2013 Triumph Daytona 675R | First Ride

Better Than Ever

By Ari Henning, Photography by Matteo Cavadini, Alessio Barbanti

The Brembos gain ABS this year, though the front brake lever has more travel than expected, requiring you to calibrate to the system's characteristics. But there's plenty of stopping power, and incredible feel and control while trail braking-all this on the stock Pirelli tires. In Circuit mode, ABS engaged just once during maximum deceleration from 130 mph for Turn 1, while the one lap I turned in Standard mode found the system intervening frequently. (In this mode, allowable front/rear wheel speed differential is limited for maximum stability on the street.) Higher bars fitted this year make it a little harder to hunker down over the front end at the track, but should make the bike quite a bit more comfortable on the street.

I was worried that Triumph would compromise the Daytona’s broadband performance, but with more power, less weight, better handling, unobtrusive ABS, a great new clutch, and smoother quickshifter, this is irrefutably a better bike. I didn’t get to ride the base model bike, but that machine is equally new for 2013. It gets the same engine, and its own suspension and brake updates.

As with all supersports, the price of admission is climbing. The base model Daytona will retail for $11,599, while the 675R is $13,499. That $1900 premium represents quite an upgrade, however, as the R-bike comes with quite a bit of bling. The new 675R is certainly in the running for best middleweight on the market, but we’ll have to pit it against a certain lime-green supersport to find out if it really is the best. I can’t wait!

Triumph Daytona 675R

Not Just An Update—An All-New Bike

Engine

Triumph was adamant that the new Daytona have more power, but the goal required an all-new engine because the old design couldn’t be tuned to Triumph’s satisfaction. The new three cylinder mill has a bore of 76mm and a stroke of 49.6mm, allowing for a higher redline of 14,400 rpm, up 500 rpm. The valve train was lightened by way of titanium intake valves and smaller exhaust valves, which shrank from 25.5mm to 24.2mm. Increased valve lift, a smoother transition on the backside of the intake valves, and less “shrouding” around the exhaust valve—where gas flow is hindered by the proximity of the valve to the cylinder wall—improve flow through the head.

Cam timing was tuned to match the new engine architecture, and secondary showerhead injectors were added at the top of the intake funnels, providing more precise fueling. A new, separate cylinder block is used in place of the previous one-piece block/upper crankcase design. This new block features liner-less construction to accommodate the wider bores without changing bore centers or increasing the width of the engine. New pistons provide a 13.0:1 compression ratio, up from 12.7:1. The crankshaft and alternator rotor are lighter to allow the engine to spin up faster, while the connecting rod big-end bearings are bigger and the wrist pins are now nitride-coated for better durability.

A new FCC “assist and slip” clutch provides a lighter clutch pull and excellent rear-wheel control during rapid downshifts. Also helping with shift action are revised shifter parts that offer smoother, lighter movement. To aid acceleration, the countershaft sprocket is one tooth smaller. Triumph claims the new motor is up 2 horsepower for a peak output of 126 bhp at 12,500, while torque is up 2 lb.-ft. for a maximum of 55 lb.-ft. at 11,900 rpm. Adding the accessory Arrow exhaust shown here adds a claimed 4 bhp and cuts 8 lbs.

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