Monday, May 17


* New sports tourer from Triumph offers performance and practicality
* 130bhp version of Triumph's iconic 1050cc triple
* Up to 117 litres of hard luggage capacity with accessory topbox
* Anti-lock braking system comes as standard

Five years after the introduction of the popular 1050cc Sprint ST sports tourer comes a new model with greater practicality and more emphasis on the 'touring' aspect of 'sports touring': the Triumph Sprint GT.

That is not to say the Sprint GT has lost the sporting edge that made the Sprint ST one of the most popular and enduring bikes in the Triumph range. As you would expect from a British machine wearing the famous Grand Tourer tag, the Sprint GT delivers outstanding real world performance in a practical and stylish package.

In an increasingly segmented motorcycle market, the Sprint GT offers a unique proposition for everyday motorcyclists: performance, and practicality.

Performance is taken care of by an updated version of Triumph's legendary 1050cc triple. First introduced in the 2005 Sprint ST, the latest incarnation of this great engine has been updated to deliver increased power, torque and usability. With 130bhp on hand, the Sprint GT offers excellent real world performance, with development focused on power delivery in the mid-range rather than chasing peak power.

Practicality is the GT's byword with new 31 litre panniers, ABS brakes as standard, underseat storage, built in rack with well appointed grab rail, 320 plus Km fuel range (Approximate) and an optional top box capable of swallowing two full sized helmets and offering a 12 volt power supply to allow 'on the go' charging of electrical items such as laptops and mobile phones.

Sprint GT: built for real world riders
Triumph's design team set out developing a bike that would 'improve the Sprint ST's practicality without transcending into pure tourer territory' and set about developing the bike that they themselves would like to ride across Europe, while listening to feedback from its existing customers - particularly riders of the Sprint ST - to ensure that the Sprint GT hits the mark. The result is a bike that can take you all the way to the furthest corners - and allow you to have fun when you get there.

Comparing the Sprint GT to the more sporting ST, the new bike is all new from behind the fuel tank, while up front it incorporates a number of updates to create a new bike with a different attitude and feeling for both rider and pillion.

Starting from the very front, the GT features newly-styled and better performing reflector headlights, offering improved distribution of light over the previous ST's projector type units. A new internal mounting system for the mirrors has been introduced to give a clearer view at speed, while the cockpit itself has been restyled to give a sharper and more contemporary look, while retaining the distinctive three-light Sprint design. In the cockpit, riders will find a comprehensive three dial instrument panel with large traditional analogue speedometer and tachometer, while the third dial hosts the readout for the onboard computer, where the rider can scroll through fuel consumption, range-to-empty, journey time, average speed and clock functions.

Further major differences can be found at the rear of the bike. The ST's underseat exhaust has been replaced by a traditional side mounted system, with the new triangular section silencer mounted under the right side pannier, which not only releases more horsepower, but also frees up enough underseat storage space to accommodate Triumph's accessory U-lock. The new seat sits the pillion lower than on the Sprint ST, and their comfort is further aided by lower footpegs, while the built in luggage rack comes with generous grab handles as standard. Sprint GT owners opting for the optional powered top box will further benefit from the ergonomic styling for additional comfort and support on long rides.

A new rear wheel is 1kg lighter than the visually identical item on the outgoing ST and both front and rear wheels are shod with Bridgestone's dual compound BT021 tyre, which offer better handling and durability than the BT020 specified on the previous Sprint ST. The GT's longer single-sided swingarm creates a 1537mm wheelbase (compared to 1457mm of the Sprint ST) to maintain excellent stability even when fully laden, while the suspension on the GT has also been updated. Front forks are outwardly similar to the ST but have revised damping for greater control under braking, while the all-new rear shock also embraces the GT's practicality drive, featuring a remote pre-load adjuster wheel which is easily accessible and can be changed by hand to accommodate solo and two-up riding. Brakes have been revised with lighter discs, more rigidly mounted for greater durability, and a new brake pad formulation providing greater feel and approximately 10% increase in braking performance.

Loaded with luggage
A key development area for the Sprint GT has been endowing it with world class luggage solutions.

Where the Sprint ST sported dual 22 litre panniers ideal for weekends away, the Sprint GT comes equipped with full touring specification 31 litre panniers as standard, with an equally well-specified topbox available as an optional extra to take the total hard luggage capacity to a cavernous 117 litres.

