Quiet, unassuming and unpopular the Sprint RS may have been as a new buy, it now has a loyal following and makes a bargain sports tourer.
I was at the launch of the Sprint RS in southern Spain in 1999. Some muppet in the office thought it would be a good idea to ride back from there to the Midlands, in late December.But thanks to decent winter kit and the Sprint RS's solid attributes, I got back in one piece and none the worse for my ordeal. The days in the saddle gave me plenty of time to suss out the Sprint RS. Here was a solid, capable machine which shared most of its bits with the more expensive Sprint S - the ally beam-frame was the same and so was the motor. The RS worked well over more than 1000 miles of good, bad and plain ugly weather and was comfortable for many hours at a time. The motor was plenty peppy enough and the suspension pretty good, even with a firm shock and slightly soft forks. Turn-in was quicker than the ST too, thanks to modified, 'sportier' steering geometry. Despite its virtues the RS never shone like the more popular ST. Instead, the RS's image was that of the solid family man. But, unassuming as it may be, the RS can spring a few surprises and it's almost as capable as its bigger brother ST - and let's not forget that the ST routinely gave Honda's VFR a run for its money.
All that niggled was the lack of 'sock-you-in-the-face' looks and any creature comforts. Half a fairing on a bike costing more than seven grand? Where's the grab-handle? The centrestand? These were extras from the accessories catalogue, meaning the price could really add up if you wanted something properly equipped.
Continue the Triumph Sprint RS Buyer Guide - 2/2
Posted: 07/04/2011 at 21:18
Posted: 08/04/2011 at 15:41
I have had both early and late models and am still running one with 51k miles. They are excellent machines and I would thoroughly recommend one to anyone. However, there are a few things I would take issue with in the review above. The comfort issue is subjective. I am 14st and struggle at anything over 100 miles with the seat. I have ST bars and risers which raise the bars about 3ins so this may be a contributory factor, but I wouldn't say it was long-journey comfortable. A chain oiler helps chain life, I am still on my second chain and sprocket set at 51k miles. Tank range is worse on later bikes which have a larger airbox reducing capacity, but I can usually get to 150 miles before the light comes on. My main disagreement with the review concerns finish. I reckon it is bloody good. I have always used mine in all weathers and only clean it about twice a year and when I do it still comes up like new. Other than paint on the rear footrest hangers and (recently) a bit of peeling paint on the swing arm I think the finish is fantastic. The fork bottoms and engine cases show no signs of salt damage whatever. The rear view mirrors are not positioned far out enough to clear your elbows it's true, but I have no problem with vibration at all. And forget the Bridgestone 020s and stick a set of Michelin Pilot Road 2s on. The Bridgestone fronts used to lose their shape after about 3k miles and the steering went off. The backs squared off also. The Road 2s do non of this and grip fantastically for a good 9k miles. The last point I would mention concerns the brakes. They do work well as advised, but even with regular cleaning the pistons are prone to sticking in the calipers. This results in there being plenty of wear left in the pads, but the lever coming back to the bar. I have tried everything suggested to cure the problem without success. The only thing you can do is get some tyre levers and push the pistons back in and pump them out again. This works for another couple of thousand miles. This is the only fly in the ointment on what I consider to be one of the finest and most underrated motorcycles available. The engine is a true gem and other than a burned out generator both of mine have been relentlessly reliable and great fun to ride. In the right hands they can embarrass a lot of so-called superbikes and they are now great value.
Posted: 26/06/2011 at 20:39
Posted: 23/05/2012 at 10:36
Posted: 05/06/2012 at 20:44
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