Managed to get my paws on a 2001 SP1 just after Christmas 09. After a string of different bikes from 2 strokes to big twins. These included a TLS, VTR1000F and a Buell XB.
The SP is ace, completely fallen in love with this bike and I've only managed to cover about 350 miles so far. Popped over 160 on it this past weekend.
Compared to my previous bikes it's very different-the only thing similar is the V-twin engine configuration. The Buell was a hoot but was likely to cost me a lot at some point or eat itself. The VTR1000F was well made but felt more like a tourer-it lacked any poise. The TL was, well, a TL. Good engine-pants handling and build. I'll leave it at that :)
The SP is quality-it's well made, excellently finished and the engine is the best V-Twin I've ridden. Plus the chassis can handle the power which makes corner exit drive breath taking. It also has kudos which I feel a lot of modern bikes lack.
I'm just in the process of sticking a pair of cans on it-apart from that it's staying standard. Only thing I think it’d benefit from is some suspension tweaks. Tank range varies depending on how you use your right hand and the gearbox. I've never owned a V-Twin that offered brilliant fuel economy tbh.
Prices are at the best they’ll get to atm imo so if you see one in the right condition grab it! I can only see the value of these bikes going up in coming years.
I'm pretty sure any recent IL4 would hammer this bike on paper. Most will leave it in a straight line drag on the road. It is a riders bike so therefore requires a little more input to get the best from it. I find this style more satisfying :)it does hold a line lovely too.
So, 1000 IL4 or SP? After running a 929 Blade for a lengthly period some years back I can give an opinion...
Surfice to say I know which I'd rather be opening my garage upto for a ride out :) and I know which I'd rather be on :)
Keep your Blades, GSXR's and big bang R1's-park em next to the rest :)…yawn…
Sell this? I'd rather lose a kidney.
If you want a bike that’s not ten a penny, goes like stink, sounds awesome, keeps with anything modern, handles beautifully and has a sprinkling of HRC magic walk this way. SP’s rock!!! :) And that’s why I bought one :)