Triumph Daytona 675

Staffers' Rides

By Ari Henning, Photography by Vanhap Photography

Ringleader: Ari Henning
MSRP (2009): $9799
Miles: 1884-3147
Average Fuel Mileage: 37 mpg
Accessories & Modifications: Tech Spec Gripsters, Puig windscreen, GB Racing crash kit, Clear-Alternatives tail light

It's been two months and I'm really digging my new Daytona. It's got style and grace, and that engine-what a charismatic and potent assemblage of steel and aluminum! The 675cc triple is the slimmest middleweight on the market, and I wanted to accentuate that facet. A replacement taillight from Clear Alternatives ($119.95; www.clearalternatives.com) integrates the turn signals into the taillight housing. Installation was a snap thanks to the company's perfect replication of the stock assembly, use of OE-style connectors and the Daytona's easy-to-remove bodywork. The result is a cleaner tail and significantly brighter brake light.

The stamped-steel rear fender was easy to bob. I was able to cut off about half of it while retaining the license-plate light, and it only took two passes with a drill to remount the plate. At the same time I unbolted the passenger pegs (their polished finish contrasts with the rest of the bike) and removed the reflectors from the fork legs.

I wasted no time in using the Daytona for what it was intended, namely sport riding. A day at Auto Club Speedway with Hypercycle (www.hypercycle.com) provided the opportunity to set up the chassis, although it never actually got set up thanks to a too-stiff shock spring and excessive rebound damping. I did have some success experimenting with fork height, though. Dropping the fork legs till they were flush with the top triple clamp yielded some improvement in cornering stability, though the bike still feels nervous at speed. Getting the fork and shock reworked is next on the agenda.

My shiny red Triumph is quickly losing its shine where my knees grip the tank. According to the enthusiastic owners at www.triumph675.net, hazy paint is common. I nipped the problem in the bud by slapping on a set of Tech Spec Gripsters ($46.95; www.techspec.com), which will protect the finish while helping me clamp down during aggressive riding. The Daytona's cockpit is short, and its windscreen is too small to get my helmet behind at the track. So I replaced it with a taller, slightly wider Z-Racing screen from Puig ($89.95; www.puigusa.com), which provides better aerodynamics at the track and a calmer, quieter ride on the street.

The Daytona's wide engine cases make me nervous because they look painfully vulnerable. To be on the safe side, I installed a comprehensive GB Racing crash-protection kit ($464 from www.britishcustoms.com). The kit contains a full complement of high-impact nylon covers and sliders that protect all the vulnerable vitals as required by most race groups and common sense. And at current exchange rates, it costs less than the average insurance deductible.

So far, I'm thrilled with my D675! It's got a few minor quirks, but they only add to its character.

Cheers, mate!

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