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…
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.
+ Suspension performs with aplomb on track or street
+ Impressive peak power figures
+ Plus! More midrange power
– Hassle to swap between ABS modes
x The best Daytona 675 we’ve ever ridden
SUGGESTED SUSPENSION SETTINGS
FRONT: Front: Spring preload — 4 lines showing on adjuster; rebound damping — 8 clicks out from full stiff; high-speed compression damping — 3 turns out from full stiff; low-speed compression damping — 10 clicks out from full stiff; ride height — 3.5mm showing above top triple clamp
REAR: Rear: Spring preload — 8mm thread showing; rebound damping — 9 clicks out from full stiff; highspeed compression damping — 3 turns out from full stiff; low-speed compression damping — 15 clicks out from full stiff
The 2013 Daytona 675’s increase...
The 2013 Daytona 675’s increase in top-end power (when compared to the second strongest 675 we’ve ever tested) is impressive, but what’s more interesting is the increase in power between 6000 and 7500 rpm, which is where the tach needle rests when cruising down the highway or around town.
2013 Triumph Daytona 675
Liquid-cooled, transverse inline triple
DOHC, 4 valves/cyl. Shimunder-bucket adjustment
Bore x stroke:
76.0 x 49.6mm
EFI with dual injector/cyl., 44mm throttle bodies
41mm KYB inverted fork with adjustable preload, rebound and high- and lowspeed compression damping, 4.3 in. travel
KYB shock absorber with adjustable spring preload, rebound and high- and low-speed compression damping, 5.1 in. travel
Dual 310mm rotors with dual radial-mount four-piston Nissin monobloc calipers
Single 220mm rotor with single-piston Brembo caliper
3.50 x 17 in., cast aluminum alloy
5.50 x 17 in., cast aluminum alloy
120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
180/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
22.9 deg./ 3.4 in. (87.2mm)
54.1 in. (1375mm)
32.3 in. (820mm)
4.6 gal. (17.4L)
418 lb. (190 kg) wet; 390 lb. (177 kg) dry
10.32 sec. @ 135.96 mph
60 – 80 mph/ 2.90 sec.; 80 – 100 mph/2.98 sec.
40 – 43 mpg, 42 mpg avg.
I’d recommend the 2013 Daytona 675 to any of my friends, it’s that good of a motorcycle in my opinion. I couldn’t believe how easy the bike was to lap in adverse conditions at the track, yet how comfortable it felt around town. Usually 600s are a compromise (either you get high performance at the track or extreme comfort on the street), but the 675 eludes that stereotype. Amazing! And how could you fault those looks?
It’s rare that a new, revised version of a particular model can improve upon the original without giving something up in return, but the new Daytona 675 does exactly that. Better engine, improved suspension, vastly nicer ergos, enhanced brakes…the new Daytona is so much better than its predecessor that it’s almost no comparison. I see the Triumphs being a force in AMA roadracing as soon as the teams get them dialed in.