Late in 1998 I made the decision that it was time to retire the Katana. I was really looking forward to seeing the new Suzuki SV650. Delays in its arrival, and the fact that the U.S. version didn't include the fairing, made me start looking at alternatives. In Feburary of 1999, I took a day off from work and test rode three motorcycles. I first went to Milpitas Honda and test rode a SuperHawk, and then a VFR800. I really liked the SuperHawk, but I did't think it would be a great touring bike. After riding the VFR800, I thought I had found my next bike. Later that day, I went up to Cal BMW/Triumph to take a test ride on the new Sprint ST which I had been collecting every review of. After the test ride I knew that Triumph had dethroned the VFR as the best sports touring motorcycle. I felt perfectly at home after coming off of the Katana, but it had the torque that I really had been missing in my last ride. The picture above shows the bike sitting outside the dealer the day I picked it up. It doesn't have any of the accessories added yet.
In September '99 I took the Sprint up to Thunderhill Park for a Triumph Trackday. While the majority of the riders were on Daytonas, there were three of us on Sprints. That's me on the far right coming though turn 13.
(Photo by Chris Van Andel)A view from the cockpit.
Below you can see what it looks like with the Triumph 3 bag setup installed.