Test: Triumph Sprint GT against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

Test: Triumph Sprint GT against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA
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Test: Triumph Sprint GT against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

England versus Japan: sports tourers in the comparison test

The Triumph family is growing. Instead of the Sprint ST, the GT is now in the starting blocks for long-distance travelers. And at Suzuki, the fully disguised offspring of the bandit clan with the name GSX 1250 FA enters the race.

It’s such a thing with successful parents. The youngsters benefit from their good name, but as soon as they take the stage, they meet correspondingly high expectations. For the Triumph Sprint GT, this means that it has to fill in the rather large footprints of its predecessor Sprint ST. Because it has established itself very well among sports tourers and is now handing over the baton to the GT. Not only did she inherit excellent genes, but she also received a whole series of improvements to strengthen her touring qualities. So that she can bear the abbreviation GT for Gran Turismo with her head held high.

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Test: Triumph Sprint GT against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

Test: Triumph Sprint GT against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA
England versus Japan: sports tourers in the comparison test


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The Triumph shines with a fantastic roadholding and great feedback to the driver.

Despite the sleek disguise, your pilot stays upright and relaxed behind the high window. Even in the lowest of the two selectable seat heights, the Suzuki driver sits higher than on the Triumph, with loosely bent legs and good knees. The handlebars are cranked back too much, as usual from the Bandits, but otherwise this arrangement whets the appetite to devour curves until sunset and beyond.

Especially since the GSX is not too difficult to play with changing inclines. Sure, the big bandits have never been among the handiest muggers. But thanks to the loose seating position and the wide handlebars, the GSX can be directed purposefully from one lean angle to the next.

The Triumph is not that easy when it comes to cornering and needs to be brought on course with a conscious grip when turning. Compared to the Sprint ST, the GT got an eight (!) Centimeter longer swing arm and thus a correspondingly more wheelbase, which statically shifts more weight to the front wheel. In addition, the weight increased by eleven kilograms, which is also due to the newly tuned Nissin ABS, which is now standard, with three kilograms. Although the rear rim is said to have become one kilogram lighter for lower gyroscopic forces, this cannot compensate for the general conditions, which are stable but not very easy to handle, as well as the abandonment of the technically unfavorable underseat exhaust.

But once in an inclined position, the GT pulls its course as if on rails. To sail across the slopes in wide or narrow arcs is a poem. She circles around stoically and unmoved. Also because the relatively tightly tuned fork and the rather mildly damped shock absorber very carefully filter bumps out of the road surface.


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A bandit trimmed to be a tourer? Somehow, but still clearly a wholesome tourer.

The GT confidently follows changing lean angles, never seems wobbly or nervous. And gives you a better feel for the front wheel than the Suzuki. Their spring elements are dampened noticeably more tightly. Feel the asphalt for a long time not as sensitively as those of the Triumph, but rather look stucky, almost a little fidgety. Which is why the Suzuki never conveys that gliding feeling like the Triumph. After all, it offers a much tighter turning circle and thanks to the higher and wider handlebars, it can be guided around switchbacks more effortlessly. She gets support from this thrill of engine.

Even if the song of praise has often been sung to the torque of the Suzuki big block: It is simply wonderful how the 1250 pushes off just above idle speed. Even the tightest arcs can be mastered effortlessly with a gentle twist of the wrist. What follows after that is powerful thrust without the slightest hangover. Pass trips become a pure pleasure. But even if this power plant with 108 hp exceeds the factory specification by ten hp, turning it down is not worth it. Because already from 7500 rpm the revving pleasure of the four-cylinder fades. Better to go into the next gear in good time and let the torrent of torques wash you away.

No question, even if it vibrates finely in the middle speed range despite rubber mountings, the engine is the icing on the cake of the GSX 1250. But the Sprint GT has the right answer under its blue dress. The engine growls and hisses in the best three-way fashion. Just as unmoved, pushes off just above idle. Above all, however, he lets himself be cuddly accelerated at the apex of the curve and then marches through the speed range without holes. However, the longer gear ratio and the higher weight take their toll. Especially since the new exhaust with modified mapping in the middle speed range did not bring the promised Newton meters, but cost a little of it.


