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Old 05-23-2005, 10:28 AM   #1
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

It's hard to think of either of these as a commuter attack weapon... but maybe you don't have lane splitting?

You need something quick, manueverable, comfortable with an upright seating position...

the Buell CityX if you wanna go naked, maybe a VStrom or Multistrada if you want a fairing
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

I have a 110 mile (round trip) commute in Oregon. I have a 94 BMW r1100rs that is just great. No muss, no fuss, 47 mpg. Rain (often) or shine and it cruises at 80+ like a dream. (And should I remind you about "Arrest me red" color of the Duc?) A buddy of mine let me ride his FJR, great bike, but it roasted my legs (check fjr1300.info) - yeah even here in Oreogn!

I looked at a Multistrada, but the shaft drive of my R1100RS seemed a better choice. I also do my own maintenance, which keeps costs down.

I suggest you think of an older BMW as an alternative. They are comfortable, fun to ride.

But as has been mentioned, it is all individual.

Just my 2 cents worth. (Insurance is cheaper on an older bike too.)
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

Given the two choices, I say Aprilia Futura.

I'd pick a narrow upright bike for a commute, ala Multistrada, just watch the bar/mirror interface.
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

One thing about that rush hour traffic, you are going to have a lot of weight on your wrists with a more aggressive riding position. Probably would want risers on the Duc.

Another thing to consider is how often you will be riding 2-up. I have noticed that extended 2-up riding tends to get the significant other leaning on you. This puts a significantly more weight on the wrists. Not sure how the ST3 compares with a VFR's riding position, but this is on factor that has me thinking about a replacement (if she rides enough to justify it).

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Old 05-23-2005, 10:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

Sounds like you are looking for practicality. Get the Yamaha if your only choices are those two bikes.
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

I have a Ducati ST4S and love it for its handling, power and looks. As far as a daily commuter you would rapidly tire of the clutch and shifting action required for stop and go traffic. Lane splitting is not an issue, if you have removed the panniers. I would not choose the Ducati or Yamaha for a daily ride. But both would be an excellent choice for a tourer and the the Ducati is superb for purely "sport" days(I do an occasional track day with it and embarass quite a few "sport" bikes). Same goes for the multistrada. It is a very nice bike but its high center of gravity and a few other issues would not make it my choice for commuting. I would look at a Honda Interceptor, Yamaha FZ1 or even a Suzuki SV-650 or V-Strom. Good Luck, its a difficult choice. I would have 4 or 5 bikes if I had more disposable income, dumped my wife, etc.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

Ask the man who owns one. For two years, a Ducati ST4s (15000 miles) and a Triumph Sprint ST (11000) have been my only means of transportation.

The Duc has never let me down. It is a better summer than winter bike. I have added some bits and pieces to make it more comfortable and user friendly. Ducati addressed many complaints with the ST3. Ducati's Sport Touers are really sport bikes with more comfortable ergos. If you perform your own maintainance, Duc are not expensive to ride daily. Though, using a Duc as a daily ride is like using a Ferrari as a grocery getter.

The Yammie is a tourer with sporty potential that is super plush for every day use and with the side mounted oil filter and shaft drive; a much simpler bike to maintain. As a former D.C. Metro resident, you are going to get really frustrated riding the big Yammie in traffic. The Yam FZ -6 is a better choice.

The Duc without the side bags is a good urban weapon; but I would fit a ventilated clutch cover, because with stop and go riding, Ducati's dry clutches overheat and become grabby.

I used to want the FJR1300 as a daily ride, but Yamaha's elitist attitude towards marketing annoyed me so I bought the Triumph instead. And I am very happy with both bikes, but for me, my ST4s is a keeper.

I hope this helps.

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Old 05-23-2005, 11:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

Man o Man! Great dilemma! But lets get real. Do you REALLY want to spend $13.5K + insurance, taxes & maint on what you plan to use as an urban commuter tool????

Couple of fellow 'rons are suggesting V-Strom. You really might want to rethink this one and look at the Stroms and like bikes.

On the other hand, you only live once - at least as far as I know. No guts, no glory.

Tough calls....more years experience than I'm willing to admit to today sez you best listen to those cautioning you to be a bit more practical.

Buy used, cheap...think Joe Glydon! Oh, you don't know who he is (was)? Try CityBike and read his old columns. Then save your $$ like a crazy man and buy that sport tourer of your dreams and ride it like it was meant to be ridden...and not in some stinking megacity traffic circle F. Save that for your cheap, used "FighterBike".
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

I've got an ST4 with 22,000 miles on it and it is totally reliable. A friend has an FJR and the tranny just grenaded at 20,000.

The FJR is the more comfy of the two. The Duc more sporty. The ST3 has higher bars than my ST4 ( I fit mine with Helibars).

My friend routinely scrapes his exhaust on the FJR. The Duc's cans can be adjusted upward if you remove the bags for sportier riding.

The Duc clutch is heavier but don't let the limp-wristed scare you away for that. The Yamaha will be way hotter in stop and go traffic.

I really like the FJR but the Ducati will put a bigger smile on your face every time you ride it. It sounds way better and chicks dig Ducatis.

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Old 05-23-2005, 11:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ducati ST3 or Yamaha FJR 1300

If you take an uncooked hamburger and wrap it in foil and bungy it near one of the vents in the body panels, you'll find out where the name "FJR" came from. No need to guess, I'll tell it to you from personal experience..."food just right"! Don't get me wrong, it "is" a wonderful bike. I thoroughly enjoy riding mine and have made a few 800 miles in a day trips with it. I'm not real sure I'd want it as a short range, commuter though. Between the heat, the high frequency vibrations and somewhat lower bar setting, I think I'd opt for a bike which would be better suited for your type of riding. Another person commented on it and stated that a V-Strom, Multistrada, etc. could be your ticket. I also own one of these type of bikes and would wholeheartedly agree with his assesment, particularly when considering what your needs appear to be. I can't say much about the Ducati other then my experience with a Monster. It hasn't been the most reliable bike I've ever owned and I certainly wouldn't want to count on it as a daily bike. If I were considering such a bike, I think I'd go for a VFR or the new Triumph ST. Good luck on your quest and remember, as long as it's on two wheels, you can't go too wrong!

"Work to live, don't live to work!"
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