The 2000 Triumph Sprint RS

Here are some pics that showed up in the May 26th issue of MCN
The following is a summary of the article on the year 2000 Sprint RS that appeared in MCN May 26th, 1999 written by Jason McClean.

Some basic info, followed by a summary of the article.

Availability - Christmas 1999
Cost - Under £7,500
– Fuel-injected 955cc engine producing 101bhp
– Weight around 200kg (440lb)
– Same aluminium beam frame as the ST
– Strong, light weight double-sided swingarm
– Wheelbase approximately 1440mm
– New, low, narrow clip-on bars
– 43mm Showa fromt forks - adjustable for pre-load only
– Showa monoshock on the rear - adjustable for pre-load and rebound damping
– Dual Nissin four-piston brake calipers on the front.
– Available in Yellow or Orange.
– New electronic digital displays
– Bridgestone sports touring BT57 tyres
– Triumph branded colour-matched soft luggage.

The following is the summary of the article.

Factory admits half-faired Sprint RS triple will be on sale by the end of the year and its yours for under £7500

MCN reported that the RS is no longer a rumor. Triumph confirmed the bike is on the way after MCN spotted it undergoing secret shakedown tests near the Leicestershire factory. A factory source said: "The RS is a sports bike through and through. It's an ideal track day tool - the sort of bike you can enjoy riding to a circuit and then keep up with the superbikes when you get there."

The Sprint RS is the latest offering from the Triumph company and if current sales of the best selling ST are any indication, Triumph will have another winner on its hands.

The MCN article goes on to say that Triumph hopes the new Sprint RS will tap into the Honda VTR1000 and Ducati 900SS budget big-bore sports bike market.

The bike has been designed to fill the gap between the sports-focused Daytona 955i and the Sprint ST sports tourer. MCN expects that the Sprint RS is expected to have lower insurance and cost of ownership so it should appeal to a wide range of buyers.

Both the ST and the RS have the same retuned 955i motor, but the Triumph factory claims they are completely different bikes aimed at completely different markets. Export sales manager Ross Clifford confirmed the bike is coming and said: "This bike isn't based on the Sprint ST although it will share some common parts". "It's an all-new bike and production is scheduled for later this year. We're still working on the bike so no specification has been finalised yet."

According to MCN, here are some details of the new bike.

Like the ST before it, the fuel-injected 955cc engine produces 101bhp, compared to the 955i's 112bhp, and has been tuned for mid-range torque and acceleration rather than top speed.
Torque figures are said to be at 75ft lbs - one more than the 955i.
Top speed has been reported at 150 mph, but Triumph has said that they may remap the engine to allow for some more speed at the top end.
It should weigh in at around 200kg (440lb) as compared to the ST at 207kg.These power and weight figures put the Triumph in the same performance bracket as the 101bhp VTR, which weighs 192kg (422lb) and can top 150mph, and the 80bhp Ducati which tips the scales at 188kg (414lb) and will reach 140mph.

The RS and ST share the same aluminium beam frame (and a more refined version will appear on the new 600) which is stiff and lightweight for excellent control and feedback, but the new bike has a double-sided swingarm replacing the 955i and ST's single-sided design. The article mentioned a weight savings on the double sided arm, but put it off to less reinforement. As I understand it, the double swingarm is lighter because the axle is much simpler. On a single arm the axle is larger and heavier and has the addition of an eccntric bearing housing for chain tension adjustment.

The RS's wheelbase should be close to the 1440mm found on the 955i Daytona. Also new to the RS are the new clip-on bars that are much lower and narrower than on the ST.

On the suspesion front, the front will have the same 43mm Showa forks as the Sprint ST. The rear suspension will be a new Showa monoshock featuring pre-load and rebound damping adjustments. The brakes are said to be Nissin, taken straight from the 955i (but remeber the same was said for the ST and they are not straight off the 955). Two 320mm discs with dual 4 piston calipers up front and a single 2-piston grabbing a 220 mm disc at the rear.

The bike is pictured with Bridgestone sports touring BT57 tires fitted and like the ST, these are likely to be the ones the bike comes with as standard. Riding position will be sporty, with the bars set low and close together and the pegs high for extra ground clearance.

The half-fairing is similar to the ST's upper portion, but on closer examination you will see that there are many differences. The screen is much lower and requires a lot of ducking for cover. The air vents are new, the front signals are back off the fairing again and the lights are smaller. Also, new to the RS are taller, wider mirrors which should finally allow Triumph riders to see something other than their own arms when looking behind them.

The bike will be offered in Yellow shown above and an Orange colour which will probably be similar to the Fireball Orange of the orginal Speed III. Also, large "RS" graphics have been added to the side which really make the bike look finished - too bad they didn't do something like that for the ST. At this point the wheel color has no been set, and sources are saying that there may be a silver offering instead of the standard black. According to their Triumph sources, the frame on the production bikes will be black to make the motor stand out better.

Also new to the RS (and the new 600) is a full set of new electronic digital displays which are much smaller than the standard analog clocks from the ST. A Triumph insider has revealed the new electronic clocks are even smaller than the Yamaha R1's instruments.

Triumph insiders have also revealed that the naked bottom half of the bike is a deliberate styling cue to appeal to riders in Europe and the U.S. where many riders like to see the bike's engine. It's also a reaction against criticism that some of Triumph's fully-faired bikes look too Japanese.

On the accesory side, the bellypan shown in the photos above on the prototype will be available as an aftermarket add-on. However, the bike comes with a colour-matched removable rear seat cowl (although pillion passengers don't get a grabrail and must rely on a strap on the seat to hold on).

Other accesorries that Triumph is also going to make are
- Aftermaket race cans for more power and a beefier sound
- Colour-matched soft luggage.
But as previously reported by many sources, Triumph won't be producing hard luggage for the bike as it doesn't think it will suit the image it wants for the RS - and also as expected, the ST hard luggage won't fit the new bike.

According to MCN, Triumph is confident that the RS will win sales from both Honda and Ducati. "It believes the British badge with a growing reputation for excellent bikes and customer service will be advantages many motorcyclists will be seduced by. "