Back in the early 2000s, Triumph’s four-cylinder, middleweight sportbikes were taking a beating by the 600 cc bikes from the Big Four in Japan. The solution? Drop a cylinder, boost the cubes and start a nearly complete, ground-up rebuild based off the old Daytona 600 chassis.

The result? A decidedly nimble and powerful supersport packed away in a deceptively small package. After a number of changes, and the addition of the Daytona 675 R in 2011 that went on to win the Daytona 200 in ’14, the Daytona family moves into the ’15 and ’16 model years with many of the features that made the range a success, and a few new ones too.

Join me while I dissect this British Rose and try to discover why its fanbase is so rabid, far beyond the usual national/brand loyalty we see all the time.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Daytona 675 and Daytona 675 R.

  • 2016 Triumph Daytona 675 / Daytona 675 R
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Displacement:
    675 cc
  • Price:
    11999
  • Price:

Design

2016 Triumph Daytona 675 / Daytona 675 R
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As sexy as the Daytona line is, with its nicely rounded curves and slightly nose-down stance, it is far from a vanity piece. Windtunnel-tested body panels tie the front of the bike together, from the windshield-bearing upper fairing down to the functional chin fairing.

Although the Daytonas present a fair entry point to penetrate the air, those panels quickly taper off to nothing, leaving the rear end of the bike looking much more like a naked bike; fitting, considering that the 675 was originally designed as a full-on naked ride, and the fairings got added later in the process.

Naturally, the engineers didn’t miss an opportunity to make use of the pressure wave at the front of the bike, so the mouth formed by the fairing edge channels that pressurized air right down the gullet.

Make no mistake, the “R” isn’t any more powerful than the base Daytona, they both run the exact same engine, but some variations in the suspension make it a bit more track friendly, and some carbon-fiber trim and other small details set it apart visually from the base model just a bit.

Jockey-mount footpegs and short handlebars pull the rider into an aggressive, forward-leaning position, which is great for the track; but for the road, not so much, and the seat padding leaves something to be desired.

Chassis

2016 Triumph Daytona 675 / Daytona 675 R
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The all-aluminum, twin-spar frame is made up of eight separate high-pressure die castings in order to reduce the number of welds needed to hold the thing together while keeping it strong and light. Rake and trail are reduced, and the 675 frame carries the forks at 22.9 degrees for 3.4 inches of trail and a compact, 54.1-inch wheelbase.

An all-aluminum, boomerang-shaped swingarm completes the standing chassis, and comes mounted on an adjustable pivot for an extra layer of ride control. The “R” comes with an extra little bonus on the frame in the form of a steering damper to help minimize handlebar kickback, and improve stability and tracking at speed.

At this point the two bikes start to diverge a bit in their accouterments, and although the “R” gets the top-shelf goodies, the base-model 675 really isn’t very far behind at all. Usd, Kayaba forks with 41 mm tubes buoy the front end on 4.33 inches of travel, and the Kayaba piggyback monoshock floats the rear on 5.07 inches of travel. Both ends come with high- and low-speed compression damping as well as rebound damping for complete ride-quality tunability.

As good as that is, the “R” takes it up a notch with a pair of 43 mm, usd Öhlins forks up front and an Öhlins TTX36 monoshock in back. Fork travel is greater than on the base at 4.72 inches, and the monoshock gives up a greater range as well with 5.23 inches of travel at the axle. Both ends of the “R” come with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping.

Much like the suspension parts, the brake components see just a little divergence. Brembo brake components make it onto both ends of the “R,” with four-pot calipers binding dual, 310 mm discs on the front wheel, and a single-pot caliper pinching the 220 mm rear disc. The base model 675 gets the same Brembo caliper and 220 mm disc in back, but the four-pot front calipers come from Nissin. Both bikes come with switchable ABS as part of their standard equipment package.

Cast-aluminum rims mount 17-inch hoops, with both rides getting a 120/70 front and 180/55 rear tire. The brakes have a nice, progressive feel, and while they aren’t very grabby at first, they wind up biting with authority by the end of the lever stroke.

