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  • March 23, 2011
  • Gabe Ets-Hokin & Friends
  • Bob Stokstad
  • 104 Comments

2011 Triumph Sprint GT : MD Ride Review from Four Different Perspectives

We provided a brief report, and technical specs, regarding Triumph’s new, heavier but more comfortable sport tourer, the Sprint GT here.  Gabe and his Northern California riding  buddies took turns testing the new Triumph on the beautiful roads in and around San Francisco.  Here are their separate reports.

John Joss: 5’9”, 150 pounds, 76 years old

Age-old question: what bike to buy? Only appropriate answer: how experienced are you and what kind of riding do you want to do? Touring or sport? Cruising or commuting? On or off road? Motocross or trials? The choices are as complex as humankind, realizing that most of us—I include myself—can afford only one motorcycle (statistically, about 90 percent of owners).

Then, the budget conundrum: how much can you afford to spend?

Why does all this matter? Because cynics say that a compromise sacrifices some capabilities to deliver others. In the case of sport-touring, it’s the compromise between sport and touring. Compromise could mean that it does both badly. So a pure sport bike can’t tour and a pure touring bike is a slug.

Enter the Triumph Sprint GT, 2011 model.

Triumph has been producing its Sprint since 1992. The bike has gained respect from a worldwide community of “serious” bikers. Why “serious?” Because occasional, weekend or dilettante riders, often little more than fad-followers, are not a community. Serious bikers commute, tour, carve canyons and ride as a life routine, often daily, not just when the sun shines or an itch must be scratched.

The Sprint GT (borrowing the ‘Gran Turismo’ car label) focuses on serious, committed riders. It’s not inexpensive, at $13,199 (equipped with ABS and bags, standard) but highly competitive compared to two other class stars: Honda’s $16,499 ST1300 and Yamaha’s $15,490 FJR1300A. It aims to satisfy riders who like an eager, powerful, responsive motor with precise handling (sport riders) and those who want to travel long distances safely and comfortably (touring riders). It can only survive in the competitive marketplace by delivering performance and value to serious, committed riders.

Three-cylinder heart . . . and soul

Triumph has created the heart and soul of a great motor: its Triple. Triples have established the reborn British Triumph, in all their manifestations: the 675 Daytona, the Street Triple, the Speed Triple (borrowing the name from the iconic, 1930s ‘Speed Twin’ from Meriden), the Tiger, and the 1050cc Sprint.

All feature that smooth, creamy, vibration-free, broadband three-cylinder power that offers the low-rev-range torque of a Twin with the high-revving four-cylinder advantage. Since BMW’s magnificent but underpowered K75 died of neglect, the only world competition now is MV’s M3 (sadly discounting Benelli’s Triple, almost undistributed in the U.S.).

A quality motorcycle

Appraising the beast before riding, one sees immediately the superior fit and finish. This is a well-made bike, in appearance and feel. The bags (able to hold an XXL helmet) demand a stretch of the right leg and foot when mounting, but once in the saddle everything fits, including a seat height that works for smaller riders. The controls are well placed and intuitive, with all the usual cockpit data.

On the road, again

The Sprint handles well, with very light steering—perhaps too light, slightly lacking in front-end feedback. It carves corners satisfactorily, though the physics of its almost 600-pound heft limits ultimate corner velocity. It ‘shows a buck plus’ on any decent straight, without breaking a sweat. Suspension quality is first rate, but on the test ride there was no opportunity to adjust for rider weight. Its initial setup was for an average rider, a good compromise (that word, again).

Throttle action is flawless, without snatch, down to 2000 rpm in any gear, from closed to WFO, without “takeup slack” at the grip—an infuriating problem that afflicts too many bikes. You need not row it along with the gear lever. All of the claimed 128 hp and 80 ft.-lbs. of torque push the bike to relaxed, high-speed performance The clutch is light and takes up progressively, as it should. Gearshift action, even on this brand new machine, was decisive, though neutral was a little hard to find from second gear. Brakes are firm, sensitive and modulate well. The standard ABS was not engaged in hard stops but no doubt another tester will comment.

The saddle can handle a full day’s ride. The only minor ergonomic gripe is the screen: about three to four inches too low to protect the head from buffeting. This is not rocket science—the aftermarket providers should take care of that problem but the factory should offer it as a delivery option.

Range is an issue. The 5.3-gallon tank will barely scrape 200 miles, riding conservatively at an estimated (not measured) 36-38 mpg (190-201 miles, to bone dry). A 50-mile cushion, or reserve, is vital for many rides in the American West, but the Sprint doesn’t offer it. When will manufacturers realize that range is important and a minor increase in capacity would help? In the case of the Sprint, six to 6.5 gallons of capacity should be offered but isn’t and won’t be.

The 2010 Sprint ST, 60 pounds lighter than the GT, with a central exhaust system akin to its smaller, 675 sibling, is not available in the U.S. A pity. Those 60 pounds would make a big difference and would enhance an already highly satisfactory motorcycle.

The bottom line: anyone who needs more sporting performance, at the expense of everyday comfort, should get a repli-racer. The Sprint GT’s power and handling make it a match for any bike in its class. You could say that it’s close to the near-perfect sports-touring compromise. It does both well.

Lucien Lewis: 6’3”, 210 pounds, 45 years old

I have trouble understanding why motorcycles are getting heavier and heavier. I can’t blame it on America’s gluttony since the Brits and the Japanese seem to be moving in that direction as well. That is not all bad; heavy bikes are stable and planted on the road. Wind isn’t going to blow you into the next lane.

The 2011 Triumph Sprint GT is big. You know it when you walk up to it, when you sit on it, when you start it up, and every moment you are riding it. It is not one of those “once you’re rolling, the weight disappears” type bikes. Its 590 lbs are always present. In a straight line, weight is not a big issue—it just slows you down. But weight is not your friend if you want to turn quickly at high speeds. Gravity and inertia have other ideas.

Pork aside, this is a very nice bike. Its three-cylinder 1050 mill debuted in 2005, and (essentially unchanged) it has been a solid performer since, offering up a wide, useable powerband. Maybe not rocket ship acceleration, but it certainly gets you to Point B in a hurry. The brakes are nice too, with the ABS kicking in when it should and the easily removable side bags that have a bit of back-and-forth movement actuated by a rod that runs from bag to bag behind the rear fender. Putting them back on for the first time can a bit of a puzzle, as they fit and lock on in at least three different positions. And there are a dozen other thoughtful touches that elevate it from ordinary to quasi-luxurious.

Ergonomically, I was surprised at how high the footpegs sit, seemingly without reason. My 34” inseam legs felt folded nearly in half, but the footpegs never came anywhere near touching the ground, even in full lean. The handlebars were well placed for spirited back-road riding, but for long-distance freeway trips I would want to change the angle a bit with some sort of aftermarket solution. Other design quirks are an analog speedometer with the numbers the size of a grain of sushi rice (if you are over 50, get out the reading glasses). This is especially puzzling since there is a nice big LCD display on the right side of the cluster that tells you all kinds of things, including clock, current fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, range, trip distance, average and maximum speed, but it does not act as a speedometer. The seat, however, is as close to perfect as I have found on a stock bike.

