Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm in the market for a new bike, and there is a '99 sprint in my area. I've been speaking with my local mechanic who has 30+ years experience. He says overall they are a great bike, but cautioned me about a possible crank shaft manufacture flaw. Looking around the forums it seems that it is common enough to warrant concern, but isn't widespread enough to kybosh the entire line of bikes.

The one I looked at has 80k on the odo. I understand that the part that fails on the crank is only under load from the starter. I've also looked into getting a dealership to search for a warranty recall using the VIN, but I haven't heard back yet from them.

Is there any advice you guys can give me about this bike? Any other resources for checking if it could be a problem bike? After 80k, I'm tempted to think that it has been started enough times that if the crank was gonna snap it would have done so already, but I can't be sure.

I appreciate any feedback you can offer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,670 Posts
The crankshaft flaw you mention was exceedingly rare, having come up here less than 10 times and probably closer to five (to the best of my recollection). If it's going to be discussed on the 'net, this is pretty much where it will happen.

FWIW, I've seen a lot of failures across the 2004 Sprint RSs I've had since 2007, including replacing the motor in my first one twice, and none involved the crankshaft.

The crankshaft failures have generally been attributed to incorrect heat treatment of a particular batch in 2002, the first year of the redesigned 955 motor. Note that the 1999-2001 triples did not use the same crankshaft as the later bikes.

No guarantees that you won't have some sort of freak accident, but you can safely assume the bike you're looking at will not suffer from that particular problem.

80k kilometers is pretty much just getting broken in for these, BTW. :)

Cheers,
-Kit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Kit,

Thanks for the informative reply. I think I will take it for a test ride this weekend, and if all else is in order I might make an offer. That info about the crank issue being a 2002 batch really puts my mind at ease.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I've recently picked up a 1050, having been considering the 955 to begin with. I had some unsolicited advice from a former Triumph mechanic saying that while the 955s are showing aging issues that often come with a hefty price tag, the only things misbehaving on the later model are wheel bearings, so decided to scrape together the extra funds. One month in I'm loving it to bits. I dare say though I'd feel the same about its older brother... Good luck whichever way you go.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I bought it! It's all mine now!

The previous owner (2nd or 3rd owner) provided quite a bit of documentation, including the original bill of sale from the dealer back in 2000. I have a lot of the service records, a few sets of spare keys and the key codes. Owners manual, service handbook, etc. Even have the business card of the salesman who sold it new.

Altogether I paid an additional $780 above the payout for the claim from my last bike. Going from a '82 Virago to a '99 Sprint ST is quite an upgrade!

The seller threw in a set of handlebar risers, so I plan to get a set of bars and do the changeover. I would prefer them to be up just a little higher. And some more comfortable grips are in order as well (no heated grips on this one.)

I took it for a ride last night after putting some fuel system cleaner in the tank. The seller hadn't ridden much this year and it was barely out of storage. I rode from Courtenay to Qualicum Beach and back, a 130 km round trip. On the return leg I took the inland highway, a fairly straight and fast 4 lane divided freeway, taking it up to 190Km/H at one point for a very short duration (I'm not in a hurry to die or anything). But she ran smooth the entire time and always felt like she had more to give, even in 6th gear.

I did find that the wind screen is quite low, and to get under it I need to be right down on the tank. I'm not a fan of this position, and would rather be a little more upright. However at highway speed, there is a lot of wind on my full face helmet, and the noise left my ears ringing after. Are there taller windscreens available to fit the fairings on these?

I gotta oil the chain, and I'll be bringing it back to my mechanic for a full look over (he did a 5 minute check for me at the end of my test ride and gave it a positive review.) I look forward to many a long ride on this bike. :grin2:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,670 Posts
<...>I had some unsolicited advice from a former Triumph mechanic saying that while the 955s are showing aging issues that often come with a hefty price tag<...>
Can you be more specific about these issues? I am more than a little dubious.

Cheers,
-Kit
 
  • Like
Reactions: goannawrangler

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,670 Posts
It sounds like learning to adapt to the more sporting position might be helpful. Try using your thighs to hold onto the tank and your core muscles to support yourself; it might obviate the need for risers and screens.

Even in Texas, I love my heated grips! If I were in Canada, I would definitely add a set of Oxfords. Failing that, Progrip 714s were always my favorite.

Ear plugs, or a headset with foam plugs, are the way to go to block wind noise. Riding without hearing protection will eventually deafen you. Ear plugs and music will change what you hear, but won't actually keep you from hearing the important stuff.

