Before I start, just in case you don't read any further, I will say that this probably the best bike I have ever owned. It’s a fantastic machine. I’ve had an06 model since new ,and done approx 14k so far.
I've owned about 48 bikes (including FJ’s, VFRs, and a Blackbird) in my 30 years of riding so it is a special machine for me to say that.
I actually got my sunset red ST1050 in ’06 after having owned its predecessor, the 955 Sprint since 2000, so I was familiar with the excellent 3-cylinder motor. In fact, it took me quite a few test rides to convince myself that the 1050 was worth changing to!!
The 1050 is a much better handling machine and feels more balanced. It has a sportier riding position and feel but it is still comfortable. The extra power and torque are not hugely different (which is good) but the newer chassis helps make better use of it. I feel so much more confidence in the 1050 in just about every situation. It’s great to feel that level of confidence in a bike and it’s a real credit to Triumph’s development riders. I use BT020 tyres (just on 3rd set so averaging 6.5 k ), which must play some part in that feel but it’s the way that everything works together so well that makes it such a satisfying ride.
The facelift really made the bike look classy and I think it will stand the test of time well. The revised instruments are much clearer and well laid out and the fuel guage is reasonably accurate. I love that blue lighting of the far right dial at night. They can be difficult to see with a full tank bag though.
I ride mostly 1 up and the standard suspension settings are just about right for me (about 189lbs) so no complaints there!
The engine and fuelling is fantastic and it’s perfect for touring, town or fast riding and also returns great fuel economy. My fuel log says my average is 49.08mp(uk)g. The worst was 41.6mpg & best was 58.15mpg. My “2 up with luggage touring in Europe” average is 50mpg. The sound (with a triumph race can) just tops it off!
I haven’t done any major engine servicing myself (I have it dealer serviced at the moment) but I have done the oil and filter changes, chain adjusts etc and found everything easy enough to do. It seems to use a little oil between services but nothing of any concern!
The build quality seems high and apart from one or 2 small stone chips on the front lower fairing nothing has rusted, worn or broken unexpectedly and the original battery is still in the there!!
I replaced the stock saddle with a Corbin but still get bum ache after 110 miles or so - must be me! The saddle is slightly flatter for the pillions who like to see where they are going but don’t like the wind blast being up high! The saddle is quite a climb for short pillions too compared to the 955.
I fitted the high bar option as I found the standard set up aggravated a shoulder injury. I think they updated the position with the ’08 models. I also opted for the brake master cylinder mod to makes the brakes more responsive. These are all early on issues , so later bikes should be better .
I you do tour, beware of the heat coming up to the rear(givi|) rack from the pipes at standstill –it melted the bag I had wrapped the tent and sleeping bags in!!!! I had pre-empted that by bolting an aluminium food tray to the rack underside to deflect heat but it split at the end of the tour.
If you have never tried one, just do it. It may be the package you have been looking for! I’m keeping mine!