Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have two bikes,I like both of them very much,they are the first two bikes in the title of this post, but hindsight (they say ) is a wonderful thing.Bear with me on this ,If you've seen my previous posts on here about bringing back my 01 sprint 955i st from the dead - well restoring really after years of neglect then you may be familiar with the question asked originally in another post which was If my son and I eventually ever get to going to watch the TT how is it to be decided who rides the Triumph and who rides the Honda ?
I've solved this problem in my own unique way by part exchanging the vfr800fi for an 2010 St1050 !

In a burst of spontaneity I casually called a local dealer to enquire about part ex options and before I knew it the deal was done,bike gets to me on Tuesday next week.Now unusually I'm not after technical advice,tyre choice options,aftermarket kits available etc, I just need totally biased reassurance from this forum:oops::D that I've done the right thing ! Something along the lines of "yeh,it was inevitable mate the the Hondas are good but".... or "you wont look back mate,its a whole new ball game"
My rash impulse was heavily influenced by just how good the 955i engine is,and what a treat to ride the older triumph is once fettled correctly.

There is a caveat to this the soon to be arriving 2010 sprint was a cat c in 2015,needs a little tlc,and has recently had new reg/rec/stator/battery which appears to have been an issue on this bike but I'll save that for another post.

To be clear I'm not asking for my ego to be buttered,just valid real life comments from a good forum on what a fantastic decision I've clearly made 馃槵

My lovely VFR last year,I will genuinely miss her


My smashing and nearly fully restored st955i


3,008 Posts
I do not think that you will regret your decision

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

69 Posts
I traded my highly modified 2001 VFR800 on a 2008 Sprint ST a few weeks ago so can give you my take on it.
I do miss the VFR, but I also like the Sprint a lot.
The VFR had 136,000km on it but was still very tight, the Sprint has 39,000km on it.
I'm still getting used to the Sprint, and there are lots of things I don't like and will modify as time goes.
I love the way the Sprint steers and how precise it is, I also like the sitting position and overall performance.
Lots of people say the Sprint tripple has lots of character, I'm afraid it has nothing on the VFR motor.
Don't get me wrong, it's better than the IL4's but not that much different, and nothing like a high revving short stroke V4.
On paper it has more power and slightly more torque, but in real life not that much more.
I think it makes a better sport tourer than the VFR, it handles better and looks great.
The intergrated hard bags are fantastic, I also like the clutch on the Sprint a lot better than the VFR.
Suspension is too soft and incorrectly damped but works ok as long as you don't push it past its limit, stock VFR wasn't any better.
I dropped one tooth on the front sprocket of both bikes, the Sprint benefited from this more than the VFR.
The Sprint's brakes are also ok without being great, I long ago upgraded the suspension and removed the linked braking system on the VFR and installed VTR1000SP2 calpers that were fantastic.
Gear driven cams on the VFR sound great and are easy to do valve shims, the Sprint I guess is a bit more of a pain, but will see in a few weeks when I tackle this job.
The Sprint's muffler has to go, but not sure what to put in yet, maybe a twin Dominator R set up.
It will take a lot to beat the sound of the no baffle Staintune on the VFR, but it has lots of potential I think.
This is of course is very personal, and everyone gets something different from each bike so it might not be the opinion of other Sprint users.
It sounds like I'm being a bit hard on the Sprint, but I actually love it a lot and can see me having it for a long time.
I don't commute, and my bikes get used for riding the twisties or going on long trips riding the twisties.
Heading to Phillip Island for WSBK in 2 weeks so will get a much better idea on it by the time I get back.
Looking forward to The Bonang and The Alpine Way, if they open the roads by then after all the fires.
Both fantastic bikes really.



24 Posts
I had a 98 VFR. I stupidly tried and failed to make a tourer out of for my wife to ride pillion on. It didnt suit her at all so I sold it and ended up with an ST1300 Honda. It's a great bike for that job.
Wish I had my VFR back though! For me it's a toss up between a sorted pre Vtec VFR and a sorted Sprint ST1050.

3,323 Posts
I only have two gripes with my 1050 ST at the moment:
Pegs need to be dropped about a half inch and
The headlights are actually dangerous at night in the corners.

191 Posts
Had a 鈥98 VFR (and an 86, 90, 93, 97 and 02, I鈥檝e had a few) for short while. It was a nice bike but not really great at any one thing and was one of the more bland bikes I鈥檝e owned. Pluses were the sound of the engine and the single sided swingarm.

The Triumph on the other had has a vibe, pulls like a freight train and is a pleasure to ride/own.

You鈥檒l like the bike once you give it a chance and ride it a bit. Good choice :)

307 Posts
I had a 2001 VFR800 that I traded after 8 years for a new 2009 ST

Initially, I was smitten with the shiny new bike but soon felt I'd made a mistake. The ST is a good bike but the VFR is better - for me anyway.

I preferred the sportier handling and riding position of the Honda. It also carries its weight much better than the Sprint. There doesn't seem much difference in braking but it's good to have ABS on the Sprint

In standard form, the Honda is good for 500 mile days and nights. The Sprint needed a gel seat and headlight upgrade. My wife also finds the Triumph pillion too high

However, over time (10 years!) I've grown to like the Sprint. It's build quality has turned out to be better and the engine is stronger but less characterful.

