Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2004 - present)

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Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2004 - present)
Massive improvement in both style and performance over outgoing model. A genuine contender for the VFR’s crown

Our Review

Reviewed: 25 June 2009 by Visordown
Triumph has given the Sprint a work-over. The look is new, chassis updated for a more sporty performance and the engine, while retaining the triple format, has been completely re-worked with a smoother gearbox as well as a 95cc hike to 1050cc, which equates to a claimed power increase of ...  Continue reading


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Reader Reviews

47 user reviews of Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2004 - present) See all

Overall reader score
A nice bike, but I sold mine due to the gearbox issues and the fact that the brakes constantly felt like they had warped. In winter the pads would weld themselves to the discs and leave them heavily pitted afte Continue reading...
My first "born again" bike. Some mates thought I was crackers coming back on a 1000 plus bike but tbh it was a doddle. This bike is so stable and forgiving even me riding it like a plant pot for the first six m Continue reading...
A great bike - it handles predictably, it's deceptively fast and more than capable enough to tour for long distances - London to Manchester and back in a day and still fresh at the end of the trip. Never had t Continue reading...
A very capable bike that can surprise a few sports bikes with a good pIlot on board. Will cover vast mileages with no problems. Has reasonable fuel consumption which can give up to a genuine 200 miles on a tank Continue reading...
I bought mine used having a little less than 20 thousand kilometres,with plenty of extras including heated grips and xenon lights. I had some troubles with the battery during the first weeks,that were finally s Continue reading...


I purchased new in March 2006. Within 5 miles it was leaking oil - on reflection this should have been an omen. Dont believe the weight claim in the glossy brouchure It's 241kg according to Triumphs CE declaration. This bike has been a bitter dissapointment, forget the claims, its no sports bike. For the third time in the last 9 months it has required a rescue from the AA. Once for a knackerd battery second time for voltage regulator and again whilst out to playing recently the voltage regulator has expired again.
I am at the end of my tether with this bike. Chain & sprockets replaced. Front discs replaced. Clutch cable replaced. Battery replaced. Voltage regulator replaced. (twice) Rear wheel bearings replaced. Suspesion drag link bearings replaced. (twice - once during a recal) Its only done 24000 miles.

Posted: 20/04/2010 at 18:51

I think you've been unlucky - it happens.  FWIW if I'd had the same experience, I'd be just as mad ( & disappointed).  You really look fwd to a new bike, especially a new model that the journos have liked.

BUT: I put 26k on one the same as yours with absolutely no probs; OK, I had the recall for the drag link - and something else which I what? Done promptly, no hassles.  OK, headlight was useless....we all know that.  Did the job v well, though; absolutely no reliability issues, finish was great after 3 years.  I bought it after 2 VFRs, which were fine but not in the same class as regards performance & character, and I replaced it with another Sprint 6 months ago, which is just as good.....and has a (sort of) headlight.

 As I say..I think you were unlucky - better luck next time, whatever you buy!

Posted: 20/04/2010 at 19:31

Just about too change my 07vfr for a sprint am i asking for trouble?, Or was the regulator just unlucky.  

Posted: 05/05/2010 at 22:41

I think he was unlucky...see my post.  I'm not aware of any real reliability probs with the Sprint, or Triumphs in general, come to that, any more than with any other bike.  You'll love the power, the noise especially on the overrun, the practicality.  You'll be glad to forget about the 16 valve "step" on the VFR that you've prolly forgotten about if you've done a decent mileage on it ie you won't have to avoid going into a concentratey-type bend at around 7000 revs.  Just get on & enjoy.

 If you do a lot of riding in the dark, you WILL miss the VFR's lights, especially if it's an early 1050 you're buying.  They're appallingly, horrendously BAD and Triumph should be ashamed etc etc - but that's been said before.

If it's any comfort to you, the first VTEC VFR my local dealer sold blew up before it had done 500 miles.  That wasn't typical, & I don't think Regulator's experience is either!

Posted: 06/05/2010 at 13:57


Really sorry to hear about your bike, Regulator. You've got every right to be pissed off after that lot. New VFR 12 on order yet?

Fwiw picasso my experience is exactly the opposite. My Sprint is easily the best 'cycle I've ever owned. It's flawlessly reliable, lighter and better finished than my old VETEC. It's packed with character, it's really gotten under my skin. I adore the blue beauty like a favorite pet. It's no sports bike but it's faster and more agile than I'll ever need. It's even sweet two-up. From fire breaks in the Highlands to 800 mile motorway stints, she does it all, you won't be dissapointed p.

