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Author: Alun Davies
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Triumph’s design team set out to develop a bike that would “improve the Sprint ST’s practicality without transcending into pure tourer territory” and was the bike that they themselves would like to ride across Europe. Customer feedback – particularly from riders of the Sprint ST – also played an important role in shaping the new model, ensuring the Sprint GT hit the mark.

Starting from the very front, the GT features newly-styled and better performing reflector headlights, offering improved distribution of light, while a new internal mounting system for the mirrors gives a clearer view at speed. The cockpit has been restyled to give a sharper and more contemporary look and is equipped with a three dial instrument panel. The onboard computer allows the rider to scroll through fuel consumption, range-to-empty, journey time, average speed and clock functions.

Further major differences can be found at the rear of the bike. The ST’s underseat exhaust has been replaced by a side mounted, triangular system, which releases more horsepower and frees up underseat storage space. The new seat sits the pillion lower than on the Sprint ST, the footpegs are lower and the built in luggage rack comes with generous grab handles as standard.

A new, lighter weight rear wheel, shod with Bridgestone’s dual compound BT021 tyre combines with the GT’s longer wheelbase to maintain excellent stability even when fully laden, while the front and rear suspension has also been updated for compliance and control. Brakes have been revised with lighter discs, more rigidly mounted for greater durability, and a new brake pad formulation providing greater feel and approximately 10% increase in braking performance.

Triumph’s renowned 1050cc triple has also been updated for the Sprint GT, offering even better drivability than in previous incarnations.  A new exhaust system and revised ECU lifts peak power by 5bhp to 130bhp (@9,200rpm) over the Sprint ST. Most significantly, the engine has been tuned for stronger mid range, with peak torque increased by 5Nm to 108Nm (80 Ft.lb) and delivered 1,200rpm lower in the rev range for acceleration and easier overtaking.

Because the Sprint GT has been designed to cover long distances and take riders to far flung places, fuel range is just as important as rider comfort. The 20 litre fuel tank ensures the Sprint GT can comfortably cover 200 miles between fuel stops. Triumph’s latest generation engine management system also offers a small improvement to fuel consumption and provides the Sprint GT with the smoothest throttle response of any 1050 yet. Sixth gear on the Sprint GT is 7% taller than on the ST, delivering more relaxed motorway riding and improved touring economy.

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The 2011 Triumph Sprint GT comes in two colour options: Aluminium Silver and Pacific Blue. Practicality is the byword with new 31 litre panniers and ABS brakes as standard, underseat storage, built in rack with integrated grab rail and a 200 mile fuel range. An optional top box capable of swallowing two full sized helmets and offering a 12 volt power supply to allow ‘on the go’ charging of electrical items such as laptops and mobile phones is also available.

At £9,499 on the road, the Sprint GT offers a consummate package at a price other sports tourers can’t come close to. The Sprint GT will be available from UK Triumph dealers from the end of May.

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