These days, Japanese and European brands, like Suzuki and Ducati, respectively, dominate the sportbike market. But in the past, other motorcycle companies have also tried to compete, some with more success than others. And now, their past attempts can be picked up on the used market. From the US, for example, there’s Buell, which is now back again. And from the UK, there was the Triumph Daytona 675.
The 675 and 675R helped resurrect an iconic name’s reputation
While the Bonneville may be one of Triumph’s most iconic bikes, the British marque doesn’t just do retro. It has adventure bikes, scramblers, naked bikes, and, up until a few years ago, a sportbike. Or, more specifically, two related sportbikes: the Triumph Daytona 675 and 675R.
‘Daytona’ is a rather historic name for Triumph, MCN reports. It first appeared on a road bike after Triumph racer Buddy Elmore won the 1966 Daytona 200. But it wouldn’t appear on a sportbike until the early ‘90s with the Daytona 750.
However, while the 750 and its successors were decent bikes, they didn’t offer the same level of performance as the competition. That changed in 2006 when Triumph released the first Daytona 675, RevZilla reports.
Unlike its immediate predecessors, the 2006 Triumph Daytona 675 isn’t a four-cylinder bike. Instead, it has a 675cc liquid-cooled inline-three engine rated at 107 hp and 48 lb-ft linked to a six-speed transmission, Cycle World reports. And compared to its four-cylinder rivals, the Daytona 675 has significantly more low-end torque, Cycle World reports.
Triumph tweaked and improved the Daytona 675 over the years, giving it more power and features, Motorcyclist reports. In 2011 Triumph introduced the Daytona 675R, which has fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes, Cycle World reports. Plus, 124 hp and 53 lb-ft along with grippier Pirelli tires. But the British bike brand wasn’t done yet.
Triumph overhauled both the Daytona 675 and 675R for 2013. The engine is still a 675cc triple, but now it makes 126 hp and 55 lb-ft and revs to over 14,000 RPM, Cycle World reports. And as before, the 675R has Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes.
However, both the 2013 Daytona 675 and 675R are lighter, with redesigned, stiffer chassis, more aggressive suspension geometries, and slipper-assist clutches, Cycle World reports. Plus, the 675R features some carbon-fiber components, a standard quickshifter, and switchable ABS, Motorcyclist reports. But, for the first time, the standard Daytona offered optional ABS that later became standard, Cycle World reports.
Even after being discontinued, the Triumph Daytona 675 and 675R are sportbike superstars
Unfortunately, the Daytona 675 and 675R didn’t stick around for long after their 2013 update. Triumph discontinued its sportbike in 2016, due to the shrinking middleweight sportbike market and oncoming emissions regulations, Bennetts reports. And while the Daytona 765 Moto2 is still available, that’s a limited-edition last hurrah that isn’t sticking around.
But before they went, both the Daytona 675 and 675R racked up plenty of professional accolades, including Cycle World’s Best Middleweight Streetbike crown. And even today, used examples still have plenty to offer.
Compared to some of its contemporaries, the Triumph Daytona 675 lacked a bit of top-end power, Bennetts reports. But it more than makes up for it with low-end torque and plenty of mid-range usable power. As a result, whether in 675 or 675R form, it’s a bike that you can genuinely ride without issue both on and off the track. Plus, it features that trademark three-cylinder howl.
Even towards the end of its lifespan, the Triumph Daytona 675 and 675R didn’t have many electronic aids. You got ABS, a gear indicator, the quickshifter, and that’s about it. But the Daytona “is that easy to ride, it doesn’t need them,” MCN reports. The base model’s fully-adjustable Kayaba suspension is comfortable without sacrificing steering quickness or handling, Cycle World reports. And the standard Nissin discs provide plenty of feedback and stopping power.
The Triumph Daytona 675R, though, is even better, especially the 2013-and-later model. To quote Motorcyclist, “the chassis is perfectly balanced, handling is telepathic, power is strong and easy to exploit…[the] Daytona 675R…puts the ‘super’ into the middleweight class.” And while some bikes are faster, it’s “just plain fun to ride,” Cycle World reports.
A used Triumph Daytona 675 and 675R can be a reliable, reasonably affordable motorcycle for road or track
Early-model Triumph Daytona 675s have a reputation for burning oil, as well as the occasional sensor failure, Bennetts reports. However, by the time the first 675R arrive, these issues seemed to have been resolved, apart from a slight tendency for sticking exhaust valves.
Triumph used this same engine in the Street and Speed Triple, which are essentially naked versions of the Daytona. I own a 2012 Street Triple R, and I’ve had no issues, oil-related or otherwise.
Being a used bike, the Triumph Daytona 675 has depreciated over the years. But some models, particularly late-model special-edition 675Rs, have held their value reasonably well. Still, it’s possible to find a good-condition Daytona 675 for less than $7000 on Cycle Trader. And most examples cost less than $10,000.
Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.