2012 Triumph Sprint GT1050 Review
2012 Triumph Sprint GT 1050: More Sport than Tourer
2012 Triumph Sprint GT 1050 is much more a Sportbike then it is a sit up and cruise tourer. Designed for hours in the saddle with a slight tank hugging forward leaning position, this bike puts you in the Sportbike frame of mind from the very beginning.
The Triumph Sprint first arrived on the scene in 1999, as the Sprint ST 955 replacing the Sprint 900 from 1993 – 1998. The GT model made its debut in the U.S in May 2010 imported for the 2011 model year. This bike is still in production but ceases delivery to the U.S in 2012.
liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder triple
583 lb (dry)
Aluminum Silver, Pacific Blue
2012 Triumph Sprint GT1050 Comfortable Ride with Sportbike DNA-Reviewed by Julian Taylor
Handling & Shifting
Features & Controls
If you want a fully blown tourer motorcycle this is not your machine. If you want a bike that will allow you to ride the twisties and feel every curve while dropping the gear box and maybe even blipping the clutch as you enter the corner, and at the same time having somewhere to put your partner on the back and all the luggage, this is the bike for you.
The sporty design and forward leaning position lends this bike to a sporty tourer than a tourer-tourer. You will have no issue covering a lot of miles on this bike and it’s very comfortable but the weight is still on your wrists as against your seat. We rode over 1,100 miles in three days with no ache’s or pains and a great smile on our faces whenever we got the keys to this bike.
The engine is situated high on the chassis so the bike does feel quite heavy and with a seat height of 815mm (32.1) if you have a short inside leg measurement like I have be careful when maneuvering on gravel or a downward slope.
The power delivery through the Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection system is clean and crisp and the acceleration is adequate enough to keep up with other sportbike riders, but you do have to work the gear box. Sixth gear is high, so unless you are over 75 miles an hour the bike feels sluggish in high gears to respond. Drop it down to fourth and crack the throttle and you can feel power.
Very comfortable machine, not too much forward lean that hurts your neck or shoulder blades, and just enough to feel like you are sitting over the tank. Comfortable seat that took about 4 hours before your backside feels a bit numb. Mirrors brake and clutch leaver’s all adjustable and heated seat with two level settings.
Power Feel & Engine
Enough power on hand with relatively good fuel consumption if ridden within mid range, just over 200 miles to a tank but if you work the gear box to keep the rev range in the punchy mid range torque area the fuel consumption drops quickly. Highway riding constantly in 6th gear rolling on and off the throttle delvers the best fuel consumption. If you have to overtake quickly dropping down two gears is required every time.
Handling & Shifting
The bike has Showa 43mm cartridge forks with dual rate springs and adjustable preload, 127mm travel. The bike encourages you to ride like a sports tourer. The handling is designed so that you enter the corner look through it to the exit tip the motorcycle move your body and accelerate out of the corner while at the same time always feathering the accelerator or brake as the corner tightens and the bike follow the line of the corner to get you out safely. The handling is a little soft the suspension setting are stock. Turn up the spring by hand under the seat and you can instantly feel a much firmer suspension which improves the handling.
The gear box does have a little clunkiness to it, but it isn’t anything you won’t’ get use to. Clutchless changes are O.K while accelerating however, make sure you have the clutch lever under a strong load before you reduce the power it does jerk a little and the more power on the clutch leaver the faster it goes into gear.
Two up or full of luggage and the handling is much heavier. Also the top heaviness of the engine mounting becomes very obvious at low speed, so do be careful when you have a passenger and turning round.
The brakes are on the front Twin 320mm floating discs, Nissin 4-piston calipers, ABS and on the rear Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston sliding caliper, ABS. Never really needed the ABS on our loaner, but I did notice that the brakes could do with a little more bite. I think if I was to buy one I would change out the brake pads and install Sintered Metal pads from Gold Fren or Vesrah a good after market pad manufacturer.
Features & Controls
The Triumph Sprint has some unique features. Heated grips and heated seats, with a space ship type cockpit design. Analogue and digital gauges with a very clear speedo and tachometer and a digital fuel tank bag in place.
Hard storage side cases are standard with the top box and tank bag being extra. You have to carefully open the side boxes otherwise they will drop and scrape on the ground. Plenty of room for a full face helmet even in the side boxes.
Very clear mirrors that work without having to lift up your arm and look through your armpit. Comfortable seat that is designed to let you slide across when in twisty sections with a slight raised rear seat for your pillion and top stop you sliding backwards under hard acceleration.
One annoying part of the this machine is the way your left heal touches the swingarm when riding if your foot is resting on the peg. The only time I could stop my heal from rubbing was to make sure my foot was on the ball of my foot, which is fine for canyon or twisty road riding but just sitting on a highway it was a little uncomfortable.
Available in two colors, Pacific Blue and Aluminum Silver. The Pacific blue certain stands out.
Very sleek nose with integrated headlight and integrated mirrors. It is a good looking machine, the lines are clean and it’s well designed, very aerodynamic styling and when all of the bags are on it really does look the part for touring two up and long distances.
The only portion of this bike that will remove confidence is when you are going slow under low RPM’s, it feels heavy. When you are moving and working up and down the gearbox it inspires confidence to handle it into a corner. It’s stable under acceleration and very comfortable. Just be careful of the weight low down.
At $13,399.00 excluding tax and delivery it is good value for money. I would add the back box and a tank bag and probably change the brake pads but apart from that all in all you are getting a lot of bike for your money. Now with them no longer importing them in the U.S even though they are still building them in Europe you might be able to get a real deal on one of them. Say $8,500.00 used with say 3,000 miles would be a real bargain.
The Sprint GT is designed to allow you to enjoy the open road with a great amount of clean crisp mid range power out of the inline-3 cylinder engine. Handling is very predictable if a little heavy at slow speeds, and if you want to climb all over the bike into fast corners the responsiveness rewards the active rider. However, if you want to sit and stay planted in the seat the design and engine will whisk you along but you will have to work the gear box though.
Triumph is an iconic brand synonymous with history and European manufacturing. This newer model is no exception; everyone you come in contact with on this machine wants to find out more about the history.