TRIUMPH SPRINT ST (1998 - 2004) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£70|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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
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.
|Engine type||12v in-line triple, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium beam|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||43 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£70|
|Used price||£2,400 - £3,500|
14 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||118 bhp|
|Max torque||78 ft-lb|
|Top speed||155 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11 secs|
|Tank range||185 miles|
Model history & versions
1998: Original Triumph Sprint ST launched.
2002: Triumph Sprint ST engine retuned, power up from 108 to 118bhp.
2004: Triumph Sprint ST discontinued.
MCN Long term test reports
Triumph's official response
Triumph has advised its dealers to replace the braking systems on some Sprint ST and Speed Triple 1050 models. An e-mail was sent to all Triumph dealers which acknowledges customer dissatisfaction and advises dealers to enhance the much-maligned braking system, and has been leaked to MCN. The docume…
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH SPRINT ST (1998 - 2004)
22 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£70|
A fantastic all round bike to rival (and better) the VFR800. Superb grunt from tickover upwards. Great handling when adjusted properly. Superb economy! I get 250 miles regularly from a tank when riding enthusiastically! My only criticism is a slightly heavy throttle.
Very grunt with no snatch.
Buying experience: Bought privately.
Version: 955I st sprint
Annual servicing cost: £70
I would recommend a later one with 1050 engine seems more smoother and responsive. It's a great bike just dated and very heavy.
Great riding position.
Plenty of power – mine's 20 years old and still keeping up.
Electrical connector tend to corrode, fuel gauge never works or when it feels like it, definitely need both head lights wired up. Fairings are very flimsy and even looking at them can make them crack. Fuel tanks corrode, front mud guard also is very fragile.
Depends on the mileage you're doing.
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.
Once again side winds a problem. great on long easy runs with super economy.
Great engine. Lacks torque.
Build quality not good. Lights poor beam and sidelight awful. nightmare to replace. Mirrors tacky and weak, Battery too small
Triumph soft luggage poor quality and leaky.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Version: T 695
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!
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.
Buying experience: ... buy with confidence!
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.
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
Superb delivery strong and uber reliable. Nuff said really
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.
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.
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.
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 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 .
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 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.
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 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.
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 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!
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 looking for a differnt bike but cant find one to match it...
£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 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!
I bought my ST955 new in June 1999, it now has covered 54k miles & is still the dogs danglies. She's done 8 tours of Europe 2 up with camping kit (fully loaded 100lbs of luggage) without a hiccup. The panniers are nicely tucked inside the width of the mirrors so great when filtering in lane 2 1/2. Bad points are poor headlights & a 100 mile seat, I had a rebuilt one from Digger (Corbin copy)now 600 miles a day across france is no bother to me or 'er on't back. Last year I bought a ST1050 & because I couldn't get a decent trade in price (high mileage) I kept the 955 & am I glad I did, the 1050 must have been designed by somebody serving his notice! The panniers are useless, the engine shakes like a shi--ing dog, it feels like I'm sat on a camel, the mpg is down from 56 to 46 & its slower! Good bits: headlights are brill, handling is more refined (read boring). Every time I pull out the old 955i a gurt big grin comes with it. The Triumph ST 955i has got to be the best bike ever made by any manufacturer for its all round outstanding ability.
Proper allrounder, can blast with the mates on a Sunday morning, tour with the missus. Have the proper luggage, so evn she can take enough stuff! Fitted Scott oiller, genmar bar raisers, double bubble screen, triumph carbon can, dropped the yokes half an inch to quicken the steering. Just bought a gel seat also. Fitted Oxford heated grips, so I can ride all year round. Just wash off after a ride, and although I,ve had it for 4 years, still no corrosion, looks like new.
I bought my 2000 ST second had four years ago for a planned trip to Sweden, Finland and the Oland Islands. The bike performed faultlessly two up for the entire two week trip. The next year we took the bike to Germany and covered around 2500 miles in two weeks, again with no problems. I had planned to sell the bike after the Germany trip but I've hung on to it as it really is such a good all rounder. It handles pretty well, the engine is strong and it's built as well as most Yamaha's and Suzuki's if not a bit better. My bike is fitted with the Triumph panniers, top box, baglux, heated grips, scottoiler and double bubble. My only real complaint is the standard clutch lever is not span adjustable annd the reach on it must be set up for a giant. I bought a span adjustable one which is better but the clutch action is still very heavy and can get tiresome around town. Everything else is excellent.
