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I've currently own an ST4s and have ridden a friend's ST2 many times. You won't miss the power of the 4 until you get into some fast sweepers, somewhere you can use the revs. The ST2 has more below 4K, they seem pretty similar to about 6.5K, and then the 4 takes off. For touring the bikes are ergonomically identical (at least until the recent update of the 4s), and there are lot's of aftermarket accessories available. Along with the other recomendations here, try Dr. Desmo for peg lower and bar raising kits. Sargeant saddles are available cheap. Of course if you're buying new you're getting an ST3.

The lack of reliability reports here are overstated in my experience, no problems in 15K miles for my 4s, my buddies 2 has 27K and no problems. Service will be more for the 4, but you should learn to do it yourself.
 

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I have ridden the ST3, the ST2, and the ST4. Of the three, I would rather have the ST3. More low end torque and the new one is more refined than the earlier 2 and 4.



My dealer told me that the valve adjustment protion of the service was $500 for the 2, $750 for the 3, and $1000 for the four. which I think is outrageous. Learn how to do it yourself, it's not that hard. Of course, I didn't buy the Ducati when I was last shopping because I didn't want to do the maintenance when it was still in warranty. Doing it in the warranty period effectively "voids" your warranty, though my dealer was willing to cut me some slack on that. Also my nose got out of joint over the costs for the valve adjustment, which, if you've been reading my posts is rather a constant irritant for me.



Check with your local dealer on his maintenance prices. I have heard that many dealerships charge up to 60 percent less than the numbers that I quoted for the valve adjustments, which is just about where it should be, IMHO.



Francis
 

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Those prices seem extrordinarily high, enough to scare anyone away from buying a Ducati. I don't think those are typical though, and a good independent shop will likely charge a whole lot less.



I don't think doing maintenance yourself or having it done by an independent shop will void your warranty unless the manufacturer can prove that the work directly lead to a failure.
 
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