When I got out on the back roads with a couple of friends on smaller bikes, I kept expecting them to be right in my mirrors, setting up to pass the behemoth. That never really happened, and I was impressed at how quickly the bike got through the corners. I would not go so far as to call it confidence inspiring, though—it always felt a little closer to the edge than I like. Going into corners at higher speeds my brain kept telling me that the ditches might draw the bike toward them with some magnetic force. Some suspension adjustments probably would have helped here.

Blasting around the city, the Sprint worked well. The mirrors fold up and click back easily, so squeezing between cars becomes more manageable. It feels a little like riding a big fast horse through a fattened herd of cattle. The bike wants to go, and cars have no chance. Also, this thing is sharp looking, and gets its fair share of head turns as it cuts through the masses.

The Sprint GT is a particular type of bike for a particular type of rider. It will not be the bike of choice for everyone, but there will be a segment of riders who find this bike to be just the ticket. Being $5000 less than Honda’s VFR1200, one of the main competitors in its class, certainly makes it easier on the wallet, and should help sales significantly. The bike is user friendly, solidly built, and gets down the road just fine. Now if we could just get it on a bit of a diet (or bring back the ST that they’re still selling across the Pond) for 2012….

Alan Lapp: 6’2”, 265 pounds, 46 years old

When Gabe asked me if I wanted to get a quick impression of the 2011 Triumph Sprint GT 1050, I was excited to take up the offer. As a motorcycle magazine art director, I’m always the bridesmaid, never the bride when it comes to manufacturer press introductions, so it’s always nice to share the love with test bikes. For the past five years, I’ve been riding SuMo and dual-sport bikes. I used to ride big, fast four-cylinder sport and naked bikes, and have recently been thinking of getting back into something bigger and more comfortable. I enjoy long distance riding, but luggage on a dual-sport bike is hard to arrange safely (ask me about The Fire) and, literally, it’s a pain in the ass to spend multiple full days in the narrow saddle. Throw in the fact that I’m a tall, burly, married, middle-aged guy, and I start looking like the target demographic for the Sprint GT.

The first thing I noticed about the Sprint is that it’s an adult-looking motorcycle that doesn’t need to call attention to itself. It’s wrapped in an understated blue, and doesn’t have a buncha zoomy disco-looking graphics. In fact, the only ornamentation is a tasteful chrome accent on the cooling duct, and the model name in small lettering. The bodywork design is quite minimalist compared to the competition, some of which is so angular that it looks like an origami project instead of a motorcycle. Thankfully, it’s not adorned with (apologies to Thomas Dolby) fins and gills like some giant piranha fish, like the Kawasaki Concours14. As an artist, I also notice and appreciate that Triumph continues some of its design identity in this bike: the rounded triangular cross-section of the bag/passenger peg mounts, the Star Trek insignia shape of the heel guards, the single-sided swing arm, etc.

My wife and I picked up the Sprint GT on a fine, balmy February day, and headed north. I was pleased that the GT handled two ubiquitous Bay Area highway hazards with confidence: stiff cross-winds on the bridge, and that loathsome grooved pavement. The GT does follow pavement irregularities, but not worryingly so. I noticed that the steering was very heavy and wanted to run wide on turns unless the throttle was applied. At a gas stop, I quickly found the hydraulic preload adjuster, but the rebound damping adjuster eluded me. I called Gabe for some tech support, and we deduced that the Brits not only drive on the left side of the road, they install their shocks with the rebound clicker on the left, where it is inconveniently located behind the foot peg, drive chain and shock linkage and can barely be reached with the tool kit screwdriver, instead of the right side where it would be visible and accessible. Stiff upper lip, old chap.

With the suspension adjusted more suitably, the steering became more neutral, and required less effort on the tight, twisty, bumpy Marin roads. That said, with fluids it’s a 590-pound machine, and it’s a lot of work to get it to transition quickly side-to-side. It’s not that the bear dances well, it’s that the bear dances at all. Once we get into medium-fast turns and smoother pavement, the GT starts making more sense. Make no mistake: this bike is not a race replica with bags. It’s a Grand Tourer. The suspension is supple, verging on under-sprung and under-damped (ironic to me given that it’s designed to carry two people and luggage) The ride is quite comfortable, doubly so if you’ve recently ridden an R1 or KTM 690E. Heck, the seat is a little slice of heaven. My only ergonomic complaint is that the bars are a bit far forward for my aching wrists, elbows and shoulders, but I’ve injured all of the above in road racing crashes. A younger, less-abused person may find the seating posture agreeable.

As the road unwinds into flatter, higher speed sweepers, the GT really shines. The chassis settles into the turns and plays to the Sprint’s biggest strength. The motor is a real treat: it delivers power just like the volume knob on your stereo increases the volume. The 1050cc triple rewards throttle input with smoothly building, linear, predictable, flawlessly-delivered power. No hiccups, no burbles, no flat spots, no surprises, just torquey fuel-injected goodness. Oh, and the lovely howl the motor makes gives me goose bumps. Really. It’s a beautiful thing.

If I were buying this bike, I’d have a very short to-do list. First and foremost, I’d upgrade the rear shock to an aftermarket unit with significantly stiffer spring rate and damping. I’d source risers that move the handlebars up an inch and back two. And finally, because I’m tall in the torso, I’d want a taller windscreen or one with a lip to direct the highway air blast over my head. With those mods, I’d call it good, and get on with wearing out tires.

Gabe Ets-Hokin: 5’6.5”, 155 pounds, 41 years old

I have a 10-inch (wait for it!) Wustof-Trident chef’s knife that we got as a wedding present. The lady at the kitchen store tells me that the hot thing in chef’s knives these days are the fancy Japanese ceramic jobs they sell, and she lets me slice up a carrot with one of them every time I’m in there. They work pretty well.

But my Wustof feels right to me, perfectly balanced and with a razor-sharp edge that never seems to dull. After 12 years of daily use the blade is starting to discolor, but it works fine. Why do I need another knife? My mother has similar knives that she’s had since before I was born, and even though this is a woman for whom shopping is a competitive sport, she refuses to buy new knives.

This Triumph is such an implement. It doesn’t really do anything better than most other bikes in its class, (except be a lot lighter than most of its competition, such as the FJR and ST1300) but it’s built well, does everything you need it to do and makes you feel special when you’re riding it. As my merry men have noted above, it’s surprisingly capable on twisty roads, feels like it has more power than it does and can tour as well as you need. It’s imperfect (as are we all); it could have better wind protection, the bars are too low and that solid, dependable feel makes the design seem 10 years older than it is.

Ol’ Leftenant Joss has a 1999 Honda VFR800, which is a kick-ass bike much in the mold of this Sprint, except it’s 90 pounds lighter and doesn’t give up much in the way of power, comfort or handling. The beautiful thing is you can get one of thosefor $3000, which is about ten Big Ones less than the Sprint. Not really fair to compare a used bike to a new one—after all, the Sprint has a two-year warranty and won’t eat regulator-rectifiers like popcorn shrimp. Some cats (not moto-journalists) can afford to drop 13 Large on a new motorcycle, and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor in that way.

Me, I like well-worn things that get the job done with a bit of style. Maybe I’ll look for a used Sprint in 10 years…

The manufacturer provided Motorcycle Daily with this motorcycle for purposes of evaluation.

