Triumph motorcycles have long had a sense of their own purpose and a sense of distinction and, against a mass of homogenous product, Triumph motorcycles stand out as being different. Simply put, they're not like other bikes in look, feel or character.
A desire to build distinctive and unique bikes is at the heart of Triumph's product strategy and this has become clearer over the last two years with the launch of the stunning Rocket III, iconic Speed Triple and breathtaking Sprint ST. These bikes are unequivocal evidence of a real focus and desire from Triumph to build their bikes, their way; an approach that has gathered great success, in terms of worldwide sales, press appreciation and brand identification.
Which is why, from the early stages of planning, designing and building the revolutionary Daytona 675 Triple, Triumph decided to expand and build on that difference, and one single word was chosen to hang the whole project around. That word? Incomparable.
The first three-cylinder middleweight, the Daytona 675 stands alone in the hotly contested sports bike arena and while others can and will compare it to a myriad of motorcycles, it's very much a statement of how a pure Triumph sports bike should look and, just as importantly, feel. In one single stroke it has redefined just how a middleweight sports bike should perform, packing a large amount of power and torque into a small, nimble package.
The Daytona Triple's pedigree, of course, is a strong one. Echoes of the legendary T595 Daytona, the bike that set Triumph firmly on the sports bike map back in 1997, can be seen in some of the 675 Daytona's lines. Then there's the same inspiring sound and textural feel of a three cylinder engine, a trait shared across our urban sport range. The four-cylinder Daytona 650 earned real praise from all quarters for its agile handing and all-round usability. But it simply wasn't enough for Triumph's engineers to gain a horsepower here, shave a hundred grams there, just as others do year after model year. Their desire was to build not only the most exciting and useable sports bike that's ever left the Hinckley factory, but also one that could steal the crown for the most beautiful sports bike in the market.
Owner involvement was another key element to the 675 Daytona's makeup. Triumph motorcycles generate owner loyalty just by their sheer nature and character, but in the sports bike market many machines are almost seen as disposable by their owners and treated accordingly. In contrast Triumph's wish for the Daytona 675 was to create an exciting bike that owners will never tire of looking at, looking after and above all else, riding.
By nature of the fact that Triumph is a niche player, production of the Daytona 675 at the Hinckley factory will be relatively limited, which will add to the appeal and kudos of owning one. However while the Daytona 675 is very much a premium product, with top quality components, exceptional attention to detail and high quality finish, its final retail price has been deliberately pegged at an affordable level.
Design & Development
All projects start with a general feasibility study and for Daytona 675 this began in late 2001. By March 2002 the preliminary research had been completed; initial questions answered and the decision had been made that the Daytona triple would be a completely new design from the ground up. No components would be carried over from any other model. With essentially a blank canvas before them, the engineers got the go ahead to move on to the full concept stage. While the engine design team began on the triple cylinder heart of the bike, the chassis engineers developed a mule with fully adjustable components. This gave the test team the freedom to explore different riding positions and adjust the chassis geometry until they achieved the perfect combination in terms of steering precision, feel, agility and corner drive.
With the base platform established and as the chassis and engine teams continued to design and specify each and every component, it was time for the unique look of the bike to be established. Previously Triumph had worked with a number of external stylists but with the Daytona 675 the talent was found within Triumph's own design team, when one of Triumph's most experienced engineers submitted his vision of a 3-cylinder sports bike. Although initially a naked bike, it was immediately apparent that the minimal, aggressive, narrow-waisted design had captured the essence of what a Triumph sports bike should be. With the direction clear, Triumph's newly found designer took up the challenge of collaborating with an external modelling resource to develop the final design.
Discovering an in-house design talent proved a real asset to the project on two key fronts and is further proof that Triumph is growing stronger and stronger, with a first class team across all aspects of styling, design, engineering and manufacturing. Firstly, the close collaboration of in-house designer and external modelling resource meant the design developed at a quicker pace. Secondly, the engineering experience brought to bear at the concept stage, combined with extensive knowledge of Triumph's design and manufacturing processes, ensured optimum integration of styling and engineering solutions from the outset. This meant the whole process of developing the concept through to the finished article was a lot smoother and more efficient.
Unlike previous models Triumph did very little prototyping of components, choosing instead to go straight to production tooling, and the first engine ran on Triumph's dyno in May 2003. Several months of development and testing cycles followed to optimise the power plant, developing the fuel injection, engine mapping, cam timing etc. to achieve the perfect power delivery traits. Eighteen months from the first dyno run, in the autumn of 2004, the styling, engine and chassis came together in a production-based full prototype bike, ready for the first shakedown test by Triumph's development riders. A rigorous testing programme followed to hone the final production package ready for the bike to enter production in January 2006.
From the very first styling sketches in early 2003 the engine was an integral part of the Daytona 675's aggressive, sinuous look. A key part of the design brief was to make the engine as physically small as possible and to that end Triumph's engineers have been very successful. The brand new 675cc, water-cooled three-cylinder, 12-valve power unit (which first ran in May 2003) is extremely compact and narrow and packs a larger capacity and much greater output into a considerably smaller space than all other middleweight designs.
