Driving report Triumph Sprint RS
Christmas is around the corner. And the Triumph Sprint RS. A sporty road sweeper in a class of its own? First hopeful driving impressions from southern Spain.
It came, saw and won, dethroned the Honda VFR, which had previously won comparison tests by subscription, and even referred to the stronger and more expensive competitors BMW K 1200 RS and Suzuki GSX 1300 R Hayabusa in the sports tourer mega comparison (MOTORRAD 19/1999) the places.
Now the competition is known not to sleep. You know that on the island too. So the English, thank God, did not pat their shoulders smugly and stumbled from one pub to the next, drunk with victory. No, they swung out for the next stroke and presented the sporty sister of the ST with the Sprint RS. At a price of 19,460 marks, a full 2000 marks cheaper than this. Their mission: to close the gap between ST and Triumph’s sporty flagship, the Daytona 955i. Instead of showing off an aggressive design and inflationary performance data, the RS appears simple, almost classic. But do not worry, dear Triumph fans, this motorcycle has it all behind its ears.
It looks slim with its tightly cut half-shell cladding. Viewed from the front, it is hard to believe that the matt black painted aluminum frame is home to the 955 cm3 three-cylinder, best known from the Daytona and identical in terms of performance and tuning to the engine of the ST. That means: For Germany and its dear neighbors in Austria, there is a regulated catalyst, which is by no means the rule with some of the larger competitors, but unfortunately still the exception. The RS is always delivered in the low-insurance 98 HP version. If you want more, the throttle valve stop can be exchanged at the dealer and the nominal output of 103 hp registered with the TÜV.
Regardless of whether it is 98 or 103 PS: None of the variants driven by MOTORRAD in Spain made a consumptive impression. The RS has plenty of thrust. From 3500 rpm, Triumph promises a whopping 80 Newton meters of torque, the maximum of 95 should already be available at 5700 rpm. Values that seem absolutely believable. If it has to be downright, the spontaneously appealing triplet takes on full throttle just above idle in the sixth and last gear of the well-known gnarled but precise gearbox. This wonderfully steady forward thrust then sets in at just over 4000 rpm, accompanied by the characteristic, hoarse hiss of the three-cylinder.
For stress-free fun on the country road, you need an adequate chassis in addition to fine engine characteristics. The RS has that to offer too. The aluminum frame including the screwed rear frame comes from the tried and tested ST, other components have been revised or replaced. The RS driver has to do without the striking single-sided swing arm of the ST and make do with a conventional two-sided swing arm. Triumph’s argument: one kilogram of weight saved. Just like on the 5.5 instead of 6 inch wide rim ?? which will also be used in the TT 600. All in all, Triumph wants to have saved an impressive eight kilograms on the RS compared to the ST.
Lighter ?? but also sportier and more agile? Yes, noticeably. The longer and tighter strut lifts the rear end and reduces caster, while the steering head is a little steeper. In addition, the brand new Bridgestone BT 020 tires, which are also celebrating their premiere as original equipment tires, harmonize perfectly with the RS. The Triumph drives with the BT 020 in a handy and very neutral way, finds the right orbit precisely and without exertion and exudes calming composure even on fast, undulating sections. It reacts indulgently to minor driving errors, and only acknowledges braking in an inclined position with a slight upright moment.
Even tight turns can be turned around playfully and without wobbling. The RS is foreign to bad habits such as load change jerks. The brawny, but smooth thrust of the treble transports horse and rider to the next bend in no time at all without hectic switching work. Braking, enjoying the good and not too sharp braking system and the responsive fork? into the fun and enjoy the more than sufficient lean angle. Motorcycling can be so easy.
Adequate wind protection, good knee closure, sporty, but not uncomfortable, bent knees are not insignificant comfort factors. Less pleasant: Because of the large and quite long 21 liter tank and the lower handlebars compared to the ST, the pilot has to stretch quite a bit over the gasoline barrel. Other points of criticism: The cable-operated clutch requires relatively high manual forces, the small control lights of the equally small cockpit are a bit fuzzy. Last but not least: the main stand apparently fell victim to the red pen, it is available for an extra charge.
D.Even these facts cannot tarnish the consistently positive first impression of the Triumph Sprint RS. A large comparison test in MOTORRAD 2/2000 will show whether a new star has risen in the sports tourer heaven, the RS can even drive the Aprilia SL 1000 Falco and friends into the ground. Until then: Happy Holidays.
The differences to the Triumph Sprint ST
Aluminum two-arm swing arm instead of aluminum single-arm swing arm narrower rear wheel rim (5.5 instead of 6 inches) steeper steering head angle (66 instead of 65 degrees) shorter caster (89 instead of 92 mm) lower handlebar halves steeper exhaust angle end silencer cannot be lowered Optional accessories (329 marks)
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