Triumph Sprint ST 955 test

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Biker tests: Philippe

I was looking for a motorcycle with several criteria often
incompatible:

  • Able to ride every day, in comfort and protection
    correct,
  • Pleasant for touring, comfortable for the passenger and able to
    easily accept luggage,
  • Having obvious sporting qualities (braking, holding
    road …) and a not too high weight,
  • An engine full of torque and available at all speeds,
    under all conditions of use,
  • Economical in fuel and maintenance,
  • And finally, having character and a "mouth"
    nice.

After several months of hesitation and analysis of the
market, consultation of reviewed trials, information gathering
various (builders, dealers, word of mouth), I
decided on this machine. I had never had before
only monos, twins (mostly Ducati) and four legs (VFR,
BMW), and the test of this Triumph Sprint ST 955 really made me
packed up.

Aesthetic

Manga isn’t really my thing. Also, the aesthetics
of the new VFR, muse of testers of all stripes,
totally indifferent to me, even gives me buttons with his
aggressive angles and heavy shapes.

On the other hand, the ST is all rounded, and its ET eyes, its
well integrated turn signals give it a fluid face
but also a little stocky very nice. A little sweetness in this world
crazy…

The dashboard is comprehensive and easy to read, well
that not being digital with its large counters and tachometers.
On the downside, I would say the turn signal light (green) is too
discreet, that the reset of the daily totalizer is
not very sensitive, and the watch is difficult to see.

The AR single-sided arm is superb.

Triumph Sprint ST

Purchase and first turns of the wheels

From the purchase in 2000 – because I intended to use this
machine for a long time and every day – I had it fitted
options heated grips, tank bag and
luggage rack. An old top-case very often comes to crown this one.

The running-in was scrupulously followed, with respect: a
well-run engine lasts much longer.

The engine starts up in winter and summer,
and the injection works wonders. The engine is quite noisy, this model
2000 containing a few straight cut sprockets. We get used to it
quickly, and this is not a guarantee of fragility.

The motorcycle is relatively light, and does not pose any problems
stationary, for a pilot of my size (1.79m). From
as it rolls, the weight fades, and the engine’s magic works.
Its flexibility and softness are extraordinary, and roll at 1000/1200
turns on the first gears are no problem. The couple
is felt from 2500 laps, and the pickups are exceptional
in low revs, since the maximum torque is towards the
5000 turns.

In the city

This is not his favorite field. When
rolls, no problems, but in traffic jams, we feel good to go back up
engine heat.

The machine is quite manoeuvrable, and there are no problems
to squeeze through traffic. Clutch handle
is far enough away from the handlebars, and this will cause problems
with small hands. Contrary to what I have read a lot,
I find this one quite sweet. But from time to time I know how to lubricate
the control cable … that probably helps.

The position is good, a little resting on the wrists, but nothing more.
The footrests are quite well placed. But this motorcycle is a
road, so let’s change the terrain…

The sport road

It is his favorite field. I’m lucky
to live in Provence and there is a plethora of small roads
winding around the corner. From Luberon to Haut Verdon, from the Cevennes
in the Ardèche, and, by enlarging, all the
Alps and the Massif Central, there is plenty to have fun on
varied. Many sportswomen have never been able to win
the 3 legs, and are still amazed. If by chance
their much higher power allows them to move away
on the occasion of a somewhat long straight line, the Triumph
catches them thanks to braking, very powerful and easily
dosable, and above all thanks to the times of the engine, when for example
we enter a curve too quickly (to come out, the hyper
sporty must fall 3 gears, and the Triumph is already
far ahead – hardly exaggerating). Grace
to this extraordinary couple, it is very difficult for a
other machine to sow it on these types of roads.

The gearbox is quite smooth, but the ratios
still prefer to go on a diet
to be smooth.

At 38,000 km, an EMC shock absorber replaced the original one,
and its upper length, by changing its trim, has again
improved road holding and the enjoyment of
the motorbike. The front fork is very good, but would benefit from
be a little more rigid in very sporting use. I have
a rather flowy style, and there are only conditions
relatively severe that I rub, especially the fairing
to the right.
Under these conditions, with an engine speed oscillating between 3500
and 6500 (that is more than enough to go very quickly!), the
consumption is between 5.3 and 6.5 liters maximum.

The tourist route (duo and solo)

As a duo, the passenger appreciates the general comfort.
Its position is good, and the comfort very acceptable (saddle and
shock absorber). Spans of several hundred km do not pose
no particular concern. On small roads, driving in pairs and without
exceed 130km / h on rolling portions, fuel consumption
often drops between 4.5 and 5 l per 100Km. The engine torque accepts without
problem the excess load, and it is hardly necessary
to pull the gears above 5500 revolutions to move quickly.

The rear brake admits its limits here, and it hardly offers
that a minimal slowing effect. A little failure for the duo,
but that turns into an advantage in sporty driving.

