A REWORKED RIDING EXPERIENCE
Last year’s 675 wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable, but the tall-ish seat and low clip-ons did put an unfavorable amount of weight on your wrists. Enter the 2013 model’s new rider ergonomics package, which is enhanced by way of a 10mm-lower seat and 5mm-taller handlebars that transform the Daytona into a bike you could comfortably put hundreds of consecutive miles on. The 675 sounds better as well, mostly as a result of its larger intake cross-section, which augments the three-cylinder mill’s bark in a way that invites you to blip the throttle anywhere, everywhere and, quite frankly, just for the hell of it.
Those excessive blips probably didn’t go very far in helping us attain proper fuel mileage numbers. The 675 didn’t disappoint at the pump though, and managed around 42 miles per gallon, which is on par with what we received on past models, if not a small amount better. Bigger news is that there’s a fuel gauge on the 2013 model, in addition to a large variety of information that’s strewn throughout the bike’s LCD panel. Unfortunately, said display is still a bit difficult to read in adverse lighting.
A KYB center-fixed fork is...
A KYB center-fixed fork is 200g lighter and runs larger pistons, in addition to secondary damping valves for better fluid control between rebound and compression circuits. Performance was admirable over all types of surfaces. Stopping power comes courtesy of Nissin monobloc calipers that bite on thicker Brembo rotors. Three-setting ABS comes standard.
All of the aforementioned benefits seem trivial in the company of the 675’s new suspension package, which feels well-rounded and vastly better than the older setup. The largest difference is that potholes, crevasses and road fragments don’t feel as sharp, the new KYB suspension actually absorbs bumps, rather than just slamming across them and upsetting your insides. Neither the rear nor the front feels overly soft though, and thanks to high-speed compression adjusters, each piece remains surprisingly composed over larger bumps in the road.
The 2013 Daytona produced 115.4 horsepower at 13,200 rpm when strapped to our SuperFlow dyno, which is quite impressive when you consider that the second strongest 675 we’ve ever tested produced “just” 111.1 horsepower, and that the heavily modified 675R project bike we ran last year had only two more horsepower! The rev range is impressively wide too, so you’re not bouncing off the bike’s 14,400 rpm rev limiter at the exit of every corner on the track, but rather floating the needle through the midrange. Proof of the engine’s versatility is that we were able to run in third gear through all of Chuckwalla Raceway’s tighter corners – corners that, on any other bike, would require you to drop down into second gear.
The 675’s KYB shock has revised...
The 675’s KYB shock has revised damping rates to accommodate the new weight bias in addition to a lighter, 115 N/mm spring.
The before-mentioned windstorms that accompanied our day at Chuckwalla Raceway made it difficult to set our 675 up for track riding, but the bike still turned impressive lap times (on OE tires), proving just how immediately capable the bike is. It’s lightweight design and centered mass undoubtedly plays a role in that high level of potential. Steering is fairly quick, although we’ll say that the bike doesn’t feel as light-handling as its steering geometry makes it out to be. We originally chalked this up to the crosswinds, but the Geek believes that the overly steep rake and short trail could be adversely affecting the steering.
The Nissin monobloc brakes don’t have the power that the Brembo calipers on the R model have, but are plenty strong enough to get the 675 slowed down on the street or at the track. In regards to the ABS, once we figured out how to adjust it, we were happy with overall performance. The system intervenes frequently on the street, but allows you to slide the rear on the track when set to Circuit mode, and is almost unnoticeable at race pace. As a matter of fact, Triumph claims that you’d probably only be able to activate the system when running off the track and trying to brake in the dirt or grass. We weren’t prepared to test this claim.
Part of the Triumph’s corner-entry composure comes also from its slipper clutch and engine tuning, which allows the bike to freewheel a substantial amount into the corner. Around town, we also became enamored with the bike’s faultless transmission and clutch lever, which has a 25-percent lighter pull.
IT’S NOT GOODBYE…
Triumph may not have needed to update its 675, but boy are we glad it did. The 2013 model is undoubtedly the best Daytona we’ve ever ridden, and if it were up to us, we’d keep the bike for the months to come. Fortunately, we’ll be spending more time with the 675 in the near future, but in that case we’ll be aboard the R model as part of our 2013 middleweight shootout. Stay tuned to find out how the new 675 engine and chassis stack up in that comparison.