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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Main Motorcycle: 2005 Suzuki Boulevard M50
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Other Motorcycle: 2008 KYMCO Venox
Extra Motorcycle: 2006 Piaggio Fly 150
From cruiser to sport tourer / Sprint

Hi Triumph riders,

I'm 24, I've been a self-taught motorcyclist since my late teens. The parents said "you'll never get a motorcycle!" so obviously I saved my paychecks and did the exact opposite. Please ignore my inclination towards not following advice and offer your expertise if you can take a moment thanks in advance!

Over the last 6 or so years, I've owned cruisers. My Suzuki M50 (loved it) and my H-D XL-883 (hated) arenít what Iíd consider powerful. Now I want to try a sport touring bike, preferably with some standard almost UJM-like ergonomics. Enter this 1999 Triumph Sprint ST.

It has a windshield and plastic fairings and all this other stuff thatís completely foreign to my riding experience, but most of all, it has POWER.

Obviously this bike is much lighter than the cruisers Iíve been riding, meaning the difference in power to weight ratio is even greater. The nice thing about the cruisers is the long and low weight distribution. Some say they handle like hell, I say having all of that weight so close to the ground makes them easy to ride and grind. Yeehaw!

Iím just wondering how big the step up from a midsize v-twin cruiser to basically a liter triple is? Weight distribution as far as handling, and power delivery are my real concerns.
  • Have others out there done this kind of upgrade?
  • Will I be overwhelmed?
  • Iíve heard the FI mapping on the early Sprints wasnít very smooth. Any truth to this or is it just one guy blaming his misfortune on his OEM?

Also I have questions about this particular sprint itself. It seems immaculate and the owner lists upgrades to the exhausts and handlebar risers (the cruiser rider in me likes these a lot), and a zero grav windshield (indifferent towards)Ö the thing is, the bike also has 50,000 km or about 32k miles.
  • Is that a good amount of wear on this bike?
  • What should I be budgeting for repair in the next 5,000 miles or so?
  • Has anyone had any concerns regarding buying a used, high mile Sprint, or with their own high mile Sprint?

Thanks in advance for your help guys and gals!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
Production 125
Main Motorcycle: 2005 Suzuki Boulevard M50
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 8
Other Motorcycle: 2008 KYMCO Venox
Extra Motorcycle: 2006 Piaggio Fly 150
Here's a good post that discusses (vaguely) some of my thoughts here:

It seems the advice is to be weary of the performance increase, but there isn't a lot of in-depth feedback from the original poster.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 03:19 AM
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Triples in general and Sprints in particular have a very nice mix of low-end grunt and high end power, and a very flat torque curve to match. That translates to a bike that tends not to overwhelm. For me, going from a 97 horse Trident to the 118 horse RS, I think I wheelied it once at the beginning of the test ride and had a pretty good handle on it after that. Going from the 40 horse KZ440 LTD to the Trident was a bit more of a shock, but even that wasn't so bad. (Again, because of the character of the triple and that flat torque curve.) Long story short, you'll be fine as long as you go easy on the throttle until you know what it does.

That's got a first generation mill in it, and mine's got a second generation, so I'm not entirely sure this holds true, but: the "TOR," or Triumph Off-Road, tune is a lot smoother due to being tuned for performance rather than tuned to pass emissions tests. Looks like that bike has the TOR carbon silencer on it, so it should have the TOR tune as well.

The maintenance schedule calls for minor services every 6k miles/10k kilometers and major services every 12/20k. A major service is usually a day's labor at a shop, so good to learn to do yourself! Usually takes me a good 12 hours to get through one, but I'm slow. You can download the maintenance schedule here.