Drivetrain

2016 Triumph Daytona 675 / Daytona 675 R
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Daytona 675 R

Triumph’s tiny, in-line triple is the real star of the show; and folks, don’t be fooled by the size of the package, this mill punches way above its weight. This liquid-cooled lump runs with dual, over-head cams to time the 12-valve head, and a fairly hot, 13.1-to-1 compression ratio. The 76 mm bore and 49.6 mm stroke is decidedly oversquare, and as is always the case with short-stroke motors, horsepower is high while torque falls off a bit. Not only is the Daytona 675 mill fuel injected, it actually carries two injectors per cylinder, which is something you don’t see everyday.

Super-light titanium valves enable the use of lighter valve springs and allows for much higher revs, to the tune of a 14,400 rpm redline, though I’m not sure I would be entirely comfortable straddling something wound up quite that tight myself.

What this leaves us with is a powerful little plant that is right at home on the track, and tame enough for civilized road use — with a bit of throttle moderation that is. At 12,500 rpm, the Daytona’s triple puts out a whopping 128 horsepower, with 55 pound-feet of torque coming on just a skosh earlier at 11,900 rpm and a top speed around 155 mph. This is on a bike that weighs in at less than 400 pounds, so obviously, you’d better be hanging on when you grab a fistful of throttle.

A slipper clutch couples engine power to the six-speed transmission while providing some anti-hop protection during aggressive downshifts. For aggressive upshifts, both of the Daytona brothers come with a race-ready, push-button quick-shifter as standard equipment.

Pricing

2016 Triumph Daytona 675 / Daytona 675 R
- image 681708

Triumph offers each bike in a couple of different paint schemes, and as the same price regardless of paint choice. The base Daytona rolls in Crystal White/Jet Black or Diablo Red/Matte Aluminum Silver for $12,000, and the “R” model can be had in Crystal White/Jet Black or Phantom Black for $14,000. I gotta say the colors are the weakest selling point on this ride, and the red lacks that bold depth that you get from Ducati, for example. Oh well, at least they aren’t cartoon colors, so it could definitely be worse.

Competitors

2016 Triumph Daytona 675 / Daytona 675 R
- image 681659
2015 - 2018 Suzuki GSX-R600
- image 682163

Seeing as how the Daytona was originally created to counter the 600 cc Japanese threat, I decided it would be fair to pull what is arguably the most recognized name from that pool for my head-to-head — the GSX-R600 from Suzuki — and throw it up against the 675 R.

Visually, they are both more-or-less, full-on superbikes, even if the Daytona shows a little more of what’s under the hood as it were. Beyond that, I think just calling them race bikes with turn signals will just about sum up the looks department, though my Western eyes like the curves on the Daytona more than the angular approach Suzuki took with the Gixxer’s bodywork, but I recognize that looks are very subjective.

Much like the Daytona, the Gixxer is built on a cast-aluminum frame comprised of multiple members with a cast-aluminum swingarm to finish off the skeleton. Fully adjustable Showa forks and monoshock come with the same adjustments as the Öhlins products on the Trumpet, but Showa components definitely come off a lower shelf behind the bar, if you catch my drift. Brakes are likewise similar, with Brembo making an appearance across the board, but Suzuki falls off a bit here with no ABS versus Triumph with a switchable, take-it-or-leave-it ABS as standard kit.

The Gixxer runs a four-banger against the Daytona’s three, but with tiny bores that only add up to a total of 599 cc versus 675 cc from the Brit. Beyond that, engine layout is similar with water-cooling and all of the expected electronic engine management (except traction control). Dyno results fall out about like you would imagine, with the Daytona 675 R coming out on top with 128 horsepower and 55 pounds-feet of torque, and Suzuki somewhat close behind with 103 horses and 46.7 pounds of grunt. Close enough given the displacement difference.

