Triumph's supersport offering, the Daytona 675 is better than ever before in 2013... Test: Kris Hodgson Photography: Jeff Crowe
When Triumph’s Daytona 675 was updated in 2009 few people probably realised the bike was already in the works for a major redesign. The next Daytona would be lighter, sharper and have even better styling. In 2013 the new Daytona arrived to deliver on that promise.
Of course the first thing that really hits you about the Daytona is that triple burble as the bike comes to life, something I find irresistibly sexy -although owning a Speed Triple may bias me somewhat.
Jumping on the bike it’s easy to forget you are on a sportsbike, with a roomy open configuration between the seat, bars and pegs. The bike is also surprisingly thin and the feeling of being in rather than on the bike is immediate.
Heading off through heavy traffic towards Wisemans Ferry quickly shows off the Daytona’s street cred. Heavy traffic is never fun but the Daytona handles it easily with a light clutch and easy transitions between first and second gear. Balance is also exemplary and puttering along in traffic you don’t even feel the need to trail a leg.
Escaping the city traffic and getting out onto country roads the bike becomes an absolute joy as you get to open the throttle and really appreciate the razor sharp handling and punchy engine.
Without having ridden the previous Daytona it’s hard to make a comparison but I can say the new model leaves nothing to be desired, handling poor road surfaces with ease and allowing effortless overtaking as opportunities provided themselves.
Crossing at Wisemans Ferry the road surface deteriorates further and the rear end on the bike I was riding started to get slightly out of shape, which wasn’t exactly surprising. Having travelled a similar route recently I was impressed with how well the bike managed all things considered. Getting my mitts on one of the accessorised Daytona’s at this point did however find a bike setup more forgivingly for my weight than the first bike and the Triumph Comfort Seat made a noticeable difference!
This also provided the opportunity to test out the Arrow exhaust which further reduces weight – in the four kg region – and gives the bike a freer flowing feel on the throttle. Call me crazy but I have to admit I preferred the stock exhaust!
From Wisemans Ferry we headed out to a closed circuit for an opportunity to really test out the Daytona’s track ability.
As someone without a racing background or a huge amount of track experience I just found the Daytona an absolute joy as I headed up the straight and accelerated up to 180km/h, with the power punching in at about 8000rpm in fourth and the engine warbling away before tipping into the first corner.
Braking via the Nissin front calipers has good bite without unsettling the bike but the progression on the brakes is just insane giving amazing control. Combined with the bike’s engine braking capabilities that are further enhanced by the mechanical slipper clutch, makes controlling your speed a pleasure and very confidence inspiring.
On the much smoother surface the bikes suspension is flawless, at no point interrupting the immersion of just riding hard, while the forward weight bias and seating position makes the front end feel absolutely planted.
Becoming more familiar with the layout meant being able to push harder and harder each lap, with the Daytona just proving it had so much more to give than I would be capable of taking advantage of.
Spending half a day at the circuit really proved the duality of the Daytona, which was equally comfortable out on the Australian roads as it is in a track environment, proving an awesome and forgiving bike.
Cessnock was the next stop on the GPS, putting us in the perfect location to enjoy the Putty Road as we cruised back to Sydney the following day.
The Putty Road was just yet another opportunity for the Daytona to impress as the bike’s torque made the twisties an absolute joy, albeit slower than a track but still enormously engaging as you effortlessly tip onto corners and then roll on the throttle through the exit.
The new 2013 Daytona can really be summed up in a single word – smooth. The engine has so much power on tap – everywhere, that it’s easy to forget you’re only on a 675, with delivery being inspiringly controllable and grin inducing at the same time. Even without the quickshifter the gearbox is a pleasure, undoubtedly due to the new shift plate and only on the roughest of roads did the suspension really struggle -which is keeping in mind that the bikes were being tested by six riders of different weights and as such were not set up specifically for anyone. The brakes were also powerful but gave a rare level of control.
I really can’t rate the Daytona 675 highly enough and was left questioning whether I could really see the R version being worth the extra dollars when the base model is so spectacular. It’s easy to see the big name suspension and brakes and jump to conclusions but for most riders the difference will be unnoticeable and with the next batch of Daytona 675s all coming standard with ABS this is one hell of a motorcycle whichever way you look at it.
