Triumph shook up the Supersport fold in 2006 with its Daytona 675. Winner of both the Street and Track portions of our Supersport Shootout that year, the Daytona shattered 600 convention with its playful 675cc Triple. The Daytona’s fortunes in comparison testing wavered since that impressive debut, in some instances the marque taking a pass altogether on our annual invite. Fortunately, this time around the Triumph is back and better than ever with its higher-spec Daytona 675R.
Changes to the 2011 R-spec are Ohlins suspension and Brembo braking components, along with a quick-shifter. Those are the upgrades. The highlight, however, remains that Inline Triple. Hopefully John Bloor gave whatever chap came up with three-cylinder platform strategy a sizable share of company stock, as the Triple defines the British marque’s street lineup and the 675cc version maybe the most enjoyable of the lot.
A glance at the dyno chart reveals the Triple’s strength, as its torque curve charts a hybrid of the two- and four-cylinder powerplants. The three-cylinder splits the difference between the Twin’s brusque torque and the Four’s high-revving horsepower. The result is an engine melds the best of both worlds and delivers pleasing, front-ending hopping power throughout the rev range. In terms of peak production, the Triumph rings in at 49.02 lb-ft at 10,500 rpm, with its 110.83 horsepower topping out at 13,100. In both categories is ranks second only to the Ducati, and well ahead of its 600 rivals.
A former Supersport Shootout winner, the Daytona 675 is back for 2011, this time sporting an up-spec R designation.
But that’s how the Triumph engine performs on paper. In the real world its mechanical prowess delivers flesh and blood appeal. “I felt like I could let the Triumph rev longer than the others and it would still keep pulling,” touts Simon. That sensation of never-ending power at the throttle contrasts the Ducati, which spools up and tops out rather quick by comparison. The Triumph just keeps pulling, pulling and pulling. By the time it gets up to its 13K peak the speedometer has reached felonious readings.
What can’t be easily communicated in words is the Triple’s engaging character. Much of this resides in the distinctive sound of the Triumph, which like the power is an amalgam of Twin/Four. The Triple sounds different, and different is good. Like the Ducati, however, the Triumph’s kudos for sound comes from tenor not volume. In fact, with 78 dB at idle and 92 dB at half redline, the British bike was second only to the Honda as a quiet ride.
Splitting the difference between Twin and Four, the Triumph’s Triple produces a pleasing broad swath of pwer.
Second best torque, second best horsepower, second best engine performance and character… Sensing a pattern here? The Triumph also placed second in the quarter-mile performance testing, where it parlayed its compliant clutch and quick-shifter into a 10.61. The Trumpet gets the edge, however, in 0-60 with its 3.22 second time class leading.
“Like the rest of the bikes (with exception of the Ducati) the Triumph has an excellent clutch,” notes Waheed. “Lever pull is light and it’s very responsive, with a lot of feel during launches. The 675’s stronger bottom-end makes it slightly easier to launch as it doesn’t really bog even if you launch it at a slightly lower rpm. Even better however is its use of an electronic quick-shifter which reduces the split second it takes to upshift thereby delivering even faster straight-line acceleration.”
The Triumph drivetrain rated behind only the superb transmissions on the Suzuki and Honda 600. The only thing missing from the Daytona system is a slipper clutch to smooth out downshifts, though no riders registered complaints in this area.
The Triumph three-cylinder engine delivers on the road, but its handling is also top-notch – the R’s new Ohlins suspension and Brembo monoblocs making for high-performance bliss.
Braking comes via new Brembo monobloc calipers up front. The brakes are high-spec fashionable, of course, and deliver outstanding performance and feel. While stout they aren’t overly grabby like the same brand-name stoppers on the Ducati.
“The brakes feel really good, standard issue Brembo,” says Steeves, who also praised the new Ohlins suspension, a 43mm NIX30 fork and TTX36 rear shock.
The Swedish components headline a chassis which feels much improved from the previous incarnation. As noted in our 2011 Triumph Daytona 675R First Ride, the new Ohlins units seem to resolve issue of the pressing wide in the turn, noted on past test units. The Trumpet’s updated chassis is taut and sporty, but where the Ducati felt a little too tightly wound, the Daytona is a natural, if aggressive, handler on the roads.
“At first it was really hard for me to get used to because if felt so much different than the other brands,” says Simon, “but after riding it awhile I began to love it and was having an awesome time in the corners. I felt when you are committed in the turns the bike really just stuck and went where you wanted it to, The faster you went the better the bike worked.”
Test riders continued to parrot praise of the Daytona’s steadiness in the corner, with Agustin saying: “When I would lean the Triumph over, it felt like it found a groove and stuck. When the turn was over, it stood right up when it was supposed to. The 675 felt like man’s best friend, maybe even more obedient than Lassie.”
Aiding in the easily handling is a slim profile, the three-cylinder Daytona feeling more slender than even the Ducati. Riders lean forward on the Daytona, but not excruciatingly so for a sporty riding position. The seat, however, was stiff and unyielding.
“The seat, you got to figure something out there,” muses Steeves. “Might want to sew a bunch of Dr. Sole insoles on the top of it and then it’d be nice, but to ride that thing and commute on it every day is going be tough.”
Instrumentation is a blue backlit speedo on the left, with an analog tach on the right. It’s not bad, but not great either. We’d also appreciate a fuel gauge to measure the contents of the 4.6-gallon tank. The Daytona recorded the worst fuel efficiency at 32.3 mpg, good for a 148.4-mile range.
- The much-loved Triple delivers performance and personality
- Top 0-60 and second-fastest quarter-mile thanks to potent engine and well sorted transmission, which features standard quickshifter
- Excellent performance from new upgraded suspension and brake components
- Second only to the Ducati in looks department
- Seat comfort leaves much to be desired
- Second-most expensive MSRP at $11,995
At $11,999 the Triumph trails just the Ducati in high MSRP. The Daytona also rings in on the high end when it comes to OEM replacement parts, not quite at Ducati levels, but certainly more than the Japanese bikes. That said the British bike delivers some top-shelf goodies with its Ohlins and Brembo parts. And the quickshifter is a definite bonus, the only one in this comparison offered as standard kit. Those 12 Gs also buy a lot of character, and as our For My Money Picks will attest – that unquantifiable personality plays a big part in curb appeal. Not to mention the 675R was deemed a looker by all, second only to the Ducati. The Triumph’s strong ratings power the Brit to a second-place finish in our 2011 Supersport Street Comparison.
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