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Triumph SPRINT RS Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Triumph Sprint RS motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Never a big seller when new but the Triumph Sprint RS can be a real bargain on the used market. Sporty sports tourer with Triumph’s powerful, mellifluous three cylinder engine. The Triumph Sprint RS is similar to the better selling Sprint ST but with a cheaper and lighter conventional swingarm, less plastic, firmer suspension, sharper geometry and a different exhaust. The Triumph Sprint RS is a great buy if you don’t mind it looking like a SV650S.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Triumph Sprint RS has loads of personality, plenty of torque and more than enough power for a medium-distance all-rounder. The Triumph Sprint RS's three cylinders give that Triumph growl. Can be confusing at first for those used to four cylinder bikes – you can find yourself in a gear or even two too low and even hit the rev limiter accidentally.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Firmer than the ST with less weight so the Triumph Sprint RS handles better – but it’s still no sports machine. Cost conscious forks only have preload adjustment so the only way to up the damping is change the oil – most Triumph Sprint RSs could do with it replacing anyway so it’s an ideal opportunity to go for heavier oil.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Triumph Sprint RS's basic clocks work fine. Headlights are very poor – only one works on dip beam. You can make both work with an extra relay but it’s not legal. HID conversion’s the best answer. The Triumph Sprint RS has mediocre mirrors and decent comfort as befits a distance-capable machine. Enough wind protection. No centre stand but one is available as a Triumph extra along with hard luggage, race exhausts and more.

Triumph Sprint RS (1999-2004)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£1,980 (2001) - £2,210 (2001)
Private used prices
£1,790 (2001) - £1,990 (2001)
  View full used price info
Engine size 955 cc
Power 118 bhp
Top speed 154 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Triumph Sprint RS's quality is better than many motorcycles. Reliability is broadly good with the odd electrical or engine problem. Finish is tough – Triumph understand the UK winter better than most. But when the coatings fail, they flake off very quickly. Most Triumph Sprint RSs are well cared for machines.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

It may not be as polished or handle as well as a VFR800 – but the Triumph Sprint RS has a much better engine and it’s a real bargain on the used market. Year 2000 can be had for under £2500. Late Triumph Sprint RS models with the more powerful engine are rarely more than £4K. Few machines match it for value for money. Find a Triumph Sprint RS for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

1999: Original Triumph Sprint RS launched.
2002: Triumph Sprint RS power increased from 108 to 118bhp.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 154 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11 secs
Max power 118 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Weight 207 kg
Seat height 805 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 190 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 955 cc
Engine specification 12v in-line triple, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium beam
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 255mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Triumph SPRINT RS motorcycles for sale

Triumph
SPRINT RS

31755 miles

£1,795

Triumph
SPRINT RS

18360 miles

£1,900

Triumph
SPRINT RS

31500 miles

£2,195

Triumph
SPRINT RS

39177 miles

£1,975

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(27 reviews)

  • Trusty Triumph

    tim2304

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    I bought my Sprint RS in June 2008 as a replacement for my workhorse Honda, which I crashed. Although about eight years old the RS only had about 7000 miles on the clock (& original front tyre). Since then I have comuted all year, used it for ride outs & taken it to France & Spain. It now has another 20k on the clock. So far it has been reliable, I did a 3500 mile trip to Spain and back four weeks after buying it (having put on a new front tyre all I did was give it an oil and filter change). I use it for work and ride outs and so it has been ridden through plenty of salt and rain and the build has coped really well with the conditions; it still cleans up pretty close to new. I service it myself and it gets oil and filter every 4000 miles (never uses oil between changes). I've had Jap bikes before & would consider one again but I really like the fact I can commute on a reliable and cheap to run (about 50 mpg & 9000 from a back tyre) British machine. In my view the title Trusty Triumph has been re-earned for Triumph by the Hinckley factory.

    02 April 2010

  • Sprint RS 2000

    macbean

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Bought this to replace my VFR750. What a difference! The Triumph engine is much smoother and has better torque. Motorway riding is a lot easier and it is sporty enough to have fun on. Good economy, comfortable (I can do lots more miles on this than with the VFR) and not expensive to maintain. The finish is good, an 8 year old bike looks almost new, bodywork is very good, engine cases not quite as good as the VFR for quality of finish, but not far off. For me, the Triumph has the edge on the VFR for comfort, economy and for power. It pulls better from any revs and although it might be a tad slower on corners, is still enormous fun to ride.

    13 March 2008

  • Little Gem

    swg2000

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Bought a used 02 RS in 05 and just love this bike! Been all over the western USA together,putting on 15k trouble free miles. Competent handling,reasonable brakes and wonderful engine add up to a love affair that I hope will last!

    20 February 2008

  • Its ok

    evansive

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I had one of these back in 2002. A good motorcycle spoiled by a lack of finished quality. The bike rides well and is comfortable; but due to a lack of fairing trim lots of exposed componants. Whilst I realise that this bike is much lighter than its predessor, the build quality is no where near as good. In a nutshell, you get what you pay for!

