say, the forks offer full adjustment facilities for compression and rebound which enables maximum personalisation for riders seeking the ideal suspension set-up for all types of riding conditions. Similarly, adjustments to the rear Íhlins shock, offers the possibility to adjust preload by means of a remote adjuster, easily operated without tools.
Brake discs are the same as those of the ST3, with a pair of semi-floating 320mm for the front and a 245mm for the rear. Apart from the ABS system, a further detail that characterises the 'S' version is the lightweight aluminium alloy front disc carriers which help keep rotating mass down to the absolute minimum and so enhance the sports orientated handling.
The antilock brake system developed by Ducati features more advanced functions than most other motorcycle ABS systems on the market. The system responds immediately in the situation of 'wheel-lock' or 'skid' and reduces the risk of losing control while braking on treacherous road surfaces or under emergency braking conditions. The device manages information transmitted to the ABS control unit from the speed sensors on the brake discs, and data is constantly analysed by dedicated software that compares average road speed with the instant speed changes measured at each wheel. If the ratio between the two values falls below specific safety limits the control unit acts exclusively on the brake caliper receiving excessive brake pressure. The immediate pressure adjustment on just one of the brake circuits eliminates wheel lock-up before returning pressure to its previous value when the ratio of measurements returns to within the safety zone. With respect to the average motorcycle ABS, the Ducati system developed for the ST3 S offers far more sensitive control for the rider, with a 'feel' very close to that of a conventional braking system.
With the excellent performance of the super-modern three-valve per cylinder powerplant, there was clearly no reason to make any changes for 2007. Rather than increase power, designers chose to maintain the excellent balance between performance, flexibility, and fuel consumption, characteristics that have distinguished the magnificent Desmo3 since it was first introduced.
The ST3 is the ideal solution for the demanding tourer who, instead of being content with the classic "German style" of touring, needs the typical verve of an Italian machine.
In addition to the high level of protection, careful attention devoted to ergonomics and the sophisticated chassis set-up, riders can rely on an engine that has been specifically designed to produce very specific power characteristics. The design solution of Desmodromic control with three valves per cylinder and dual spark ignition has enable an impressive level of performance while maintaining low fuel consumption. All these benefits are achieved in full while also complying to Euro 3 homologation.
One aspect of design that the ST engineers worked hard to reconcile was related to the management of overall dimensions. In this area, it was important to offer adequate protection for the rider and passenger, while taking care to maintain the slender profile of the machine and avoiding any reduction of the model's sports capabilities. The solution was with a carefully calibrated blend of elegant lines and functional features designed also to meet strict aerodynamic requirements. The ST3 is therefore the perfect long-distance machine for all touring situations, but also suitable for normal day to day use.
The ST3 was born to travel, but the design project was conducted with a constant eye on the sports performance. Consequently, one of the defining features of Ducati's DNA has been retained in the form of the high strength tubular steel Trellis frame, as used on all the models including the Desmosedici MotoGP bike. The steel Trellis frame is an area in which Ducati has acquired an enviable level of experience. Reduced weight and a high level of torsional stiffness are just a few characteristics that bring clear benefits to both solo riding at high speed and long trips with a passenger and a full luggage load. Of course, the Ducati Sporttouring machine makes it easy to find the perfect set-up for all trips thanks to the use of highly versatile front and rear suspension. The front end is equipped with Showa forks with adjustable preload, while the rear has a Sachs single shock with full preload and damping adjustments.
The Desmo3 powerplant is the product of the very latest engineering techniques and offers an intermediate solution between the classic air-cooled two-valve and the more sports oriented four-valve engines. With its three valves per cylinder the engine manages to condense the qualities of the other engines as well as maintain low fuel consumption and flexibility. The ST3 was one of the first production machines to offer lower exhaust emission levels. This goal was achieved thanks to the adoption of an integrated ignition, injection and exhaust system with a special three-way catalytic converter and heated Lambda oxygen sensor. Another important breakthrough is constituted by the addition of automatic idle speed control provided by a stepper motor. The benefits of the three-valve cylinder head, which features the traditional Ducati Desmodromic control, include plenty of torque at low engine speeds and fuel consumption that is among the lowest in the category (typical of 2-valve engines) combined with high power throughout the rev-range (typical of 4-valve engines). In this context it should be noted that numerous components were designed specifically with the aim of extending the interval between servicing times. As in the case of the specifically designed wet clutch, which, apart from featuring quieter operation, offers exceptional resistance to wear to provide an estimated lifetime in excess of 100,000 kilometres.