104 Comments

  1. Allen says:

    Without a doubt there will always be pros and cons about shaft verses chain. And has already been noted, if your shaft fails you, chances are your left hanging around for a fix and checking your savings account to see if you’ve got enough money for the repair. This isn’t saying chains are cheap….but hey they are way cheaper then shaft repairs. How do I know(?)….after 15 years of BMW shaft drives(that never left me hanging….but most definitely depleted my disposable income when u-joints and final drives bit the dust). I have concluded that chain drive, while higher maintenance, is still the optimal best overall choice….at least for me as I’m nearing retirement and disposable income becomes more critical to maintain.

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  2. George Berry says:

    I just wonder if Triumph will want to sell the GT to the weekend, occasional, fad following, dilettante, fair weather riders scratching their itchs or just the “serious”
    riders. What do you think Gabe? The GT is a serious motorcycle for anybody other than beginners.

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    • CCrider says:

      I’m sure Triumph will sell the GT to anyone who can get his hands on $13,200 whether they ride 3 miles or 30,000 miles per year. Any bike with 128 hp is a serious bike for any rider.

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  3. ilikefood says:

    It looks like a pretty cool bike but I’m 6’3″, and in the 4th picture you can see that the distance between the seat and the footpegs is so small, I’d be folded up like a pretzel sitting on it.

    Why do motorcycle manufacturers assume that motorcyclists are all about 5’7″ and want low seats because they have trouble reaching the ground? Promo materials for many bikes boast about low seat heights, and pretty much every bike I sat on at this year’s motorcycle show had a very low seat. For me this is very annoying, because a low seat means a short distance between the seat and the footpegs, which in turn means a very uncomfortable riding position for anyone above 6′.

    Someone make a ST bike (not a faux-off-roader) with a tall seat, please. Or at least a seat with height that’s adjustable over a reasonable range (a 1″ adjustment won’t cut it).

    Sorry for the rant :)

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    • Mickey says:

      That’s funny, as I am 5″ 7″ and find very few motorcycles I can reach the ground on that aren’t cruisers. I had to have the seats on my ST 1300 and FZ-1 cut down so that I could reach the ground, not flat footed, but balls of the feet. This past weekend I went to an open house at a Ducati, BMW and Triumph dealer and sat on a bunch of bikes, the only Ducati I could sit on comfortably was the Diavel, the only Beemer the F800R and the only Triumph the Bonneville. I’d swear all the cool bikes are made for 6 footers.The Triumph 800XC, the Ducati Multistrada and BMW GS’s are made for giants.

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      • ilikefood says:

        Yeah, everyone is different. I think the only solution to this is for manufacturers to offer seats that are truly adjustable. Some BMWs and some Hondas claim to have adjustable seats, but the adjustment range is typically 1″ or so, which is pretty useless. It seems like it shouldn’t be too difficult to have a seat that can adjust over a 4″+. A bike like that would sell, since both tall and short people could be happy with it.

        Bicycles are very adjustable, and so are cars. Why are we expected to be satisfied with lack of adjustability on motorcycles?

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  4. sands says:

    Nice bike….Only for that type of vehicle I would expect a more upright riding position…Still to bent over for that genre of bike.

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  5. Tom R says:

    Just to throw out a silly wild card, you might consider the just-updated BMW R1200R with a windshield installed. It is listed at 491 pounds wet with a full tank, and that INCLUDES the oh-so-heavy shaft final drive.

    It does cost a bit more, but if weight is so important you’ll get so much less for you money….

    Get it?

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    • Mickey says:

      Not silly at all, an R1200R is a fine motorycle. I rented one for an Edelweiss European tour last summer and found it very capable for my wife and I touring 2 up. Doesn’t have the HP hit that some of the other sport tourers have, at only 109 HP, but I had no trouble keeping up with others, either in the Alps or on the Autobahn. I’d own one in a minute except that BMW has a sparse dealer network with the closest to me being 150 miles away. Light, powerful enough, very comfortable, great brakes..like I said a fine motorcycle, especially when equipped with BMW’s factory saddlebags and trunk and (for me) being 5’7″, the optional low seat.

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  6. Steven says:

    I like the “everyman” kind of commentary posted by mcdaily here. I believe many in the public have become too dependant on the unreasonable, and sometimes jaded, expecations of the motojournalists in general.

    I do have to address comments on mileage though. It’s very hard to get below 38 mpg on a correctly tuned 1050 Sprint ST. Heck I have to be sportbike floggin mine to get there. On a good sport touring run I can get in the mid 40′s.

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  7. CCrider says:

    Glad to see an opinion from someone 70+. The GT is a great looking bike and the Triumph Triple is a fantastic engine (at least in the Daytona 675 which I owned and the Street Triple which I’ve ridden). I hope the heat issue is solved because the Daytona 675 gave me “rump roast” at low speeds.

    That said, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 will do everyhing the GT will do for a couple of thousand dollars less and lighter by 100 lbs. From the 70 yr old OF perspective, the 500 lb Ninja to be almost too much for my consideration for an all around bike. Why can’t I have somthing like the GSX-R 750 with an upright riding position? I’m riding a naked Suzuki SV650 now; With another 25 HP, a small fairing and better brakes, it would be perfect. There isn’t much available between 400 lb race replicas, high HP naked’s, and relatively heavy sport tourers like the GT,FJR,Concours,ST1300 and 1200 VFR.(at least in this country)

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    • kpaul says:

      “Why can’t I have somthing like the GSX-R 750 with an upright riding position? ” Great question. I agree with you. :)

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    • Mickey says:

      Good point, one I’ve often pondered. How hard would it be to put on taller risers, tubular bars and a rear subframe that would support a decent seat and a passenger. A sub 500 pound 125 HP sport tourer. Perfect!

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    • Old town hick says:

      Again with the weight thing.

      Remember, adding 25 hp to a bike like the SV650 would require more and bigger of everything: frame tubing, fork diameter, brake rotors and calipers, engine cases and internal componants, radiator, etc. The thing would end up being a different bike, and (here comes the harsh truth) be noticeably bigger and heavier by at least 40-50 pounds. In fact, Suzuki used to make just such a bike-the SV1000.

      Looked up the manufacturers’ specifications for the Ninja (503 “curb”) and the Sprint (590 WET). If you have to add fuel, oil, other fluids, and air molecules in the tires, the Kawasaki would be real close to the Triumph. Traditionally the Japanese makers’ quote weight numbers that are “dry”. Anyone got the scoop on this?

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      • MikeD says:

        Last time i checked CURB meant “with all fluids topped ready to fly”. I could be wrong but…

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      • Mickey says:

        mfgs quite often increase the displacement and horsepower of bikes without changing the weight, think CX500/650, or CB500/550/650 or CB750/900/1000/1100 but for me all I was talking about is different more upright bars, and a flatter seat, maybe lower footpegs which I imagine could be done without adding any appreciable weight. There is no reason a nice svelt bike like a GSXR 750 or 1000 couldn’t be made into something more comfortable increasing their long distance capabilities while retaining their light weight and sporting capabilities.

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      • CCrider says:

        Yes, curb and wet weight mean ready to ride with fluids and battery so there is a 90 to 100 lb difference in the GT and the Ninja 1000.

