TRIUMPH SPRINT ST (1998-2004) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

Pipped Honda's VFR800 simply by using a straight bat when the VFR tried all kinds of tricks

TRIUMPH SPRINT ST  (1998-2004)

Pipped Honda's VFR800 simply by using a straight bat when the VFR tried all kinds of tricks

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Superb British all rounder Triumph Sprint ST pipped Honda’s VFR800 simply by using a straight bat when the VFR tried all kinds of trick but ultimately unnecessary technology. Plus the Triumph Sprint ST undercuts the VFR on price too. Superb all-round sports tourer with a grunty three cylinder engine that makes it anything but bland.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Triumph Sprint ST is great at the role it’s intended for. Stable, neutral and relaxed on any road. Push really hard and you’ll discover the suspension’s not intended for sports riding and it somewhat undersprung and underdamped. The Triumph Sprint ST's forks are only adjustable for preload so if you really find it a problem a rebuild with thicker oil is the answer. Excellent brakes.

Engine 4 out of 5

Three cylinders gives the Triumph Sprint ST the character and low rev torque of a twin with the high rev power and smoothness of a four. A key ingredient in late 90s Triumphs and this one’s a gem. Always more than enough poke and a lively character too. Early Triumph Sprint ST models (pre 2002) had a lower state of tune and only made a claimed 108bhp.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Triumph Sprint ST is a solid motorcycle with few glitches. Plenty run to 50,000 miles and a few to more than twice that with minimal grief. Finish is better than most but once it starts to go, it flakes off fast. Triumph Sprint ST chain adjusters can seize, as can brakes, causing discs to warp so check both before handing cash over.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The sports tourer class is quite a pricy one with Honda’s VFR always commanding top money. The Triumph Sprint ST’s arguably a better bike and like for like costs less on the used market. The 2005 onwards Triumph Sprint ST was highly revised and an extremely capable machine – which kept the prices of this early model surprisingly affordable. The RS version can be an even bigger bargain. Find a Triumph Sprint ST for sale

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Pretty good – except the standard Triumph Sprint ST headlights are pants. Wiring both together (needs an extra relay) or better still a HID conversion helps. Riding position is comfy and the clocks are clear and comprehensive. The Triumph Sprint ST's silencer hinges out of the way for easy wheel removal and adjusts position for ground clearance or luggage space.

Owners' Reviews

20 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH SPRINT ST (1998-2004) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your TRIUMPH SPRINT ST (1998-2004)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.0 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great all rounder but could be better

16 March 2016 by Doctired

Very twitchy in side winds at any speed over 60. Bike is tall so a problem for short legged riders. Also top heavy so difficult to keep upright if it starts to go over. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Once again side winds a problem. great on long easy runs with super economy.
Engine
4 out of 5
Great engine. Lacks torque.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Build quality not good. Lights poor beam and sidelight awful. nightmare to replace. Mirrors tacky and weak, Battery too small
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
Triumph soft luggage poor quality and leaky.
4 out of 5

Multiple Sprint ST Owner

17 February 2016 by mcracer5

I'm on my second ST. Bought the first one new in 99 and my second (2001) in 2011. Still love it as an all-rounder. I have also taken a few out for test rides for friends buying used Sprints. They purchased and love theirs. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
It's a great all-a-round bike. It's at it's best doing sport-touring. The suspension and brakes are a little to light for hard canyon burning but you won't be embarrassed. I'm getting older so the riding position is getting a little tough but as I said above +500 mile days are no problem if you've worked up to it. My wife has done several 350 mile days and has been comfortable. No complaints given that the emphasis has on sport.
Engine
5 out of 5
My only complaint, I had the stock exhaust on my 99 and a Two Brothers on my 2001. I love the sound of the Two brothers at the expense of mileage and can't bring myself to change the pipe to put the bags one my 01. It's not a rocket by todays standards but it goes when you ask it to and you can easily keep up with the newbies as needed.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
The bike has been very reliable. I put 50k miles on my 99 in 3 years, with many +500 mile days. Build quality, just a few complaints: 1) Gas tank I do all my own work and most of my friends. Once you pull the tank off it will not go back on/in without a struggle and it never bolts down right. 2) Paint: looks great
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I bought my first ST over the equivalent BMW, Duc because of the maintenance interval. Glad I did. I do all my own maintenance work and don't feel it's any worse than my previous bikes.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Loved the heated grips on my 99. Miss them on the 01. One of the few parts you can still find. If you live in the northern climes I'd recommend them. If Triumph ever builds another ST i'd recommend a little more room on the bars to add accessories like phone cradle and/or GPS.
Buying experience

No problems new or used.

5 out of 5

A true biker´s machine

30 November 2015 by Chief Sunday

Amazing roll on power, runs smooth like silk, superb brakes and handling, a real sport tourer with the emphasis on the sport, even suits tall guys (and girls) and in tornado red this machine is a true "eyecandy"! 85 tsd km and still no regrets! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
I love this engine ´though the bottom end is a little rough (sounds like loose bolts under 2.5 tsd rounds. A friend of mine once asked me: Is she broken? No, I answered, she´s new!) Over 3000 rounds an amazing roll on power starts to push you forward.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Buying experience

... buy with confidence!