TECHNICAL TALK DAYTONA 675
The Daytona’s new engine has had the piston diameter increased from 74 to 76mm, while the stroke has been reduced from 52.3 to 49.6mm with peak rpm up from 13900rpm to 14400rpm. Separate block construction allowed this change while Nikasil coated bores reduce friction and improve wear. Stronger cylinders allow higher combustion pressure. Pistons are capable of handling 10 per cent higher combustion pressure, with nitrated gudgeon pins for strength. The big end bearings have been increased to 35mm diameter for increased loads. Compression is raised from 12.65:1 to 13.1:1, with two injectors per cylinder optimising fuelling and performance.
A new aluminium heat exchanger allows for no external pipes removing pressure issues under extreme performance, while the crankcase incorporates oil scrapers and baffles to remove oil from the crank webs and prevent oil surge under hard braking. Exhaust valve diameter has been reduced to 24.2mm meaning a seven per cent reduction in weight, allowing an increase in lift by 0.2mm to 8.7mm. The inlet valves are titanium alloy and have an unchanged diameter but a stronger stem, with improved flow thanks to the revised shape and the valvetrain has seen a weight reduction of 10 per cent allowing lift to be increased to 9.4mm.
The slip/assist clutch provides a 25 per cent lighter feel at the lever, while reducing engine braking -allowing for a much smoother transition off the throttle during cornering. The new gear selector mechanism and selector drum also help reduce lever pull and revised first and second gears provide smooth changes and a 15T front sprocket provides better acceleration.
The crankshaft assembly inertia has seen a five per cent reduction, while the alternator rotor inertia has been reduced by 15 per cent.
The change from an underseat exhaust to a low slung stainless steel approach has allowed weight to be shed and centralised, with an active exhaust valve optimising torque and power.
Power has risen by three hp, with an additional two Nm of torque, with no sign of the previous model’s renowned flat spot at around the 7000rpm mark.
The Daytona’s chassis has seen a major makeover with an all new frame, swingarm, tank, wheels, suspension and brakes.The swingarm is a new asymmetric design that accommodates the low exhaust and is lighter and more rigid, reducing the wheelbase by 20mm with an adjustable pivot position.
The front forks are new KYB 41mm upside down offerings with centre fixed cartridges -saving weight, while the new KYB rear shock features a piggyback reservoir and revised spring and damping rates. Both are preload, rebound damping, high and low speed compression damping adjustable.
Front Nissin four-piston monobloc calipers grasp new larger, thicker Brembo rotors and are controlled via a radial master cylinder. On the rear a Brembo single-piston caliper provides impressive stopping to the 220mm rotor, with steel braided lines all round. Optional ABS will soon become standard and the system weighs 1.5kg.
Weight distribution has been tweaked to 47.1 rear to 52.9 per cent front, moving more weight forward. Rake has increased to 23.9 from 22.9 while trail is up to 87.2mm from 85.6mm.
FEATURES & ACCESSORIES
The Daytona 675 comes with killer styling, a digital display with analogue tachometer, incorporating a fuel gauge, lap timer, programmable shift lights, gear indicator and fuel usage.A quickshifter is available and the bike comes standard with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SPs.
Other accessories of note include the Rider Comfort Seat, the engine covers and frame protectors and Arrow exhaust.A full race kit is also available.
PRICE: $14990 + ORC
WARRANTY: Two years unlimited
COLOURS: Diablo Red/Black, Phantom Black/Graphite, Crystal White/Blue
CLAIMED POWER: 94kW[126bhp]@12500rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE: 74Nm[55ft-lbs]@11900rpm
WET WEIGHT: 184kg
FUEL CAPACITY: 17.4L
ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 12 valve, in-line three-cylinder, 76 x 49.6mm, 675cc, 13.1:1 compression, EFI, wet multi-plate assist and slipper clutch
CHASSIS: Aluminium beam twin-spar, two-piece high pressure die-cast rear subframe, braced aluminium alloy swingarm with adjustable pivot position
WHEELBASE: 1375mm RAKE: 22.9 TRAIL: 87.2mm
SUSPENSION: KYB 41mm upside down forks, fully adjustable, 110mm travel, KYB monoshock with piggy back reservoir, fully adjustable, 130mm travel
BRAKES: Dual Nissin four-piston radial monobloc calipers, 310mm front rotors, Nissin radial master-cylinder, Brembo single-piston caliper, 220mm rear rotor
WHEELS & TYRES: Cast aluminium alloy five-spoke wheels, 17 x 3.5, 17 x 5.5, Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
DIMENSIONS: Seat height: 820mm, Overall height: 1112mm, Overall length: 2045mm
INSTRUMENTS: Digital multifunction LCD display, analogue tachometer