With the 2006 Ducati ST, the Italian manufacturer finally gets the sport-tourer right. While previous Ducati sport-tourers had a reputation for poor reliability, the 2006 ST is so exceptionally built that reliability issues are a thing of the past. Featuring a brand new Ohlins suspension, a new exhaust system, and the introduction of an innovative anti-lock braking system (on the ST3s ABS only), the new ST family of bikes is what touring is all about – long-range riding comfort.
The 2006 Ducati ST is available in two sub-models – the ST3 and the ST3s ABS. The bikes are essentially the same, with the primary difference being the addition of the anti-lock braking system on the ST3s ABS. Both bikes feature Ducati""s L-Twin, 992cc, four-stroke, SOHC, fuel-injected Desmodromic engine. Fuel injection is electronically controlled by a highly precise 50mm Marelli injector system.
The Ducati ST""s six-speed transmission is seamlessly smooth and delivers instant response to the thick rear tire, which is a 180/55 ZR17 that provides immediate grip and grind action. Plus, with 107 horsepower at 8750 rpm and 72.3 lb-ft of torque at 7250 rpm, the 2006 Ducati ST has plenty of gutsy power to navigate the steepest mountain roadways.
Thanks to the updated Ohlins suspension on the ST3s ABS, driving a Ducati sport-touring bike has never felt smoother. Nicely cushioned by the bike""s inverted front fork suspension with 5.1 inches of travel, and its aluminum twin-sided swing arm suspension on the rear with 5.8 inches of travel, riding on almost any surface is a smooth and supple experience.
Ducati outfitted the 2006 ST family of bikes with an exceptional braking system. Both bikes feature Brembo dual hydraulic 320mm discs on the front and a solo 245mm disc on the back. Of course, the Ducati ST3s ABS also has the innovative switchable ABS system that really makes it the standout model in the family.
Exterior-wise, the Ducati ST is sharp, bold, and refined. Featuring a sharp-sloped windshield and aggressively-designed fairing, the bike""s sportbike inspiration is certainly evident. But the huge 5.5-gallon fuel tank and the optional hardcover saddlebags allow for long-distance convenience in a beautifully sexy Italian package.