November 2022

This bike was the mate to the silver one, and had a similar enviable reputation for reliability and performance. I had done a lot of research before we set about buying bikes in California for our tour, and the Sprints satisfied our desire for at least a brand that would be semi-acceptable at a BSA rally, while being a triple at heart.

Surprisingly their engines can sound a bit agricultural at low speeds, especially as the fairings deliver all the noise up under your helmet, but as the miles ticked away we became ever more confident in their longevity, and their meagre thirst considering a number of them were two-up with luggage for the duration.

Beginning a new journey.

While the bike had not been used for several months, its only known problems were related to bodywork and electrics, so I decided to start it up before beginning the work.

It was not at all interested, and I could hear that the edge had gone off the battery. First thing would be to remove it and see if it still wanted to play ball.

Not terribly pretty with their clothes off...

The battery had no date on it, but it responded to charging and maintained its voltage for several days, so I figure its a good 'un. So it went back in.

The left mirror had taken a swipe in the reverse direction, and they are only designed to fold back, not forward, so it broke. Like this.

I was able to remove the broken piece of thread from the nut, and get enough thread serviceable to get the nut back on, but as the tube was now shorter, it was not possible to restore the folding function. Nice clear rear vision though.

The 1050 Sprint has a 'glovebox' feature in the forward area of the right side upper fairing. Besides being usefully lockable, it houses the fusebox and the diagnostic port. However, it also has enough space to accommodate the toolkit and the owners handbook. No more ferreting under the seat.

The panel on this bike had suffered plastic fatigue on the inner mounting, so various bits of tape had been applied to prevent the whole thing flapping about. I removed all of that and fabricated a steel bracket so it could all be bolted down as it should be.

I was tempted to paint it black, but decided it was not too obvious. Does the business.

The front end of the bike was a bit 'squishy' in action. It just felt as though the springing was too soft, or the damping was inadequate. The handbook gives some options for various loadings, but mostly the preload is the same for all. I decided to harden it up a bit - from 3 visible rings to 2 and a bit - and it made a lot of difference.

I have not tested it on the road, but it seems to only bounce once, so that feels right.

When we returned from America, this bike had suffered a few flat battery episodes, and I traced the phantom drain to the heated grips. As they were not required to be operable I simply removed their fuse, and the problem ceased.

Attempting to put them back into service revealed that the control unit had failed completely. Using a multimeter I was able to ascertain that both the grips were functional.

A browse of the interweb located a possible replacement controller was available as a spare part. Not only that, but a local bike shop listed one on their website. While it was made by 'Oxford', the original manufacturer, it was different in appearance, so no guarantee it would be compatible.

I trundled out there with the dead one as a sample, only to find that their website was not entirely accurate, as they did not have one in stock. They did have an entire kit though, so we opened it up and compared the two control units. Both had the same three connectors, so it looked like it could be a straight swap.

I ordered one. It would be pleasing to me, but also a good sale feature, if absolutely everything on the bike were working as intended.

It turned up today, it fitted, and it works.

Clean sweep.!

One of the reasons I originally chose to disable the grips, besides the flat batteries, was that they are wired directly to the battery. This means that the onus is on the rider to ensure they get turned off at the end of the ride.

Testing the new controller I found that after a period of time, a green LED began to flash in the centre of the display. The logo states "battery saving mode". It would seem that a battery saving feature has been added to prevent accidental battery discharge while the engine is not running but the grips are left on.

Perhaps this was in response to premature failures of the original control units when they had been left on, as they would hardly offer a new revised control as a spare part unless there was a potential demand.

I feel much happier that this is now a feature, as it looked a tad daunting to find another source of supply on the bike that would be ignition controlled.

A test ride was the next thing on the list. I was not expecting any issues, nor there were. I had tweaked the levers and pedals a bit, and everything felt pretty good where it was. That led to getting a wof, which it passed with a clean sheet.

It then got 3 months rego, and a friend let me know he was interested in it. I had not realised that he had been chasing a Sprint, and had missed out on two, so this turned up in a timely fashion.

So he bought it.

So we will still get to ride in its company.