    18 December 2007

  • 1050 version please!

    Darren Brown

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Superb bike and excellent value secondhand. All it needs a styling update and maybe the 1050 engine and it would be perfect. I've toured Spain and France twice now on this bike has been faultless. The comfort is brilliant, the handling superb, even with hard luggage fitted, and that engine...stunning. My old bike was a ZX6R, and that was OK comfort-wise, just a bit weedy low down, and it wouldn't doo hard luggage. When I decided to change, I was looking at the older style STs til the RS came up. I'm glad I chose the RS; I like the fact that the bars a bit lower, and the handling a tad sharper. Would be nice to have a fuel gauge though. While I'm at it, a centre stand as standard, and better hard luggage support would be nice (I had to make up a fitting kit for a Givi system as the ST one wouldn't fit without a different footrest hanger) These are minor issues though. The engine and the perfect gearing more than make up for stuff like that. What we need now is Triumph to make a new version; a bit sportier than the ST, and with the 1050 engine, but still with proper hard luggage support, and it's own sharp styling. Then I think I'll be talking nicely to my bank manager...

    06 October 2007

  • monster, monster!!

    littledaddy

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I'm on my second RS now - both the older model (2001 & 2002)- the first was faultess for all our 17K mikes togehter (apart from me throwing it down the road one cold winters morning) and the second is still good after 6K. The bike has 3 faults, soft suspension, spongy brakes (in time) and a heavy gear change....and I've cured the first 2 (front; drop the yolk 12-15mm down the forks/Ohlin springs/480ml of 5W fork oil and no preload, rear; preload on max. and no damping, the brakes need the seals regreasing every 2 years, twin brakelines and a 5/8" mastercylinder) but the gearbox is still heavy...hey ho! Others wise it's a very, very, very good bike...fast(massives of low down pull), agile, involving and economical (DIY services aren't too bad for most jobs)and comfy - I had a slipped disc and couldn't walk for 2 months so I know a good 'un from a bad 'un...they are such an underestimated bike and a total bargain...recommended

    23 August 2007

  • Suit me sir

    KevsRS955

    Blackpool , UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I spent four years deciding exactly what kind of bike would most suit me due to my last two bikes being disappointments. Eventually I narrowed my options to the smooth powerful all-round ability of Honda's Blackbird, the thumping soul of a Suzuki SV1000 or the Triumph RS. I found the Blackbird too constrained on UK roads and the SV lacked practicality and comfort for two up touring. The RS handles very well, it flicks from side to side with a nudge on the bars, holds a line and makes little drama of any slide if you push too hard. Pre-load is easy to get to at the back with an 8mm socket for two up mode. Comfort wise, it's easy to cover 300 miles with a few leg dangles and bum off seat moments. The fuelling is faultless, 200 motorway miles for £10 and power is a match for any car from 3000rpm on! The gear box isn't Suzuki slick, but it's not BMW stodgy either! The power and torque is perfect for the road and I don't need any more. In fact, I don't lust after any other bike any more!! It's that good :-) Fantastic sportstourer, more torque than the VFR, good for finding the edges of tyres solo, great sound and engine character, stops me wanting other bikes! Only complaints so far, the rear foot pegs are quite short and give my girlfriend leg cramp and the bike can't change our weather!!

    10 March 2007

  • A fantastic bike for the price

    azurian

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Bought it 18months ago for £2600 at 21000 miles. Since then i've done 10000 on it including a 3000 mile tour of Spain 2 up with throwovers and its behaved perfectly. It tours well at 90 - 100 mph and even then returns around 50mpg.I've changed the rear footrest hangers for ST ones (they're about 3 inches longer) 'cos of complaints of knee ache from my wife. Strengths: Amazing engine - it pulls like a train in any gear and gives fantastic fuel economy even when thrashed. Weaknesses: The finish is beginning to go on some powder coated parts like heel gaurds. Some service items are a bit expensive.

    26 September 2006

  • Best bike I've had (40+ at the last count)

    stevesfzs

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Triumphs best kept secret, when can we have a 1050 version? The best all rounder I've owned, good handling, brilliant motor, lost the top heavy feel of the old 900 Sprint. Comfortable for long distances, especialy if you fit ST bars which are higher, wider, pillion comfort ok too.  Strengths: Engine, pulls well from next to no revs, sounds good even with the standard can, fuel economy, never drops below 50 mpg during normal use.  Weaknesses: Mirrors could be better.

    21 September 2006

  • Fast, torquey and economical medium distance bike

    Paul318UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Excellent bike with a fantastic engine. Sounds great and does over 50mpg ridden enthusiastically. Strengths: Fast, torquy and economical. Sounds great and rides well. Weaknesses: Riding position a little on the sporty side for slow town traffic.

    30 July 2006

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