Compared to the current VFR the Sprint ST feels a bit big, a bit flat and looks a bit dated. But for the type of rider Triumph’s aiming the Sprint ST at it’s obviously working a treat as it was their third best seller last year with 585 bikes sold new in 2001.
And although the bike may not be as angular looking as the VFR and Futura it’s a wildy capable sports tourer that feels lively on the road and can wrack up the miles just as it was designed to do at speed.
It looks long and tall when in fact it isn’t really. You sit on it and the big screen and dash envelope you and then you pull and instantly feel at home. The steering is beatifully accurate where some sports tourers can be a bit squidgy and it’s fast. Not fast as in sports bike thrashing fast. But fast as in bloody hell that can’t be 100mph. The screen needs to be a bit higher for me, I’m 6ft 4 " , but crouch a little and you can really do 100mph for as long as you like.
The three cylinder motor has been given some extra cubes for 2002. It’s an identical lump as the 2002 Speed Triple and Sprint RS. Compared to the old motor its got 1mm larger inlet valves and 1mm smaller exhaust valves. The inlet and exhaust ports have been redesigned for better gas flow and new cast pistons run in steel liners with less friction than before. The compression ratio is up and the new motor weighs 2.5kg less than the old one. There’s also a new airbox, new injectors and exhaust system which gives the bike a claimed 120bhp.
Its got a real easy going feel about it. There’s plenty of torque and you don’t need to change gear much but if you do the gearbox is a lot lighter and more positive than the old bike. That’s partly down to a new shift mechanism and it all goes together to help the Sprint bound along at a fair old rate in total silent comfort.
It’s just a shame that the brakes didn’t get a tweak, when Triumph is so good at putting together good handling and well braked bikes this one felt a bit lacking in the stopping department. Pulling the lever gives the same high quality feedback you get from the other Triumphs but ride it like the rest of the bike can cope with and you’ll want a bit more instant bite. But other than that the Sprint ST is a real great alternative to the sports tourers in the class or a good softer sports bike for someone who likes a lot of comfort to go with their does of sports.