Posted: 09/05/2010 at 12:31

Not so sure that it is bad luck I had my regulator replaced on my 06 Sprint last May, And guess what happed today ? yep that one has gone to so not to sure what to make of it

Posted: 23/05/2010 at 18:47

I have also had to have my discs replaced which is not good on a bike with less than 18000 miles on the clock. Will see if I can get the regulator changed under warranty

Posted: 24/05/2010 at 17:53

I think the definition of 'reliable' has changed...modern vehicles of all kinds are expected to start every time until they're very, very old. 'Reliability' these days is more about how much money needs constantly spending on them and how likely it is for things that shouldn't need replacing at any given point do need replacing.

In my own experience (admittedly I have never owned a Triumph; by 'my own' I mean people I know who have owned Triumphs) Triumphs are not great in this arena. Lovely bikes, admittedly, but buy one out of warranty at your peril. It's very much a risk...a reasonably low one, yes, but far more of a risk than many other makes.

It does annoy me when people hark on about Triumph's reliability though, because needing new engines after 3000 miles, many, many horror stories and even more tales of niggles mean that believing these stories of 'reliability' may leave you somewhat out of pocket.

Don't buy one just out of warranty if you can't afford to take the risk...go for a much older one or one in warranty.

Posted: 26/05/2010 at 21:18

Lodonmun wrote (see)

I think the definition of 'reliable' has changed...modern vehicles of all kinds are expected to start every time until they're very, very old. 'Reliability' these days is more about how much money needs constantly spending on them and how likely it is for things that shouldn't need replacing at any given point do need replacing. In my own experience (admittedly I have never owned a 


. Don't buy one just out of warranty if you can't afford to take the risk...go for a much older one or one in warranty.

Do you ride or are you just a "KeyBoard Wanker?"

Posted: 27/05/2010 at 07:39

Lodonmun wrote (see)
Don't buy one just out of warranty if you can't afford to take the risk...go for a much older one or one in warranty.

With that statement, am I to assume, your experience with  much older Triumphs is that they are trouble free?      I think it’s you that is dripping oil. 

Posted: 27/05/2010 at 08:53

sheila wrote (see)
Lodonmun wrote (see)

I think the definition of 'reliable' has changed...modern vehicles of all kinds are expected to start every time until they're very, very old. 'Reliability' these days is more about how much money needs constantly spending on them and how likely it is for things that shouldn't need replacing at any given point do need replacing. In my own experience (admittedly I have never owned a 


. Don't buy one just out of warranty if you can't afford to take the risk...go for a much older one or one in warranty.

Do you ride or are you just a "KeyBoard Wanker?"

Let me turn the question around before I answer...all I've seen come out of you in the very few posts you've made are insults and the occasional joke which you've managed to copy and paste in with a few bits changed...are you not guilty of the exact thing you accuse me of?

I haven't ever seen you post anything motorbike related. Only brief attempts at trying to have a go at other people.

Why have you used speech marks? Why has 'KeyBoard' got two capital letters? Just wondering.

Whether you ride or not, you definitely need help with the keyboard bit.

But yes, I've been riding motorcycles for many years.

Posted: 27/05/2010 at 09:42

MaxBarger wrote (see)
Lodonmun wrote (see)
Don't buy one just out of warranty if you can't afford to take the risk...go for a much older one or one in warranty.

With that statement, am I to assume, your experience with  much older Triumphs is that they are trouble free?      I think it’s you that is dripping oil. 

No, not trouble free, but much less of a risk than a just out of warranty Triumph.

I know three people who have had major problems with Triumphs (as in new engine/new gearbox type issues) within the 1-3 year old period...fortunately all were within warranty but a few months later in one case and there would have been big problems. All of these problems occured very suddenly and without much prior warning...OK, a skilled and experienced mechanic may be able to spot them early but in all three cases the bikes went through at least two Triumph services with nothing being spotted. Then suddenly...pop.

I think that this propensity to go as a relatively new bike makes buying one just out of warranty a big risk.

Buying a much older Triumph; OK it will almost certainly have a few little things, but any major problems will probably have made themselves known by then. Anyway, the point is it's not such a financial risk.

That was my point, not that older Triumphs are more reliable.

Posted: 27/05/2010 at 09:51

Triumphs aren't built like they used to be I had a ST 1050 my 7th Triumph since 97 and my last new one.

