Torn between VFR800 and Triumph Sprint ST...

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by BamBam, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

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    I think this has been discussed a couple times here, but i'm just looking for updated opinions. I have a '93 VFR750 (first bike), and I decided to buy a newer VFR800. I was looking for a 2006 VFR800, because ive read that the vtec was smoothed out that year, and it's right in my price range, which is 5-6k. I havn't been finding any good deals on one, but then while browsing craigslist, I came across a 2005 Triumph Sprint ST 1050. I had never looked into this bike until now, but it seems pretty similar to the VFR. I don't know anyone who has one, or has ever had one, so im just looking for some opinions on it. It also comes with alot of goodies for the price.

    I already know I should try both and decide myself, everyone's different, it's up to what I like, blah blah blah... haha. Just looking for maybe some opinions from people who have owned both, or know of problems with either, or have some suggestions or things I may not have known/considered. Thanks in advance for any responses.

    Here's the Sprint for sale:

    "Sprint is low miles bike with no dents and always garaged. It has 11631 miles, tank bag, heated grips, elect outlet, Triumph sport exhaust, sliders, Throttlemeister, centerstand and the Triumph hard bags. $5200" He said he will take $5000. It was first owned by someone from the dealer for the first 3 years 3k miles, maybe a demo not sure. Then this owner is a police officer in Reno (no not Reno 911) and shares it with his retired father.

    3K23F93Ja5Nf5Gf5J4d38815be193400214e6.jpg

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    3G53F43Jc5Lb5F85J5d3999c4d258b50c178a.jpg
     
  2. ridervfr

    ridervfr Member

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    Its a faster bike than the viffer, maybe longer legged too. Does it have the sex appeal or build quality, imho, NO...I worked on that exact bike and used to take them out of the box (literally) and prep them. I used to get take home bikes as well, would I have traded my decrepit 91 for one? NOPE, forgive me for calling it decrepit because it may hear me talking thru the garage wall :smile:

    Far as re-flashing the computers on these bikes, as far as I knew from actually going to Peach-Tree Georgia and having an actual training certificate on the wall, was un-aware of being able to use any kind of dL program to diagnose possible DTCs or Performance Tunes. Back when these bikes had the Sagem Fuel Management Systems, all the bikes that came in where disasters (flashing lights, bad performance.) All the bikes that I worked on were Speed Triples, 675s, Rockets, and Sprints. All these bikes used a special hand held scan tool with pre-loaded information regarding yr, make, model, etc. You trouble shot DTCs as well as re-flashed bikes for performance pipes etc...There are about 50 DTCs stored in this device which the end user can not use! It was a decent tool to use and was able to trouble shoot as well as tune bikes.

    If you have a Triumph dealer near you, and you have a hard on for this bike, by all means buy it! Here, they are not close, and as I mentioned above, I wouldnt want to be married to a dealer to trouble shoot problems. The days of using a paper clip in the harness to get the ABS light to go off are gone, (old bmw K bikes.)

    You gona sell your gen 3 bike if you buy the Hinkley? If you want to buy a nice Factory OEM manual for this bike, I have one too...
     
  3. Scubalong

    Scubalong Official Greeter?

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    If I am bigger I would pick up that sprint ST........:potstir:
    Go for it.........Just make sure do your research on reliability and maintenance. Good luck
     
  4. diVeFR

    diVeFR New Member

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    Agree with ride.... IMO I do beleive its a sexy bike. If you dont have a Triumph dealer near you or if you are not a wrench spinner for motorcycles... this may become an expensive investment. Just something to consider.
     
  5. white_335i

    white_335i New Member

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    I looked at the Sprint ST when I was shopping for a sport tourer. 2005 in same color minus the bags. From what I read on the internet, they are reliable bikes and comfortable too. The only problem is, the aftermarket support is not as good as the VFR and there are many VFR's sold compared to the ST's. So finding used parts is easy for the VFR's. If you can not find a VFR near you or can not get it shipped, then go for it. Atleast it has the side cases. It costs about 700 to get the side bags for a VFR..
     
  6. ricky

    ricky New Member

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    @ridervfr: I have used the this software(TuneECU_Start) to reflash ecu, diagnose and clear codes, reflash ecu after engine swaps, Tb sync, tune fuel map at dyno tuning etc on both the sagem and keihin ecu's on Triumph sprints, speed triple and tigers. My sprint has a Sagem ecu and I think the later models had the keihin.

    How long ago was it when you worked at the dealer? The above mentioned software might have been only available from recently. I started using it only 3 years ago.

    The earlier 955 were known for soft valve seats and sprag clutch failures if cranked with a less than optimal battery. These issues are not known on the 1050 engines.

    As far as aftermarket support goes, I think there is enough stuff available for a sport touring mount. The aftermarket support might have been weak 5-7 years ago for triumphs, but certainly not true now. Aftermarket seats, bags and mounts, handle bar options, shocks, fork upgrades, Exhaust, filters etc are available. Don't forget that the speed triple with the same engine is very popular bike. So the numbers are out there. Used parts are not as easy to find for the 955 sprints. But the 1050 parts are more available.
    The valve adjustment is much easier on the sprint than the VFR. But that's a once in a blue moon thing for both bikes after the first scheduled valve adjustment is done.

    The OP needs to research the reliability issue on other forums aswell. My experience has been that they are reliable. My gut says that the Sprint engine is good for 100k miles and the VFR will go for 300k miles. I have read about owners of some 955 engines losing compression by 100k miles. But the 1050 is an improved engine so itmay last longer.