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Both bikes boast good ergonomics and usable handling.

The Triumph pushes powerfully and evenly out of the lower rev range, but not with the same authority as the larger-capacity Bandit unit can do. To do this, it pulls out its claws again where the vigor of the GSX engine weakens and continues to burn cheerfully to the limiter. Only the bony gear doesn’t really fit into the picture.

Spurred on by the temperament of the triple, you give the GT its spurs, let it fly to the nearest corner and notice: The brakes, which have been re-tuned with lighter discs and changed pads, grabs a lot, but requires a firm hand for hard braking maneuvers. And should it ever have to go into action, the ABS shines with short control intervals. At least the ABS of the Triumph allows a respectable deceleration of 9.3 m / s². In addition, thanks to the long wheelbase, the Triumph remains very stable on course during such maneuvers.

Just turning hard on the brakes, she doesn’t like that so much because of the noticeable moment of erection and then wants to be forcefully induced to turn. It’s not a racing roll. Then it’s better to shift down a gear and leave it to sporty tours. The Suzuki also likes that more, whose brakes have a somewhat doughy pressure point and are less spontaneous and powerful.

The streets and lanes meandering through the Taunus and over the Feldberg never end, and the longer the curve swinging, the clearer two things become: The Suzuki may give you a little more view in its rear-view mirrors than the Triumph, but it offers more wind protection , better keep the pressure off the shoulders. In addition, your disc generates even less turbulence. And: After two to three hours, the Suzuki driver’s seat asks to take a break from the hard seat, while the Triumph driver could definitely eat a few more corners. So it is fitting that the last bar on the LCD fuel gauge is flashing on the Suzuki.


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With the two tourers you can travel comfortably from town to town.

So set the blinker and get to the gas pump. Main stands are standard on both of them. Triumph has changed the leverage, but the Suzuki is easier to jack up. Then there are astonished looks. On the one hand, because the Suzuki signaled low tide in the 19-liter fuel drum after just under 14 liters. On the other hand, because the Triumph with 4.3 liters sips extremely modestly on the fuel.

Thunderclouds pile up around the Feldberg. Now let’s go to the Autobahn and the chain. The Sprint’s standard suitcases are approved for top speeds of up to 230 km / h, which is why they are electronically limited at this speed. This also underlines their claim to be a fast, comfortable travel machine.

The Triumph plows confidently and serenely over the asphalt strip. Graciously swallows transverse joints that the Suzuki extends briefly and dryly. If you want to travel with the GSX with a lot of luggage, you have to rely on the in-house range of accessories. Or he can get hold of one of the 200 GSX 1250 FA GT special models currently on offer with a complete set of cases for 10,290 euros. Which compared to the 13,190 euros the triumph is still a good margin of respect or a lavish vacation budget. But the better GT is the Triumph.

Technical data Suzuki GSX 1250 FA


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Slightly narrower knee angle for the pillion, otherwise comfortable for the crew.

Engine:
Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 36 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 375 W alternator, 12 V / 10 Ah battery, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, Six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 43:18.
Bore x stroke 79.0 x 64.0 mm
Displacement 1255 cm3
Compression ratio 10.5: 1
rated capacity 72.0 kW (98 PS) at 7500 rpm
Max. Torque 108 Nm at 3700 rpm

Landing gear:
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Bridgestone BT 021 tires tested "AA"

Mass and weight:
Wheelbase 1485 mm, steering head angle 64.7 degrees, caster 104 mm, spring travel f / r 130/136 mm, seat height * 810-830 mm, weight with a full tank * 258 kg, payload * 217 kg, tank capacity 19.0 liters.
guarantee two years
Service intervals 6000 km
Colours Blue, silver, black
price 9590 euros
Additional costs around 145 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurements

Technical data Triumph Sprint GT


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Relaxed leg angle for the passenger, but less contact with the driver.