Cheers,
-Kit
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
455 Posts
The touring screen will give you the wind speed reduction and let you sit more upright.
The double bubble still does-not rid you of the wind directly in your face on your helmet.
I tried every screen out there when I used to ride.
I'm 6 feet in height, so work out from your height if this is much the same.

The crankshaft has a little problem where the oil would not get to the bearings for a split second and suddenly you have a seized or exploded engine on your hands.

My first Triumph was a 900, model before the 955i and it actually exploded my engine between my legs while overtaking on the M11 in the UK. I had a porche up my back-side and I remember I was going to pull in to let him pass and suddenly all hell let loose as the engine exploded sending shrapnel across three lanes of the motorway and shuting down the motorway as the crankcase exploded from inside out sending oil and engine parts everywhere.

Then I learned through various forums and owners this is a rare problem that can happen.
I then went out and bought a 955i and to my horror it was also a problem on this model.

I immediately took it to get a new Crankshaft and bearings fitted and was able to actually red line her with-out a care in the world.

It you use the bike at high end and near the red line then a bike with about 20,000 miles is NOT going to hold out for ever.

The newer generation 2's never suffered near the same fate and the 1050 is a totally different concept and design so no worries on the crankshaft side ever again.

I will say from my years of experience it is the rider more than the bike causing the crank-shaft to give out.

These are NOT racing machines and rev out at 9,000 revs and NOT 13-15,000 revs which instantly tells you the power is low done so it will cause a bit more stress on a crankshaft.

You will know or a good Triumph rider/mechanic will know if the crankshaft has been what I would call spun.
It will have lost some of it's power overall which tells you time to change parts.
Crank-shaft, bearings, Piston rings and timing chain will bring you back to a better ride and peace of mind.

The top-half can rattle like a diesel rock crusher but the bottom half should be silent and vibration free(with-in reason as it is a 1000cc engine and not a 125cc)

Others have mentioned from experience also here on what to help you with.
I personally would go for the touring screen over the double bubble.
I also had to use and install handle-bar risers which then affect the turning and handling at higher speeds but not really a great problem. And heated grips are a must in the UK if you ride through all weather.
p.s. I was doing 74mph when the old 900 sprint let go on me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Can you be more specific about these issues? I am more than a little dubious.



Cheers,

-Kit


Wish I could Kit, sorry, but I don't recall his specifics (I reckon I was wanting encouragement to lean towards newer anyway, so didn't retain more than the warning). He simply suggested that if I could find the extra $ recommend the 1050. When I bought, the dealer had a 955 there too (in blue, my favourite), which was half the price and mighty tempting. In the end it was fit that was the ultimate decider - at 6'5", I found myself more snug on the newer model. I'm still tempted by a 955 Daytona ... why have one bike, when for twice the price you can have two?!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
455 Posts
- at 6'5", I found myself more snug on the newer model. I'm still tempted by a 955 Daytona ... why have one bike, when for twice the price you can have two?!
I have to reply to you on this as I'm 100% behind you on finding and owning the Daytona. It still tanks the backside off a lot of new bikes out there and still turns heads.

I had always fitted after-market Triumph off road exhausts to all my triumphs I owned including the latest one sitting in my garage at present, the 1050 in Black. I have high-risers on her with a touring screen and with a set of ear-plugs it cruises along nicely and eats roads. well it will eat roads again one day as soon as I find a new owner to take over her. If you look you will see the handlebars are higher than normal and the screen although looks like a double bubble, is a zero gravity touring screen according to the label, although I still say it's a double bubble screen.
Maybe someone can chip in on this for me?
The other image is the early 1998 Sprint ST 955i which had just come back from having a new crankshaft and bearings and rings fitted.
I removed all fairings BEFORE I took it to Triumph as it was easier to keep them at home and re-fit later as the entire bike was showroom condition and I wanted to make sure it stayed that way.
A major engine job and unfortunately this is the motorcycle I got hit on in my accident some years back.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can you be more specific about these issues? I am more than a little dubious.
I'd like some specifics too.

It sounds like learning to adapt to the more sporting position might be helpful. Try using your thighs to hold onto the tank and your core muscles to support yourself; it might obviate the need for risers and screens.
I'll have to try that. Used to just sitting on a cruiser, this will be a learning process.

Even in Texas, I love my heated grips! If I were in Canada, I would definitely add a set of Oxfords. Failing that, Progrip 714s were always my favorite.
Where I live, we get 3 days of snow in the winter. We are fairly warm here year round. If I did decide to ride year round I'd look into the grips, and perhaps a heated vest.

