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Triumph Sprint ST 2007 (2,000 km)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by gavinl, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. I ended up purchasing a Triumph Sprint ST. Suzuki would have had a shot at selling another Bandit if there were any demos available in Victoria. Even if I could have just sat on one, obviously, it wasn't to be.

    Anyway, the Sprint, despite the fairing, had all the bits in the right places for my size. The stock Bridgestone front wheel was ok, but the rear was replaced for a Michelin pilot road.

    I have owned it for nearly 2 months, having done nearly 2,000km. I commute every day through town for 10km each way, max speed 60km/h. Every weekend, I have ridden to nearly every mountain less than 200km away from Albury.

    During this time, I've only had to do one emergency brake. P plater in a circa 1990 commodore sitting at red lights in the middle lane of 3, green arrow for a left turn lights up, he pulls out into the left lane without indicating, looking in the mirrors and no head check. I'm not sure if I should have expected the front wheel to skid for a meter instead of doing a stoppie, but he did get a lecture when he got home.

    Riding around town, generally speaking, is not all that fantastic. The gearbox is like soup between 1st->3rd, requires what I find to be exaggerated and extra effort to change gears. There has been one occasion at 100km/h where I didn't change down a gear forcefully enough, and it was in limbo while I coasted. For about 3 seconds I attempted to change down a gear with the clutch in, and finally I let out the clutch and then downshifted, when the gearbox decided to engage and almost threw me off headfirst.

    I've shortened the clutch as much as I can, which has made a not enough difference.

    The front suspension is not as good as it could be. It tends to dive under hard braking, more so than any other bike I've ridden. The preload is the only stock variable available.

    Having size 14 feet, I ride with very solid leather hiking boots. I have about 2mm chicken strips, and the soles have been ground down in the front outer sides. I need to to lift my feet on the low corners so that the pegs will have a chance of hitting the bitumen before my boots.

    On grabbing a handful of front brake, they bite hard, but then let off a fraction. I have a feeling that the bike was designed for ABS, which really should be standard, instead of being an option.

    The bike also runs hot. On 40C days, any pause at the lights, you'll feel the very hot air from the engine wash over your legs. Also, the LCD display showed engine temperature 1 bar away from maximum when idling for more than 2 minutes. In the manual, it says a full temp bar will activate the warning light. Considering it is liquid cooled (The Suzuki GSX1400 would have been a serious option if it wasn't air-cooled), I was expecting a little more heat tolerance.

    All that said, the bike is a *lot* of fun. From what I've read, there's some silicon that decides how much juice the engine gets in order to deliver efficient fuel burn. Around town, I get between 6-7litres/100km, on the highway, 6th gear runs at just a little over 4,000rpm at 110km/h, consuming between 4.5-5.5L/100km.

    The engine delivers power evenly between 4,000 to 9,000rpm. The torque is addictive, although it doesn't quite match the XJR1300 in acceleration through 1st-3rd. Triumph claim it does 0-100km/h in 3.3 seconds.

    Idling, the engine burbles nicely, however I think there could be more decibals shrieked towards the redline. I haven't been able to find any aftermarket exhausts, the stock 3-1-3 goes under the seat.

    The console display is nice, with a handy big clock readout, along with 2 trip meters, current fuel usage and average, among other not so useful metrics. I dislike the lack of a reserve, but Triumph have tried to mitigate that with a screen that estimates km remaining (calculated from the avg fuel use). Showing how much fuel in litres would be far more useful in my opinion. The fuel gauge, like every other gauge I've seen, goes quicker through the first half and I get nervous with a couple of bars remaining and a long way from a fuel station. The km remaining is estimated from the average consumption, which isn't really useful in my opinion.

    The bike is a classed as a sports/tourer. Being 6'6", I find it comfortable to ride if I remember to keep the weight off my wrists. Shorter people find it uncomfortable. Overall for me, it isn't perfect, but it's the closest I found.

    The power band is wonderful for slow and fast twists at legal speeds and everything in between. Although Triumph claim a top speed of 250km/h, it falls short and the speedo is out by 7%. It's just as well, when you're accelerating the bike does its best to fool you to go faster, and unless you watch the speedo, you can lose your license very easily.

    I'm enjoying the bike a lot, but I am looking to upgrade already. I consider the bike to be great value for the weekend carver or dedicated tourer, but for me, the bike lets me down commuting and in town.
  2. Hi Gavin,

    Thanks for the review, I read it with interest as the ST was on my shortlist when I went looking for a sport tourer. In fact I was almost ready to pay the deposit on one, as it was the pick of the bikes I tested; the ST, the Ducati ST3, the VFR800.
    Then a mate suggested I test the Blackbird, and it was love at first ride. I have never regretted it, and judging from your comments I am all the more convinced that I made the right choice.

    We all have different desires of course, but if you're still after a sport tourer IMO you cannot find any better than the Blackbird - speak to owners, and you will not find any ther bike that is more loved. Not only, but at $ 12,900 + ORC nothing even comes close. I actually spoke to an ex BB rider who trade up to a Kwaka 14 and he's selling it to buy another Blackbird.

    It does depend on what type of riding you do; the BB is at it's best on the open road, like the Sprint ST it's not the best choice if you do all your riding in town, they're sport-tourers afer all (if it were me I'd get a naked for city riding...)

    Anyhow thanks for the review, and good luck with your choice.
  3. Hi StRider,

    I did sit on a blackbird but ruled it out immediately due to the small size. It does have a lot of good reviews though.

