This is the story of one of the best motorcycles I’ve ever owned, my 1999 Triumph Sprint ST. This is the first bike that I bought brand new (from Ideal Garage, Birmingham – now sadly closed) and my adventures of owning and running it over 7 years and 45,034 miles.
16th June 1999
Early days yet, but I must say that this must be the best bike Triumph have produced. I’m totally overwhelmed by this bike, the power, the handling, and the way it all fits together are perfect or as one of the American motorcycle magazines said:
In the first week of owning my ST, I’d covered just over 900 miles and the ST has had it’s first (500 Mile) service and had the panniers and Triumph stainless steel ‘Performance’ exhaust fitted.
The panniers are a great buy and suit the bike perfectly, But one word of warning, get your dealer to fit them. My dealer said it takes around 3 hours, and I’ve heard of some owners taking up to 10 hours!. The panniers are very well designed, fit nice and close to the bike, and when you take them off the bike, the frames don’t look out of place. And can fit a full-face helmet in each side. On the negative side, you have to remove the left-hand pannier to get to the seat lock, the paint can get scratched easily, you have to remove the key to open both locks and they are not completely watertight. But on a whole a near-perfect accessory to your ST (if you can afford them)
The stainless steel ‘performance’ exhaust end can is another essential accessory. This can is technically not for road use, but the noise it makes is not loud, more fruity and has the ‘NOT FOR ROAD USE’ writing on the underside, so you have to almost lie underneath the bike to read it. Because it has a nice Triumph badge on it, it looks like a standard exhaust!. The additional power from fitting this pipe was not too noticeable, but the sound it makes is music to my ears, no longer is my ST humming away, it now has a nice fruity sound!
The engine is a four-stroke triple, based on the successful T595i and makes around 108BHP in standard form around 112BHP with the performance can and returns around 48-57 mpg.
27th September 1999
Well, I’ve had the ST now for just under 4 months and I’ve covered 4,000 miles. The biggest problem I’ve had is that I cannot find enough time to ride it. The ST has been 100% reliable and the only things the I’ve had to replace is the petrol in the tank. (Currently, I’m getting an average of 48MPG, with 1 trip I got 59 mpg) The rear tyre has just started to square off but is still good enough for a few thousand miles yet.
23rd April 2000
I had a Dunlop D204 rear tyre fitted about 1,500 miles ago, due to a large nail in the original Bridgestone. Grip seems very good and it’s currently wearing OK. I’m not really a tyre sensitive person at the end of the day a tyre being black, round and costs a lot of money!
I’ve just had Ideal Garage replace a faulty fuel sender under warranty while it was in for its 6,000-mile service, along with a new set of EBC rear brake pads.
The EBC’s Green’s are not quite as good as the OEM pad, lacking feel but will get replaced with a set of EBC’s Double H pads when worn down. The Double-H pads are an amazing pad that gives loads of power and feedback but at the risk of wearing down the discs more.
26th October 2000
I’ve had my Sprint ST for 15 months now and covered 11,000 miles in that time, it has taken me all over the UK, I’ve ridden down many different roads and seen many different things so you could say that we are well past our honeymoon period. My feelings about the Triumph are still the same as when I first purchased it, I still get excited about riding it, I even get butterfly’s in my stomach before throwing my leg over it. It’s been 100% reliable (except for the fuel sender, it just was not very accurate) and never let me down, as someone else once said ‘This bike’s a keeper’.
I’ve tried Bridgestone BT57’s & their new 020’s, Dunlop F204’s and I’m currently running a set of Continental’s new ContiForce sports tyres. These new ContiForce tyres have a nice profile, and warm up quite fast, tyre wear seems OK at the moment and they handle OK except that they are a little ‘skittish’ over white lines in the wet and since fitting them the bike has a very slight weave at _very_ high speeds, nothing dangerous but still noticeable. The major factor in trying these tyres in the first place (No not because my brother works for Continental!) is the price, at around £130 for a complete set, they cost about the same price as a single Bridgestone or Dunlop rear! and so represents great value for money.
Looking to the future, I’m thinking about fitting some heated grips, (I had these fitted to my Suzuki 1200 Bandit and found them very useful) but I’m unsure of what type to install. Triumph make a set, the bike is almost pre-wired to accept them but they are quite costly so I may try something from Oxford or browse the good old M & P catalogue.
As for dislikes, The only thing’s that I dislike about the bike are things that are missing such as a hydraulic clutch, adjustable clutch lever and fully adjustable suspension. To me, these things should be standard on a motorcycle of this type.
Routine maintenance consists of checking the oil level (Never needed topping up), adjusting the chain when needed and that is easy to do using the supplied tool and even then it’s only needed adjusting 4 times in over 11,000 miles but I do have a Scottoiler fitted so that helps with looking after the chain, checking the tyre pressures and filling up the fuel tank with go-go juice.
