Triumph is proud of its Daytona 675R. For good reason too; the three-cylinder middleweight has run circles around most every bike it's been pitted against and put more notches in the manufacturer's belt than any other Daytona model to date. But there's more to be enjoyed than what we've already experienced claims Triumph, who's quicker than ever to shed some light on the brand's often overlooked lineup of accessories. At the forefront of its aftermarket options sits the U.S. press arm's project bike, a 2012 Daytona 675R that's righteously outfitted with everything from a full exhaust and slipper clutch to multiple anodized accents. What does an assortment of accessories add to a bike that's already labeled the ultimate track day bike? Needless to say we were interested in finding out.
Triumph's project 675R started life innocently enough as a long-in-the-tooth press bike equal to what we pitted against the Ducati 848 EVO Corse SE in last year's twin vs. triple story (A Cut Above, July 12). As a refresher, the bike went on to win that comparison by way of lighter handling characteristics, better suspension feedback and quicker laptimes at the track. Hold for defunct instruments and cramped ergonomics, we found it hard to fault the Triumph in any one category, which ultimately raised our expectations for the Hinckley brand's to-come project bike.
Those expectations only grew upon being handed a spec sheet for the bike; we're not kidding when we say that Triumph's press fleet manager—and the wrench behind the project—Mickey Cohen of Mickey Cohen Motorsports (714/993-5000), took the build seriously, or when we say that the bike is just a set of bodywork away from fitting in on an AMA Sportbike grid. Adding to its potential are a number of parts that have been culled from Triumph's race kit, including a lighter, freer-flowing Arrow exhaust, STM slipper clutch, air filter, intake funnel kit, and rearsets—all of which are sold through Triumph dealers with a Triumph part number.
Cohen gave the project a more-is-more theme by delving into the 675R's engine and making use of Triumph's thinner (.5mm vs. .7mm), race-spec head gasket. A CNC valve job was completed once the head was off, and Cohen also talked the Triumph brass into letting him rework the cam timing for a bit more top-end power. Interestingly enough, the Hinckley manufacturer offers multiple head gaskets as part of its race kit and provides minimum squish tolerances, meaning the same engine modifications aren't a far-off idea for 675R owners looking to build a bike with similar engine performance.
Carbon fiber swingarm protectors...
Carbon fiber swingarm protectors ($129.99) and chain adjuster blocks ($29.99) are available through Triumph’s accessories catalog. Important to mention, all of the accessories (hold for race-kit parts) fall under Triumph’s two-year warranty.
New carbon fiber panels out...
New carbon fiber panels out back include a lower chainguard ($109.99) and upper chain guard ($139.99). Swingarm spools ($24.99) and anodized black “frame finishers” ($34.99) have also been utilized for track purpose, with the latter pieces hiding the rear footrest mounting lugs and the former making it possible to use a rear stand at the track.
Triumph offers Arrow rearsets...
Triumph offers Arrow rearsets ($539.99) for both standard- and reverse-pattern shifting. The project bike utilizes the reverse-pattern components, which necessitated a reverse-shift-compatible quickshifter ($399.99) and shift rod ($39.57). Important to note is that the standard-shift-compatible Arrow rearsets are claimed to work with the stock quickshifter. An anodized gear actuator ($25.99) is among the parts that Cohen claims generally go unnoticed in Triumph’s parts catalog.
The project 675R’s Arrow exhaust...
The project 675R’s Arrow exhaust system ($1799.99) cut a significant amount of weight and turned the triple into one of the best sounding bikes we’ve yet ridden. The seat cowl ($199.99) is a simple cosmetic addition.
An STM slipper clutch ($899.99)...
An STM slipper clutch ($899.99) is available through the manufacturer’s race kit and was a priority according to Cohen, who says that most 675R owners are disappointed by the fact that a slipper unit doesn’t come standard. A red anodized oil filler cap ($19.99) and oil dipstick ($19.99) are among the less expensive additions.
A noticeably larger windscreen...
A noticeably larger windscreen ($149.99) provides that superbike-esque feel as you climb behind the bubble and accelerate out of corners at the track. It’s good for added wind protection on the street too.
Triumphs race kit offers an intimidating number of World Supersport-developed hardparts, like a programmable ECU and different camshafts, although Cohen opted against these kit parts for the simple fact that the project 675R was to remain, for the most part, a street bike. The kit ECU requires you use the race harness (also available through the manufacturer's race kit), and that eliminates the turn signals and such, which wasn't really an option for this bike. Cohen goes on to say that, "We wanted to install a lot of the small cosmetic things, things that people didn't know [Triumph] sells."
The elongated reach into Triumph's largely unnoticed accessories bin has paid dividends; the project 675R is one of the best looking 675s we've seen to date. That's not to say that the standard, Öhlins- and Brembo-equipped R model is an ugly duckling of course, just that the extra carbon fiber guards and anodized hardparts add to the bikes already stellar looks. The parts don't fall on blind eyes either; we've had multiple bystanders come up and ask us about the new carbon fiber pieces and whether or not they are OE components.
The 675R's Dynojet Power Commander V and Ignition Module are among the only parts that can't be found within either of Triumph's catalogs, but were necessitated by the engine work and offered Cohen more options in terms of fuel maps and rev limiter intervention (more on that later). The project bikes Castrol graphics are also without a home in Triumph's accessories directory, and were sourced from a decal company based out of Canada, much to the disappointment of many 675R owners we're sure.
The Arrow exhaust required...
The Arrow exhaust required some clever fabrication work when it came time to mount the license plate, but Cohen says that, “In the end we proved that you can have all these really cool high-performance accessories and still ride your bike on the street.”