I had disc problems warping, from 12000 miles onwards it was burning 2 litres of oil between services and the build quality was way down on my previous Triumphs.

The final starw came when the bike need £600 worth of work to get it through its first MOT after only 17000 miles serviced on the nail and garaged its whole life.

I now run a BMW after 12 years of Triumph ownership, I do have a 98 Thunderbird Sport that I've turned into a flat tracker/cafe racer cross and that flys through MOT's with no trouble 12 years old and was in better shape than my 3 year old ST.

Posted: 15/06/2010 at 21:28

I'm no expert as i only passd my test two weeks ago and collect my 05 caspian blue 1050 sprint two days ago. but I must say I love to bits. I've done over 200 miles already. I know that's only small fry to most on here but after an hour or so of riding there's no wrist soreness or discomfort of any sort.

I bought it because I love the look of it and being tall (6 ft 2) it's far comfier than your usual "1st big bike" ie sv 650s or er6-f. I'm sure they're great bikes but just they are just too small for me.

At the moment I'm completely in love with it and find myself looking forwad to going to work tomorrow, or should I say looking forward to the 30 mile cross country blast to work.

I hope my love for this bike continous as it's started......................

Posted: 30/06/2010 at 20:51

Last 5 bikes have been Trumpers, the last 2 being Sprint STs from new. Held the bikes for 5 years each and covered between 17thou and 25thou.

No problems at al apart from punctures. Although the last one - 1050cc - went through 2 batterries in the last year for some reason.

Super bike, long rides from London - Lakes, S Wales on umpteen occasions. South of France and Monte carlo GP.

I'm a big bloke, and overloaded the panniers, but it would go like a dream and pul all day - sounded great as well especially when coming off the throttle.

New bike is a TBird 1700 - bit of a culture shock!!

Posted: 08/07/2010 at 20:02

My '06 Sprint ST/ABS 1050 was easily the best motorbike I've owned. Not one worry about heading cross country - states away - easy 1000 miles days too.

No oil burning/leaking. Loved the bike.

 Triple mill was the nuts and the handling was over the top...even with OEM suspenders.

Avon Azarro shoes and grip was superb. Wished the panniers held more but - not a deal breaker.

Posted: 08/09/2010 at 16:45

Every bike is different, even two right next to each other on the same assembly line. There are occasional defects in the parts that make up the bikes. Yes, Sprints have a couple of occassional known quircks such as wheel bearings(especially on the 955's), voltage regulators, and even the front rotors. I have owned an 02 that i changed the wheel bearings around 28000 miles. My 05 ST has been relatively flawless in 36000 miles. in the last few thousand miles i have noticed a slight warp in my front rotors,  put in my first replacement battery, new clutch, and my first chain/sprocket replacement. I am just now replacing my voltage regulator. I would say that is pretty excellent if that's all I have had to do. I ride the crap out of my bikes and yes I have had to add a quart here and there after a few long weekends in the twisties, but that is rare. And can you believe, I have had to put air in the tires from time to time too.  All bike brands have issues even BMW(Bring My Wallet). They are all unique and good in there own way. FYI - Triumph is rated #1 in Customer Service and Satisfaction over all the other brands. There is a bike out there for every rider and if you haven't found it yet just keep looking.

Posted: 10/09/2010 at 03:44

Most things people say about Triumphs are followed by '...but that's very rare'.

Triumph problems happen an awful lot for something that's rare.

Posted: 10/09/2010 at 17:32

Just come across this thread but if anyone comes back and anyone anew here's my bit.

The reliability issue's on here are a european wide problem,we are simply not as good as the japs.I bought a new FZ6 in 2009 one of the last,it's a budget bike as such and when i went to collect i told the dealer i have'nt had the breakdown cover through yet,the guy said don't worry it won't break down.He was right and would a Triumph,Bmw,Ducati dealer have said the same?That Yamaha was tight,built to a fine tolerance,it still was'nt run in at 1000 miles,extremely well made machine.I don't think you will find that quality build in europe.

Triumph have issue's with reliability and maybe it's with the pruduction line, they build bikes as the orders come in on the same line.This is probably more cost affective but at the cost of reliability.The japs have long runs of the same model,this is obviously a better way to  build in respect of reliability.Of course it goes deeper than that,components.Triumph must have known the issue's with ST discs,bearings etc.The quality control seems none excistent

Triumph seem to be doing better with the later models,not heard of problems with the Sreet,Daytona but a bit early yet though.Love the Tiger and i think Triumph are uping there game and on top of qualitity.Time will tell

Posted: 02/02/2011 at 21:21

Really a case of chicken & egg i think ... I had a Ducati 916 which was a nightmare to maintain BUT when it worked, it worked extremely well on the track when needed to .. as i always said .. "it was a dream to ride... when it wasn't in the work-shop". ... LOL!!