        A great example of a sport bike adapted to standard is the Triumph Street Triple R converted from the Daytona 675. Essentially the same weight, adjustable suspension, great brakes and none of the usual “retuned for torque” or downgrading of components. Any of the current 600′s or 750 could be made into a comfortable bike without adding more than a 5% weight penalty.

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  8. Jim Darrough says:

    Get Alan writing more. I really enjoyed his input and his too short review was easy to read. Thanks, Jim

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  9. GS1100GK says:

    Allens quote “Being an owner of an ‘07 Sprint I was disappointed that there were no comments about heat off the bike….of course no comments could simply mean that the heat issue has been resolved with the GT……(?)”

    I know that Triumph had a heat kit comprised of insulation inside the fairing panels to combat excessive heat coming off the motor. Did the new GT experience any heat issues?

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  10. Steve says:

    I had a 2005 ST 1050, with its myriad first-year issues (brakes and hard bags being the key ones). And I still miss it, despite its niggles. I will never understand why people keep bitching about how the Sprint doesn’t make BIG POWER like the Concours 14. I had some straight-up races with friends with Blackbirds, RC-51s and even the occassional CBR, and the Sprint more than held its own even down the straights. I could even wheelie the big sucker in 2nd gear for a good trot.

    Bought a Tuono which is yet more soul-stirring but sometimes I really do wish I still had a Sprint to ride on nice cool Fall days.

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    • ROXX says:

      I would put my Blackbird up against a Sprint, anytime my friend.

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      • kpaul says:

        Blackbird ?? Isn’t that a obsolete spy plane used during the cold war :) just kidding. Have to agree with Steve on this one. Had a friend that had a Sprint he could keep up with us sport bikes ZX-6R, 1098, and CBR600RR pretty well. The Sprint had good power and descent handling. Think the Sprint would would walk away from the Blackbird given riders of equal ability. Blackbird is a generation or two older right? Nothing like the torque and flexibility of a triple. Rode a 675 Daytona loved the bikes performance but hated the ergos for by 6 foot 200 lb. body.

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        • ROXX says:

          As always, you know best kpaul.
          There is no way a Sprint would keep up with a bird or a 1098 unless except for operator error.
          Then you lump in 600′s with that group.
          My bike, stock puts out 162 hp 92 ft lbs of torque.
          The XX also has some of the best aerodynamics of any bike ever manufactured which helps it hit nearly 180 mph.
          Try that on a sprint or a 600.
          Ain’t gonna happen, but I’m sure you have some strange answer as to how I am wrong.
          “…one of my friends did it…blah blah blah…”

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          • Steven says:

            Typical Blackbird owner. Living in their own world dedicated to mythic speed records they can’t achive themselves. Especially when the Busa was a much, much better speed demon.

            I hold my own against many sportbikes, including Blackbirds on every generation Sprint I’ve owned. Including my current ’08 Sprint ST. Then again, I get bored doing pure straightline speeds, I enjoy corners much more.

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          • Bob says:

            You can get off and push the Sprint if you like; there’s no way it will keep up with a XX, assuming that both bikes are in the same space time continuum, the same road, you’re not doing serious mind-altering drugs, etc.

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          • Old town hick says:

            Well, the Sprint does at least LOOK something like the Blackbird…

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          • Tom R says:

            Easy ROXX. He did use a happy face after all.

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          • ROXX says:

            @old hick, it actually does seem to steal a few styling cues from the XX.
            I didn’t even notice that until you pointed that out.
            Why would they copy a bike that’s “a generation or two older”?
            Maybe because it’s proven and it works.

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          • ROXX says:

            @Steven, yes the Busa is faster than the XX, but that wasn’t the comparison that was made, was it?

            Sprint, 123 hp, 72 ft lbs torque
            XX, 162 hp, 92 ft lbs torque

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  11. Jay Mack says:

    Replying to the comment as to whether light weight is over emphasised, you have to experience the feel of light weight bike to appreciate it. My old GS1100E and Bonneville are so easy and fun to handle because of their low weight that it adds a dimension to riding control. You can steer with your behind and turn on a dime. You feel much more in control. Braking is improved beyond the quality of the brakes. Light weight is a great quality.

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  12. fummer says:

    I’m a 63 year old 5’11″ purchaser of a new Sprint GT, now in the shop for its 500 mile first service. The rider position is no cruiser rocking chair (thankfully), but it’s not that aggressive either. It’s a nice solid position that doesn’t hurt my knees or wrists and gives me a feeling of great control of the bike. Yes I’ll probably get an aftermarket windscreen about 4 inches higher so I can better use my headset communicator with less wind noise, but I don’t think bar risers will be in my future. I think a number of us older riders who do both solo canyon carving and two-up tour riding will consider the GT as a definite contender at a good price point.

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  13. GoThere@50 says:

    I owned the original 2005 Triumph Sprint and found it to be the best all around street bike of the 28 motorcycles I have owned over the years. John Joss’s comments were spot on. Let us hear more from this guy, his experience shows.

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  14. PN says:

    I’m with Gabe on this one. I have 3 old (“vintage”) bikes and like them all. They’re each fun. New sport-touring bikes are getting too big and heavy for my taste. They work great with EFI but they just don’t light my candle. I go to the dealers and to motorcycle shows and come back disappointed. Except for Moto Guzzi. I rode an ’05 VFR once. It ran hot and was not that involving to ride. I wondered why the press was so in love with them. I wish Triumph well. I like the Bonnie Scrambler and the new Tiger and the Street Triple. I’m just not sure I want to pony up $9-13 grand for one.

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  15. GS1100GK says:

    OK fellas. Chain vs Shaft? 550lbs. vs 650lbs.? Come on. A motorcycle speaks to your soul doesn’t it? If you love to ride whether a bike has a chain or shaft, 550lbs or 650lbs shouldn’t matter. Once you take that test ride and you get the feel of the bikes personality all those other things really shouldn’t matter.

    In 2004 I purchased a Kawasaki ZZR1200 after a thrilling 30 mile test ride. At the time, I was a shaft biggot. I hatted the idea of a chain and all the maintenance stated above. But, I quickly discovered that new chains are no big deal especially if you have a bike with a center stand. I put 25K miles on mine and lubed it every 1000 miles before I sold it and the chain and sprockets still had lots of life left in it. It was the personality of that bike (incredible acceleration, and comfort)that helped me decide it was the bike for me.

    In 2008 I purchased an 09 C-14 with ABS. Sure, it has shaft drive, and weighs 650lbs, but so what? The wind protection, power and comfort sold me on that bike. Now, when I ride I do not go out hunting GSX-R’s, R1′s, or Ninjas. But, in the right hands, the C-14 (or just about any bike with reasonable power and handling) has the power to really hustle down a twisty road and I can easily keep up with my riding buddies.

    So, listen to the bike when you look at it and test ride it. Does it make your pulse accelerate when you look at it? Does it make you feel good when you ride it? At the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters?

    By the way, nice writeup guy using 4 different perspectives for your report!

    Report this comment

  16. jimbo says:

    What happened to the promised naked Suzuki GSX750? Is Suzuki going out of business or what? For a brief period Suzuki’s website listed a trail/off-road version of the RMX450 injected mx bike, now it’s deleted altogether like it never happened. WUZZUP Suzuki?