Ear plugs, or a headset with foam plugs, are the way to go to block wind noise. Riding without hearing protection will eventually deafen you. Ear plugs and music will change what you hear, but won't actually keep you from hearing the important stuff.

Cheers,
-Kit
I'm going to try the touring screen first. I prefer to have the wind stream deflected just over my helmet or a little lower. On my last bike, the screen was a little high so I was somewhat spoiled. I was going to get a smaller one so that I wasn't actually looking through it, but then the bike got run over. I'm not sure I like the idea of earplugs on the road. I want to hear what's going on.

http://www.zerogravity-racing.com/product_page.php?pn=903

Maybe start with the double bubble and see how you like it.
Thanks for the link!

The touring screen will give you the wind speed reduction and let you sit more upright.
The double bubble still does-not rid you of the wind directly in your face on your helmet.
I tried every screen out there when I used to ride.
I'm 6 feet in height, so work out from your height if this is much the same.
I'm 5'10", so that's some good info, thanks.

It you use the bike at high end and near the red line then a bike with about 20,000 miles is NOT going to hold out for ever.

I will say from my years of experience it is the rider more than the bike causing the crank-shaft to give out.

These are NOT racing machines and rev out at 9,000 revs and NOT 13-15,000 revs which instantly tells you the power is low done so it will cause a bit more stress on a crankshaft.

You will know or a good Triumph rider/mechanic will know if the crankshaft has been what I would call spun.
It will have lost some of it's power overall which tells you time to change parts.
Crank-shaft, bearings, Piston rings and timing chain will bring you back to a better ride and peace of mind.

The top-half can rattle like a diesel rock crusher but the bottom half should be silent and vibration free(with-in reason as it is a 1000cc engine and not a 125cc)
I don't ride near red line, I typically shift when the power is starting to drop off. I agree that pushing a machine to the limits and having a failure is more the rider's fault than the machine.

The bike seems to have plenty of power, so I'm not worried about it being "spun." My mechanic had a quick listen, and I've noticed as well, that there is the top-half rattle like you mention, usually between 1500-3200 rpm. He said it was reasonable and might clear up a bit with fuel system cleaner.

Others have mentioned from experience also here on what to help you with.
I personally would go for the touring screen over the double bubble.
I also had to use and install handle-bar risers which then affect the turning and handling at higher speeds but not really a great problem. And heated grips are a must in the UK if you ride through all weather.
p.s. I was doing 74mph when the old 900 sprint let go on me.
The touring screen and risers seem like the way to go. I value a comfortable ride over all else, and it doesn't seem to present any significant handling issues.

I'm mostly a fair weather rider, but I can see myself getting into the heated grips.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I'm 6'2 so YMMV, I keep the stock screen on unless I'm going on a multi day trip. Higher screens just direct the blast to my head instead of over it. I do put on my touring laminar lip for overnighters as it really takes all the blast off my torso and makes for a more comfortable if noisier ride. I do have the risers and find it comfortable all day long which for me is 400-500 miles days. My heated grips are nice but I usually only use them when it gets below 50. 98% of my riding is 4-5k RPMs so I'm not going to worry about the crank.

Mine had a few less miles (3k) when I bought it a year and a half ago:)

I also had an 82 920 Virago, with windjammer full fairing, stereo, rider backrest and highway pegs, not even the same sport as the Sprint. Sadly me and my Virago were rear ended by a semi back in the mid 80s, happily, the Yammie took the brunt of the impact and I ended up with only a dislocated shoulder and nary a scratch thanks to AGATT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,177 Posts
SherpaJones, I recommend you leave the bike as it is for at least a couple weeks, so you can determine what you like and what you don't care for. And, the 'red mist' will clear up, giving you a more subjective observation.

I had a DB windscreen on my '00 ST, but when I bought my '02 with the stock screen, I found I preferred it.

Try the earplugs. You'll never ride without them afterwards. I prefer the bell-shaped foamies, with a noise reduction of 33dB.

None of the 955's are quiet at idle; the Gen I's are rather 'agricultural' sounding.

The engines are pretty much bullet proof. The rubber bits and some of the electrics, not so much.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
455 Posts
SherpaJones, I recommend you leave the bike as it is for at least a couple weeks, so you can determine what you like and what you don't care for. And, the 'red mist' will clear up, giving you a more subjective observation.

I had a DB windscreen on my '00 ST, but when I bought my '02 with the stock screen, I found I preferred it.

Try the earplugs. You'll never ride without them afterwards. I prefer the bell-shaped foamies, with a noise reduction of 33dB.