A broad spread of power, including strong bottom-end torque, linked to a heavy mid-range punch topped with a searing burst of peak power were also top of the agenda, all with that inimitable three-cylinder sound.
Included valve angle is 23 degrees, leading to a very compact and efficient combustion chamber. Inlet valve diameter is 30.5mm, exhaust 25.5mm and single springs are used for both the inlet and exhaust valves for durability at higher rpm. The exhaust valves themselves feature a 4mm stem and are made from a Nimonic (nickel-based) material allowing them to run hotter. The top piston ring uses a DLC (Diamond Like Coating) low friction finish to control ring flutter and blow-by. Nut-less con-rods save weight while benefiting performance; bore and stroke is 74.0 x 52.3mm. The inlet port throats are CNC machined for greater accuracy and precise gas flow control while compression ratio is 12.65:1.
The stacked six-speed gearbox considerably shortens the engine and is the first from Triumph to feature a truly close ratio set-up for all six speeds, maximising the use of the engine's power and torque perfectly. Peak power of 125PS (123bhp) is delivered at 12,500rpm, with 72Nm (53 ft.lbf) torque at 11,750rpm. Tellingly, at 4,000rpm the Daytona 675 engine is incredibly strong, with an immense ability to drive hard out of corners.
A great deal of work went into refining the Daytona 675's new engine without removing any of the triple's innate character and while it may perform like a racing thoroughbred there's typical Triumph toughness engineered into every part - this motor's meant to be used, and used hard again and again. Also, as the engine is very much a part of the styling its exterior has been considered aesthetically - the combined oil and water pump not only saving weight but packaged inside the engine to remove unsightly pipe work.
Sound too is incredibly important and the engineers put much effort into perfecting the exhaust note. Along with the firing order and valve timing of the 675 Triple engine, they developed the harmonic content of the exhaust note by modifying the lengths and expansion ratios of the manifold and silencer to change the acoustic loading on the system. Concentrating on idle, hard accelerations and overrun to generate and tune the characteristic triple sound, the resulting howl is as distinctive and spine-tingling as ever.
The Daytona 675's Keihin closed-loop fuel-injection system uses a trio of 44mm throttle bodies, with sensors for throttle position, crank position, gear selected, road speed, air pressure, air and coolant temperature, plus three 12-point multi-spray injectors. Air is drawn from a port between the headlights and passes directly through the headstock to the airbox. An electronically controlled flap in the front of the airbox optimises both acoustics and performance at low, mid and high rpm ranges. The standard exhaust features an efficient underseat end-can and also utilises a secondary valve to boost torque low down. The engine meets fully the stringent Euro-3 emission regulations.
To further enhance the Daytona 675's appeal, Triumph have collaborated with exhaust pipe specialist Arrow and the result is a free breathing full titanium system (for off road use only) that saves 7kgs in weight and adds another 5PS (4BHP) to overall peak power. Titanium is the perfect material for this high-stress and high performance application - it's twice as strong as aluminium while 45% lighter than steel.
Triumph's partnership with Arrow began in late 2004 as the bike's development was entering its latter stages. Three key goals were set for the collaboration: to provide the maximum increase of power & torque, with maximum weight savings, while delivering a beautiful engine note to truly complement the three cylinder's character. And all, of course with the aggressive looks of the Arrow racing silencer.
Several months of testing, by both Arrow's and Triumph's design engineers, then took place before clearances were checked off and performance and noise tests were finalised, allowing Arrow to push the button on the manufacture of tooling and jigs.
The resulting full titanium exhaust system completely replaces the standard system from down pipes to the end can. The oval end can is signed by both Arrow and Triumph. All of the components are assembled by TIG and MIG welding and the use of top quality titanium guarantees great durability, perfect fit and optimum performance. The Daytona 675 full titanium Arrow system is available from all Triumph dealers, as is a revised engine map for the EFI. A range of other accessories are also available including carbon fibre infills, heel guards, hugger and silencer finisher.
The new power unit needed a completely new chassis and utilising the narrowness of the new three-cylinder engine was naturally at the top of the agenda. Designed around the Daytona 675's engine are fabricated open-back cast frame spars, which wrap over the top of the motor, levering further the benefits of the narrow three-cylinder design.
A combination of closed and open-back castings optimised using FEA (Finite Element Analyses) ensures both maximum strength where needed and weight savings where possible. Compared to extruded spars (that by the nature of their manufacturer have to be of uniform thickness) this offers great advantages in performance and overall weight. Rake is set at 23.5, trail at 86.8mm trail. The wheelbase is 1392mm, while dry weight is 165kg.