Suzuki gets its only solid win at the till. The $11,199 MSRP is bound to draw some business away from the Daytona “R” with its $14,000 tag. That’s a chunk of change, and the GSX-R family is one of the most recognized in the world of sport bikes, so that’s two hurdles for the Trumpet. My money would go to the Brit, but many of you will swing the other way, regardless of the minutia buried in the specs.

He Said

“When I think of a Triumph, my mind immediately goes to the Bonnie, and it’s always something out of the ’70s or ’80s. I confess I don’t think of Triumph when I look at a Gixxer and wonder what can take it down, but perhaps I should. The Daytona was obviously built as a direct competitor for it, and a fistful of others I won’t belabor here, and it looks like Trumpet managed to score big on this one. Still not as sexy as a Duc, but damned close.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The Daytona 675 is an awesome middleweight sport bike. This 600 cc range is some hot stuff; still a little bit stupidfast for my comfort. If you’re a shorty-short like I am, you might not want to play pick-a-foot at stoplights, so something like a Street Triple might be a better choice.”

Specifications

ENGINE:
TYPE: Liquid cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder
CAPACITY: 675 cc
BORE: 76 mm
STROKE : 49.58
SYSTEM: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with twin injectors, forced air induction and SAI
EXHAUST: Stainless steel 3-into-1 system with under engine silencer incorporating a valve
FINAL DRIVE: O-ring chain
CLUTCH: Wet, multiplate, slipper
GEARBOX: 6-speed, close ratio
OIL CAPACITY: 1 US Gallon
CHASSIS:
FRAME: Front - Aluminium beam twin spar. Rear - 2-piece high pressure die cast
SWINGARM: Braced, twin-sided, aluminium alloy with adjustable pivot position
FRONT WHEELS: Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 3.5in
REAR WHEELS: Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 5.5in
FRONT TIRES: 120/70 ZR 17
REAR TIRES: 180/55 ZR 17
FRONT SUSPENSION:
Daytona 675: Kayaba 41 mm upside down forks with adjustable preload, rebound and high/low speed compression damping, 110 mm travel
Daytona 675 R : Öhlins 43 mm upside down NIX30 forks with adjustable preload, rebound and
compression damping, 120 mm travel
REAR SUSPENSION:
Daytona 675: Kayaba monoshock with piggy back reservoir adjustable for rebound and high/low speed compression damping, 129 mm rear wheel travel
Daytona 675 R: Öhlins TTX36 twin tube monoshock with piggy back reservoir, adjustable, rebound and compression damping, 133 mm rear wheel travel
BRAKES FRONT:
Daytona 675: Twin 310 mm floating discs. Nissin 4piston radial calipers.(Switchable ABS)
Daytona 675 R: Twin 310 mm floating discs, Brembo 4piston radial monoblock calipers, switchable ABS
BRAKES REAR:
Daytona 675: Single 220 mm disc, Brembo single piston caliper (Switchable ABS
Daytona 675 R: Single 220 mm disc, Brembo single piston caliper, switchable ABS
PERFORMANCE:
MAX POWER EC: 126 12500
MAX TORQUE EC: 74 11900
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS:
WIDTH HANDLEBARS: 27.4 in (695 mm)
HEIGHT WITHOUT MIRROR: 43.8 in (1112 mm)
SEAT HEIGHT: 32.7 in (820 mm)
WHEELBASE: 54.1 in (1375 mm)
RAKE: 22.9 º
TRAIL: 3.4 in (87.2 mm)
DRY WEIGHT: 368 lbs (167 Kg)
TANK CAPACITY: 4.6 US Gallon
FUEL CONSUMPTION:
Urban: 38.5 US MPG
Constant Speed 56 mph: 56.9 US MPG
Constant Speed 75 mph: 43.6 US MPG
COLORS:
Daytona 675: Phantom Black & Graphite, Crystal White & Sapphire Blue, Diablo Red & Jet Black
Daytona 675 R: Crystal White/Jet Black, Matt Phantom Black/Matt Aluminium Silver
PRICE:
Daytona 675: $11,999
Daytona 675 R: $13,999
What do you think?
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