2009 Triumph Daytona 675

Three's Still A Charm

By Ari Henning, Photography by Paul Barshon, Jason Critchell

Trail-braking didn't interfere with tipping the bike in, and even without a slipper clutch, over-exuberant downshifts never resulted in more than a little back-end squirm.

The next day we were treated to a 100-mile foray through the towns and rolling hills of the Mediterranean coast to get a feel for the Triumph's street manners. The addition of high-speed compression circuitry is a blessing on the street, effectively eliminating the cracks, seams and hardened concrete globules so prevalent on urban roadways. A 15-mile stretch of autopista revealed how deceptively smooth the triple is, with five-digit revs and triple-digit speeds occurring regularly.

While Cartegena's short straights limited the Daytona to fourth gear, the empty freeway provided the opportunity to roll the throttle to the stop and venture into the upper ratios. Given enough space, it would likely hit 155 mph.

The seat may be hard, but it's well-shaped and proved to be plenty comfortable. The only hindrance to complete street-riding bliss is the downward angle of the clip-ons, which focus pressure on the inside of the wrists. Ergonomically, the Daytona is the ideal compromise, offering a functional and comfortable riding position for both street and track.

Once we peeled off the highway and headed into the flowing curves of the Spanish countryside, all concerns about comfort faded. The 675 may be the easiest sportbike to ride ever, thanks in no small part to a torque curve that resembles a side elevation of the East Durham Plateau. The Daytona will pull from just about anywhere, even when the tach needle has fallen into the basement after a botched corner entry, making it a very forgiving and accommodating machine. Although damping had been dialed back for the street, our spirited pace did nothing to disturb the chassis's stability and line-holding abilities. Despite the crisp afternoon air, the Pirellis warmed up quickly and displayed commendable straight-line stability for such a track-oriented tire.

After a lengthy seafood tapas lunch, no number of cafe solos could lift us from our post-meal stupor. Back astride the bikes, we appreciated the Daytona's relaxed capabilities. Its comfortable ergonomics and powerful engine mean it doesn't need to be caned to be ridden. It's a capable cruiser, happy to hum around town in the lower gears, with no lag between throttle movement and acceleration. Even though the '09 model is equipped with a taller first gear, there's little need for it unless you feel the urge to air out the front wheel-and that can be accomplished in second or even third, given a slight rise in the road.

With a claimed 126 bhp, a wet weight of 410 lbs., a $9799 price tag and the versatility to suit your mood, the Daytona offers a package to rival any middleweight sportbike. Status quo be damned.

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