None of the 955's are quiet at idle; the Gen I's are rather 'agricultural' sounding.

The engines are pretty much bullet proof. The rubber bits and some of the electrics, not so much.
I agree with this entire post as I think we all will, excellent way to know what to look and listen for. Wait until your body adapts and gets used to it or it hurts the crap out of you so much you have no choice but to start swapping out bits.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
455 Posts
My step-sons 99 ST 955i is sitting waiting for a bit more cash from him as the engine is ready to lie down at high rev's.
He was 21 when I gave it to him so no fear and what I would call carelessness, not recklessness as he arrived back one day and I could not even see a drop of oil in the sump and zero reading on the dip-stick. He complained of it running almost red line on temp. and he checked the water at some service station and found it was fine so carried on back here.

As soon as he told me I knew she had been on the verge of seizing due to him simply running her dry of oil.
It is strapped up in my van ready for a long trek to London to have the engine partially rebuilt by trimoto. I cannot afford a new engine or rebuild from a main dealership, hence I made him save up himself for the damage and the London crew do a very exacting job at a fraction of the price so I'm happy.
I'll do a complete new post of her, which will probably happen in the next week too 10 days. I make him at all cost keep it on the road as he has twice dropped it and had one lady reverse into it and shunt it across the road.

It's had replacement forks, top and bottom yokes, headset bearings and all levers and bars etc. changed. A new tank and a complete set of black front, side and back panels. New front mudguard.
One rear end sub-frame, two seats, one rear wheel. two new wheel bearings, new exhaust system and I gave him my TOR system which is fitted and mapped.

All in the space of what I think is two years of riding.
The bike has a very special and private number plate which is the reason I make him pay regardless for repairs, even though they are more than the bike is worth. T9 SPT (Triumph 955i SPRINT)

I hope what I have done with him will make him appreciate more what you have is worth having as opposed to throwing things away and buying new. Bike is about 21,000 miles now on her.

And now about to have an engine rebuild. But a fault entirely of the rider on this occasion. Sorry for high-jacking this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,440 Posts
The touring screen will give you the wind speed reduction and let you sit more upright.

The double bubble still does-not rid you of the wind directly in your face on your helmet.

I tried every screen out there when I used to ride.

I'm 6 feet in height, so work out from your height if this is much the same.



The crankshaft has a little problem where the oil would not get to the bearings for a split second and suddenly you have a seized or exploded engine on your hands.



My first Triumph was a 900, model before the 955i and it actually exploded my engine between my legs while overtaking on the M11 in the UK. I had a porche up my back-side and I remember I was going to pull in to let him pass and suddenly all hell let loose as the engine exploded sending shrapnel across three lanes of the motorway and shuting down the motorway as the crankcase exploded from inside out sending oil and engine parts everywhere.



Then I learned through various forums and owners this is a rare problem that can happen.

I then went out and bought a 955i and to my horror it was also a problem on this model.



I immediately took it to get a new Crankshaft and bearings fitted and was able to actually red line her with-out a care in the world.



It you use the bike at high end and near the red line then a bike with about 20,000 miles is NOT going to hold forever.

20,000 miles? That engine is barely broken in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I'd like some specifics too.
Next time I'm at the service centre I'll ask the mechanic. As I recall he was talking about engine-related issues (could have been the crankshaft thing previously mentioned), but being only barely mechanically minded, I couldn't picture it so didn't retain it.

I'd like to know, because whatever it was may have bearing on the 955 Daytona as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
455 Posts
20,000 miles? That engine is barely broken in.
I bought it with 14,000 miles on her according to the paperwork I have for it, so it seems he has absolutely wound the back-side off the bike. He lives away from me so I don't always see now what he is up to but it looks like the bike was off the road for a lot longer than I thought.

The Triumphs use a bit of oil sometimes, some do and some don't, never been a problem with me on any motorcycle. I know every time I change out the exhausts for TOR's the oil consumption goes up a bit. All I'll say is the re-mapping will do this which is perfectly normal.
It runs a bit richer than standard set-up.

My step-son is unfortunately not very bright on anything, including even knowing what tyre pressure to look for on the tyre.

He can break a spanner simply by touching it.
Will wreck any screw-head. Will use any spanner or screwdriver, whether it fits or not; he will make it fit.:surprise:
He has no concept of anything mechanical and will run things till they fall apart and then all you will get is 'I don't know what happened, it just broke'

I'm trying to get him to not be frightened to ask anyone for help, as most people with motorbikes will help out others with basic maintenance so I will see what the future holds.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top