Triumph didn’t need to update its Daytona 675, a bike that’s received accolades from nearly every corner of the sportbike industry since its introduction in 2006. And had Triumph wanted to endow the bike with a face-lift, a fresh set of bodywork would probably have been sufficient; the outgoing 675 was that good a motorcycle. But incremental changes wouldn’t do for 2013, says Triumph, and so for the new model year the manufacturer has almost completely rebuilt its three-cylinder middleweight
Sport Rider has thrown a leg over multiple Daytona 675 models in recent years, namely in July of 2012 when we compared the older R model to Ducati’s 848 EVO Corse SE (the 675R won that comparison), and in March of 2013 when we rode a Mickey Cohen Motorsports-prepped Triumph 675R project bike, but neither of our recent exploits aboard the outgoing bike could quell our excitement for the newer Daytona. One look at the 2013 model’s spec sheet explains our excitement; the frame’s new, as is the engine, steering geometry, rider aids, weight distribution and design. That’s a lot of updates to run through, so instead of putting together a brief first ride report, we’ve turned this write-up into an all-encompassing evaluation on day-to-day life with the new Daytona. As we’d come to find out, there are far less entertaining motorcycles to cozy up with.
The Daytona 675’s track-oriented design brief led us first to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, where we withstood sandstorms and high winds but ultimately slayed apexes via the bike’s OE Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires. We spent the remainder of our days carving through Southern California-based canyon roads and LA’s finest neighborhoods, which are the two environments where we figure most Daytona 675s will inevitably spend their time. Below is what we learned about the bike, and more importantly, a closer look at the many updates that have us all fighting over the 675’s key.
UPDATES, EN MASSE
Triumph engineers threw everything but the kitchen sink at the new Daytona but started the overhaul at its engine, which benefits from a larger 76mm bore and shorter 49.6mm stroke (the 2012 model ran a 74 x 52.3mm bore and stroke measurement). The shorter stroke is the more important of the two changes and contributes to lower piston speeds, which allowed Triumph to increase the rev limiter by 500 rpm without worrying about engine longevity. Fortunately, the new engine isn’t any wider despite the increase in bore dimensions; Triumph’s accomplished this by manufacturing a new cylinder block that’s separate from the crankcase and runs Nikasil-coated bores that are stronger and allow for higher combustion chamber pressures. The old crankcase, for comparison, was a solitary piece that used a space-consuming wet liner system to keep the slugs from overheating.
Higher up in the engine you’ll find new steel exhaust valves that are 1.3mm smaller in diameter (despite the larger piston size) and reshaped titanium intake valves that provide better gas flow around the valve and into the combustion chamber. Valve springs are said to be lighter thanks to the fact that they’re working on lighter valves, plus there’s an increase in valve lift.
An entirely new three-cylinder...
An entirely new three-cylinder engine is paired to a new exhaust, swingarm, rear wheel and subframe, all of which are lighter for better mass centralization
At the bottom of the 675cc engine rests a new slip-assist clutch, which uses angled ramps to either pull the pressure plate in or push the pressure plate out depending on engine load; an updated transmission with a revised gear selector mechanism and retooled first and second gear; a shorter 15-tooth front sprocket, which will ideally increase acceleration; and a new stainless steel exhaust, which mounts under the engine rather than beneath the tail section for better mass centralization. Engine updates culminate at the fuel injection system, which now benefits from twin injectors per cylinder for more precise fuelling and increased power up top.
Chassis changes are as numerous as engine updates and begin at the frame, which is equally as stiff as the frame it replaces, claims Triumph, but lighter by way of fewer castings (eight versus eleven) and fewer welds. The bike’s geometry is noticeably more aggressive. The rake’s been steepened by a full degree, for example, and now measures 22.9 degrees, whereas the trail number’s down 1.9mm and now measures 87.2mm. An adjustable swingarm pivot comes standard and offers riders a chance to adjust geometry even further, although we didn’t mess with said adjuster during our escapades aboard the bike.
Ergonomics have been updated...
Ergonomics have been updated by way of a 10mm-lower seat and 5mm-higher clip-ons, both of which place less weight on your wrists. Other improvements include a fuel gauge on the LCD panel.
The new 675 has been lightened at both ends in an attempt to better centralize its mass. Weight has been ditched out back by replacing the older bike’s subframe with a diecast-aluminum unit, and up front by retrofitting the 675 with an all-new KYB center-fixed cartridge fork, which is 200g lighter and equipped with a larger diameter piston for improved damping accuracy as well as secondary damping valves that control crossover flow between rebound and compression circuits. The rear shock is equally reworked to accommodate the weight transfer and runs revised damping rates in addition to a lighter, 115 N/mm spring. The 2012 model, for comparison, ran a 126 N/mm spring. Intriguingly, Triumph says that, “The reduction in weight over the rear of the bike has meant a need for further refinement, so in addition to the clutch’s slipper action, the engine management detects the heavy braking circumstances and opens the throttle butterflies a predetermined amount.”
Smaller but equally-as-important changes include new wheels, which save one pound at the rear; a reshaped swingarm that’s lighter, shorter and intended to provide more room for the under-engine exhaust; and a 3.3-pound Anti-lock Braking System, which can be toggled to Off, On, or Circuit modes. Stopping power comes courtesy of radially mounted Nissin monobloc front calipers that are just a tick less expensive than the Brembo calipers that you’d find on the Daytona 675R, but the performance chasm between the two 675s has been shortened by way of the standard model’s new, .5mm-thicker Brembo rotors and braided steel brake lines.
We’re serious when we say that “all-new” is hardly strong enough an expression to describe the 2013 Daytona 675…