I've had my '99 ST since early 2001 and still love it. It's had a few small mod's over the years and the sum of them is that, in value for money terms, there is nothing out there that comes close to achieving what I want from a bike in the same way as my trusty old Trumpet. In 2007 a party of five of us toured Northern Germany, taking in a day at the Nurburgring, and the true nature of my ST shone through; all day comfort, 50+ mpg, up to 200 miles from a tankfull and the ability to scratch with (and often beat) the sports bikes I was touring with. Here's a few mod's that have made a difference: Extended height touring screen - the standard one is c##p for fast distance stuff as was the d/bubble I tried. 'Genmar' bar-risers - adds greatly to the comfort, especialy at town speeds. Heated grips - essential if, like me, you prefer to wear lightweight gloves to retain feel. K & N Air filter. 'Splitfire' Spark plugs - even quicker pick-up from that wonderfull triple-pot motor. Triumph 'race' can and a session on a rolling road - it's improved the top-end performance considerably and on full chat it's the throatiest howl you'll hear this side of a Hammer horror flick, legal too. The early ST's i.e. mine, made a claimed 108bhp. The 'race' can was the first mod' fitted and the R/Road showed 112bhp at 8,200rpm at the end of the session. I reckon, based on many miles running with mates on more poweful and newer stuff, that with the other bits added, mine must now be around 115 bhp+. Yes, the styling may be questionable, the suspension isn't the absolute Dogs' and the engine likes it's 10/40 (about 0.5 litre per 1,000 miles if/when she's thrashed) but it boils down to this: Every time I get seduced into looking at some new shiny stuff, and even trying them out sometimes, this happens: Afterwards I have a coffee, then I think about it, work out the finances while drinking more coffee, then I think about it some more and then, on the way home on the Trumpet ..... 'What am I doing! The eight-and-a-half grand plus I'm gonna spend on that Yamasukihondaducatguzziumph buys me a lot of motorcycling holidays for a long time to come, using the bike I've already got. Which is pretty nigh perfect. So calm down, save your money, and run that Triumph until it doesn't tick the boxes anymore.' It could be a while yet.
I owned one of these bikes from 2000 for just on 12 months. I was so excited when I picked up my shiny new black sprint, the 3rd of the revised Triumph's I have owned (also the last as it turns out). On close examination when I got home I noticed the paint run down the front fairing and dodgy fastener quality. After 6 months the top end of the motor was very rattly and after 12 months I couldn't put up with this badly designed motorcycle any longer. I was annoyed but not entirely surprised when the triumph dealer I had purchased from wasn't interested in buying or trading it back. When a franchised dealer doesn't want their product back (at any price) you know you've got a lemon. Funnily enough the chap who finally bought it off me only kept it briefly due to it's poor finish and design.
I've owned my Sprint ST 955i from new, covered just under 10,000 miles in 2 years, and enjoyed every one of them. Previous bikes include GPz550, FJ1200, & Deauville - each one had merits, but the Sprint serves up all the Merits in one package. Strengths: Engine, economy, power, handling, comfort. Weaknesses: Only niggle was the one-sided headlight setup from new - a couple of relays plugged in upgraded this to dual heads on dip & beam - Perfect.
I went from a Yamaha XJ600S Diversion (yes a slow bike) to this, and maybe I just expected too much, but it's not upto the hype of litre bikes tbh. Sure it's quick, and from the line will put the wheel up easily in 1st or 2nd, but just not as mental as I expected. Bit high for a shorty like myself too (5'8", 13st), even on softest setting, dropped it twice due to not getting my feet down when stopped. Strengths: SOUND AWSOME!!!!, Fuel consumption is great for performance, looks - I don't think it's aged. Weaknesses: Height, Judgement (u come up on cars a lot quicker than it feels), strength (had to replace the battery after dropping bike).
Bought for commuting, weekends and touring in Europe. Does all of this with more than adequate performance and great ride. This bike is superb value for money, but I made the mistake of riding the new 1050 and now am looking forward to trading up. Strengths: Torque! Handles well for bike of this size. Dealership really seem to care. Cheap to insure. My wife likes it. Weaknesses: Poor lights. Triumph panniers are flimsy and fiddly to attach.
Plenty of power, its comfortable and it goes round corners.On a recent trip to France 130 mph cruising seemed a doddle yet I was still getting 180 miles to a tank full.A word of warning however, don't try and keep up with the locals around Paris. The paniers and top box are useful but they apear to be made out of the thinest plastic available.Its not the ideal commuter bike as in traffic it does run very hot - but what doesn't. The chain rarely needs adjusting and it doesn't use much oil. Strengths: <br>Speed, power, economy, handling and comfort. Weaknesses: Some poor quality detailing, not what you would expect, some bits are starting to corrode, cheap paniers, poor head lights. The Triumph (data tool) alarm has immobilised itself when parked near mobile phone masts, apparently this can happen to all alarms!
What an incredible package. An amazingly well finished bike (only bettered by Honda - and not by very much). An engine is "to die for" with roadholding to match. This is the first bike I can do 3 hours in the saddle without a break. Heavens, I never want to get off. The bike looks a million dollars but costs less that the "also rans" (the VFR was a close contender). I owned a new VFR a few years ago. The only complaint I have is that it is far too easy to get carried away on the "twisties". The bike is so stable. Not the right thing to say to the nice constable. Strengths: Roadholding and handling (especially in the wet) That 3 cylinder engine. Its looks and comfort. Weaknesses: Not enough dealers and having to travel 100 miles to get to the nearest.