    The CB1300 had a chance but I the only one I could find already had a deposit on it.

    In fact, the only perfect bike I found was BMW's K1200(R or S). Starting at 25k, it's way out of my price range at the time, but it'll be my next bike.
  4. One of my riding buddies has one, a 2007 model K1200S which I rode last week. in fact I wrote up a review of it for another forum:

    Xxxxxxxx was kind enough to let me have a decent ride, maybe about 30 minutes; not enough to put the bike through it's paces, but sufficient to form an opinion and notice it's character.

    First up the seating position; very, very comfortable, I can almost imgine some German engineer asking riders to think of the ideal seating position and then building a bike around it - it's that good. It's also low, so I cannot imagine anyone complaining about short legs . Once you put your feet on the pegs your knees tuck in very close, much like on Ducati's Testastretta (no, really). Not only is this very comfortable, it's great for holding on with your thighs. The riding position itself is fairly upright, this would be a fantastic bike to tour on.

    How does she perform? Lots of grunt as you's expect from a big bore bike, and this is BMW's fastest, but also very civilised - smooth, very little vibrations. Whereas the Blackbird winds on and on and never stops pulling, the beemer feels much torquier down low - but the result is very similar performance, as Xxxxxxx and I have noticed off many traffic lights ....

    The handling is a little difficult for me to explain, as I'm not so experienced, certainly not in a technical way; Since changing the steering geometry on the Blackbird she changes direction very fast, and at first the K1200S felt a fair bit slower to respond - and it is, I think. But it feels different because of its geometry (no front forks, telelever???), it seems to turn from the centre of the bike rather than from the front. Whilst at low speed it felt a little strange, as soon as you're moving it works, and it works very well. I was thinking that it was steering by ESP - you imagine where you want to turn, and it does it ! Nice, very nice. Combine this with a very sure-footed feel and I'd be very comfortable throwing this bike around a track. In fact, I reckon I could ride this bike faster than the bird almost immediately, even though I'm not familiar with it. I don't know if that's good or bad.

    It's not a light bike, but as it has legs it also needs to be stopped - and it does, no worries. This bike can stop on a dime, the brakes feel very solid and they pull the bike up without nosedive - amazing. Plus they're linked, so you can use the back brake only (as I often do) and the damn thing pulls up like a car. I'm told it also has ABS, although I was not inclined to test it ......

    Finally the gauges are large and analog, in a good position unlike many bikes where you need to move your head well down to read them. The quality of the finish is very high of course, as you'd expect.

    There were a few things I’d change, but these are minor (such as the grips) and hardly worth a mention.

    I don't think this bike will appeal to everyone of course, it's not a superlight sportbike as some might prefer – although with a competent riders I’m sure it could give many sportbikes a run for their money, and Xxxxxx certainly held his own at EC - but as a sports tourer it's no doubt at the top of its' class. Sure it costs a little more, but in my opinion you get a lot of bike for your money, you’re not just paying for the name.

    It's definetely on my list ....

    I hope this is of some help to you. Good choice, top bike :)
  5. I find the Sprint perfect for my rideing but then down here in Gippsland we dont have a lot of traffic to get in our way. not sure about your over heating problem as my temp gauge has never climbed over half way even when left at idle on the hotest of days.
    High beam light is a complete waste of time and the Panniers for such a large looking size seem to hold so little due to there weird shape..

    overall I am still happy with the Sprint and think it will serve me for many years to come
  6. Nostress, after all is said and done, I'm actually quite happy with the sprint. I focussed too much on what I perceive to be its shortcomings, without really expanding on the good points. I'll edit the review when I get some time tomorrow to balance it out.
  7. leave it as it is, all good points you raised and its better to have an honest opion then to over look faults just to make your bike sound better then it is. I have a slightly differant ride style to most as I am not concerned about fastest time from A to B but from trying to get the most out of what ever bike I am rideing. my last bike was a 22 year old Honda VF1000R brilant in its day but very heavy and unstable by modern standards... I may not of been as quick as others threw the twisty stuff and I would of been working a lot harder but that was half the fun, so I tend to not worry about small handleing problems and just ride what ever I have as hard as I can.......
  8. Im surprised your so unhappy with it!

    I can appreciate what you mean with having to tuck your toes in on the bends and even the to an extent about 1st to 3rd gear. Although mine hasnt been terrible. But I have not had any problems with the heating, or its top speed.

    One problem I did have was the engine stalling when changing down gears. Would obviously restart as soon as you let the clutch out. My dealer identified it as the problem in the 06 mufflers. Something about air injction to get rid of emmissions. I dont know but they replaced it with the Triumph aftermarket/accessory one. Sounds really nice above 6000rpm but really shit under 3000rpm. I dont think it has made any difference to the power.

    The hottest I have ever seen mine is one bar over halfway and that was the end of Jan this year when I was in traffic on a 42 degree day. This could even be the cause of your lack of top speed. I know the speedos are out. Mine is closer to 10% but I have no doubts that it would do the claimed 250km/h.

    For me it is PERFECT. I am 6"1' and a 112kgs. I do some riding in town but mainly tour with the Mrs on the back (rear pegs are nice and low for pillions) or go to the twisties over Bright and Mansfield. It is very well balanced with the single sided swingarm and having the rear brake sitting in the centre of the rim. I have put Dunlop qualifiers on the front and rear and it now sticks like shit to carpet.