AS for the other bikes I've owned so far.. including a Triumph Sprint, they were more reliable then the 916, BUT I didn't love them as much ....
Really depends on how you look at it really.

Regardless, all the best in your next ride.

Posted: 08/02/2011 at 11:54

Can anyone tell me if there is a lowering kit available for the triumph sprint st 1050,2009 model

Posted: 02/03/2011 at 11:10

Very interesting discussion - even the jokes and insults appear related!

I've owned Triumphs for more than 15 years - I started with a 94' Sprint that I bought when I passed my test.  It was a ex-demonstrator and was great until I noticed that the engine was using oil after 5 years.  Fine until then. 

 Next was a Sprint ST - the 995 model.  That was fantasticly reliable, although I did notice that the battery needed replacing every 3 years or so.

 I updated that with a 05 Sprint ST - the 1050 model that was stolen (reliable, although I did replace the battery every 2 years - and had a bit of a problem with the alarm) and replaced with a 58 Sprint ST - which I still use.

 None of the bikes have been garaged.  I have done about 6,000 miles a year - although I did do much more in 08 and 09.  The problems have largely related to the batteries - which I have now taken to replacing every 2 years - and problems with neighbours' driving skills - a problem arose with the alarm after the bike was knocked over on one occasion last year.

There is a problem with getting spares from Triumph - currently, after the latest neighbour incident, I am told by Triumph that the part I need will be available after 22 December!  Some 3 months after it was ordered.  The bike's fine and works, and the insurers are OK about my riding it so long as the garage is OK about it, but it does appear odd that it is taking so long to get a part for a bike that is still being made.

 The panniers are a waste of time on the 1050 Sprint ST - I am told that they are considerably improved on the current GT - but I use a GIVI topbox, so most of the time the problem with the side panniers is not an issue.

 I was in Manchester this week - and the 1050 ST is not as efficient as its predecessor but I did manage 49.5 mpg for the 1,000 mile trip.  So far, outside incidents that arise from neighbours actions, the problems have been with batteries - which is forgiveable and dealt with by replacing them every 2 years.

Posted: 07/10/2011 at 11:56

Better late than never.

I bought a ST1050 new in 2008, swapped it in for a Tiger sport this year.

The ST1050 was a bit of a disappointment compared to my ST955 which I kept for the next 2 years 'cos I was offered little for it due to high mileage. I had the ST955 for 11 years & 60k miles.

I suffered high speed buffeting on the 1050 but only at autobahn speeds 95+mph.

Mine also had a bad case of backlash in the gearbox/clutch which many other ST1050 owners I've spoken to also had, but not mentioned here? Didn't have that on the ST955.

The brake discs are made by Sunstar so not really a Triumph issue, they did develop excessive play in the bobbins, Aprilia's did similar? So it could have been Triumph's spec. to Sunstar.

I guess the batteries are also Jap but I don't know, mine was still good at 6 years old when I sold it. I did use an optimate when it was not being used.

The panniers are huge in width but not internally, nothing of any size will fit in them eg helmet, tent, sleeping bag. The '08's like mine came with panniers but I never used them, got it home and fitted new Givi racks & the E36's from my old 900 Sprint.

Great distance bike once fitted with a decent seat, we had covered 700 miles in a day on a couple of tours in our haste to get to warmer climes. Never any problem with reliability, it never once let us down in the 6 years & 24k miles. (low miles are due to other bikes in use)

If you have one without the backlash, you have a great bike. Anything else can be fixed.

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 15:53

I agree about the backlash, sometimes the 'klonk' i get putting it into gear at standstill makes me wince. Still, on the upside, I've had my 11 plate 1050 ST for a year, done about 8000 miles and its the only thing that stops it being a fantastic around bike.

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 18:58

I had one for 5 years - up to 12,000 service it used more oil than I would have expected, but after the 12K service no excessive oil consumption. Found the bike comfy and all day riding a joy! Swapped it for a Speed triple, but considering buying another!

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 20:04

And that's the rub, backlash aside, it does everything so well. I had a CBR600F before and the 1050 feels just more grown up; faster, more surefooted, more comfortable and with better weather protection. Not sure what i could move on to next.

