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2004 Triumph Sprint RS

The Sprint RS is a slightly stripped down version of the Sprint ST and shares the same drivetrain and frame. The RS has a half fairing instead of the full fairing on the ST, and had a conventional double-sided swingarm instead of the more expensive single-sided swingarm on the ST and other 955cc models in the line. It also features slightly revised front end geometry (rake and trail), but is otherwise identical.

Introduced in 1999 the ST/RS family was updated in 2002 with several significant updates to the engine including moving the starter and alternator around for less noise and wear, and an increase from 108 to 118 hp. This generation ran from 2002 through 2004 when the new 1050 Sprint ST was introduced in 2005 and the RS was discontinued. 2002-2004 Sprints can be spotted by having silver frames instead of the black frames on 1999-2001 models.

Triumph discontinued the RS after the 2003 model year but then did a limited run for 2004. The 2004 model was was unique in that it had the single-sided swingarm from the ST instead of it's customary double-sided version, and no (gawdy?) RS graphics on the fairing. It therefore is an ST in every way except for the fairing, slightly lower handlebars, and slightly tweaked front end geometry (rake and trail). This means that all ST accessories will fit it including the ST hard luggage.

Frankly the ergonomics of the RS handlebars were just a bit of a stretch for me but fortunately the ST handlebars bolt right on. The ergos are now perfect for my 5'10" frame. Also, the wind protection is just right for my "mission profile", and I find the lack of a lower fairing actually a benefit because it sheds engine heat more readily and lets you clean the road grime from the mechanicals easier. Also, there's just something about seeing the engine on a motorcycle that is appropriate.

As with most bikes however, the right accessories and mods can really improve the function of it dramatically. Such has been the case with this bike as well. After the below tweaks I'me very satisfied with it — it fits my current mission profile perfectly.

Triumph accessories:

  • Centerstand (p/n A9758003) - They really should provide this with the bike.
  • Rear hugger (p/n A9748002) - Keeps dirt from the back wheel off the shock and back of engine, this is another item the bike should come with.
  • Triumph stainless steel "off road" muffler - Let's you enjoy that wonderful Triumph 3-cylinder music. Not too loud, and provides a noticable power boost by letting the engine breath better. Note that you will need to have the "tune" of the ECU changed however when changing the exhaust. You can do it yourself with the TuneBoy or have your dealer install the Triumph "offroad" tune file.
  • Triumph accessory socket (p/n A9938014) - Lets you operate an electric vest or charge the bike when it's turned off. It's a Powerlet female plug which is sometimes called a "BMW plug" because BMW adopted this plug style years ago. The wiring diagram in the factory service manual depicts a circuit with a plug designed to power the accessory socket but I scoured the bike thoroughly and could not find it. Because the 2004 is a bit of an anomoly and was essentially an ST with a different fairing perhaps they dropped it. Anyway, it was easy to install wiring and a fuse directly to the battery.
  • Sprint ST handlebars (p/n T2040610 & T20460411) - These are a bolt-on replacement for the RS bars that put the bars a bit higher and further back. It makes the ergos just right for me. This is a popular mod for the RS.
  • Triumph 18 tooth countershaft sprocket (p/n T1180177) - These bikes are geared way to tall in stock form, going from a 19t to an 18t countershaft sprocket brings the gearing into the reasonable range. Overall, it's just right now. BTW, changing the gearing doesn't effect the speedo since it reads off the front wheel.
  • Triumph heated grips (p/n A9638006) - This kit fits the new 1050 sprints as well as the 955 family. Let's you wear thinner gloves in the cool weather, once you try heated grips you won't want to be without them.

Accessories & mods:

  • TuneBoy - TuneBoy is software and a cable that let's you view everything your engine ECU is doing, download different "tunes" to it, view and clear error codes, and actually edit most parameters of the tune files... very useful -- take back control of your bike's brain! So far I am using the standard Triumph "offroad" tune but with the idle speed lowered at all temps and the electric fan set to come on just a bit earlier. I expect I'll experiment further, especially with the low throttle low speed mixture, so if you have any test info on this I'd appreciate hearing from you.
  • Tank Locker tankbag - From Luggage Locker, this bag is unique in how it mounts. When the bag is not mounted the mounting ring is unsightly, but so far I've felt the ease of use and utility are worth it. The bag itself doesn't have as many pockets as the major tankbag lines, but that's not a big deal. Also, they make other bags that mount on the same ring.
  • SpeedoHealer - Most speedometers on motorcycles these days read high on purpose. Using a aviation GPS and a long straight road I determined that my speedometer was 8.0% high overall. The SpeedoHealer is a great little electronic widget that puts in a correction factor and very quickly get your speedometer reading =/- 1 mph of actual. Much better, now I KNOW how fast I'm going.
  • Throttlemeister - I really prefer a Vista Cruise type cruise control (throttle lock) but couldn't get one to fit the Sprint throttle grip. Although not my first choice, the Throttlemeister is the best alternative and gets the job done.
  • Temp display - If you'd prefer to change the units displayed on your dash here's how... Hold the select button down for five straight seconds, it switches the unit readout. You can have MPH and degrees F, MPH and degrees C, or KPH and degrees C.

For those interested in finding out more about Triumph Sprints, or just exchanging information with other Triumph owners, here are some online resourses I've found useful...


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