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  17. Burt says:

    Nice choice of shots (photographs) of the bike.
    Makes me want one.

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  18. Metri3 says:

    Guys, go to a Triumph dealer near you and take one for a ride yourself. Most Triumph dealers will have one of these as a demo for you to ride. Triumph has two demo trucks traveling to dealers and special events all year as well. Don’t take my word or anyone elses, ride one for yourself.

    No, I don’t own one but I have had a short ride on one and I will take another ride as soon as I can make the time to. Just ride one for yourself.

    Report this comment

  19. Bob says:

    Triumph lost a sale.

    I have an aging BMW R1100S with ABS and hard cases. It’s very sporty, corners very well, tours very well and weighs 540 lbs fuly fueled with the cases. Not much HP though. Only 82 RWHP. And it has a lot of miles on it now..all between 39-44 mpg.

    Now I’ve always liked the Sprint ST and was hoping to own one. It’s sporty, nimble and has great useful power. I just wanted the ST to receive an update before I bought one.

    I was sorely disappointed when I discovered it was being replaced by a physically larger, heavier and longer wheelbased GT. What this means to me is it’s less sporty, not as nimble, less willing to change direction and just feels heavier. It looks good. I’ve sat on it. It just felt bigger than what I wanted.

    I really wanted an R version of the ST that lost some weight, had adjustable suspension, better headlights and cases that don’t leak.

    As for the chain and shaft debate. Chains and sprockets are great on sport/race bikes where you might do track days and racing. Most road bikes are perfectly fine without ever changing the ratios. Out of 12 road bikes I’ve owned, I’ve never changed gearing. On the dirt bikes and race bikes, yes. I’ve owned 2 shafties and 4 belts drivens and never had a problem.

    And for those that think weight is no big deal…it is. It slows steering/flicking, has more inertia to grip against in the turns, more to hold up at a light, slows acceleration, etc. There is zero reason for bikes to perpetually keep getting porkier. The Connie 14 and FJR is also as heavy as my HD Dyna. Why? They’d be fantastic if they dropped 50-70 lbs.

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  20. Walt says:

    I have always liked the Sprint, although not road one. I did sit on one at a dealer recently and was surprised at how low the grips were, did have a Triumph Bonnie America that I liked very much. This bike is on the Sporty side of Sport Touring, I ride a BMW R1200RT, on the touring side of the class, but still surprised it was not mentioned in the report as a comparable. Bikes in this class should have – adjustable windscreen, cruise control, heated seat and grips, shaft drive (chains need maintenance on a long trip) The R1200RT I appriciate costs $$ but gets 55 MPG (550 km on full tank to empty and is hughly comfortable and under 600 lb fully fueled.

    Report this comment

    • riley says:

      I don’t think most people realize the R12RT, despite it’s massive apperance and luxury gadgets is as light, maybe lighter than the Sprint. These two are easily the lightweights of the class, but while the sprint is more bare bones the RT is loaded with “stuff” and has an extra hundred miles of range. Unfortunately there’s the little issue of $$ with the Beemer.

      Report this comment

  21. Allen says:

    Nice twist on reviews, I liked this for exploring experienced yet subjective differing perceptions of the GT, resulting in informative reviews. Being an owner of an ’07 Sprint I was disappointed that there were no comments about heat off the bike….of course no comments could simply mean that the heat issue has been resolved with the GT……(?)

    All the other noted concerns are actually acceptable to me, after 4 years on my ST, I’ve come to appreciate it’s riding characteristics and the bikes’ exceptional reliability.

    The co-pilot potential issues….as noted by one poster, should raise a cautionary approach by others considering the GT, especially for those interested in satisfying that second persons comfort.

    The one other item I was hoping would be addressed….LIGHTING. That has been the one thing that has really nagged me about the ST….dark twisty streets with sharp curves at night can result in a dark and warm feeling in your pants by the time you arrive home. When I bought my ST I had no clue this was such a bad problem with the design of the bike. I’ve resisted after market lights because I simply haven’t wanted to alter the bikes good lines, so I live with it, but I hate it. I suspect that the reviewers may not have actually even considered checking out this issue….but I can guarantee for ST owners considering a GT….its an issue.

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    • sliphorn says:

      Triumph has switched from projector lamps to a reflector set up in the new GT. It is apparently much improved according to several GT owners that had previously owned ST’s.

      I found that taking the time to properly aim the headlights on my ST was a big help, though they are certainly not perfect.

      Report this comment

      • Allen says:

        sliphorn, I am aware that they’ve gone over to reflectors. However, what few reviews have been given, none of them have given a serious critique and actually “purposefully” attempted to address the issue by riding in the dark, down sharp twisty unlit roads. I have yet to see a reviewer state categorically that the low/high or combination of headlights give sufficient peripheral lighting for safe night time riding on dark twisty roads! If I could find a dealer that would let me keep the bike overnight and test it myself I would announce it on the RAT web site for all to know….but alas I’m unable to do so. It is an issue for many owners, hopefully someone will do a serious test for those of us who like to ride our bikes hard and put them away wet….at night.

        Report this comment

      • Bill Sims says:

        I was very unhappy with my Sprint ST lights until I spent time re-aiming them…now they are excellent while going straight, and adequate (barely) in the twisties.

        Report this comment

  22. Warren says:

    This is absolutely a great looking bike, the lines are clean, sleek and elegant and compared to the others in the same class, is actually a light motorcycle. In fact, I put a deposit on one a few weeks ago and now just have to wait for the snow to disappear and the temperature to rise a bit to get out and ride it. I’ve put over 140,000 kms on a previous Triumph Sprint (1998 vintage) and the riding position of this GT is about the same. The slight lean forward position is optimum for long distance touring with the wind pressure on my chest just evenly balancing against my forward lean so that there is little or no fatigue on the arms, wrists or shoulders.

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  23. Kevin says:

    “Seat height is reasonably low,” says tall, log-legged motojournalist.

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  24. dave says:

    I have an 06 Sprint ST which I much prefer. It is much sportier

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  25. Vrooom says:

    Nice review, Mr. Joss should be a regular contributor. I like this bike at first glance, but not sure it could take the place of my ST4s in the garage. The concerns for me is the tank capacity and to completely contradict that comment wet weight. I’m not sure I’d go as far as Mr. Joss in suggesting a 6.5 gal tank, but another 1/2 gallon would be needed (yes, the Duc only has a 5.5, but gets better mileage).
    Chain drive is just not an issue for me. I speak from experience when I say if you’re final drive on a shaftie goes out your stuck, dead, not moving. A new masterlink for a buck will solve nearly any chain problem. As others have said, 20K miles with a dozen lubrications is pretty typical for me. I can change sprockets and chain in an hour when I do the tires. I have owned a lot of shafties by the way, and have one in the garage now.

    Report this comment

    • Old town hick says:

      If your final drive on a shaftie goes out you are stuck, dead, not moving…so a chain drive is perferred?

      That seems a bit like saying that a connecting rod on a piston-engine bike could “go out”, so you’d prefer to ride something with a Wankel rotary…or perhaps a Zero.

