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Fri 13th Apr '12

First Ride: Triumph Daytona 675R - Track Review

Bike Reviews
 

Triumph's top of the range Daytona on Bridgestone's new S20 tyres...

 

The Daytona 675R is about $1500 more expensive than the standard 675 but I think it should cost more.

The additional premium gets you Öhlins 43mm upside down NIX30 forks and an Öhlins TTX36 rear shock. On top of this you get an upgraded Brembo master cylinder, Brembo radial monoblock front brakes, a quickshifter, fancy paint and carbon fibre goodies.

 

The 675R comes fitted with Pirelli's Supercorsa SP tyres but the model I rode was fitted with Bridgestone's new S20 tyres. They're not as track focused as Pirelli's Supercorsa SP but they're still round, black and stick like a good'un.What I love about the Daytona 675 is its size and its riding position. It's small, narrow and easy to flick between your legs at a standstill. If you don't feel like you can throw the bike around at 0mph, then what hope have you got at 100mph?

 

You sit on it, not in it and the bars are set wide - despite the rest of the package being narrow - giving the 675R the feel of a race bike. When clip-ons are set at a tight angle, that's when my wrists play up, so the closer they are to being sat at 90-degrees, the better. 675R passes with flying colours.

 

The next thing I love about the Daytona 675 is the grunt. It's an alien feeling to be driving a tiny 600 off the bottom end like you can with the 675. Most 600s don't just require you to be in the right gear, you need to be in the right 1,000 revs too or you'll drop off the boil and become little more than a flustered, slow moving scalp to the guy who's about to overtake you. But not on the 675. Its torque curve monsters all the other 600s and is comparable to a 750. It's that extra torque - especially in the lower rev range - that makes the 675 a doddle to ride fast because you don't need to be quite so 'on it' as you do on a 600 and if you're not quite in the right rev-range, the 675 takes care of that for you.

 

So about these extra bits on the 675R; the quickshifter is quicker and smoother than even your smoothest of shifts, but it's not as good as many of the aftermarket quickshifters out there. It's closer in feel to BMW's 'shift-assist' on the S1000RR - both come into heir own when you want to change up mid corner without unsettling the bike.

 

The suspension is top quality stuff, not just gold in colour with the right stickers, it's exactly the same as you'd see on a Supersport bike on the British Superbikes grid. The trouble with Öhlins is that it's everywhere, really, but the NIX30 forks and TTX36 rear shock are straight out of the top drawer and not just a gesture of greatness.

Portimao's layout means you spend a lot of time on the front, either scrubbing off speed or carrying it into corners, waiting to pile it back on. Everything that's been upgraded on the 675R helps you with these two tasks.

 

The Brembo radial monoblocs are some of the best brakes I've used on track, they'r

e the same as what's fitted to my 848 Challenge race bike, they've got huge bite without being savage but there's no doubt the Öhlins 30mm cartridge kit in the forks and larger master cylinder help you gauge just how much pressure you can apply. The great thing about these Brembos is that the braking force comes to you instantly and stays there - there's never a time where you need an extra squeeze because you feel like you're fading and about to overcook it.

The Daytona 675R is a very well behaved bike. The steering is light without being flighty, firm without feeling rigid. Forget the carbon fibre and fancy paint job, what you're buying is feel, what you do with that feel is up to you. Buying a 675R and not adjusting the suspension would be like serving a vintage wine from a Thermos flask.

 

There's one thing the Daytona 675R lacks and that's a slipper clutch. This bike is so good in so many areas but when it comes to corner entry, its Achilles' heel is the rear end. With Bridgestone's S20 the rear hopped around under braking, but with a grippier tyre, like the Supercorsa SP, it would be worse. With the rear mis-behaving it affects the amount you can brake at the front and slightly tars an otherwise accomplished package.

 

Ride away prices are around $17,500

 

 

Article by Ben Cope  www.visordown.com