Each pannier has a 31 litre capacity shaped for maximum practicality and is big enough to swallow a full-face XXL helmet. The panniers are certified to carry 15kg distributed equally between both sides. They are operated with the bike's ignition key and are fully waterproof. Panniers are colour-coded to the bike and feature a new mounting system that eliminates the need for external rails, giving a cleaner look when the panniers are removed. The pannier fits on two discreet mounting points through the rear bodywork, while the Sprint GT employs Triumph's unique pannier mounting system to maintain high speed stability when fully loaded. This system links the two panniers together but allows them a degree of movement relative to the bike, cancelling the effect on the chassis of loaded panniers and ensuring the Sprint GT tracks straight and true at autobahn speeds.

If that's not enough, Triumph's accessories division is offering a gargantuan 55 litre powered topbox designed especially for the Sprint GT. Capable of carrying two full sized helmets, the topbox has the benefit of a built in 12 volt power socket that allows the recharging of electrical items such as mobile phones and notebook computers while on the go. With built in electrical contact points, the top box requires no electrical wiring by the rider for true 'plug and play' practicality. The topbox is also colour coded and operated by the ignition key, and is available with an optional inner liner. The ergonomic design provides a comfortable backrest for the pillion, with an optional comfort pad available for passengers who prefer additional support. Like all Triumph accessories, the topbox has been fully tested to Triumph's stringent OE standards, giving customers total peace of mind that fitting it will not affect the safe operation of the motorcycle.

The full range of accessories includes a host of other options designed to further increase the practicality of the Sprint GT and allow riders to personalise the motorcycle to their specific needs. These include heated handlebar grips, a taller aero screen, optional gel comfort seat and high quality magnetic tank bags which can increase the Sprint GT's luggage capacity by a further 30 litres.

Technical torque
Renowned for its sporting character, Triumph's 1050cc triple has been updated for the Sprint GT, offering even better drivability than in previous incarnations.

A new exhaust system and revised ECU lifts peak power by 5bhp to 130bhp (@9,200rpm) over the Sprint ST. Most significantly, the engine has been tuned for even stronger mid range, with peak torque increased by 5Nm to 108Nm (80 Ft-lb) and delivered 1,200rpm lower in the rev range for even easier overtaking.

Because the Sprint GT has been designed to cover long distances and take riders to far flung places, fuel range is just as important as rider comfort. The 20 litre fuel tank ensures the Sprint GT can comfortably cover 320 plus Km's between fuel stops. Triumph's latest generation engine management system not only helps deliver more power and torque, it also gives a small improvement to fuel consumption and ensures that the Sprint GT delivers the smoothest throttle response of any 1050 yet. Sixth gear on the Sprint GT is 7% taller than on the ST, delivering more relaxed motorway riding and improved touring economy.

Sprint GT chassis: intuitive comfort
The main twin-spar aluminium beam frame is carried over from the Sprint ST, while the 43mm front forks have received updated internals for improved control and damping. The rest of the chassis is new.

Rear wheel mass has been reduced by 1kg, while Bridgestone's BT021 dual compound tyres have been chosen for their excellent blend of performance and durability.

The new exhaust system lowers the centre of gravity when compared to the ST's underseat system, while the swingarm is 79.5mm longer to maintain stability when carrying heavy loads. Visually the GT is designed to update the ST style rather than create an all-new look. The new rear subframe creates a more practical rear end and the only body panels carried over from the sporting ST are the fuel tank and fairing lowers. The Sprint GT also features a newly designed centre stand for improved ease of operation.

Up front, twin 320mm floating discs are grabbed by powerful four-piston callipers with a single 255mm disc at the rear. Triumphs unobtrusive anti lock braking system, an option on the Tiger 1050 and outgoing Sprint ST, has been updated and is standard fitment on the Sprint GT in line with customer expectations and Triumph's ongoing commitment to improving rider safety.

The result is a motorcycle with a different feel to the Sprint ST, biased more towards the 'touring' side of sports touring than the Sprint ST's 'sports' - a composed machine with precise and intuitive handling to keep up with sports bikes on demanding roads, but equally delivering the comfort required for a long two-up session in the saddle.

The 2011 Triumph Sprint GT comes in two colour options: Aluminium Silver and Pacific Blue.

Look for the Sprint GT in NZ Showrooms around September. Local Pricing TBC.

Source: Bikedeadline.