4 out of 5

ST a real gem

07 June 2015 by Loz

An excellent do it all smooth comfortable and fast machine. A genuine product of a fine union betwixst a sports bike and a tourer. Imagine the offspring of Eva Green and Colin Firth and you will get the idea. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Yet to find better unless you really want to go off piste and buy unnecessary aftermarket gizmos. Only above 2hrs non stop will you need to bend your legs to force blood through your veins and remind yourself that you have feet
Engine
5 out of 5
Superb delivery strong and uber reliable. Nuff said really
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Good value and quality all round. The boys and girls at Hinckley done well. Fly the flag and be proud to do so.Never an issue in 4years.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Only an issue if you lose your senses and ask Triumph to do any very basic work as like all dealers this can bring water to the eyes and induce vanishing tricks to the content of your wallet. Otherwise it's not unreasonable.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Maybe unfair to give only a 3. Extras such as luggage are overpriced and to my mind unnecessary (use a big rucksack or drive a car) and about as charming on the eye as genital warts . I'm gonna stick to my guns
Buying experience

Triumph gave me a great deal on my Africa Twin and I had great service inc a mad early morning rat run with fellow bikers to the Fosse Way in the fog.

5 out of 5

ST 955I

11 October 2014 by BANKSFIELD

DOING THE REVIEW FOR MY DAD HAS HE DOES NOT HAVE THE INTERNET.HE SAYS A GREAT ALL BIKE WITH THE GREAT 3 CYCLINDER TRIUMPH ENGINE VERY COMFORTABLE TO RIDE HE HAS DONE 4000 MILES ON IT JUST HAD IT A YEAR HAD NO FAULTS WITH IT HE HAS HAD A VFR AND... Read more SAYS ST IS A FAR BETTER BIKE AND WELL MADE. I HAVE A ST1050 MY SELF HE HAS RODE MINE BUT LIKES THE 955I OVER MINE THAT SAYS IT ALL A GREAT ALL ROUND BIKE AT A GOOD PRICE .

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Can't find better

01 January 2014 by garybari

Had my '99 Sprint for nearly two years and covered 14k commuting to work in all weathers and it still looks as good as the day I bought it. Other than regular servicing, usual consumables and a clutch cable it hasn't missed a beat. I can't recommend... Read more it highly enough. Maybe it can't compete with some of today's exotica but nothing gives you as much bang for the buck. Engine and brakes are excellent, my only criticism would be the lights but I could probably sort those with an upgrade. If you want a reliable commuter/tourer with a 200+ mile range that puts a smile on your face then don't hesitate, doubt you'll get anything better for your money.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

The best allrounder.

20 October 2013 by markis42

Just completed a year with my 2003 St and I love it! Fast ,frugal and reliable are just some of its many qualities. Only problem I have is my wrists and that's me not the bike. This will be sorted soon with some bar risers I hope. The triple... Read more sounds fantastic at all speeds and there is enough power to please even the most throttle hungry rider. Two up loaded with gear still handles well and gives 52mpg every time. I tried a 1050 but it just was not the same. If you need a good used sports tourer I cant think of anything that compares.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

The best sports/tourer for a long time

19 June 2013 by troispattes

My tornado red from 99 has now covered over 50K (06/13) without missing a beat. Just regular service and the usual parts needing replacement. Since 99, I have tried every single sports/tourer out there and, for a long, long time, could not find... Read more anything better in that particular class (even the 1050 ST that followed) until I tried the 2009 BMW K1300S. For someone on a budget, a second-hand 955i Sprint ST remains one of the best all-rounders money can buy. Nearly 15 years after its introduction, that is saying something!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

best owned

14 May 2009 by grapple

I bought this 2003 model in oct 08 it had done 19000 miles & came with full luggage in caspian blue to date ive added 7000 miles to it,fitted new tyres/brake-pads/had 25000 mile service. Just returned from thundersprint 09 it did not miss a beat,im... Read more looking for a differnt bike but cant find one to match it...

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Best value bike of 09?

08 April 2009 by Lostboysaint

£1500 got me a stunning condition, fsh, '99 bike with only a tiny bit of corrosion on the rear hangers to show it's age. Engine is SO tractable, you can woofle along on that torque mountain or scream if you must. It's narrow enough and balanced... Read more enough to filter (carefully) and comfortable enough for someone my height (6'4") to do several hours in the saddle. What a find!!! And there's a number of them out there, you have no reason NOT to have one!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 20 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1998
Year discontinued 2004
Original price -
Used price £1,500 to £3,300
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 118 bhp
Max torque 78 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11 secs
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 185 miles
Specification
Engine size 955cc
Engine type 12v in-line triple, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 207kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 255mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1998: Original Triumph Sprint ST launched.
2002: Triumph Sprint ST engine retuned, power up from 108 to 118bhp.
2004: Triumph Sprint ST discontinued.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • TRIUMPH SPRINT ST  (1998-2004)
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Side view
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  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Top view
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Side view
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Riding
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Top view
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review
  • Triumph Sprint ST motorcycle review - Side view
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