SuperBike Staff Bikes – Triumph Daytona 675R – Part 1

Miles: 842

Mods: Super Unleaded


Ah, yes, the good stuff, drink it up my lovely. A good indicator of how well loved a particular vehicle is, is to check what fuel is being poured down it’s thirsty spout at the gas station. The humdrum commuters get chucked a quart of 95-RON, while the weekend toys and speed machines are treated to 98-octane Super Unleaded. Does it make any difference? Who cares*, it’s got ‘Super’ in the name so it must be better. The Triumph Daytona 675R was already pretty special to me before I took delivery of one as a long term test bike. On the launch I was blown away by it, charging around Cartagena race circuit wearing holes in my elbows, knees and toe-sliders, until the event staff managed to snatch the keys back off me. I’ve owned both previous models of Daytona 675, so this one completes the trio nicely. The older bikes were fantastic to ride on track, but impressively this new one is even better. And you now get a slipper clutch, so silky smooth backing-it-in action is now added to the mix. You’ll have already read about the circuit-mode ABS in the 600s test this month, so I won’t go over it again. But I will just re-emphasize how much fun it is to have what essentially boils down to backing it in control on the ABS – bloody loads of fun.


The Triumph doing what it does best - smashing apexes and grinding knee sliders.

The Triumph doing what it does best – smashing apexes and grinding knee sliders.

So, what’s the plan for the year then? Well I’ve spent plenty of time riding the 675R on track, enough to know that it’s already an incredibly capable bike in that arena, certainly capable enough to see off the rest of its class. Which got me thinking. With the 600 class faltering and the new wave of upper-mid capacity bikes (like the Ducati Panigale 899 and MV Agusta F3 800) appearing, how does the Triumph fare against them? Well, compared to the Panigale, we’re looking at a 20bhp power deficit and a 10kg weight advantage, so the little Trumpy isn’t too far off. When you look at that as power to weight ratios, the Ducati is at 0.77 bhp/kg and the Triumph is at 0.70bhp/kg. If the Triumph can gain 10bhp and lose three kilos it’s got the Ducati equaled on the calculator. Yes the Ducati has traction control, but right now, as it stands, I don’t feel like the Triumph needs it. We’ll just have to wait and see if another 10bhp changes my mind on that, but we’ve got a good target to aim for by the end of the summer.

Right now though, the Triumph isn’t going anywhere near a dyno or a workshop. The sun is shining, the roads are dry and there’s a tankful of Super Unleaded awaiting ignition. I’m off to revel in the minute power increase and warm happy feeling of burning slightly more expensive pump fuel. This isn’t just any over-priced refined oil product…

*OK, we’ll admit, while we pretend to be too cool to care, we really love a nerd-off about this stuff. Generally, 98-octane does yield an increase in performance, but not enough that you’d notice on anything bigger than a 125cc. It does tend to be a cleaner fuel with less impurities though and will make your wallet lighter, so performance advantages can be had…

That is a picture of a very, very happy man.

That is a picture of a very, very happy man.

Pics: MSV/Lloyd Horgan