In solo, cruising speed is generally
around 140/150, and consumption is between 5 and 5.5l. The engine is
tasty in use, and overtake a vehicle
at any speed is a matter of a few
moments, by simply opening the throttle a little, everything
staying on 6th gear. The passage of roundabouts is carried out
in 4 or 5, that is to say the flexibility of the beast.

With this machine, you hardly ever change gear, because the
are excellent from the lowest revs, which explains
very low consumption. Congratulations to the injection
Sagem.

Highway

I only have a few thousand km on this type of route. The profusion
speed cameras lead me to drive quietly, generally
between 150 and 180 max. A few bursts of speed from time to time,
history to note that the engine has trunk at all speeds
and a top speed very easily attainable, loaded
or not. Protection is good up to 150/160, then
it is advisable to step back a little behind the bubble to avoid
excessive fatigue. The consumption here rarely exceeds 7 liters.

Tires

The torque, it wears the tires! I’m on my eighth
currently climbs (64,000 km). From the original mount (Bridgestone),
I only use Pirelli, EVO for the front (recently
Diablo) for grip when braking on the angle, and GTS for the rear,
more than enough to inquire even very hard. On average,
I change the 2 tires together between 6000 and 9000 km, depending on the type of
conduct. However, I only drive on the couple, but
I still arm quite a bit on the aforementioned small roads…
The quality / price / longevity ratio is excellent.
Road holding, handling and grip are
also excellent, and I do not see myself changing brands at the moment.

Hyperlubricant

The machine is treated with the Mecacyl hyper lubricant
since the end of the break-in. This product is apparently remarkable, and it
must be for something for very consumptions
bass, reduced engine noise and even more remarkable pickups
of it. I appreciate every day its positive action on
the engine, and I even have the impression that it wins
in power and flexibility as time passes…
At each oil change, therefore, Mecacyl CR in the engine oil, and
in Mecacyl HJE time in gasoline to "shield"
injectors and valves.
I recommend this product to everyone. Savings made on
gasoline between 2 oil changes largely reimburses the purchase price
of the product, and the engine keeps an iron health.

PS: never supermarket gasoline.

Repairs and defects

Nothing too bad, and everything went under warranty
: a water radiator and an exhaust manifold
(the first models had these slightly fragile parts,
which have been strengthened). A centrifuge seal of
oozing crankshaft end, as well as a clutch seal,
poorly assembled original.

Some flaws:

• A space that is too small under the saddle, to place other
something that a lock. Classic disease.
• Perfectible lighting despite the coupling of
headlights.
• A non-adjustable clutch control and a little too much
hard.
• Fasteners for flexible saddlebags of the puzzle type with
ascend. Not a good point, certainly.
• Rear brake hardly powerful, and eater of pads.
The biggest flaw in the machine…
• Some minor design flaws (one of the adjustment screws
headlight not very accessible, chain "casing" a little
short). For adults: the fairing sides a little too long,
with the knees stumbling a little against them

A few figures in brief

The ST has to date 64000 km. It is followed very precisely
in terms of expenditure. The engine runs perfectly,
and the chassis does not show noticeable wear.

The various points concerning maintenance over these 3 years
are the following :
• Gasoline: 5.68 liters per 100 km on average over 64,000 km, down
constant (min 4.46, max 8.75)
• Oil: eight oil changes (between 6000 and 9000 km). Shell VSX + Mecacyl.
No or little noticeable oil consumption between oil changes.
• Revisions: four (1000, 10000, 30000, 48000). With filter
air, spark plugs, top engine gasket. Around 180 euros (except the
first: 52 euros)
• Pads: rear 5 sets, front 2 sets. The disks
front do not show wear (nice quality!)
• Rear shock absorber at 39,000 km (EMC: excellent)
• Brake circuit drain at 45,000 km
• Fork oil change at 28,000 km
• Tires: 8 mounts (including origin).
• Accessories: heated handles, luggage rack, saddlebags
flexible, tank bag, headlight relay (for coupling
of them). Plus a very efficient rear fender extension
in the event of rain (and that makes the sportswomen bitch that
outrun !).

In conclusion

It is a very endearing motorcycle, overall very
economical for its displacement (except for tires and pads
rear).

It is relaxing to drive, because its engine is a jewel that
only offers happiness, this at any diet
and on any report. And the couple so ubiquitous
so that we forget to pull on the engine, so big savings.
To try it is to adopt it, and what a pleasure really
! Well done to Triumph.

It also has undeniable driving qualities.
Its handling is good in all circumstances. She knows to
do almost everything on the road without being absolutely
not exclusive.

A real success, with its original aesthetic but
who has not really had the commercial success that she
deserved. She doesn’t have the flashy
competition, but it does not go out of fashion more than that.

Unless Triumph releases a machine in the future too
shiny and homogeneous, correcting all small flaws
shown, I think I’ll keep this one. She still has
nice mops to live with me.

Strong points Weak points
  • engine couple
  • handling
  • economical machine
  • reduced lighting
  • rear brake
  • tires and pads consumption
  • hard clutch control

An experience told by Philippe

Datasheet

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