It's the one we've all been waiting for. Niall Mackenzie finds out if Triumph's new 'Urban Sports' bike delivers on the hype
Click to read: Triumph Daytona 675 owners reviews, Triumph Daytona 675 specs and to see the Triumph Daytona 675 image gallery.
I COUNT MYSELF very lucky. I have a MotoGP circuit on my doorstep and the Triumph factory is 20 minutes away so, in theory, I could have tested the new Daytona 675 Triple and had it back by lunchtime. No one told Triumph this, so instead I got to fly half way round the world to try it at the Sepang Circuit and on the road in Malaysia.
My one and only previous visit to this fast, flowing circuit was in 2001, to demo the stillborn Sauber Petronas MotoGP bike. Like the new 675, it used an inline three-cylinder engine, but there the similarities end. The Sauber Petronas bike went in the bin; people have been slapping down deposits on the Triumph in their hundreds.
I enjoyed the 600 and 650 Daytonas, and I was also one of the few journos that thought the TT600 was a bit of fun. But all three models were a fair way off rocking the Japanese. Looking back, Triumph seemed to wander off into four-cylinder land but found it didn't suit the firm's character or heritage. I believe it's right back on track and doing what it does best.
At a glance and without graphics, the red 675 could be a Ducati 916, but get up close and it's more 21st century, much more compact and even better looking. The black, beautifully crafted frame and swingarm complement the quality finish. This theme continues under the bodywork, unlike some recent models that have had the odd oversize bolt protruding when you delve into hidden areas.
Since my first sighting of it at the NEC in November I've been looking forward to riding this bike. Being a small sports bike, I stupidly thought it would feel similar to other small sports bikes. But from the moment I hit the starter button and set off I realised I was in for a very different experience. The familiar throaty growl coming from the noisier (aftermarket) pipe immediately reminded me I was on board a Triumph. At first this seemed quite peculiar, but after a few track sessions everything began to make sense. The 675 may have the vital statistics of a skinny CBR600RR, but the track riding experience couldn't be more different.
It has a similarly roomy riding position but, while the Honda is all about high revs and constant gear shifting, the Triumph functions best using the mid-range power. This gives greater flexibility which, in turn, means fewer changes. It also has more engine braking, so getting back to third and second while braking hard must be left as late as possible to keep everything in line.
Click here to read the Triumph Daytona 675 review verdict.
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