If you have several years on smaller bikes and you're concerned enough to post here about it, you probably won't kill yourself on it. It's a pretty controllable bike, and you seem to have the right attitude.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 03:41 AM
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I went from a Suzuki M50 to a 99 Sprint with no problems. Huge difference in power and to me comfort. Hated my M50, caused my feet to go to sleep after 20 minutes. No such problems with the Sprint. When I bought my 99, it had 37k miles on it, and I've only had minor maintenance, replacing the cush rubbers. Go easy the first few times you ride and you'll learn the bike and how it behaves. It turns much quicker than the M50, and it will actually go interstate speeds without vibrating you to death.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 05:04 AM
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I have been riding a Speedmaster since 06, I have put over 50K miles on it, and 6 months ago I picked up a 01 Sprint RS. All I can say be careful for a bit, the handling and power will catch you off guard if you don't pay attention. I went down 3 days after I got the RS, trying to do to much to fast. The Sprints are great bikes and a blast to ride, just give yourself seat time to get used to it.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 08:20 AM
Main Motorcycle: '07 Sprint ST
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I went from a HD Road King to a Sprint. It took a little while to get used to the riding position of the Sprint, but I really enjoy riding it. It's soooo much nicer on the hilly, twisty roads up here.

My '01 has about 32k miles on it issues at all. I checked the valve clearances last year, and they were good. I also balanced the throttle bodies, and that helped smooth the bike out a bit.

If you want the three hard bags, it's good to find a bike that already has them installed. It's pretty costly to add them to a bike that doesn't already have them. And I hear it's hard to find the parts.

That's a good looking bike, if the price is right.....I'd go for it! (I'm a bit biased towards the early blue ones though)

Good luck!
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 09:14 AM
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My first bike after riding school was a 1700cc Yamaha (now Star) Road Star (cruiser). What was I thinking? Of course I thought it was a fine beast (for lack of knowledge), but the cruiser seating position did not agree with my lower back, so I traded for a Royal Star, but again the seating position had my back hurting. Traded the Royal Star in for a Kawasaki Concours 14 (GTR1400) and finally was on something that could go all day in comfort, handle and brake well. I found the transition to a sport tourer easy. It was the cruisers that were more difficult to ride because they don't handle or brake well and lack power for those times when you need it. Along the way I have also had a Yamaha FJR, Buell 1125R, Kawasaki ZX12R and still have a Triumph Daytona 1200. I added a 2011 Sprint GT last May and find it a delightful machine.

Based on my experience, I would say that the transition from cruiser to sport tourer should be easy. Just give yourself some time to get used to the different seating position and power. I would be much more concerned if you were making the move to a powerful sport bike (like my former ZX12R) which gives new meaning to instant Godzilla-like power. However, like Kit said above, the power dynamics of the Sprint are fairly benign and the seating position more sporting, but not radical.

As to the milage, others have the experience in this, but in general, I feel good maintenance is more important than miles on the bike.

Last edited by JohnD; 11-24-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 03:36 PM
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I have owned many bikes over almost 40 years but never owned a cruiser as I don't really like them and have always had either a traditional style naked bikes (go back to the mid 70's) or sports bikes.

So my transition 10 years ago almost was from a GSX R600 to a 2004 Sprint ST, which I owned for 7 years and loved.
I missed the razor edge engine and handling but loved the "easy to rideness" of the Sprint and also the comfort.

So no advice re the transition but I ditto all that Kit has said

The Sprint because of it's good handling and so flexible an engine is a very easy bike to ride fast.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
Production 125
Main Motorcycle: 2005 Suzuki Boulevard M50
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 8
Other Motorcycle: 2008 KYMCO Venox
Extra Motorcycle: 2006 Piaggio Fly 150
Appreciate all of your input, reflections, and advice, folks, thank you. I'm going to go ahead and put my best offer in and see what comes out of it!

Ride safe, but, y'know, have fun with it
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 12:39 PM
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Dont worry about the milage, at 32K its just run in. Later bikes blew their rectifier at about 40K, but with proper oil changes the motor is good for 3 times your milage. When you go to a dealer and they check the electronics they should always update to the latest tune. I queried this with my local dealer and he said that the tunes, as released always update and over-ride earlier versions and so they are unable to load an earlier version of a tune even if they wanted too.

as grey as gandalf but not quite as old
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