Triumph Daytona 955i (1998 -2001) review

Triumphs attempt to take on the Japanese sportbikes. It failed to do so.

Details
Manufacturer:
Triumph
Category:
Sports Tourers
Price:
£ 8789
Overall
3
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On the road it's in its element with the brilliant triple motor giving plenty of flat torque to whisk you along. Combined with real world suspension and riding position it's perfect as a sports tourer.
Not happy on track. Styling, clocks and fairing date the 955i.

There was a period in the late ‘90s that Triumph genuinely felt it could match the Japanese. It couldn’t. Since this time the management has had a re-think and worked out that to beat the Japanese you have to offer an alternative, not a competitor, but the 955i is a throwback to the era of optimism.

The 955i is directly related to the T595, which Triumph confidently predicted would take on the FireBlades of the day. Unfortunately a year after it was launched the R1 came out and blew the triple into the weeds. Well, further than the Blade had already done anyway. So the Daytona became a seen as second-rate 1000 sportsbike from the UK rather than a genuine Japanese alternative.

Which totally misses the point of the 955i. On track it’s never going to come close to a Japanese 1000, but it’s on the road that the 955i excels. Think of it as a brisk sports tourer with a huge amount of character and you will start to understand its charm.

All right, on first inspection this bike looks firmly stuck in the ‘90s. The fairing, clocks and styling look very dated, but only because they are far more rounded than current trends dictate. Fire it up and you instantly forget its visual inadequacies.

The 955i is a charmer, and most of this charm comes from its lovely triple motor, which not only sounds fantastic, it rides beautifully as well. Get over the fact the gearbox is fairly agricultural and clunky and instead enjoy the lazy power of a triple.

As with most triples the torque is delivered in a flat dollop from the word go in the rev range. It’s not ‘oh my god’ fast like inline fours, but that’s not to say the 955i is slow. Get it spinning and it’ll top 160mph, which is impressive, and it’s more than happy to knock off big miles with the rider in relative comfort.

Unlike the ZX-9R it doesn’t have a huge fairing, but what it does have is effective, although its trump card is the comfortable riding position and subtle suspension.

Triumph test riders are very good at ensuring bikes leave Hinckley with not only a real world riding position but also real world suspension. The 955i comes with one of the most padded seats this side of Honda’s GoldWing and some beautifully set up suspension, proving that to make a bike handle well on the road you don’t have to be riding an ironing board.

With second hand prices fairly cheap the 955i is a great alternative to a Japanese sportsbike for a rider who wants something different that is fast, but not completely over the top, and comfortable as well. Oh, and it’s British.

NIALL MACKENZIE SAYS

I’ve done a fair few miles on a Daytona 955i and I really enjoyed it as a riding experience, not a visual one. I like the frame, the handling is solid and fairly sporty, and engine but everything about the bike is so old hat. Looks are quite important to me, and even taking into account it is a second-hand bike the Triumph looks so dated. Moving aside from the visuals the engine is great. I never get bored of the bark from the triple and the combination of the excellent torque and fairly peppy top end is relaxing to ride on the road. The gearbox, however, isn’t very good and calling it sloppy is doing it a favour.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-used/the-undertones---hornet-900---955i-and-zx-9r/6244.html#ixzz0xdD0r7xJ

There was a period in the late ‘90s that Triumph genuinely felt it could match the Japanese. It couldn’t. Since this time the management has had a re-think and worked out that to beat the Japanese you have to offer an alternative, not a competitor, but the 955i is a throwback to the era of optimism.

The 955i is directly related to the T595, which Triumph confidently predicted would take on the FireBlades of the day. Unfortunately a year after it was launched the R1 came out and blew the triple into the weeds. Well, further than the Blade had already done anyway. So the Daytona became a seen as second-rate 1000 sportsbike from the UK rather than a genuine Japanese alternative.

Which totally misses the point of the 955i. On track it’s never going to come close to a Japanese 1000, but it’s on the road that the 955i excels. Think of it as a brisk sports tourer with a huge amount of character and you will start to understand its charm.

All right, on first inspection this bike looks firmly stuck in the ‘90s. The fairing, clocks and styling look very dated, but only because they are far more rounded than current trends dictate. Fire it up and you instantly forget its visual inadequacies.

The 955i is a charmer, and most of this charm comes from its lovely triple motor, which not only sounds fantastic, it rides beautifully as well. Get over the fact the gearbox is fairly agricultural and clunky and instead enjoy the lazy power of a triple.

As with most triples the torque is delivered in a flat dollop from the word go in the rev range. It’s not ‘oh my god’ fast like inline fours, but that’s not to say the 955i is slow. Get it spinning and it’ll top 160mph, which is impressive, and it’s more than happy to knock off big miles with the rider in relative comfort.

Unlike the ZX-9R it doesn’t have a huge fairing, but what it does have is effective, although its trump card is the comfortable riding position and subtle suspension.

Triumph test riders are very good at ensuring bikes leave Hinckley with not only a real world riding position but also real world suspension. The 955i comes with one of the most padded seats this side of Honda’s GoldWing and some beautifully set up suspension, proving that to make a bike handle well on the road you don’t have to be riding an ironing board.

With second hand prices fairly cheap the 955i is a great alternative to a Japanese sportsbike for a rider who wants something different that is fast, but not completely over the top, and comfortable as well. Oh, and it’s British.

NIALL MACKENZIE SAYS

I’ve done a fair few miles on a Daytona 955i and I really enjoyed it as a riding experience, not a visual one. I like the frame, the handling is solid and fairly sporty, and engine but everything about the bike is so old hat. Looks are quite important to me, and even taking into account it is a second-hand bike the Triumph looks so dated. Moving aside from the visuals the engine is great. I never get bored of the bark from the triple and the combination of the excellent torque and fairly peppy top end is relaxing to ride on the road. The gearbox, however, isn’t very good and calling it sloppy is doing it a favour.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-used/the-undertones---hornet-900---955i-and-zx-9r/6244.html#ixzz0xdD0r7xJ

Score Breakdown
Overall
3
Engine
4
Brakes
3
Handling
3
Comfort
3
Build Quality
4

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