Tested – 2006 Triumph Daytona 675

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This is the bike which has dominated supersports sales in recent years. It’s British, it’s a triple and it’s a world beater – meet the Triumph Daytona 675.

Let’s not make any bones about it, this bike is a bone fide racer, and you know this as soon as you sit on the bike. The riding position is focused – you’re very much leant forward, and there’s a lot of weight through your wrists. It’s narrow too, and feels tiny below my 6ft 2in frame.

The dash features Triumph’s trademark arrangement, which has always felt a bit too Fisherprice for me, the extensive use of plastics making the styling feel cheap. It’s the only part of the bike that does however, and the angular upper fairing and lights give the Daytona a sharp, purposeful look.

As soon as you thumb the throttle and hear the engine burble into life it become clear that it’s the 675cc, 126bhp powerplant which is the star of the show here, with the three-cylinder unit emitting a raspy, aggressive snarl with every blip of the throttle. It sounds mean, and the aftermarket can gives the note a louder, crisper, more menacing edge higher up in the rev range.

That triple lump is a joy, and the flat torque curve together with a beefy midrange mean there’s plenty of grunt in the rev range where you need it most. Simply wind the throttle on, wring its neck and keep feeding it cogs– sit back and enjoy the ride. Scream if you want to go faster. It’s a brilliant engine, and almost perfect for fast road riding.

The handling is just as impressive, and the owner of this bike has been at the spanners, setting it up to get it just so. It’s very nose heavy now, and the steering feels really light. That translates to wonderful agility, allowing you to throw the bike into corners with your fingertips. I love it – it’s almost as if you can get it to turn purely through thought alone – but I realise this set-up won’t suit everyone.

The ride quality is equally outstanding, with the bike dealing with the many poor road surfaces in its stride. It’s always compliant and it’s reassuringly stable, allowing you to drive out of corners with ever increasing confidence. It’s a proper scratching tool, aided in part by the bike’s massive ground clearance.

And should you need them the Triumph’s anchors offer loads of feel and bite, with the 308mm discs, radial-mount monoblock Nissins scrubbing off speed safely, predictably and rapidly.

This is a bike which is built for the track, but one which excels on our roads. It’s a bike which can be ridden hard, but one which is just as capable as an everyday bike. Triumph got it right with their 675 triple engine, and the Daytona is the bike which beat the established Japanese manufacturers at their own game, totally redefining the class the class in the process. Enough said.

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