The riding position of the Daytona 675 is definitely sports focussed. The narrow seat is firmly padded for maximum feedback, the clip-on handlebars are deliberately low and the rearset footpegs set high. The bike itself is very narrow and this is evident as soon as you sit astride it - it feels much more like a svelte 250cc, two-stroke race machine than a conventional four-stroke, road legal middleweight sports bike. The Daytona 675's lean angle has been measured by Triumph's test riders at an incredible 57 - and this is a direct result of the overall narrowness and tight packaging of the bike.
The Kayaba 41mm upside down forks are fully adjustable for spring preload and rebound and compression damping, as is the Kayaba piggyback reservoir rear shock. The aluminium swingarm has adjustable pivot position, is a two-piece casting and measures 574mm from rear wheel spindle to pivot point - the benefits of a much shorter and more compact engine and frame mean a relatively long swingarm can be used, greatly improving suspension and rear wheel control, ultimately aiding rear wheel traction and, just as importantly, rider feel.
The front brakes use a radial master cylinder as well as twin radial four-piston calipers, which themselves utilise differential diameter pistons - the leading piston is 30.2mm in diameter, the trailing piston 33.9mm. Twin front fully floating 308mm discs are matched by a 220mm rear disc and single piston caliper. The new wheels are a lightweight, five-spoke design, with dimensions of 17 x 3.5in (front) and 17 x 5.5in (rear), and wear super-sticky Pirelli Super Corsa Pro tyres. Front tyre size is 120/70 ZR17 while the rear is 180/55 ZR17.
The Daytona 675's digital instrument console has the usual trip functions as well as displaying average fuel economy. Also featured is a 99-lap memory timer - useful for comparing successive laps on a circuit as well as average and maximum speed for each lap. A gear change shift light indicator is also included. Stylish twin projector beam front headlights (one for dip and one for main beam) give an excellent spread of light and are matched to a lightweight LED (Light Emitting Display) rear light unit. Seat height is 825mm.
Colour options for the Daytona 675 are Scorched Yellow, Tornado Red and Graphite Grey. The bodywork is a lightweight construction - it's moulded in-house at Hinckley - and a new material, consisting of a nylon/ABS plastic mix, allows both a wall thickness of just 2.5mm and the moulding of much larger panels. This cuts down dramatically on the number of fixings and fasteners used. Over 1kg in weight has been removed from the bodywork alone by using this new material. The wheels and engine covers feature a bronze finish, a tough coating that not only looks superb but also adds durability. Fuel capacity is 17.4 litres (4.6 gal US).
Very few motorcycles can be seen as mould-breaking but the Daytona 675 is definitely one of them. It sits firmly within a class of one and delivers an incredible performance - both with its exciting, powerful engine and intuitive, razor-sharp chassis. It also looks and sounds like nothing else. All of which is quite deliberate and driven by that one solitary word that has been at the centre of the project right from the very start: Incomparable.
The result is one of the most desirable motorcycles ever built.
Full Titanium Race Exhaust System*
- developed in partnership with Arrow
Aftermarket Silencer* (*off road use only)
Carbon Fibre Front Mudguard
Carbon Fibre Rear Hugger
Carbon Fibre Cockpit Infill Panels
Carbon Fibre Heel Guards
Carbon Fibre Silencer Cover
Carbon Fibre Lower Chain Guard
Carbon Fibre Heat Shield
Carbon Fibre Tank Pad
Carbon Fibre Upper Chain Guard
Union Flag Custom Paint Cockpit
Paddock Stand Bobbins
Gel Seat - Rider
Gel Seat - Pillion
Tank Bag - 15 litres
Tank Bag - 20 litres (exp to 30)
All Weather Bike Cover
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Bore/Stroke: 74.0 x 52.3mm
Compression Ratio: 12.65:1
Fuel System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with forced air induction
Ignition: Digital - inductive type - via electronic engine management system
Primary Drive: Gear
Final Drive: O ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Gearbox: 6-speed, close ratio
Frame: Aluminium beam twin spar
Swingarm: Braced, twin-sided, aluminium alloy with adjustable pivot position
Front - Alloy 5-spoke, 17 x 3.5in
Rear - Alloy 5-spoke, 17 x 5.5in
Front - 120/70 ZR 17
Rear - 180/55 ZR 17
Front - 41mm USD forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping
Rear - Monoshock with piggy back reservoir adjustable for preload, rebound and compression damping
Front - Twin 308mm floating discs, 4 piston radial calipers with radial master cylinder
Rear - Single 220mm disc, single piston caliper
Length: 2010mm (79.1in)
Width: (Handlebars) 673mm (26.5in)
Height: 1109mm (43.7in)
Seat Height: 825mm (32.5in)
Wheelbase: 1392mm (54.8in)
Weight (Dry): 165kg (363lbs)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.4 litres (4.6 gal US)
Maximum Power: 125PS (123bhp) at 12,500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 72Nm (53ft.lbf) at 11,750 rpm
PERFORMANCE MEASURED AT CRANKSHAFT TO DIN 70020