Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-2010): Review & Buying Guide


Price: £2500-£4000 | Power: 123bhp | Weight: 210kg (dry) | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 5/5


If you are after a comfortable do-it-all that has a bit of character, is more than happy to be ridden briskly and will stand the test of time, look no further than Triumph Sprint ST 1050. Replacing the (fairly ugly...) 955cc version and powered by the all-new (ish...) 1050 engine, the ST arrived in 2005 and absolutely hit the mark from day one. By blending the punchy mid-range offered by the firm’s triple with an agile chassis and high comfort levels, Triumph created a wonderful Jack-of-all-trades that quickly established itself as one of their best models. A big seller, the ST was discontinued in 2010 (much to the upset of its many fans) and replaced by the GT version, which to be honest wasn’t as good. Quite why Triumph haven’t reintroduced the ST is a bit of a mystery because the sports touring segment is growing in popularity and they have a new 1200 triple that with a bit of a re-tune to take the edge off its power delivery could be made into the base for a great ST for the next generation. As it currently stands, however, you will have to dip into the used market instead and buy this excellent machine. Which to be fair, at £3500 for a good one isn’t too much of a hardship...


Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-2010) Price

The ST was a big seller for Triumph and that means they are not only plentiful in the used market but also fairly cheap. A few machines are out there in private sales for under £2000 but they will be quite high mileage examples and you are better off paying £2500 for a good lower mileage one in a private sale. Dealer prices start at about £3500 and for that you can expect to get a good mid-teens early bike with luggage. If you are planning on covering a fair few miles, this isn’t a bad option as the Sprint ST was never that significantly updated throughout its life. That said, the 2007-onwards bike has taller bars and a higher screen than the original model, which is worth considering. As is if you want a metal or composite tank, but more on that later... The top end for an ST from a dealer is £4500 but that is for a 2010 model with luggage that has covered around 15,000 miles.


Pros & Cons

  • Great triple engine
  • Sporty but not over-the-top handling
  • Pleasingly reliable
  • You need to keep a careful eye one some areas
  • The gearbox is a bit poor
  • The ST’s lights aren’t very good
2005 Triumph Sprint ST Review Used Price Spec_29


Engine and Performance

The 1050 triple is a really beautiful engine to use and is what separates the ST from its sports touring rivals. Easy-going on the throttle and packed with useable mid-range, it makes for a relaxed ride that still has more than enough poke if you want to have a bit of fun and all accompanied by a beautiful exhaust note. And it is also reliable with very few issues to worry about- although naturally there are a couple you need to be aware of...

Starting with the biggest problem, Triumph initially used a composite tank on the ST before upgrading to metal in 2008. The older composite tank is quite prone to expansion with age and that can lead to cracked paint and potentially even a few leaks. There isn’t much you can do about it but if you are buying an older model, always looks for signs of it swelling up. Ideally, buy a steel tanked model as not only is it sturdier (although it will rust...) you can also attach a magnetic tank bag if you want. And be wary of cracked fuel line connectors, something that can happen if the tank is removed with a lack of care.

Despite its clunky gearbox (they all do that...) the triple motor is very solid and although it technically needs its valve clearances checked every 18,000 miles (service intervals are 6000 miles) in reality they won’t need changing. Take it on a test ride, ensure all is well and that despite the clunks all the gears engage nicely and all should be well. If the bike is a bit jerky on the throttle, assume it needs its throttle bodies balancing. You may encounter a failed reg/rec or generator but that’s no major issues as they are easy and cheap to replace.

If you are buying from a private seller, don’t be surprised if they do all their own home maintenance, the ST is very easy to work on and lots of owners aren’t afraid to get their tools out. If this is the case, just check simple things such as if the sump plug has been over-tightened and cracked the sump and if there are any nasty rounded bolt heads. A good guide is if the owner has a service manual or Haynes guide, if they do it generally means that they will at least know the correct torque settings – hopefully they have used them!


2005 Triumph Sprint ST Review Used Price Spec_10


Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-2010) Handling & Suspension

With the ST, Triumph managed to hit a really good balance between sports and comfort. If you want to ride it hard, the chassis is more than up to the task but after a while the suspension starts to become the limiting factor. Set softly with a bias towards touring, it can start to protest if you get too enthusiastic and by now will be fairly well past its best. A fork revalve and respring and a new aftermarket shock will set you back about £800 and totally transforms the ride quality. Owners report this is the best money you can ever spend on an ST as the rest of the chassis is pretty much spot-on. Although caution is certainly advised both when buying and also living with an ST...