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 21:59

I had my 2006 Sprint in july 2011. Seat was painfull past 3/4 of an hour, ride was fantastic, the engine ,the sound of the Trident carbon fiber pipes. . .   visceral impact  except it made my Scorpion 400 resonnate at around 4,000 rpm,also the odor of burnt gaz in the back and hair of the passenger. . . But it looks great, no oil burning, good on gaz, Front brake lever pulsed madly past 120km/h; fixed with 220 grit sanding paper, rear shock redone at 65,000 kms front end somewhat rough, The regulator blew some diodes at 68,000 km; replaced by supersport unit for half the price but checked the whole charging system with a megger and sanding of the ground connection before going back on the road. Only other problem was the TPS sensor that made it loose it's idle  completely    Fixed the same week at the closest dealer.The backlash situation; I believe it comes from the chain not tight enough, sprokets loosenned, and abrupt throttle in first 2 gears; that tripple is a torq monster 

Next bike ?  FJR 1300. . . Guzzi Norge 1200 . . .  or a smaller Yamaha XJ-09 it's a tripple too


Posted: 13/02/2015 at 20:17

^^^ Great to hear somebody got an ST1050 without that horrible backlash.^^^

The rest of us were all fobbed off by the dealers with the lame excuse of "Your chains too slack" by the very same person who'd just PDI'd it or serviced it?

Can't really complain, it was the only bike I've owned that had that problem in nearly 50 years of motorcycling.

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 17:31

Had my 06 ST 1050 for nearly 7 years. Been all over Europe on it and it has never missed a beat. Seat fastening borders on the farcical and the brakes were rubbish when I first got it. But after freeing off the disc bobbins and stripping and replacing all the caliper seals plus a proper bleed, fill with fresh fluid and the brakes are excellent. As a tip I always keep an elastic band round the lever and twist grip when the bike is In the garage. Helps keep pressure in the system and forces any air out. You'd be surprised how much difference it makes. Keep the linkages well greased also the rear hub bearings and you've gota really good bike. mine drinks oil at the rate of about 1 litre per 2000 miles. I use both the factory hard panniers sometimes some uOxford sports soft panniers. Both have pros and cons. depends on how I feel as to which ones I use. Check gearbox sprocket nuts. I have worked on 5 ST's including my own where the nut has only been held in place by the tab washer! 

My bike is stable up to 130 mph with panniers and as quick as it will go without them! using BT023 tyres which are lasting well. Done about 5000 to date, back is flattened off, but front is doing fine. 

Good value for money and only a shame Triumph have not updated the ST, instead of replacing it with the GT, which is not my cup of tea.

Posted: 19/02/2015 at 17:35

Good point on the front sprocket nut, been loose on all my trumpets, strange thing tho', checked one that I'd torqued myself & found it to be loose?

Re the oil consumption, none of mine have used a drop between 3k changes.

There's been a few instances of similar high oil consumption on the Tiger 1050 forum that were found to be the result of piston failure, apparently Triumph changed from forged to cast pistons on the 1050 & out of date tunes resulted in failure of pistons. Oil in airbox being the usual sign from what they say. Check it out on there.

Posted: 22/02/2015 at 19:43

It's a pity that Triumphs R&D dept don't read these forums, the SportsTourer genre was finished according to Hinkley.....but they forgot to tell Kawasaki, Honda and BMW who all have new models topping their sales charts. My 2010  ST 1050 is nearing 30k miles with 5 continental Moto GP trips under it's belt, but I'm looking to replace....what to do? The GT is an ugly duckling the 1200VFR has no tank range and the Beemer is to pricey....and my missus didn't fancy the passenger seat on the Kwak 1000. Surely Trumpet could have given the ST a facelift.....I just don't want an adventure type package...but a Duke Multistrada ( 2nd hand) might be my only option. PS this is my 4th ST (2 x 955i and 2 x 1050) no real probs other than the current  2010 model has another warped front disc...ggggrrrrr.

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 17:10

Summary | Full Review | Reader Reviews | Gallery | Specs | Discussion

Our score:

Your score:

Need to know

Always a solid performer, the Sprint now has the looks to match
Very, very little - erm... you might lose your change in the fairing pocket?!?!?
  • Price: £8499.00
  • Year: from 2004
  • Top speed: 153mph
  • Price new: 8499
  • Engine capacity: 1050cc
  • Power: 119.5bhp
  • Torque: 74lb ft
  • Weight: 207kg
  • 0-60: 3.8 seconds

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