Personally if I could have, I'd have kept the VFR and got a Speed Triple but that wasn't to be :( The Sprint is a good compromise

7 Posts
I have an 08 1050 Sprint ST now along with a 06 Ducati ST3S and an 07 BMW R1200GSA.
I've owned fourth and fifth generation VFR's. The 4th motor is my favorite of those two even though it has carbs. They were spot on.
My Sprint has 55K miles on it and it rides very well and the motor is very smooth. I don't think it is better handling wise than either my '94 or '99 VFR's. The both felt lighter and turned in better. The Sprint may seem a little more stable in a straight line. The Sprint's motor is definitely stronger but overall the motorcycle doesn't feel much faster. But I'm sure it is.
Now comparing the '08 the the ST3S the Ducati is more stable, turns in better, holds a line better and is more composed especially when the road is bumpy or when hitting bumps or depressions. Now I don't think it's a fair comparison because the Ducati has Ohlins fully adjustable USD forks and rear shock. There is an issue with the fork rebound dampening valve where the adjustment affects the compression but it's not a big deal unless you are racing or at 60 degrees most of your riding. It isn't an issue for me.

The BMW has Wilber shocks plus the riding position is much easier, no matter who you are. I have people tell me they don't like the riding position and I can understand it. As I'm sure there are those of us that like to walk bent over or in a semi-crouching position. I rode dirt bikes as a young kid and the GS1200 is like a giant dirt bike and everything works good. Nothing is great but as a whole it's hard to touch it.

I have 148K miles on the GS. I rode my 2 VFR's over 70k miles together about 50k on the '94. So I have some seat time but of course it's all very subjective.

The issues I have with the Sprint is the hot air coming out of the fairing would be great if I always rode in sub 50F degree weather but I live in California, USA and although I ride almost everyday it's only that cold in the middle of winter. We had a heat wave a week or so ago and it was high 70F degrees on the way home and my calves and knees were knew we were not on the GS.
I've read all about the heat shielding and the foam pieces and it all seems in place.
There are all kinds of little details that both the Sprint and ST3S are missing on.
I get why people like both of these motorcycles. And I've always been a fan of the Honda V4's since the early 80's but the big BMW does a lot right and it's easy to ride. The big negative is it's very tall. Most will say it seems high and probably feels top heavy but really both the Sprint and ST3S feel heavier when going slow.

I'm not going to try to fix the Sprint's suspension as I'd have more than the value of the motorcycle into it before getting it there.

I have added HID bulbs to all three of the head lights. I didn't think anything could fix the odd and IMO dangerous headlight beam pattern but the brighter HID bulbs seem to have made the light pattern at least usable. I also like that it seems that other vehicles seem to notice me more.

Sorry for the long reply.
The good think about motorcycles is there are many to choose from and most can find at least one they like or that will work for them!

69 Posts
I agree with you on the hot air, it cooks my legs.
You should try it on a 39掳C day, it's an oven.
Luckily I don't do any of commuting, or it would really annoy the crap out of me.
You're right about not feeling faster, even though it actually is.
It's just that the motor is quite bland, no rush, no peaks, no strong finish.
It just pulls very linear which doesn't make for any sort of excitment.
It's a great bike, it just doesn't have any soul.
It doesn't mean it's a bad bike, far from it.
It reminds me a lot of my CBR1000F which I liked a lot, great bike that did evrything very well, just no personality.
I'm sure once I replace the restrictive muffler and play with the suspension it will get a lot better, just like the VFR did.
It also seems to run very lean, I will get a cable and try playing with the fuel maps to see if things improve.
Funny but I find the ST's steering to be quicker than the VFR, and the steering geometry says it should be, it needs a lot less effort and it is very precise.
The first few days of ownership I found I was turning in too early, and had to keep correcting it.
Seven years and 76,000km of VFR muscle memory is hard to break.
On the ST3s, it sounds a lot like my old Laverda RGS1000, I'm sure I could've run over a dead cow mid corner and you wouldn't upset it.
And I must admit, the Laverda trple with the 180掳 crank sounded a lot better than the 120掳 ST. Italians always seem to make anything sound great.
Don't all go looking for a RGS1000, it was an unrealiable piece of crap, but when it was working it did it well.
The sad thing is, we all seem to have the same craving for a good sports tourer, but it's not the fashion any more, and the world is poorer for it I think. Sorry Socalnative, I just can't do a GS (old milker).


7 Posts
SprintOz, I agree with your points on the Sprint. I like the engine a lot and I like it's linear torque and power curve. I don't really need a motor that suddenly comes awake and then screams. But I understand that rush. I didn't get to ride my VFR's back to back with the Sprint so I'm just going by memory. I did tweak my '94 VFR so it's not a good comparison to my completely stock Sprint.
The problem I have is that it's my least favorite riding/handling on road motorcycle but with my favorite motor! I rode it last year a couple time when it was over 100F and no way I'm doing that again.
I like the profile comparison. The big GS is not a pretty site and it does have it's wide points. I can ride any of my motorcycles through a tankful, but I doubt I could if they could go 350+ miles between fillups like the GS.
I have the Tuneecu android app and it cleared a code on the Triumph and I think it will work for changing the control maps. You might want to look into it for tuning.

24 Posts
Socalnative I just sold my ST2 and I was fine with the 2 valve power, but the handling was so nice. Just think it, and it happens. I have had to spend some time on the sprint to bond with it, but it will never handle like the telepathic ducati. But I am enjoying the sprint for sure. Great motor. It was a mistake though selling the ST2.

69 Posts
I have the Tuneecu android app and it cleared a code on the Triumph and I think it will work for changing the control maps. You might want to look into it for tuning.
That is my plan, but I like to get to know the bike before I do any major changes.
I鈥檓 going on a 3000km trip next week, should have a better idea of what I need to change when I get back.
I actually don鈥檛 mind the GS, they鈥檙e popular for a reason.
2 of my friends have swapped over to them, 2 others went to the Tiger.
As they鈥檙e getting older they鈥檙e moving away from sportier offerings.
Not yet for me though.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts