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I'll review the later model Sprint ST 1050, which is the current one. This really is the best sports tourer out there in my opinion. It's less cramped than the VFR, it's faster than the BMW F800ST, and it handles better than the (now discontinued) Ducati ST3.
So what do you get? Well you get a 120bhp, 1050cc inline triple, the one that triumph is famous for. It's not all that different from the 955cc model, just a bit more power and torque. Heated grips are an option, and the display will tell you everything, giving you a fuel gauge that works, a fuel trip, a standard trip and a MPG display. The models from 2007 onwards have started to come with free colour coded hard panniers, which makes for a great investment seeing as these are around £500 on their own.
The first thing that you notice is the quality of this bike. You put a leg over the Sprint and you instantly feel comfortable and balanced, yet with a slight sporty edge (think CBR600F, but with higher bars and more comfy seat). The gauges look impressive and informative, and the switchgear is of good quality.
Fire up that wonderful triple, and the sound it produces is beautiful. Once warm it'll pop and fart on the overrun, which really gives the bike some character. They say the triple gives you the grunt of a twin, with the all out power of an inline 4, and I've gotta be honest, they're right. Anyone who's ridden a triumph triple will probably agree, you don't get engines much better than this. Instant midrange in any gear, beautifully smooth pickup and it'll absolutely scream in the high revs. If I could only have 1 engine for the rest of my life, this would be the one.
Once you get moving, you really get tuned into it's suspension right away. The front end is a little on the light side, and does tend to lurch you forwards under braking, but to ride it feels planted, smooth and agile. Motorways are nice and easy too, thanks to the comfortable riding position and the ample fairing.
Under braking, the triumph also feels solid, if you can get over that soft suspension it'll stop very quickly and give you lots of feedback, and ABS is available if you want to stop even quicker.
Looks wise, I think it's gorgeous to be honest. The triple theme is carried on throughout, from triple headlights, triple exhaust and triple clocks, right down to 3 chrome screws on the fairing either side. Attention to detail is great, it's certainly a bike to go and gawp at occasionally.
Overall then, the sprint is a brilliant sport tourer. You can take it down the labourious continental motorways in comfort, head off for a trackday in the foothills of the pyrenees and blast it's nuts off, then cruise home. You can't ask for much more than that!
My new bike is a 1999 Triumph Sprint ST. This is the first bike that I have bought brand new (from Ideal Garage, Birmingham). It's still early days yet, but I must say that this must be the best bike Triumph have produced. I'm totally overwhelmed by this bike, The power, The handling, and the way it all fits together are perfect. As one of the America motorcycle magazines said "it could only be better if it ran on water and shot Diet Cokes out the exhaust". That's a pretty accurate description, although I am biased! In the first week of owning my ST I've covered just over 900 miles, and the ST has had it's first (500 Mile) service and had the 2 box panniers and Triumph stainless steel "Performance" exhaust fitted. Panniers ======== The panniers are a great buy and suit the bike perfectly, But one word of warning, get your dealer to fit them. My dealer said it takes around 3 hours, and I've heard of some owners taking up to 10 hours!. The panniers are very well designed, fit nice and close to the bike, and when you take them off the bike, the frames don't look out of place. And can fit a full face helmet in each side. On the negative side, you have to remove the left hand pannier to get to the seat lock, the paint can get scratched easily, you have to remove the key to open both locks and they are not completely watertight. But on a whole a near perfect accessory to your ST (if you can afford them) Performance End Can =================== The stainless steel "performance" exhaust end can is another essential accessory, This can is technically not for road use, but the noise it makes is not load, more fruity and has the "NOT FOR ROAD USE" writing on the underside, so you have to almost lie underneath the bike to read it. Because it has a nice Triumph badge on it, it looks like a standard exhaust!. The additional power from fitting this pip
e was not too noticeable, but the sound it makes is music to my ears, no longer is my ST humming away, it now has a nice fruity sound! The engine is a four stroke triple, based on the successful T595i and makes around 108BHP in standard form around 112BHP with the performance can and returns around 48-57mpg. I've tried Bridgestone BT57's & their new 020's, Dunlop F204's and I'm currently running a set of Continental's new ContiForce sports tyres. These new ContiForce tyres have a nice profile, and warm up quite fast, tyre wear seems OK at the moment and they handle OK except that they are a little 'skittish' over white lines in the wet and since fitting them the bike has a very slight weave at _very_ high speeds, nothing dangerous but still noticeable. The major factor in trying these tyres in the first place (No not because my brother works for Continental!) is the price, at around £130 for a complete set, they cost about the same price as a single Bridgestone or Dunlop rear! and so represents great value for money. As for dislikes, The only thing's that I dislike about the bike are things that are missing such as a hydraulic clutch, adjustable clutch lever and fully adjustable suspension. To me these things should be standard on a motorcycle of this type. Routine maintenance consists of checking the oil level (Never needed topping up), Adjusting the chain when needed and that is easy to do using the supplied tool and even then it's only needed adjusting 4 times in over 10,000 miles but I do have a Scottoiler fitted. Checking the tyre pressures and filling up the fuel tank.