Although many Triumph owners won't see racetrack tarmac and probably don't see much value with the accessories, that would be a pity, because the new Triumph's upgraded engine performance even in bone-stock form makes this such a fun racetrack ride it's practically addictive. Strangely, the little bit of extra midrange torque is more noticeable than the additional power up top, which in any case you can only really access if you rev the engine out to 13,500 rpm. Holding off an upshift until then puts the motor right back in the fat part of the power band in the next higher gear. But there's a strong pull from the 6000 rpm power threshold with a noticeable extra hit of acceleration between 8000-10,000 rpm, which makes using second and third gear for tighter sections the hot tip. With the bike geared to top out at 161 mph, there wasn't room on Cartagena's short front straight to even pull a true fifth gear, but the following day out on the Autovia four-lane highway showed the benefits of taking it to the limit. Top gear roll-on is really impressive for a middleweight motor anywhere from 8000 rpm upwards, though even with the mellifluous-sounding stock exhaust you catch yourself making just a few unnecessary gearshifts just to be able to revel in the sound of three-cylinder music.
In fact, it's out on the highway where the Triumph arguably stands out most. Unlike almost any other sportbike on sale today, this is a satisfying, seductive ride. A motorcycle that's content to bumble along in everyday traffic, where the light clutch action won't cramp your hand, yet will pull with no transmission snatch from just 1500 rpm, cleaning out around the 3000-rpm mark, then building power all the way to that 12,600 rpm peak and holding it without falling off the pipe all the way to the limiter. Yet surf the midrange torque curve from 6000-10,000 rpm by holding third gear along winding mountain roads and country lanes, and you'll be rewarded with a surge of supremely usable power just at the twist of the wrist. There's a real sense of enhanced refinement about the new Daytona, a feeling that Warburton and his engineers have created a finely conceived and carefully developed homogeneous package.
The new '09 Triumph Daytona 675 is a bike that has everything: accessible engine performance with fine reserves of torque and added power, a capable chassis, precise steering, compliant suspension capable of fine adjustment, benchmark brakes, a wonderful exhaust note, and a high degree of comfort by the standards of its category. It may just be the best sportbike of any kind or any capacity available from any manufacturer in today's marketplace, certainly for real world use on public roads. It really is that good.
'09 Triumph Daytona 675
Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline three-cylinder
Bore x stroke: 74.0 x 52.3mm
Compression ratio: 12.65:1
Induction: Keihin EFI, 44mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rear tire: 180/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rake/trail: 23.9 deg./89.1mm (3.5 in.)
Wheelbase: 54.9 in. (1395mm)
Seat height: 32.5 in. (825mm)
Fuel capacity: 4.6 gal. (17.4L)
Claimed dry weight: 357 lb. (162kg)