Good Looks, Better Performance
So what is the 675R capable of with four months worth of a moto journalist's income thrown its way? We learned first by strapping it to our SuperFlow dyno, and then by throwing it on the scales to see what it had lost and/or gained in its transformation. The results were nothing short of impressive; Triumph's accessory-laden 675R pumped out 117.5 horsepower at 13,300 rpm and 51.6 foot-pounds of torque at 9700 rpm. Compare that to the stock 675R we last put through the wringer, which spun the drum to the tune of 106.2 horsepower at 12,500 rpm and 47.8 foot-pounds of torque at 10,400 rpm. The bike has a tremendous advantage on the scales as well, and weighs a whopping 15 pounds less than the aforementioned test mule (406 pounds vs. 421 pounds) when fully fueled and equipped with the OE Pirelli tires. Needless to say, our expectations were quickly being fulfilled.
The aggressive nature of the 675R's build would suggest that the bike is unruly and overbearing on the street, but that's not at all the case. Ergonomics near the handlebar are typical Triumph, meaning tight, but the adjustable Arrow rearsets have actually opened things up down low so that your legs aren't as cramped as they are with the stock footrests. The bike feels extremely narrow at the tank/seat junction, and its lighter weight is noticeable from the second you roll the Triumph out of the garage.
A carbon fiber tank guard...
A carbon fiber tank guard ($59.99) complements the many other CF pieces, some of which come stock and some of which come courtesy of Triumph’s parts catalog.
The project bike's engine feels immediately stronger and has the potential to put an ear-to-ear grin on your face at the slightest hint of a cracked throttle. It feels especially stout through the midrange and even more so up top, with just a slightly more aggressive throttle response and small hiccup at 8000 rpm to remind you of its assertive personality. The bike is manageable around town, with suspension that—despite being tuned for aggressive track riding—is surprisingly compliant at city-street speeds and comfortable on the freeway. Its this aspect, in combination with the bikes light weight and smooth engine, that make the project 675R a much more amiable commuter bike than you'd expect based on outward appearance.
The Fun Continues
The 675R may feel plenty capable as a street bike, but its design brief puts increased emphasis on track riding. Point in mind, we almost immediately levered a fresh set of sticky Dunlop Sportmax GP-A tires onto the wheels and began taping up the headlights in preparation for a day at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway with TrackDaz (909/234-4713).
Chuckwalla Raceway can be run in two directions, and since we hadn't ridden the track clockwise in over two years, we spent the first few laps getting reacquainted with the layout. We also had to deal with some minor concerns pertaining to Dynojet's Rev Xtend function, which had been enabled but was causing the ignition to lock up once we hit the 500-rpm-higher rev limiter. A quick conference call between Cohen and the Dynojet brass confirmed that a firmware update was needed, something we couldn't worry about at the racetrack, so instead we disabled the function for the time being. In its defense, the Rev Xtend feature showed advantages on the dyno, not in terms of added peak power but in regards to a longer delivery of peak power. At the track, it'd ideally be the difference between holding a gear and having to shift through certain sections.
Cohen says that, "The biggest question most journalists and 675R owners ask is, 'Why doesnt the bike come from the factory with a slipper clutch?'" So the clutch kit was definitely a priority. The $899.99 STM unit isn't cheap (the $1799.99 Arrow exhaust is the only piece that's more expensive), but completely transforms the 675R at corner entry. The bike's much more composed now, and doesn't have the tendency to step sideways or chatter the rear when getting aggressive with the shift lever and Brembo binders. We will say however, that the clutch allows the bike to freewheel much more dramatically into the corner, an aspect that admittedly took some time to get used to.
The 675R is just as impressive getting out of the corner as it is getting into the turn thanks to its power advantage through the entire rev range and race-pattern quickshifter setup, which fools you into thinking you're turning laps on a racebike with each knock to the lever. The bike sounds like an absolute terror with the throttle turned to the stop thanks to the Arrow exhaust, and tucking behind Triumphs larger windscreen (a $149.99 option) only adds to the feeling that you're mid-qualifying session at an AMA race; its truly amazing how a bike that feels so amiable around town can feel so race-oriented at the track. Fast, agile, and strong on the brakes, the project 675R is everything its spec sheet makes it out to be.
Triumph’s 675R project bike...
Triumph’s 675R project bike is an impressive 11 horsepower stronger than the last stock 675R we tested, and pumped out 117.5 horsepower on our SuperFlow dyno. The added power comes courtesy of an air filter kit ($84.99), air funnel kit (369.99), degreed cams, and a .2mm-thinner race-spec head gasket ($84.99). Notice also the difference that Dynojet’s Rev Xtend function makes up top.
Triumph's race parts play a cut-and-dry role in this higher level of performance, although it did take some ingenuity when it came time to mount the products and keep the bike street legal. Cohen installed Triumphs reverse-shift-style quickshifter for instance (the stock quickshifter only works with a standard shift pattern), but says that, "We had to do some small modifications to mount it and keep the kickstand." He goes on to add that, "The license plate bracket needed to be fabricated to work with the Arrow exhaust, but in the end, we proved that you can have all these really cool high-performance accessories and still ride your bike on the street."
The result of Cohen's and Triumph's effort is a bike that we, quite frankly, don't want to return. Yes, you could argue that all bikes with a similar dousing of accessories would give the same appeal, but the truth is that this bike takes the performance envelope of a street bike and pushes it to a level we haven't seen in some time. And the best part about it? Any 675R owner with a little time and a little money—OK, a lot of money—could have a similarly prepped bike with just a quick trip to their local Triumph dealer. Maybe we won't be so quick to overlook Triumph's accessories catalog in the future.