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2009 Triumph Daytona 675 review

Three years after its launch Triumph has decided the time is right to give its Daytona 675 a few tweaks

Click to read: Triumph Daytona 675 owners reviews, Triumph Daytona 675 specs and to see the Triumph Daytona 675 image gallery.

First of all let’s clear something up. This isn’t some spectacular makeover of the Daytona, it’s more a culmination of subtle updates designed to iron out a few of the original bike’s little niggles. So owners of the current model needn’t start getting into a flap because their bike is now out of date. Yes, this is a new machine, but unlike many of the Japanese 600 updates it’s not that far removed from the original.

Triumph reckon that they have made 50 changes between models, but in all honestly you would be hard pushed to notice them. Visually all that has altered is the nosecone with its larger finned airscoop and while the spec sheet talks of the engine having 3bhp and 1ft.lb of torque more, the bike weighing 3kg less, the suspension growing high and low speed compression damping and the brakes becoming the latest ‘in thing,’ monoblock calipers, it would take a true anorak to notice this. Dig a bit deeper, however, and you find that the real updates are found in the little black box under the seat.

In a feat that Paris Hilton can only dream of the 675’s ECU has become much more clever. As well as increasing how quickly it can process data the ECU has been designed to respond to the speed of the rider’s inputs. Crack the throttle open hard and the fuel is delivered in an aggressive, direct way, open it slowly and the response is more muted. It doesn’t sound like much but this change has massively improved the already excellent Triumph.

Any bike that delivers large amounts of torque with few cylinders suffers at initial throttle openings. Torque is the kick up the arse that you receive when you first get on the gas from a closed throttle, if this kick is too abrupt it makes for a jerky ride. This is something the old bike suffered with, especially when compared to the less torque-laden and therefore smoother Japanese inline fours. Now, rather than the slightly too direct stab of torque that the old bike had, the 2009 model’s power can be applied in a more controlled fashion when needed, improving the ride and helping you get the most from the excellent chassis.

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Essentially Triumph haven’t changed the chassis on the 675. Although the suspension has become more responsive with the addition of high and low speed compression adjustment the rest is unaltered. While these changes have certainly made the ride plusher, you’d be hard pushed to spot the differences unless you rode the two bikes back to back.

Which isn’t a bad thing as the Daytona remains a lovely handling bike. Physically it’s tiny, yet even for a six-footer like myself it never feels cramped, which is quite an achievement. Through town the low set bars can be less than fun, but on the open road it delivers a balanced and neutral yet still sporty ride, while on the track it’s eager to turn and desperate to lean over. With more than a few championships already under its belt (including British Supersport) the Daytona has proved itself capable of matching, and bettering, the best of the Japanese 600s on track. Much of this is due to the drive from the triple engine, but the chassis certainly plays no small factor.

On track the Daytona feels tiny. Like a 250GP bike you can bung it into corners with the front loaded up and get away with murder. For many riders its lazy engine, which seems to have an endless spread of torque, would allow them to stick in faster lap times than on an inline four because there is none of the scrabbling around the rev range searching for drive.

With the Triumph you are often left with the pleasant dilemma of two gears to chose from, either one providing clean drive rather than a bogging down or screaming engine. It has to be said in some situations the engine doesn’t feel as refined as a Japanese motor, especially the gearbox, but over all it’s a beautiful engine, especially on the road.

Unlike the Japanese machinery, which you can be aggressive with, the Triumph requires a more controlled touch, but in turn it delivers a relaxed ride. Over the last few years the Japanese have been desperately trying to build mid-range into their 600s, the Triumph’s triple has this naturally.

As a road bike the 675 is easy-going and fun thanks to its 675 triple engine, on the track it’s just as much fun, but develops a sharp edge that will surprise more than a few who still think of Triumphs as a quirky British bike that will never match the Japanese. A rapidly filling trophy cabinet has already proven they can…

Extra Bits

Triumph has already developed a large selection of factory built optional extras. The coolest is certainly the quickshifter (£229.99), which simply plugs into the wiring loom and is ready to go, a titanium Arrow race pipe (£449.99), a programmable race ECU (£TBC) and carbon bits and bobs.

Specifications

Price: £7,589
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12-valve, inline triple, 675cc
Power: 126bhp @ 12,600rpm
Torque: 54ft.lb @ 11,750rpm
Front suspension: 41mm USD fork, fully adjustable high and low speed
Rear suspension: Monoshock, fully adjustable high and low speed
Front brake: 308mm discs, four piston calipers
Rear brake: Single 220mm disc, single piston caliper
Dry weight: 162kg (est)
Seat height: 825mm
Fuel capacity: 17.4 litres
Top speed: 160mph
Colours: Black, Red

Visordown rating: 5/5