It's a common issue with a lot of older bikes that have a single sided swingarm but be very careful when buying an ST and always check the eccentric adjuster isn’t seized up by both asking to see it moving and also check the adjuster ring for signs of it being forced. The adjuster is notoriously poor on the ST and although Triumph say strip and regrease it every 12,000 miles (along with the linkages), if you leave it this long you are really running a big risk of it all being horribly seized up. Owners report it is quite easy to pull it apart yourself and lubricate the moving parts but that is if it’s maintenance has been kept on top of – if not you can be in for a nightmare of a job! Aim to regrease it every three or four years maximum to avoid disasters.



Comfort & Economy

There is a bit of an odd quirk when it comes to the Sprint ST that those who have an eye on touring might want to consider. In 2010 Triumph were winding down the production of the ST, however they were still making the GT model. As ST fairings ran out, the factory fitted GT fairings to some 2010 ST models. Why does this matter? The GT has much better lights and a more protective fairing, making it better suited to touring than the ST. Why not just buy a GT instead of the ST? The ST is a much better handling bike than the GT and if you can find an ST with a GT fairing you get the best of both worlds! It is also worth knowing that pre-2007 model have slightly lower bars than the updated bike.

Fairing aside, the ST is a very comfortable bike that with a few basics fitted such as heated grips and a taller screen (or GT fairing...) makes for a superb tourer. When it comes to fuel economy, you can expect to record over 40mph and that means a genuine 185-mile tank range. Take it easy, however, and 50mpg (even over) and a range of over 200 miles is certainly on the cards.



Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-2010) Equipment

The ST doesn’t have a lot of tech as standard, which is to be expected on a bike of its age. In 2007 ABS was introduced as an optional extra but aside from a grab rail and a dash with a fuel gauge included, there isn’t much to write home about. A fair few bikes come with panniers already fitted (it was standard on post-2008 bikes, if you are looking at an earlier one, ensure the spare pannier locks come with the bike), which is good as the official Triumph ones are actually very high quality and only leak in very heavy rain, and top boxes are also common. When it comes to optional extras, away from luggage you are basically looking at touring-targeted add-ons such as heated grips, a comfort seat, 12v inputs and a taller screen. Aftermarket pipes are rare and to be honest not that welcome but suspension upgrades make a significant difference to how the ST performs and are worth paying a bit extra for.



Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-2010) Rivals

There is no real set ‘ST owner’ and as such it tends to appeal to a mass market. More than happy to tour, it is also a good commuter, easy-going sportsbike and a good pillion machine. It’s a proper do-it-all and also very well priced.


Suzuki GSX1250FA (2010-2016) | Approx Price: £2000-£6000

Power/Torque: 97bhp/80lb-ft | Weight: 257kg


Honda VFR800 VTEC | Approx Price: £2000-£5500

Power/Torque: 110bhp/59lb-ft | Weight: 218kg


BMW F800ST (2009-2013) | Approx Price: £2000-£4500

Power/Torque: 85bhp/63lb-ft | Weight: 209kg



Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-2010) Verdict

A lot of riders are put off buying the ST as they tend to view older Triumph models as unreliable, something that is actually very far from the truth. With a bit of basic home DIY every now and then, the Sprint ST is reliable, comfortable and also pleasingly sporty when requested. A bit of cash spent here and there (suspension and brakes mainly) transforms the ride quality and you are left with a bike that is a brilliant do-it-all that looks cool and also has a soulful triple motor. And all for a very reasonable price.


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Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (2005-2010) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range




Bore x Stroke

79mm x 71.4mm

Engine layout

Inline triple

Engine details

Liquid-cooled, 12v, DOHC


123bhp (91kW) @ 9250rpm


77lb-ft (104.4Nm) @ 5000rpm

Top speed



6-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

20 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

185 miles

Reserve capacity

33 miles

Rider aids

ABS (2007-onwards)


Aluminium perimeter

Front suspension

43mm inverted forks

Front suspension adjustment

Adjustable preload

Rear suspension


Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable preload and rebound damping

Front brake

2 x 320mm discs, four-piston calipers. Optional ABS

Rear brake

255mm disc, two-piston caliper. Optional ABS

Front tyre


Rear tyre

180/55 – ZR17


24°/ 90mm

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2114mm x 745mm 1228mm



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

210Kg Dry


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