Triumph’s Daytona 675 has never suffered harsh criticism or dismissal. It’s long been a favorite due to its sharp looks, excellent handling, and the broadband power. The bike that debuted in 2006 was simply outstanding, and Triumph has kept the supersport at the forefront with conservative updates. The bike underwent minor engine and aesthetic changes in 2009, and in 2011 Triumph introduced the up-spec Daytona 675R.
Triumph aims to keep both iterations of the Daytona fresh, so for 2013 the company has given the bikes the most intense overhaul to date. “A few tweaks would have kept the 675 on the pace, but the 2013 Daytona is set to raise the bar once again,” says Triumph. To that end, Triumph re-engineered the Daytona’s 675cc triple with a larger bore and shorter stroke, new titanium valves, twin injectors per cylinder, and reshaped intake and exhaust ports. Redline has been raised to 14,400 rpm, and Triumph says that both horsepower and torque numbers are are up, with a broader midrange spread to boot. Owners asked for a slipper clutch, and Triumph delivers: the 2013 bike has a slip-assist clutch like the one in the new Kawasaki ZX-6R, which offers a lighter lever pull and smoother downshifts.
Triumph has been cautious in altering the Daytona’s appearance, but the designers have changed course for 2013. The Daytona features totally reshaped bodywork with a broader snout, more nuanced fairing, and a slimmer, sharper tail devoid of the previous under-seat exhaust. A new, compact muffler now exits under the engine, helping to centralize mass. Lighter, swirl-spoke wheels contribute to a claimed 3-pound weight savings.
Chassis changes include a new aluminum frame constructed from fewer pieces and featuring a shorter wheelbase and sharper steering geometry. A new cast-aluminum subframe replaces the previous tubular-steel unit and serves to lower the seat by 10mm. The fork is the latest KYB fixed-cartridge unit and resides in a new minimalist triple clamp. It looks like Triumph is still using the hard to read white-on-black LCD dash, but at least the gas gauge makes a return. Brake hardware is familiar, but a new switchable ABS system has been added and features a selectable Sport mode with late intervention that allows rear-wheel drift.
Pricing hasn’t increased substantially, despite improvements like ABS and a slipper clutch. The base model will retail for $11,599 (up $600 from 2012), while the 675R will cost $13,499 (up $800). Both versions of the Daytona are scheduled to arrive in U.S. dealerships in February. We’ll be riding the bike well before that, so stay tuned for the First Ride.