Short and sweet; these two words almost perfectly describe the parts list for the 2011 Triumph Daytona 675R. Compared to the base model 675, the R model isn’t overloaded with electronics, nor is it laden with useless “look-good” bits that up the price tag rather than the bike’s performance. In fact, aside from the Öhlins-tuned front fork, Öhlins rear shock, Brembo front brakes and factory quickshifter, the parts list is composed of little more than a carbon fiber front fender and rear tire hugger; basically all its add-ons are performance-based parts. And while the list of additional goodies may be short, the new 675R package is rather sweet.
For 2011, Triumph updated...
For 2011, Triumph updated the 675R’s gauges. The new LCD readout features a dark backlight that makes it difficult to read in almost any conditions. On the bright side though, the unit does have a programmable shift light and built in lap timer.
Yes, the three-cylinder engine and aluminum beam twin-spar frame of the 675R may have merely been carried over from the 2010 675 model, but increasing power wasn’t the British manufacturer’s primary concern when developing this middleweight machine. Instead, Triumph engineers wanted to focus on the bike’s suspension and brakes and make it “the ultimate street and track-day bike.” That in mind, the Kayaba 41mm front fork was ditched, as were the Kayaba rear shock, Nissin front calipers and Nissin master cylinder. Replacing them are an Öhlins-tuned NIX30 front fork, Öhlins TTX36 rear shock, Brembo monobloc front calipers and Brembo master cylinder — all of which are intended to give the Triumph a more confidence-inspiring feel on the track and on the street.
The 2011 model doesn’t lack any marks in the looks department either. The 675R, with its crystal white bodywork and powdercoated red subframe, is truly eye-catching. And its appeal is only enhanced by the factory-fitted carbon fiber front fender, rear hugger, heat shield and cockpit infills. Setting this model even further apart from other Triumphs are the new Triumph logo, custom graphics and pinstriped wheels.
What perhaps makes the 2011 675R most unique though is the Öhlins NIX30 Road and Track front fork, which features separate 30mm compression and rebound pistons. And although the R & T fork has been offered for literbikes for a few years now, it has yet to be offered for middleweights, making this a first not only for Triumph, but for the 600cc class in general. The TTX36 rear shock, on the other hand, is one that consumers have had access to for some time now. In fact, the shock is essentially the same unit that has been used in Superbike and Supersport championships worldwide for the past few years. The interesting point comes when you consider the price of these components compared to the price of the 675R.
According to the Öhlins technicians who were on hand for the 2011 Triumph Daytona 675R press launch, “MSRP for the TTX36 rear shock would be right around $1450.” Even more interesting is the fact that “would the Road and Track fork be available to consumers, MSRP would be around $2950.” Why is this so important you ask? Well it’s important because the 675R retails for $11,999, just $1500 more than the standard Triumph 675. There alone the R model seems to be quite the value — and that’s not even taking into account the factory quickshifter, carbon fiber bits, Brembo four-piston monobloc front calipers or new Brembo 18mm radial master cylinder.
The “Ultimate Street and Track day Bike”?
If there was one word to describe the riding position of the 675R, it would be compact; especially if you are long in the inseam. Contributing to this feel is the rather high footrest position and narrow, aggressively angled handlebars that don’t give much room for those with longer arms. And the narrow tank/seat junction of the middleweight machine has you positioned up against the tank, making the reach to the bars shorter than desired. While for smaller riders this creates a rather ideal riding position, it makes things a little more difficult for taller riders who have to slightly contort their body to get comfortable. Small changes such as opening up the handlebar angle however, prove effective in making things more comfortable and there seems to be enough adjustability that even larger riders such as myself can make the bike fit their needs in the way of ergonomics.
As expected, canyon roads are no match for the 675R and its more performance-oriented Öhlins front fork and rear shock, which are noticeably stiffer than the Kayaba suspension of the base model. And long before you reach the limits of the Öhlins package, you unfortunately reach the speed limit, forcing you to save the rest for the track. But even when the roads straighten up, the characteristically smooth 675R is a pleasure to ride. Few vibrations are passed through the bike’s handlebars or footrests, and at cruising speeds, the three-cylinder powerplant emits one of the smoothest sounding exhaust notes I have yet heard. It’s important to note, however, that long street rides are not the 675R’s forte, and the gel seat, which is sold as an optional accessory, may be worth the investment since the 2011 model’s slightly redesigned seat is rather firm and more apt for short stints on the track.