Triumph Sprint ST is practically the definition of sport-touring as the bike is famous for its versatility. Able to take you in comfort on those long trips all over the country and still retaining a sporty behavior, the Sprint ST is the perfect all round motorcycle.
When Triumph created the Sprint ST it intended to “confuse”, in a good way, the motorcycling public. For that purpose the bike would have to go fast and still remain extremely comfortable while its stylish apparel didn’t quite help you to name it a sporty bike or an absolute tourer. The beauty of it is that it implements the best of everything, being best represented by the words power and all round practicability.
In the early 1990s, Triumph launched the Sprint 900, a sport-touring motorcycle fitted with a 955cc engine and three cylinders positioned inline. The bike was a big hit and it kept being produced without major changes until the end of 1997.
By 1998, the British manufacturer had planed to present the Sprint ST, a redesigned version of the previous model using the same engine which was slightly improved and now delivered its 105bhp smoothly while being mated to a six-speed gearbox.
In 2002, Triumph did what everybody expected it to; it upgraded the engine so that it would deliver 118bhp and 100Nm. This upgrade made it more able to fight its competitors and regain its crown. The adjustable clutch levers, LED taillights, and the relocation of the seat lock came in handy and helped the Sprint ST make a good figure.
The model year 2002 brought a major revamp of the inline triple as this unit now displaced 1050cc and was fed with the help of a fuel injection system. The displacement increase and the addition of fuel injection helped the engine on the Sprint ST develop 125bhp. The entire motorcycle was now more compact and behaved better while cornering thanks to a completely new chassis. Riders were more than happy with the miles-per-gallon and miles-to-empty displays because the bike could be ridden without worrying about a red light coming on and off. The Sprint ST spoiled its customers no only with the previously mentioned displays, but with a new under seat exhaust and cool headlights. 2005 model year was the last important year in the Sprint ST history.
In order to continue spoiling its customers, Triumph introduced for 2007 model year color-matched panniers, handlebar risers and an upgraded windscreen. By improving the bike’s apparel and levels of comfort, Triumph really pulled it through with this one.
The performance-oriented BMW K 1200 S delivers incredible amounts of power which make it suitable for the fight against most of the supersport bikes on the streets today, not to mention the Triumph I’m reviewing. Hurling from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.8 seconds with the help of its 1157cc traverse mounted, liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder, this BMW proves knowing how to impress its rider and makes a name for itself. The K 1200 S is fitted with ABS brakes so that it would stop quickly, but between departure and arrival, this bike receives no critics concerning comfort or wind protection.
Without a doubt, the Honda Interceptor is among the strongest competitor for the Triumph as the Japanese bike became known as one of the most illustrious race-bread sportbike and an incredible all rounder. Powered by a fuel-injected, VTEC-equipped V4 engine, the Interceptor is an absolute blast and its compact, aluminum chassis makes it corner like no other.
The Yamaha FZ1 represents a big step further for the class as this sport-tourer uses the 998cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder; DOHC, 20 valves engine found on the R1. This way, it becomes an absolute street brawler and also uses fuel injection so that it would be suitable for the battle.
You can say anything you want about the 2008 Triumph Sprint ST (you’ll have a hard time trying to find something wrong with it, anyway), but you can never ever call it ugly.
The bike is immediately identified with the help of its stylish design which makes it look like its moving even when its not. That’s when you know you’re bike got more than a piece of the action when it was designed.
The front end is dominated by the headlights which are arranged in a form of “wise smile” giving a clue of what’s about to come once you get familiar with it. The middle headlight shows us the way towards the aerodynamic windshield with the fairing rising to sustain its aggressive form. On each side, the sharp-looking mirrors which implement signal lights are carefully attached so that they won’t interfere with the general design.
By simply taking a look at its curves, you know where the airflow is directed and how this thing offers you the best wind protection you’ve ever experienced on such a bike.
On each side, the fairing looks relatively simple, but still features a stylish ornament right above the “Sprint ST 1050” writing on the fairing. The fuel tank looks impressive and the seat comfortable and ready to face those long journeys that the riders who buy these things enjoy taking.
Further announcing what this bike is destined for are the color matched hard bags, ideal for touring. At the rear end you’ll find LED taillights and a three-pipe exhaust that will definitely impress you.
Colors available for the 2008 model are destined to further evidence the sharp lines of the Sprint ST. You’ll surely be attracted by either Graphite, Pacific Blue, Tornado Red color schemes.
I took my time and rode the Triumph Sprint ST for approximately 800 miles and formed a pretty good impression on what you’re going to experience once you’ve bought such a beauty.
Starting the 1050cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline three-cylinder engine makes you feel like when you open a Christmas present as that whistle promises to bring a lot of surprises. The first one immediately makes its entry as you get going. You will feel the throttle response a bit abrupt and interpret it as Triumph’s attempt to make it a sprinter right from the start. Even in forth or fifth gear, the bike retains its sporty attitude and proves that sometimes three cylinders are just as good as four. You only need to tune the engine properly and get it revving as high and as efficient as needed. In this case you’ll enjoy 125bhp at 9,250rpm and there’s no need for more.