    Ultimately the VFR has 27 years of proven reliability. But then again both my VFRs has stranded me due to me putting off the R/r wiring upgrade(yep i did not learn when the r/r on the first one failed). I believe both VFR and sprint are super reliable by just taking care of maintenance. So if maximum reliability/durability is your biggest concern then the VFR is the way to go. But otherwise I think the decision should be made based on which bike fits you better and talks to you .... etc
     
  7. ricky

    ricky New Member

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    Forgot to talk about the build quality on the Triumph. The paint quality, finish on parts etc are a couple notches below the VFR on my sprint. some stuff is really annoying like using much longer tbolts than needed. Some parts of my sprint RS like fairing stays looks like it was homemade or put together by a bloke in his garage:). I have been told the paint quality and refinement have improved on the newer Sprints. But I think they are still a notch below Honda.
     
  8. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

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    I have a Triumph/Ducati/BMW dealer about 30 min away. I think tthe sprint looks great, the vfr and sprint each have there own style and I can't decide which I like better.
     
  9. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

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    I agree this bike is definitely sexually attractive
    plus this one is the blue one, and bitches will love this color :boobies7::boobies4::boobies3::boobies2::boobies6::boobies5:
    not to mention on the '05, the blue paint adds (and don't quote my numbers) about 5 hp on average over the silver paint.

    also yes theres a triumph dealer about 30 min away, and i consider myself pretty handy with a wrench as well as having a few awesome friends who wield a wrench pretty well.
     
  10. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

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    @Ricky: most of what i read matches what you're saying, mostly the 955 that had mechanical problems and are hard to find parts for. I'm sure the Honda is more reliable, ive read the 1050 rarely has any issues up to 30k mi (properly cared for of course) but honestly i would be perfectly fine with the Sprint lasting around 100k mi, if i keep it around for that long and keep paying for the maintenance up till then, then that would mean im loving the bike 7-8 years down the line, so to me its money well spent. If not ill sell it and grab a VFR
    :vtr2:
     
  11. ridervfr

    ridervfr Member

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    Have fun removing seat, I recall they totally sucked, you needed a ball end allen socket to get in there at an angle. Honda did some stupid stuff too regarding have to peel the seat material away to reveal hidden allen heads (for the life of me, I dont undestand engneers sometimes.)

    I do have these trick Triumph chromed D-ring d-zus fasteners on my 91 on the inner chin fairing. Have some cadium plated ones too in the drawer. So, I have two British parts on my japanese bike :smile: enjoy what you decide to buy, its all good you know :wink: as long as its two wheels...
     
  12. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

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    thanks for the heads up on that.

    and hell, i'm fine if it's just on 1 wheel! :vtr2:
     
  13. ricky

    ricky New Member

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    @Bambam where are you from. Make sure that the triumph dealer is a good one. I have read some horror stories on the Trat forum about some dealers being pretty bad and not give a shit because there is not another dealer nearby for their customers to go to.
    With Honda or other japanese makes there is going to be multiple dealers not too far from any place.
    Luckily for me the dealers I have dealt with are pretty good. Cycle specialties in modesto and the one in Roseville. I have heard there couple of good Triumph shops in the SF bay area too.

    btw even the 955i are pretty reliable. But VFR is super reliable making Triumph look bad in comparison. I keep wondering why Honda took so long the fix the r/r issues and why can't they make CCT that don't fail. I used to own Superhawk that were known for CCT failures.

    You should try the 6th gen VFR and the Sprint before buying. One might fit you better than the other.
     
  14. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

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    I live in Rancho Cordova, I would be taking the Triumph to the A&S Powersports-BMW/Ducati/Triumph in Roseville, is that the one you were referring to?
     
  15. ricky

    ricky New Member

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    Yes. A and S cycles. That's the one I was referring to. They seemed to be knowledgeable and care about the customers. I can't say the same about the Elk Grove dealer. But When I went in there they had just started to carry Triumphs and hopefully by now they are knowledgeable and have good customer service.
     
  16. Motographer

    Motographer New Member

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    The two bikes have a different enough riding position that you definitely should try out both before you buy. My best friend bought an '02 Sprint in early 2012 because he wanted something comparable to my VFR; while my 5th-gen fit him just fine, the Sprint had a much more stretched-out riding position that made it impossible for him to ride more than an hour or two without back pain. I've tried out the current Sprint ST model, and I definitely lean further forward than on my VFR, it just feels like a bigger bike overall. If you're going to be doing the kind of all-day sporty touring these bikes are designed for, you'll definitely want to make sure whichever one you get fits you well.
     
  17. Metallican525

    Metallican525 New Member

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    I too was torn between the Sprint and the VFR, till I sat on a Sprint and realized I don't have the inseam required for the bike. WTF Triumph, brits aren't all tall damnit!!!
     
  18. ridervfr

    ridervfr Member

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    You could always buy a Phil Reed Arai helmet and emblazon the Union Jack on your petrol tank or somewhere...Just saying...
     
  19. TOE CUTTER

    TOE CUTTER Mullet Man

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    I am down on Triumph only for parts. I have several I have cared for and am glad I am down to one at this point. Try to buy a timing sensor for a late 90's triple. Took 4 months to find the last one and you would buy gold cheaper. Support like that leaves a bad taste in my mouth and i don't ride one ..........just store them in my garage while the hunt for parts goes on.
     
  20. PorscheBob

    PorscheBob New Member

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    I would add one more bike to the possible decision . . . '98 VFR800.
    I would rate these bike like this . . .

    1. 1998 VFR800
    2. 2005 Sprint
    3. 2006 VFR800

    I've owned both 5th and 6th Gen VFRs and I put the 5th Gens in first place.
    Good '98-'01s are getting hard to find, but if you get one in your sights, go for it.
    Pssstt . . . '98 and 99" are the primo bikes of the bunch.
     
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