      I too have owned plenty of motorcycles with both chains and shafts. The chains have ALWAYS required a consistant degree of time, maintinance, and hassle for me. Not so the shafties. It is “legitmate” to argue that a chain drive may be preferable for a variety of reasons, but the maintinance issue is not one of them.

      Report this comment

      • Gary says:

        Shaft drives DO go out. Ask any BMW rider.

        Report this comment

        • Old town hick says:

          Well, I AM any BMW rider. Have had four of them so far since 1987, plus three Suzukis and a Honda with shafts. Have had none “go out” yet.

          DID have to replace several chains and sprocket sets over the years from other bikes.

          Report this comment

        • Mickey says:

          chains do break and go through engine cases, ask my buddy Tank. He was more than dead in the water, he had to buy a whole new motorcycle…and belts break as well, ask any Buell rider.

          Stuff happens, but it’s rare if any drive systems fail these days.It more an issue of maintenance and cleanliness (Not such a big deal on a sport bike or trailie not ridden far from home, but an issue on bikes ridden coast to coast)and the INEVITABLE cost of replacing chain drive systems. If you ride enough you WILL have to replace the chain and sprockets on a chain drive bike. Chances are you will never have to due any meachnical work to a shaft drive system.

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        • Bob says:

          I put 50K on an ’04 R1150RSA. When I sold it the shaft still worked the way it was intended to.

          Report this comment

  26. JB says:

    Why all the griping about weight?? Since when was 550lbs a deal breaker? It is not a 600cc supersport. Not that long ago 550lbs was a standard GS or GPz 1100. Wasn’t the V65 Sabre 100lbs more? With a tag line focusing on compromise, anyone who purchases one of these will know that they aren’t going to get a 400lb rocket. My V11 Lemans is around 550lbs with 50hp less, and is a good street bike. Not everything has to be a racebike. If the sprint was on my list, I wouldn’t be comparing it’s ability to cut a fact track time.

    Cumfy – check, not under powered – check, good brakes – check, adequate storage for a short get away – check, not overpriced – check, reliable – check, do I not have to invest $2K more to make it what I want – check, is it not a 800lb cruser – check, ground clearence for a bit-o-twistys – check. Sounds like a great streetbike that only lacks a higher wind screen. When was the last time such a well rounded option was available?

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    • Old town hick says:

      Amen brother! I can think of no other single specification for motorcycles that is more villified, complained about, or had it’s importance exaggerated than the ONE-DIMENSIONAL figure of weight.

      Taking the “less is always better” argument to an extreme illustrates this fallacy: if a given 550-pound bike would be better at a hundred less pounds, wouldn’t it be that much more magnificent if you deducted 200 pounds? Mmmm, let’s see. Do I really want to travel through suddenly windy mountain passes, or have a big rig go by me on a narrow two-lane road at a closing rate of 140 mph, while perched on top of my super svelte 350-pound sport touring machine? Run the scenarios through your mind’s video screen folks.

      Also, there is no free lunch to any appreciable, significant weight reduction for motorcycles (pun intended). It has to come from somewhere, such as thinner frame tubing, lower load capacity, smaller brake rotors, etc. This diet impacts performance of other areas which you just may not like very much. Use lots of exotic materials you say? No problems (to a degree) if you don’t mind paying waaaaaay more for the product. Also, where and how the weight is distributed matters. Bikes of a similar mass can feel quite different in this regard. A different engine configuation can make one bike feel 50 pounds lighter than a competitor that actually shows an equal number on the scale. It is no wonder that manufacturers are often tempted to fudge the dry weight/wet weight numbers printed in their catalogs. Far too many people treat the figure as the Holy Grail.

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      • Mickey says:

        taken the other way, just to play devils advocate, who wants to ride a sport touring bike that weighs as much as a Goldwing or an Ultra Classic? There has to be a balance. I think most people would be satisfied withsomething in the 500-550# class for a sport tourer. My ST 1300 weighs 717# gassed up and ready to roll. I certainly would put up with a little more wind shake from semis, in order to have an easier time heftying that beast off the side stand or onto the centerstand.

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        • Warprints says:

          But your ST is still about 200 lbs less than a Wing.

          Report this comment

          • Mickey says:

            Thank goodness, but it is still at least 100 pounds overweight IMO. That 100 pounds makes it harder to push around, penalizes the horsepower,makes it get less gas mileage, makes it take longer to stop, makes it harder to get off the sidestand or onto the centerstand..just makes things areder then they need to be. If Ducati can make a Multistrada with fairing and hard bags that weighs 425 dry, I see no reason why someone can’t make a sport touring bike that weighs within 150 pounds of that.

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    • jimbo says:

      A wet curb weight full tank V65 Sabre was about 575 lbs max. No way it was over 600 lbs.

      Report this comment

  27. ROXX says:

    I would love to see a Comparison Test between;
    Sprint GT
    VFR1200
    Ninja 1000

    My money would be on the Kawasaki!
    Gabe???

    Report this comment

  28. jimbo says:

    The bike’s styling is superb, A+. Seat to peg spacing seems adequate only for riders of Gabe’s stature or less, way too tight for my 34″ inseam. Center stand is welcome. I’d never consider it for a moment for $13k+.

    Can’t believe how dry is the brush in Marin County, CA for March…looks like a severe drought. Please post images of that same brush in late August!

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  29. Jay Mack says:

    Sounds like for touring, you have to move the handle bars up with risers, have to stop for gas too often and that your legs will be cramped.

    I’d withhold all buying decision until I hear something about the Suzuki GSX1250FA. 100 lbs lighter than a Coucours, I don’t think it will have those three problems the Triumph has.

    Also, the Triumph Tiger, as someone else pointed out, doesn’t either.

    Report this comment

    • sliphorn says:

      Different fit for different folks. If needed, bar risers are cheap. No cramped legs for me on my ST. Tiger has same fuel capacity. Personally, I don’t care for the looks of the Tiger.

      Report this comment

  30. Sid says:

    Gee, could I see it without the bags attached? I certainly wouldn’t use them on a daily commute so lets see what the thing looks like without the bulky things. I think there might be a sleek bike under there! Alas, I still don’t think I would trade my 2000 VFR for it though……………

    Report this comment

    • MikeD says:

      Yeah, how about a NO BAGS Shot ? I bet it would still look good.

      Report this comment

      • jimbo says:

        Yup, I think I read every post so far, and every comment re. looks (many) is very positive, and not one gripe…Bloor seemed to nail this one. It’s way sharper than the model replaced, which looked OK overall but had too much bubble-shape.

        The silver color chosen is spot on, not too light or dark, just the right quantity of metallic. Gabe nailed the images with the super dry golden brown Marin brush backdrop framing the silver ST. I’m already starting to like the bike more, but again, seat to pegs way too tight for my 34″ inseam.

        On an almost completely unrelated note: we’ve all read the A+ glowing tests (best naked, etc) re. Bloor’s 675R Street Triple. Finally test rode one last year. Peak power borders on insane, as reported (surely 10 sec 1/4 mile), but for me it lacked low rpm torque and seemed frenetic (unintended power wheelie at freeway speed). Again, proportions too tight for me. I wanted to love it. Surely the 800 Adventure versions will be more to my liking.

