So you’re not willing to give up the sportbike handling, but you’ve got places to go and people to see – and they’re a long way away. That’s where Sport Touring bikes come into play, but according to Triumph Motorcycles, for some customers the ST market is a tad short on the “touring” component.
For 2011, Triumph is introducing an updated version of the Sprint ST with greater comfort and storage amenities – the Sprint GT 1050 (Grand Tourer). The British manufacturer calls it “a composed machine with precise and intuitive handling to keep up with sports bikes on demanding roads, but equally delivering the comfort required for a long two-up ride cross-country.”
Powered by an updated 1050cc Triple, the GT promises a spirited ride with a claimed 130 horsepower (five more than the 2010 ST) and wonderful exhaust note. What make it a better touring bike are the new 31-liter hard saddlebags, ABS brakes and claimed 200-mile range.
“The motorcycle market continues to become more refined, which calls for manufacturers to evolve our product lines to provide what customers are demanding,” said Jim Callahan, Triumph’s North American Marketing Manager. “The Sprint GT blends all of the great performance and style of the Sprint ST with some additional comfort and storage space that sport touring riders are looking for.”
An exhaust muffler exits under the right saddlebag where the swingarm would be if it weren’t single-sided, rather than underseat. The fairing is redesigned for better performance while incorporating the familiar but updated three-light illumination setup. Reflector headlights replace the ST’s projector-style units. A three-dial computer display transmits data through an analog speedo and tach with a
digital unit to monitor fuel consumption, trip time, average speed, clock and range-to-empty. The dual 320mm floating front brake discs are lighter and pinched by Nissin four-piston calipers. The 255mm rear disc is also lighter for ’11, and ABS is now standard.
A 43mm Showa fork is carried over from the ST, but with updated internals. Out back is a completely new shock which uses a hand-twist, remote preload adjustment. Overall length increases 5.4 inches, width by 0.4 inches and seat height jumps 0.4 inches. Wheelbase stretches 3.2 inches to 60.5. Steering geometry is changed as well with 23.5 degrees of rake and 84mm of trail versus 24 degrees and 90mm on the ST. The claimed wet weight climbs to 590 pounds.
Watch for the new GT model in dealers this fall as an early release 2011 machine with a base price of $13,199. Available colors are Pacific Blue and Aluminum Silver, and riders can purchase accessories like heated grips, taller windscreen, gel seat, magnetic tank bags that provide an additional 30 liters of storage capacity and a large top box which features a 12-volt accessory outlet.
Be sure to check out this 2011 Sprint GT 1050 video which shows the bike, and its male/female riders, stripped down to their skivvies.