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[ST] Sprint ST vs RSV Futura

     A few people have asked me off list about the Futura so I've decided 
     to answer all the questions in one mail.
     I'll qualify my statements by saying that the modle I tried belonged 
     to a friend and was fresh from the showroom so all you're getting here 
     are first impressions.
     Feels like a match for the ST in terms of torque. I think the choice 
     comes down to whether you prefer the vibes of the twin or the 
     smoothness of the triple.
     The STs Sagem FI system feels better mapped and smoother in terms of 
     delivery and throttle response. Very slight advantage to the ST here 
     but that could all change when the Aprilia is run in and adjusted.
     Suspension and chassis:
     Big advantage to the Futura. The fully adjustable forks outclass the 
     ST big-time. The rear also feels excellent and is easily adjusted. 
     Initially the futura feels lighter and narrower than the Triumph but 
     you quickly realise the weigh about the same. The Futura is narrower 
     and carries its weight low down and this is its major advantage over 
     the ST.
     Not quite as powerful as the ST but more feedback. These feel exactly 
     like the Brembo Goldlines on my Guzzi, which is to say excellent. I'd 
     happily live with either system and would rate them equally.
     The futura sounds like and electric lawnmower with a budgie trapped 
     inside. It's awful and produces a strange chirping noise that I 
     couldn't track down. Bonous points to the ST for sounding better but 
     both bikes need a performance can.
     Cheap fitings and poor paint let the Aprilia down. The paint was worn 
     flat around the tank after 15 miles use and we had to polish with hand 
     glaze before fitting the 3M film (Pictures on the way Eric). One panel 
     was unlaquered on a visible edge. Many of the fasteners are poorly 
     plated and look very cheap. The brake lines look cheap and nasty by 
     comparison to the neat stainless jobbies on the Triumph. Overall it 
     lacks that look and feel of quality that the ST, BMW and VFR share.
     Adjustable clutch and brake levers!!!!!
     Fuel guage tells you how much fuel you have left, as in, Fuel 
     remaining = 1.5L !!!!!!
     Seat release is on the dashboard so you can still get at it with the 
     bags fitted !!!!!
     Very subjective obviously. The ST is pretty while the Futura is 
     striking. It looks great from the side and from the saddle but the 
     view of the front and rear is awful, reminiscint of the Triumph TR7!
     When they were parked up, everyone walked over to the Triumph first.
     Futura has lower bars and is a sportier feeling bike than the ST. Very 
     much a SPORTS-tourer. One very annoying feature is the headlight 
     switch which has high beam where the dips would normally be and vice 
     versa. I'm sure one would get used to it but I can't think of one good 
     reason for deviating from the norm.
     The futura is an excellent bike and has better sporting potential than 
     the ST. It has some nice features but is poorly finished in many 
     respects. I'll be sticking with my ST for the moment at least but I 
     expect to see the ST and VFR given a decent run for their money when 
     the magazines start doing some group tests.
     I have some side by side shots of the ST and RSV which I'll post when 
     I get a chance.
     Martin (Howlin' Dawg)

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