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  31. Mark says:

    Nice write up.
    And it only confirms that the Tiger 1050 is still a viable, and for some, better choice. Same engine, hard luggage if you want, MUCH lighter, more upright riding position, very comfortable saddle, longer travel suspension, and still good loooooooking!

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  32. Dave says:

    Learn how to sit on the Triumph ST or the GT and 600 mile days are no problem. But think I will keep my 01 ST – after all, it only has 55,000 miles on it, is lighter and gets better fuel mileage…..and it is paid for. GT is a fine looking machine though.

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  33. Mickey says:

    Hey Gabe..just noticed your hand placement in the 4th pic down where you are all leaned over going thru the left curve. Neither of your hands seem to be gripping the grips, especially your left hand. Is that a product of how the bars are bent or is that your “loose grip” grip? Just curious.

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    • Gabe says:

      I was just noticing that! It’s a habit I have, and I don’t know if it’s good or bad. Sometimes I think it gives me more leverage, or it’s just a symptom of keeping a relaxed grip on the bars. But why I do it is really a mystery. Is it a bad thing?

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  34. denny says:

    It looks good, finaly British have something to be proud of. Just one thought, with all that weight (and I do not find anything wrong with it, it’s touring bike and that is supposed to provide for comfort), one would expect a tad bigger engine – something on par with Bandit1150. That one, in touring guisse is wery nice machine, and cheap.

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    • MikeD says:

      They have been toying with something bigger last year… a Trophy prototype, suposedly using the same 1150+cc as on that spied “SUPER TIGER”, last year too.

      Im here wishing they go full 1200cc on the new “Gorila Triple”. Maybe they’ll feel pity on those of us day-dreaming about a 1200cc Triple Daytona…after all, the more u spread one engine’s aplication thru-out your bike line the less it hurts all that $$$ u dumped on it’s R&D Period.

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  35. LarryC says:

    I got to put the first 60 miles on my dealer’s demo. I was pretty sure I wanted to buy this bike. The GT looks great and the specs seemed to be just what I was looking for. I’m no fan of ape hangers, or even “standard” bars. I’m a veteran of many bikes with bonafide clip-ons and “sporty” riding positions. That said, the bars could have been an inch higher for me. The three cylider engine is great. I’ve had three Hinckley Triumphs with triples and the engine configuration can’t be beat.

    I was surprised at the lack of a thermometer in the instrument cluster. That may seem like a small thing, but electronics are cheap these days; my Speed Triple has three (!!) tripmeters. Living at 9000 ft ASL in Colorado, we can tour through scores of micro-climates in a single 300 mile ride. Having temperature info is both interesting and useful.

    Only one of these reviewers even mentioned putting a passenger on the GT, and then neglected to share her impressions. Any bike with “GT” in the nomenclature should be able to handle two-up touring with aplomb. My wife is 5’3″ and hated the passenger accomodations. This is a woman who rides pillion on my 2010 Speed Triple SE without complaint. The GT’s seat has an abrupt edge that, coupled with poorly located passenger pegs, caused the seat to cut into her inner thighs. The pegs are simply too low for a shorter passenger. She was uncomfortable after only a few miles. The intricate casting that mounts the pegs would make relocation daunting. If your main squeeze is 5’10″ this may not be an issue.

    Well, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So now we’re anxiously awaiting the release of the new Tiger XC for a fit test. FWIW, I’m 61, 6’0″ and 210 lbs. I’ve been riding (MX, RR, Enduro, trail riding, sport & adv touring) since I was 15 and have owned approximately 100 bikes. Having worked in the MC industry, I’ve ridden many, many more.

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  36. Ken says:

    I rode one just after I stepped off my K1200S and enjoyed it immensely. The controls felt more intuitive to me and easier to manage. The chain drive feels better than my k12′s shaft drive, lighter and more responsive. Credit lower unsprung weight. My only complaints were the seat-tank junction should be smoother and better integrated and the footpegs needed to be canted towards the centerline of the bike. My Sidi Vertigo boots pushed my heels out and uncomfortably twisted my knee a bit. This could be because I have size 7 feet (I’m 5’5″ and about 150#) and my heels don’t clear the plate like someone with bigger feet would. I thought it steered lightly but didn’t have a chance to push it very hard. I felt the bar placement was pretty good but I ride up on the front of the seat and the wind protection was okay for me. I like the cases but am not sure about it moving around and I think the topcase is a bit big. A GPS mount and wiring need to be integrated into the package.

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  37. sliphorn says:

    Which one of you guys did 123.9 mph? Was it you, Gabe?

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  38. Wilson R says:

    I test rode one and my wrist were aching before a half hour was up. I was both glad and sad to turn it back over to the dealer. A great bike but the bent over riding position is going to hurt sales.

    Report this comment

    • sliphorn says:

      I had to learn how to sit on my ST. At first I thought I made the wrong choice in motorcycles but then learned how to use my core strength, arch the lower back a bit, lean forward from the hips having a loose grip on the grips, and all of a sudden. Perfect. It’s a matter of training ones self. Once you’ve sorted it out you’ll like it and actually find it difficult, if not uncomfortable, to sit on a more upright motorcycle.

      Report this comment

      • Wilson R says:

        I’ll have to disagree with you. A co-worker bought one and tried to get used to it and ended up adding Heli bars and it’s still a little too low for him to use for touring duty. I am glad that the bike was able to train you how to sit on it.

        Report this comment

        • sliphorn says:

          Wilson, Google “Master Yoda Riding Position”. There is a wealth of information to be found.

          Perhaps your co-worker needed some assistance in figuring it out. Most people do not know how to sit on this type of motorcycle. I know I didn’t. The Triumph Rat Sprint forum is loaded with riders of every conceivable body type, and many had to learn how to properly sit on their Sprint.

          These are, after all, SPORT touring motorcycles. As in all sports, one needs to be fit.

          Report this comment

      • Bill Sims says:

        I replaced my Triumph Tiger with a Sprint ST because the upright sitting position caused my back to hurt after a couple of hours.

        Rode the Sprint nearly all day yesterday and did find my right wrist getting sore (fitted a throttle lock today!) and about 2/3 of way through the trip I raised the after-market converti-bars a couple of inches to alleviate the srain.

        The forward leaning posture is much easier on my back. I do have excellent muscle tone in my torso, though, so it probably does not work the same for everyone.

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  39. Bliz says:

    Who’s going to buy this bike? Do 20 year old sport bike riders want a 600 lb bike, no. 40 and over will be the buyers of this bike so why have the bent over riding position and high foot peg placement. Does this type of riding position real help the performance of this bike? Is it so hard to make a bike with good performance, wind protection, hard luggage and a decent riding position? Too heavy for sport bike riders too uncomfortable for touring riders.

    Report this comment

    • sliphorn says:

      Bliz, have you ever ridden a Sprint? The ergonomics on the new GT are nearly identical to my ST. The ST is definitely more sport than tour, and the new GT is still more sport than tour as compared to its rivals. There’s plenty of us guys in the over 40 crowd that like this type of bike and its riding position. I’m 57, 5’10″, 220lb, and prefer this riding position over the sit straight up position of a dedicated touring bike.
      It’s easy to shift your arse from side to side, hang off, etcetera. So yeah, the riding position helps handling performance.

