Triumph Daytona 675 bike challenges bigger brands

The 2010 Triumph Daytona 675 features the visual flavor of both European and Japanese designs. The Daytona is such a beautiful bike that you can’t help but look back every time you park it. Even the rear-arm is a piece of art, resembling a flying buttress from the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Just starting the Daytona, especially on a cool morning, is a pleasure. The exhaust note has a deep bass line accompanied by a metallic undertone. It’s like an overture, the perfect starting movement to a brilliant two-piece symphony performed at 13,900 rpms. Straight out of the box, Triumph had a winner with the Daytona 675 when it was first introduced in 2006. Still unsatisfied, Triumph set out to make the Daytona even better.

Power has been increased by 4 percent, which equates to 3 horsepower and 1 pound-foot of torque via the nose-mounted ram air. Twist the throttle and the Daytona takes off with ease, almost as if it was a lightweight model. But as soon as you get into the upper-rev band, the 675’s easy, laid-back nature is instantly transformed. Acceleration is swift and hits hard like solid punches to the gut.

Just as impressive was how the Daytona never felt out of control, unlike other sport bikes. And torque is very good in practically all six gears — there’s senough torque to take off from a stand still in third gear.

Steering and overall balance are very keen, giving it a nimble feel. No doubt, its sharp steering is the result of the standard Kayaba steering damper. The 675 was so well mannered at high speeds that it surprised me with its composure. Even in a windy rainstorm, it’s easy to lose track of your speed.

Braking for the 356-pound Daytona was very impressive also. Triumph says the fresh Nissin monoblock calipers and redesigned rotors have increased braking power by 15 percent. While I can’t speak to this, the rear brake locked up only once on cold pavement one cool morning. Other than that, braking was solid, especially the couple of times I was saved after being a bit stupid with the throttle.

During my test of the 2010 Triumph Daytona 675, I pushed it pretty hard practically every time that I rode it. At one point, I even planned to ride the 675 more conservatively to see what kind of economical mileage the average rider could achieve, however, I just couldn’t dial it back, as it was just too much fun when pushed. And, even under these pushed conditions, the Daytona consistently achieved an impressive 37 mpg average.

Overall, the Daytona 675 was fun and comfortable. In fact, during my longest trip (250 miles), the Daytona’s sport suspension, while not luxurious, didn’t leave me overly fatigued.

Many overlook the Triumph Daytona 675 in favor of bikes from Buell, Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. Take it from me: Check out the Triumph Daytona 675 before you buy anything else.

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