Triumph is all about crafting different bikes that appeal to riders with diverse motivations for riding. The 2009 Triumph Sprint ST represents its entry in the sport touring bike market. Before releasing the Sprint, Triumph polled around 100 touring riders to discover what they felt was important in a touring bike. If you’re taking your bike on a long trip, different aspects become important, rather than if you want a fast street racer to ride on racetracks, or even a bike for bumpy dirt roads.
Triumph took this input into account when creating the Sprint for sport touring. The 2009 Triumph Sprint sports a comfortable seating position well suited to long rides on freeways. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, as no one wants to ride for hundreds of miles on an uncomfortable seat. To anyone taking his or her bike on a long trip, storage also becomes more important. The Sprint doesn’t skimp there, with under-seat storage capacity and standard saddlebags included. With a relatively easy-to-read LCD instrument panel, no Sprint ST rider will be confused when checking his speed or gas gauge on a long highway trip.
Triumph outfits its Sprint with an excellent engine. Triumph’s well-known, 1050cc, inline three-cylinder supplies the power to this bike. Used on several other motorcycles but tuned specifically for sport touring on the Sprint, this engine wins rave reviews for its performance. Given the Sprint's 118 hp and 72 lb-ft of torque, it truly is a fantastic piece of engineering. The Triumph engine has received a lot of praise for its unique and exquisite exhaust note. This power is smoothly transferred to the wheels via an X-ring chain drive, while shifting is accomplished with a six-speed gearbox.
Triumph tunes its specific bikes well for different uses. The 2009 Triumph Sprint’s suspension of dual adjustable forks in front and an adjustable monoshock in the rear works well for long, mile-eating journeys. The Sprint ST also handles remarkably well for a touring bike, demonstrating its sportbike influences. While its curb weight of 474 pounds seems heavy, it’s almost 100 pounds lighter than some of its touring bike competitors. This leads to a big difference in handling, especially during low-speed, tight maneuvers. The handlebar positioning resembles that of a sportbike more than a classic touring bike, which has the advantage of assisting the maneuverability, though it can be more exhausting when riding hundreds of miles a day.
The aluminum beam frame aids to the Triumph Sprint’s ability to ride stably over long distances. Twin 320mm floating disc brakes in front and a single 255mm disc brake in the rear work together to ensure good stopping power. Triumph offers an optional Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for those riders who prefer ABS.
With a 230+ mile fuel range, there shouldn’t be worries about getting caught out in the middle of nowhere with no gas stations in sight. At 45 mpg, the 2009 Triumph Sprint ST boasts excellent fuel economy for a touring bike.
The Sprint might be lacking in some of the high-tech gadgetry, like an ECO green indicator that informs you when you are operating your bike with efficiency. However, the Sprint ST won the 2007 Motorrad 50,000 km endurance test and the 2008 Touring award, so clearly Triumph is on to something with the Sprint ST.