The six-speed transmission in collaboration with the wet, multiplate clutch makes shifting as easy as a kid’s play. The only concern for you remaining is to take it easy on the throttle after shifting because such a bike should never be underestimated. It is actually destined to riders who enjoyed widely opening the throttle on supersport bikes and now feel like going for a more comfy and less powerful sportbike with both touring and sports in mind.
Once I stopped thanking Triumph engineers for the bulletproof mechanics the road ahead introduced me to some pretty demanding twists which didn’t made their point in this case. The Sprint ST can be easily leaned over and it becomes a real reminder of those supersport machines, except the knee-dragging part. It disposes of enough low end power for those strong accelerating portions of the road so it can be easily straightened by only playing with the throttle.
I have to say that the suspensions proved their best and made me feel like I was on a true touring motorcycle by simply being sufficiently hard while cornering and comfortable while absorbing bumps. At front, the 43mm cartridge forks with dual rate springs and adjustable preload are efficient under hard braking and the rear end remains stable with the help of monoshock with adjustable preload and rebound and compression damping.
Having sorted everything up, the easy to handle, quick accelerating bike now had to stop quickly and the success was guaranteed. With the help of twin 320mm floating discs, 4 piston calipers at front and single 255mm disc, 2 piston caliper at the rear, the Triumph Sprint ST brakes efficiently and always inspires confidence. I won’t recommend you to hit the brakes with courage in a corner, but to be retained and careful. There is also an ABS model available and the safety levels are way increased once the rider applies the brakes with confidence in an emergency situation.
The Triumph Sprint ST has the talent of presenting itself as the wonderful piece of jewelry in the city and as the hard-hitting tourer out on the highway and on mountain roads. This is the result of its versatile character and the whole beauty of it. You’ll probably find a faster bike, but never a more stylish, quicker-handling machine to suit your requirements.
One of the most affordable sport-touring motorcycles out there, the Sprint ST makes all the concessions possible when it comes to its suggested retail prices. For the simple version, no matter the color, you will be needed to pay $10,999 while the ABS version would require $11,799. For the money you’ll be receiving a bike which will satisfy your every single riding need and more. Just take it for a ride.
Incredible versatile and able to show you the way to retirement from riding, the Triumph Sprint ST 1050 shouldn’t be underestimated. You will feel like riding it for longer and longer distances and enjoy the levels of comfort and enjoyment that it presents. Being fitted with a powerful motor and easy to use gearbox and clutch, this bike is ready to step up for the challenge. Oh…don’t forget that it looks awesome, two.
Engine and Transmission
Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 79 x 71.4mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Final Drive: X ring chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Aluminum beam perimeter
Swingarm: Single-sided, aluminum alloy with eccentric chain adjuster
Front Wheel: Alloy 5-spoke, 17 x 3.5 in
Rear Wheel: Alloy 5-spoke, 17 x 5.5 in
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR17
Front Suspension: 43mm cartridge forks with dual rate springs and adjustable preload
Rear Suspension: Monoshock with adjustable preload and rebound and compression damping
Front Brakes: Twin 320mm floating discs, 4 piston caliper (ABS model available)
Rear Brakes: Single 255mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Length: 83.2 in
Width (Handlebars): 29.5 in
Height: 47.8 in
Seat Height: 31.7 in
Wheelbase: 57.4 in
Rake/Trail: 24 degree/90 mm
Weight (Dry): 462 lbs (ABS model: 469 lbs)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.2 gal
Maximum Power: 125 bhp at 9,250 rpm
Maximum Torque: 77 ft. lbf at 7500 rpm
Colors: Graphite, Pacific Blue, Tornado Red
The Sprint ST houses a fantastic 1050cc fuel injected three-cylinder engine, the very essence of what makes a Triumph special. The engine has huge reserves of torque and horsepower. Peak power is an impressive 125bhp at 9250rpm while peak torque of 77ft.lbf arrives at just 7500rpm. Enhancing the engine is a smooth six-speed gearbox and clutch fitted with an anti-backlash gear. The Sprint ST comes with Triumph ’s Keihin ECU offering sophisticated mapping for quicker starting, cleaner running and fuel economic engine.
The supportive, spacious seat and relaxed rider and passenger ergonomics make for great comfort on long distance trips.
The Sprint ST screen gives great wind protection for those long journeys without obscuring your view around town.
Sharp styling without compromise; the Sprint ST uses new lenses in the headlight projectors to offer a superb distribution of light.
Color matched, factory designed, waterproof hard bags are fitted as standard and lockable with the bike’s ignition key. To further increase carrying capacity you can add a matching top box from Triumph’s wide range of accessories.
Triumph’s Antilock Braking System has been carefully designed to boost control under hard braking, working on both wheels independently. This unobtrusive system retains all the sensations of riding, operating at 100 calculations per second to sense the precise moment the wheel is about to lock up, then preventing it from doing so. The system has been specifically tailored to the Sprint ST, with painstaking calibration over many months to ensure optimum braking performance.