Engine:
Water-cooled three-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, a balance shaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 420 W alternator, 12 V / 12 Ah battery, mechanically operated multiple discs – Oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, X-ring chain, secondary ratio 42:19.
Bore x stroke 79.0 x 71.4 mm
Displacement 1050 cc
Compression ratio 12.0: 1
rated capacity 95.6 kW (130 PS) at 9200 rpm
Max. Torque 108 Nm at 6300 rpm

Landing gear:
Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 255 mm, two-piston fixed caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Bridgestone BT 021 tires tested

Mass and weight:
Wheelbase 1537 mm, steering head angle 66.5 degrees, caster 84 mm, spring travel v / h 127/152 mm, seat height 825 mm *, weight with a full tank of 274 kg, payload * 209 kg, tank capacity 20.0 liters.
guarantee two years
Service intervals 10000 km
Colours Blue, silver
price 13190 euros
Additional costs around 240 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurements

MOTORCYCLE measurements


Drawing: archive

Power on the crankshaft, measurements on Dynojet roller dynamometer 250, corrected according to 95/2 / EG, maximum possible deviation +/- 5%

The Suzuki reaches its broad high-performance plateau quite early, at around 7000 rpm. Up to this point it shows its displacement advantage over the Triumph in terms of torque. Unlike the Suzuki, the Triumph continues to improve its performance up to the limiter. Both curves are extremely even, so the pilot can use the power in a finely dosed manner and does not have to be on the lookout for sudden power surges.

Measurements

Maximum speed (manufacturer information):

 Manufacturer  Km / h
 Suzuki  230
 triumph  230

Acceleration:

 Manufacturer  0-100 km / h
 0-140 km / h
 0-200 km / h
 Suzuki  3.4  5.9  13.7
 triumph  3.4  5.7  11.7

Draft:

 Manufacturer  60-100 km / h
 100-140 km / h
 140-180 km / h
 Suzuki  3.9  4.2  5.6
 triumph  4.9  5.2  6.7

Fuel consumption (country road):

 Manufacturer  Liters / 100 km
 Suzuki  5.0
 triumph  4.3

Theoretical range (country road):

 Manufacturer  Km
 Suzuki  380
 triumph  465

Conclusion

1st place: Triumph Sprint GT
The GT pulls away with a stable chassis, great wind protection and low consumption. It offers less torque and brisk handling.

2nd place: Suzuki GSX 1250 FA
Its strength is still the massive engine and the good ergonomics. And at a fair rate. However, the chassis and brakes do not get beyond mediocrity.

EVALUATION

Category engine:
With its full punch from the deepest positions, the Suzuki four-wheeler scores especially when it comes to pulling through. The Sprint GT even lags behind its predecessor, the ST. In return, the Triumph offers even power delivery up to the highest altitudes and the finer manners, i.e. load changes and responsiveness. The long gear ratio and the somewhat stiff clutch cost the Suzuki points, the hooked transmission leads to a deduction in the Triumph.

Winner engine: tie

Category chassis:
Although it is not particularly agile, this chapter clearly goes to the Triumph. It offers better balance and significantly higher suspension comfort. This also results in higher cornering stability and more precise steering. The Suzuki, on the other hand, relies on a firmer, but not so supple suspension setup, which offers reserves for sporty driving. Noteworthy: Both can cope with a pillion extremely well.

Chassis winner: triumph

Category everyday life:
Even if the triumph has a bit of an advantage here with its standard case, it also scores points in terms of range and more effective wind protection. In addition, the new headlight illuminates the road better than the former GSX-R headlight in the GSX front. Thanks to the considerable payload reserves, both are ideal for a holiday tour with large luggage. If the seat of the Suzuki weren’t so hard in the long run, the driver would have even more of the good ergonomics.

Winner everyday: triumph

Category Security:
The newly tuned Triumph stoppers grab more spontaneously and with more bite than the comparatively dull-looking Suzuki brakes. The newly tuned ABS also leaves a good impression, although the Suzuki system enables somewhat shorter braking distances.

Winner safety: triumph

Category costs:
While the Suzuki has to be inspected every 6,000 kilometers, the intervals for the Triumph extend over 10,000 kilometers.

Winner Cost: Triumph

   Max points
 Suzuki  triumph
 Overall rating  1000  641  679
 placement    2.  1.
 Price-performance note  Top grade 1.0  1.6  2.0

Winner price-performance: Suzuki GSX 1250 FA
It seems to be a matter of family honor for the bandits to offer a hell of a motorcycle for the money.

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