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I'd never really considered Triumph to be a marque I'd consider buying. I have owned 3 bikes now, the last two being a BMW and latterly a Kawasaki. I wanted another BMW, but this ST captured my heart from the moment I tested it.
RIDE With a triple engine, the bike is responsive and has a flat torque curve, which means it pulls very evenly throughout the rev range. It's a 955cc lump, which puts it firmly in the big bike class. Fuel injection has managed to obviate the need for a "choke" or fast idle lever and is very smooth, unlike other snatchy fuel-injected rides I've experienced. It corners beautifully, although the original equipment tyres (Michelin Macadams) don't seem as grippy as I would like. I think I'd prefer the bike shod with BT020s from Bridgestone instead. I've not suffered the archetypal wrist and lower back pains associated with sportier bikes and I can testify to its long range, as I have got more than 200 miles from a tankful. The Triumph heated grips are lovely!
RELIABILITY It's not died on me yet. The bike was second-hand, and I have had to rectify a few niggles brought about by the previous owner's neglect: head bearings, poorly fitted rear hugger, new chain and sprocket set and small holes in the exhaust. The bike has rewarded me with effortless starting and the accessory power socket on the left side of the bike under the fairing is ideal for plugging in an Optimate charger in order to maintain the longevity of the battery. The headlamp bulbs cannot be changed without removing the cockpit and fairings, which requires a lot of patience and know-how. I see no reason for this, especially when other manufacturers have taken this important maintenance point into consideration when designing the bike.
PERFORMANCE The engine has a lovely acceleration: an addictive rumble rising to a meaty bellow when near the redline. It keeps up with most of the power rangers' steeds, which suits me fine. Put a decent rider on an ST and the bike will outperform most others on the road. It'll run for longer too, thanks to its relatively frugal fuel consumption. The brakes (once I had them maintained) are very responsive and braided hoses come as standard. The exhaust is plenty loud enough, so it doesn't need changing... I'd like a double-bubble screen though, for long distances. I'm 6' and the wind catches the top of my lid.
OVERALL I would like to say that in an ideal world I'd have 2 bikes: a racebike and a tourer. I'm not in a financial position to fulfil that ambition yet, so this is the best possible bike for me. It does everything I want right now. It wears a tank bag and hard panniers, it is a fast tourer, is my main commuter tool and is utterly reliable. It also looks the business! The centrestand makes it easy to wash and maintain the rear. It's a beauty to live with. I'd like to see a nice modern revamp though! The clocks are still analogue, which I think ought to go digital. Mind you, what you get for your money in one package is not to be sniffed at.
In a previous occupation I saw inconceivable numbers of roadbikes, especially on Superbikes days at Brands. Only two marques ever stood out from the soulless rest and those just oozed charisma, if a piece of machinery could ever have it. They were the Ducatis and of course, Triumphs. Even the 'new' Bonnies looked reliable!
Nolly 27.02.2003 15:21
Personally I prefer Triumph cars- TR4 is my personal fave!
Connoisseur_Haggler1 19.02.2003 01:12
The way you described the ride, the feel of the Triumph made me feel I was riding one! Sounds super -if only I could hear the sweet humming engine, btw, what engine size, cc is this? Enjoy the ride..-CH