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.
The Öhlins TTX36 rear shock fitted to the Daytona 675R is the same unit that has been used by numerous teams in Supersport and Superbike championships worldwide.
The 675’s Nissin front brake components have been swapped out for new Brembo four-piston monobloc calipers and a new Brembo 18mm radial master cylinder. The new 675R is said to boast an impressive 10-percent increase in overall braking performance. The Öhlins NIX30mm Road and Track front fork has never come standard on an OEM-spec bike, nor has it ever been built for a middleweight machine. Öhlins technicians claim the biggest advantage is the wide range of adjustability.
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.
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.
As much fun as it is to ride the new Triumph through the canyons, there is just nothing like getting it out on the track, where it feels right at home. And albeit in the middle of nowhere, the recently opened Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center, California, where Triumph held the press intro happens to be a great place to test a bike like the 675R. The track’s multiple sweeping, double-apex corners require a great deal of confidence in the front end of the motorcycle, something the Öhlins front fork can provide.
“The real advantage of the NIX30 Road and Track fork is its wide range of adjustability”, says Eric Knight, one of Öhlins’ motorcycle roadrace factory technicians. And although the Öhlins front fork is rather stiff, that huge range of adjustability means you can tweak the settings almost infinitely in the search for the perfect setup. Another advantage on the track is the Brembo monobloc calipers, which clamp onto twin 308mm floating discs, provide ample amounts of stopping power and surprisingly don’t require you to grab the lever with an unruly amount of force.
On the racetrack, the Öhlins/Brembo combination provides a completely different feel compared to the base model 675. In comparison, the 675R dives very little on the brakes and the bike moves around much less on corner entry thanks to its firmer settings. However, corner entry is slightly affected by an unnerving chatter that becomes noticeable when you are hard on the brakes. According to the technicians on hand, the feeling is one that not only can be removed by adjusting the fork’s settings, but also by trying different tire compounds and tire pressures. The confidence that is zapped on the brakes is quickly made up for when turning the 675R, which is perhaps one of the lightest, most nimble steering middleweight machines. And on the track, the bike makes hitting the apex of every corner almost a walk in the park.
And thanks to the smooth three-cylinder engine, which is claimed to deliver 124 horsepower at 12,600 rpm, hustling the 675R around the track is effortless. Best power is found anywhere north of 11,500 rpm and continues to come on strong up until the programmable shift lights illuminate on the dash indicating it’s time to grab the next gear. Furthermore, lapping the 675R around a track like Chuckwalla, which gives you very little time to relax, is made even easier by the factory quickshifter which operates above 2500 rpm and momentarily cuts ignition for 15 milliseconds. The result is effortless full-throttle clutchless upshifts with almost zero hesitation, except for between third and fourth gear, where the shift tends to be just slightly more abrupt.
Keeping Priorities In Mind
Amazingly, the Triumph 675R is priced relatively close to its 675 base model counterpart. In fact, the $1500 difference between the two models seems rather minute, especially when you consider the suspension package alone is worth almost twice as much. Throw in the factory quick shifter, Brembo brakes and numerous carbon bits and you have quite the bike, for only a little more money. The big question then arises; can the 675R be placed in the same comparison tests as the other middleweights? That is something we will surely be debating in due time.
|Triumph Daytona 675R|
|Type||Liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder DOHC four-stroke, 4 valves/cyl.|
|Bore x stroke||74.0 x 52.3mm|
|Induction||Multipoint sequential EFI w/ forced air induction and SAI, 44mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.|
|Rake/trail||23.9 degrees/3.5in. (89mm)|
|Wheelbase||54.9 in. (1395mm)|
|Seat height||32.7 in. (830mm)|
|Fuel capacity||4.6 gal. (17.4L)|
|Claimed wet weight||407 lb (185kg)|
Testing the All-New Speed Triple on American Soil
For some time now, I have had to listen to colleagues go on and on about just how great the Triumph Speed Triple is. They continually mention that if they were spending their own money, that’s the bike they would buy. All their talk had me itching to throw a leg over one, so I was more than excited when the guys at Triumph informed me that there would be a few on hand at the 675R press launch to test out. And I must say the bike didn’t disappoint.
As Alan Cathcart revealed in his first ride coverage of the all-new Speed Triple (“Redefined Attitude”, Jan. ‘11), the 2011 model underwent some major chassis and engine updates. Not only is the new model six pounds lighter, but weight bias has been changed, as have the ergonomics.
For 2011, Triumph engineers attempted to make the Speed Triple feel more like the Street Triple. As such, seat height was reduced by five millimeters, the bars were pulled closer to the rider and the footrests were moved forward. The resulting riding position is extremly comfortable, and thanks to the redesigned seat, long rides on the Speed Triple are more than hospitable.
Weight loss was the primary reason for updating the Speed Triple’s swingarm, which is now roughly two pounds lighter and 3.7 inches longer. It was also the reason why Triumph redesigned the rear wheel, which is now roughly three pounds lighter than the previous model’s wheel, but wider and made to fit a 190/55 rear tire as opposed to a 180/55. In order to get more weight over the front of the motorcycle, engineers not only moved the rider further forward and mounted the battery in front of the fuel tank, but they also moved the engine three millimeters forward and tilted it some seven degrees. The result is a 50.9 percent front-end weight bias that is significantly different than the 48.6 percent bias on previous models.
Engine updates for the Speed Triple are minimal, but changes were implemented to improve the already pleasant flat torque curve of the 1050cc powerplant. Perhaps the biggest change is to the crankcase vent holes, which have been enlarged for reduced pumping losses. A further boost has been provided by the all-new airbox, which has an increased filter area for improved airflow. And thanks to Triumph’s latest EFI software, the new Speed Triple has reportedly received a healthy six-percent bump in fuel efficiency over last year.
On the street, the Speed Triple’s 1050cc three-cylinder engine provides ample amounts of grunt and requires few gearshifts. When you do grab a gear however, you will notice that the shifts are seamless. This is because Triumph has tightened the tolerances within the gearbox and improved the surface finish. And squirting past cars is done almost effortlessly as there is power at almost any point in the rpm range.
On the racetrack, the Speed Triple continued to surprise me. Yes, the rather soft suspension does allow the bike to move around underneath you, but the grin that you get from dragging your feet and the curb feelers on the tarmac is irreplaceable. The best thing is that you don’t have to push the Speed Triple. Instead, you can sit upright, take the weight off your arms and use the bike’s torque to get you in and out of the corner.
I have to say, I am glad I finally got to throw a leg over this all-new Triumph. Not only is the bike an absolute hoot on the track, but it is extremely comfortable on long rides and commutes through town. I have to jump on the bandwagon here and say that if I was spending my own cold hard cash, I would likely spend it on the Speed Triple.
|Triumph Speed Triple|
|MSRP: $11,799 /$12,599 with ABS|
|Type||Liquid-cooled inline three-cylinder DOHC four-stroke, 4 valves/cyl.|
|Bore x stroke||79.0 x 71.4mm|
|Induction||Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection, 46mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.|
|Rake/trail||22.8 degrees/3.6in. (91mm)|
|Wheelbase||56.5 in. (1435mm)|
|Seat height||32.5 in. (825mm)|
|Fuel capacity||4.6 gal. (17.5L)|
|Claimed wet weight||471lb (214 kg)|