      On my ST, at speeds above 50, clean air hits you right in the chest and perches you up for effortless high speed travel. I think the Triumph engineers got it right. There’s a lot of ST riders around the world , so that’s sayin’ something.

      The things I don’t like about the new GT are the 3″ longer wheelbase and extra weight. But I’ll reserve final judgement until I take one for a serious test ride.

      Does the GT have good performance? Yes. Wind protection? Yes. Hard luggage? Yes. Decent riding position? Yes. So what’s your beef?

      Report this comment

    • Kagato says:

      Hey Bliz, the riding position is going to feel odd until you get used to it–felt the same about my little Ninja at first. Over time it has become quite comfortable–although I must admit this 500 is just about a perfect fit for me at 5′ 7″ about 200 lbs.
      I commute 30 miles daily on her.

      Report this comment

    • MikeD says:

      On the 4th pic top to bottom the rider’s knees look pretty up there. No denying that one.lol.

      Report this comment

  40. MikeD says:

    Now this here is a “good looking SPORT-tourer” i wouldn’t mind to own some day…still dreaming of belt drives instead of chains at every given chance.

    Sliphorn, im pretty sure is nothing to u BUT I just don’t want to mess with a chain(don’t want to check tension, don’t want to wash it and afterwards lube it, and don’t want to think about periodic scheduled replacement)…call me lazy with all reasons.
    I already have enough scheduled adjustments worries with the bucket-shim duo and i only have 8 of those on my SV1000N.

    But MikeD, what NON-SENSE are u talking about? U have a chain on yours!!!
    Yes, thats correct…but it wouldn’t be if it were up to me (i wanted this bike for ever and i “WAS”(key word WAS) willing to put up with it.
    Next toy will be either belted or shafted…a used SuperTen with luggage always comes to mind. Now i just have to figure how to come up with the money and try to stay alive while i keep riding my “dream bike”.

    Report this comment

  41. mechelaar says:

    Nice reviews. It’s nice to actually get the firm “meh” feel about this bike from this article. Everyone is always so… “this is the best thing since sliced bread” pretty much about every bike out there. It’s refreshing to get good honest opinions from people even when they might not be overly flattering.

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  42. kpaul says:

    Nice objective reviews. Love the different perspectives.

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  43. sliphorn says:

    I’ve got an ’06 ST which I absolutely love. Haven’t had a chance to ride the new GT yet. As mentioned by one of the testers, it’s a shame they don’t offer the ST in North America anymore. The 3″ longer wheelbase and extra weight of the GT is a turn off for me. I saw it at the International Motorcycle Show and it’s big.

    Report this comment

  44. Bonnie limey says:

    Long distance sport tourer…with a dirty noisy chain hanging on the the rear..I wouldn’t care if they thought it was the best thing since sliced bread……sorry…no thanks..

    Report this comment

    • sliphorn says:

      Oh boy, here we go again. The chain haters!! Dirty? Noisy? I guess you aren’t familiar with modern chains and modern dry chain lubes, are ya? I pile up the miles on my chain drive ’06 ST and it aint no biggie. Chains are quick and easy to maintain on long tours. 500+ mile days are the norm for me. It’s easy peasy, boys.

      And the single sided swing arm of the ST or GT makes a chain adjustment (rarely needed) as easy as pie too.

      Report this comment

      • Davis says:

        Sliphorn, that’s easy peasy lemon squeezee…

        Can’t imagine giving up the ease of gearing changes that a chain offers. But, if that is not a benefit someone is concerned with then maybe chain drive is not for them.

        I regularly get 15,000 plus miles whilst SPORT-touring my 2002 FZ1.

        Report this comment

        • sliphorn says:

          I hear ya, Davis. I like the ability to swap out my front sprocket for more oomph outta the hole if I want. I’m all for whatever floats your boat, but I’m simply trying to get across to the chain haters that maintaining a modern chain is easy.

          I don’t go around saying I’d never have a heavy, complex, power robbing shaft system on my motorcycle even if they thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.

          I regularly get 20K+ outta my chain. One had 24K+ That’s miles.

          Report this comment

          • Mickey says:

            Not to belabor the point, and I’ll conceded to the lighter weight and more efficient transfer of power of a chain system but they are just not as good for long distance riding.

            I have an ST 1300 I’ve put 25,000 miles on and I have an FZ-1 I’ve put 25,000 miles on. On the St I’ve changed 5.3 oz of rear end oil twice. On the FZ I’m about to replace the chain, front sprocket, rear sprocket and front sprocket lock washer. On the ST I’ve spent less than $6. on the FZ I just spent $200.Plus I had to pay another $80 for a special tool to stake the rivet master link. And as I said on another of these posts, in 45 years on 30 something motorcycles. I’ve never changed the gearing to something other than what came from the factory, so being able to change the number of teeth on a sprocket means nothing to me. Riding for a hundred thousand miles with out replacing multiple sets of chains and sprockets means a lot to me.

            I don’t have to carry tools, I don’t have to carry lube, I don’t have to clean the rims or undersides of my saddlebags with a shaft drive, while on a trip.With a shaft there is never a second thought or worry. Just get on and go, thru rain or dust or dirt or snow.

            And unless you can remove a wheel without taking the chain off the sprocket, the chain gets adjusted everytime you replace a rear tire, in addition to the in between tire change adjustments. It’s true todays modern chains are far superior to the chains of old, but they are still the weakest link in the drive system (pun intended).

            Honda tried a chain drive on one of their sports cars the S500 in 1960, but that didn’t last very long because for cleanliness, reliability and longevity a shaft is clearly superior

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    • Just Joe says:

      Yeah, I know…I spent a sum total of 6 minutes adjusting the chain on my Speed Triple in 20K miles. Sometimes, I think about it and spray a little DuPont Multispray on it when I’m lubing up the car door hinges and the like…such a price to pay for lighter weight, better power transfer and better suspension reaction.

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      • MikeD says:

        Yeah…and how many dollars and time must u spend when it needs replacement ? and all the pointless cleaning cause u know all that 6min FRESH lube will come out flying the minute u go over 30mph or less. Yeah, i thought so…pretty relative, isn’t it ?

        Priorities, thats what it’s all about. We all have different ones.
        As stated, a chain on this bike-class is a negative. It ain’t no track whore 600 – 1000. Is a FAT sport-tourer made to ride for ions and receive the least attention…Mickey sure made that as easy to see as daylight.

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  45. brinskee says:

    Is that Mines Road?

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  46. Mickey says:

    This looks like a very nice motorcycle. The bars appear too low to suit me and again they are not tubular so difficult and expensive to replace. I thnk it lacks in a few areas as compared with my ST 1300…electric windshield, shaft drive, and fuel capacity.
    However it gets points from me for lighter weight, sharper handling and a soulful 3 cyl motor.

    I can see one of these in the garage someday, although it would have to compete with the new Kawasaki 1000 with Givi bags. Seeing as how the KAwi’s price tag is $3k less (probably $2K after you add the bags)and KAw has a larger dealer network, it would most likely come down to a teat ride on both to see how the ergos are.

    Then again an FZ-1 or FZ 8 with Givi might be in the competition as well.

    Then there’s always the Suzuki Bandit.

    Nice time to be a sport touring type rider!

    Nice job, Triumph.

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