10th August 2002
Well, it had to happen eventually, something had to break! It was a nice sunny day and I felt like taking the Triumph for a quick blast, so I get the bike out of my garage, start it up and leave it ticking over while I put my jacket and helmet on, then jump on the bike blip the throttle and ‘ping’ the throttle cable snaps! Bugger.
I suppose that I should be grateful it failed when it did as I was at home when it happened (I could have been anywhere, including a trip to France planned in 4 weeks time) upon reflection I was pleased, it had taken over 3 years of ownership before something broke on the Triumph, whereas in the same number of months of owning my Suzuki 1200 Bandit I had 4 things break, so I should be thankful it was £21 for a new throttle cable and now my Triumph has a lovely light throttle.
17th August 2002
Me and my big mouth! 2 weeks after replacing the throttle cable, on the way home after a long day in Mid-Wales what goes and happens? I’ll tell you what! The bloody fuel line from the petrol tank to the fuel injector’s splits! Double Bugger! Luckily with the help of Bonzo and Bob, we (I mean they) managed to remove the offending pipe, cut off the split end and rejoin it to the petrol tank so that I could get home. (Thanks for your help lads)
A new fuel line has been acquired and fitted and now everything looks OK, This is obviously a worry as the exact same thing happened the Andy and his Daytona 955i but when it was only 3 weeks old. I and Andy both ordered and collected our bikes at the same time and I believe they were built at around the same time, a quick tip is to check the steering head on a Triumph and it will tell you it’s date of birth, mine says 160599 meaning it came off the production line on the 19th of May 1999.
18th June 2003
After 26,400 miles it’s MOT time but it bike nearly failed due to a slight crack on the exhaust near where the end can attaches to the collector – Sorry I didn’t take any pictures but it looked very much like a stress crack where the end can’s weight has placed undue weight against the exhaust where it mounts on underneath by the centre stand.
Thanks to Chris who welded it up for me (The exhaust system is made of stainless steel and as such is a little more difficult to weld) – CHEERS CHRIS!!
25th February 2004
With the mileage now creeping over 31,137, I had noticed that the bike’s temperature was running a little higher than usual, not by much and by no means into the red, just a little warmer.
I had a look around the bike but I could not see any reason for it, so I decided to keep my eye on it. After a few days, I noticed a dark stain to the top right (as you look towards the bike from the front) of the bike’s radiator – Ahh – the dreaded cracked radiator issues that happened to a number of 1999 bikes when they were new (general consensus being that the radiator’s had been fitted skewed and thus forcing the radiator to crack under stress over time)
I thought I had gotten away with this ‘issue’ at the time, and although Triumph never issued a recall, I know of a number of owners who had replacement radiators fitted under warranty at the time. My problem was that the bike was well out of warranty and this was happening 4 years after the problem was initially reported and dealt with.
I checked with my dealer and he responded by telling me that Triumph would not cover the costs as I had thought – double flip (flip?)
So with plastic in hand, I ordered a replacement radiator for the princely sum of £370 – ouch!
With a little help from Bonzo and Bob, we got the new radiator fitted along with fresh coolant within a few hours and the bike was back to running perfectly again.
4th October 2005
WOW – Where does the time go, I was just having a little look around and I noticed that I have not updated this page for a long time. I still have my Sprint ST, it has covered nearly 38,210 miles and it’s still going strong and I still love this bike more than any other bike I have owned or ridden.
7th December 2005
The rear brake disc has finally been replaced due to having worn past its service limit after 41,100 miles but to be fair I use the rear brake more than the front so I was expecting it to need replacing soon, the cost of a genuine Triumph new rear disc? That will be £120 please sir!
16th September 2006
Today is a sad day for me, I’ve sold the best bike I have ever ridden or owned,
Today I sold my Sprint ST,
Today I feel like a traitor,
Today is not a good day.
I can take solace in that I believe the bikes new owner, Ian, will cherish, pamper and more importantly have a blooming good time riding it as much as I have done.
So after 45,034 miles of great joy and fulfilment it was a very sad moment when as I watched the best bike in the world depart from my life, as I stood there and listened to the sweet sound of the bike slowly growing fainter with each passing second I will admit to a small tear in my eye.
Goodbye my friend I will miss you, Today is not a good day.
|Triumph panniers||Triumph stainless steel exhaust|
|Triumph rear hugger||Triumph heated grips|
|Triumph carbon look heel guard||Triumph stainless steel exhaust|
|Philips ‘VisionPlus’ headlight bulbs||Baglux tank harness|
|Telferizer GPS mount||Scottoiler universal|
|SmartWater Instant||Ventura headlight guard|