Sprint ST Thanks to John Fitz of Thunderbike Power Sports for these pictures and comments. Reproduced with his permission
* * * From John * * *
Hi folks Just thought I'd tease you all with a quick report about the 99 Sprint ST , 955i Daytona and 99 Speed Triple I managed to test ride today at the NZ Triumph dealer conference... All I can say about the Sprint ST is " Gimme"! I only managed to bag a 20 minute ride on a lightly damp road around one of our vineyards, but in that time my initial
impression was of a very refined and well sorted bike. In fact it made the 955i and new Speed Triple feel quite crude ( and both of these are HUGE improvements over last years models ,so for the ST to make them feel that way is quite remarkable). The first thing that hits you is how smooth the thing runs - no
stuttering or coarseness, just turbine like smooth power - the engine management and fuel injection feel absolutely spot on. The moment you let out the clutch, you realize the word "tractable" as you previously new it now has now been redefined. Rather than write a long report I've just summarized my impressions below as they occurred to me while
riding: 1.The gearchange is absolutely wonderfully silky sensually smooth - just the right feel - you can play it like a piano.. 2. The engine is extremely tractable in a very progressive and smooth fashion - I felt a lot more confident exiting a wet hairpin on the ST than I did on the 955i or Speed Triple. I found I was rolling the power on way earlier on the ST. 3. It turns and steers
beautifully - the 955i is no slouch here, but the new frame and ST ergonomics gave me confidence and control that was absent on its' sportier brothers. It turns into corners quicker than the 955i too. 4. The suspension is firm but compliant - very well sorted. From the moment you sit in the bike the suspension feels nice - you can feel both ends settle in harmony as you lower your weight onto the seat, and on the road it feels just the same - both front end and rear suspension
working in harmony to absorb the bumps, no jarring at all. This sort of feeling is very confidence inspiring and I felt that I could go very quickly on the ST in very short order. 5. The engine is far smoother than the 955i or Speed Triple (and again, they've been improved), and also lacks their induction roar. 6. The rear brake is more powerful and has more feel than the 955i or Speed Triple. The front brakes (from the 955i) are just plain amazing - also inspiring confidence.
7. The fairing aerodynamic are trick - it has better rider/weather protection than the Trophy, thanks in part to the venturi slot on the fairing blade. 8. The ergonomics were excellent - loved the handlebar/footpeg/seating relativity - you'll be able to cover long distances on this bike. 9. It's a doddle to put on the mainstand (standard equipment). 10. The ST has a 400km + (240 miles) touring range thanks to it's amazing fuel economy. 11. The rear muffler DOES swivel down for use with panniers ( the adapter comes with the panniers. ) 12. The frame doesn't get hot like on the 509/595 because they've done away with the rear cyl' head to frame mounts, thus the engine heat isn't transferred into the riders knees and thighs. And finally, did I mention how refined and tractable it was...?
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