The Triumph Sprint ST's initial turn-in is slow, but once the motorcycle's on its side it feels secure and reassuring. The Sprint ST's ride quality is superb, too, even with a pillion, with a suspension package that easily handles any road conditions at any speed. The four-piston front brakes are superb, only the vibratory mirrors spoil a near-perfect motorcycle.
There’s something very special about the Triumph Sprint ST’s in-line triple. The DOHC, 1050cc motor howls when pushed and burbles when you rock off, like a thing alive. The Triumph Sprint ST is one fast motorcycle, too, thanks to slippery aerodynamics it’ll crack a true 160mph, which means leaving Honda’s VFR far behind. The fuel-injection is flawless, the ride vibe-free and as strong as an ox.
Like with all Triumph's, there are still a few quality niggles with the Triumph Sprint ST, ranging from corrosion to faulty parts. However, the Triumph dealer network and factory support is excellent and the finish on the motorcycles is generally excellent. Owners tend to cosset their Triumph Sprint STs, which makes them a good secondhand buy.
Triumph Sprint 1050 reliability - reader Q and A
Q: I have a 2005 Triumph Sprint ST 1050 with a seemingly random starter problem. Sometimes it will turn over, but that’s it. Then the next day it works fine. The dealer has swapped the plugs over and back again and it behaves itself for a few days,then the problem returns.
A: This sounds as though you may have a poor connection somewhere. There are a couple on Trumpets that can attract moisture and if you’ve had technicians poking around to see what’s up they are inadvertently remaking the connection temporarily, which is why it runs for a while.
The favourite ones to check are the pick-up coil on the right side of the engine. The connection plug is just below the throttle bodies. Look at the sidestand switch with its connector just above the front sprocket cover and also the clutch switch, which has its connector is behind the headlight.
Pull the plugs apart and clean them with contact cleaner spray, apply something like white grease to seal and put back together.
We would do the same with the main loom connectors behind the speedo/clocks too as this will cover the ignition and killswitch circuits.
As a new or used buy the Triumph Sprint ST is a sound bet. The market likes them so you won’t lose too much at either trade-in or private sale. Prices aren’t as copper-bottomed as those of VFRs, but as the Triumph Sprint ST is a better motorcycle you won’t care.
Since 2005 Triumph’s Sprint 1050 has probably had the best torque curve of any roadbike. A classic sports tourer, it’s squashy, grunty, decent-handling, full of character and (as long as you’re not too leggy) comfy for hours. But what if you haven’t got the five grand plus you still need to get one in your garage?
Why not consider... a Suzuki SV1000S?
The SV lacks the Triumph’s bulk, luxury spec and sheer heft. But if you can’t have the Sprint’s incredible, charisma-loaded engine, the Suzuki’s eight-valve V-twin is, in its own way, just as good. It’s like the biggest elastic band in the world thwanging you forwards every time you ease it open out of a 30 limit.
Suzuki SV1000S review on MCN.
Other sportier rivals include the Suzuki Bandit 1250 and the Kawasaki Z1000SX. On the touring side of things you may want to consider the BMW R1200RT or the Kawasaki GTR1400.
Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
There were plenty of factory options to complement the Triumph Sprint ST, including a satnav system (pricey), heated grips (toasty), gel seat (comfy) and colour-coded panniers (leaky and flimsy).