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On paper the Daytona is a 600, in reality it feels like a 750 when you ride it, as was proved when I took the bike to the Nurburgring to find out how it got on there. Now the 'Ring' is somewhat of a power track, long climbs and straights where anything under 750 tends to run out of steam at some point, not so with the Triumph. Yes it did have a little trouble on one particular part of the track which is a 2 1/2 km hill, but anything under 140bhp does! But it's the rest of the torturous Nurburgring where the Daytona really shows what it's made of.

On the entire track there are over 70 corners, all of which the little 600 eats for breakfast, nothing phased it at any time whilst I was there. I had an opportunity to ride an R6 there, and also a GSXR1000, but the Daytona was my preferred choice for those 4 days at the 'Ring'. I had more fun there on that bike than I have ever had on anything else, and that's a brave statement for me as a confirmed litre bike rider at the Ring!


Specs at a glance

DOHC in-line 4-cylinder
Capacity 599cc
Bore/Stroke 68 x 41.3 mm
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Power 112PS (110bhp) at 12,750 rpm
Torque 68Nm (50.5ft.lbf) at 11,000 rpm

Frame Aluminium beam perimeter
Swingarm Twin sided, aluminium alloy

Tyre (F) 120/70 ZR 17
Tyre (R) 180/55 ZR 17
Suspension 43mm cartridge forks, adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear Monoshock with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping

Front Brakes Twin 308mm floating discs, 4 piston calipers
·Rear Brakes Single 220mm disc, single piston caliper

Length 2050mm
Width 660mm
Seat Height 815mm
Wheelbase 1390mm
Weight (Dry) 165kg
Fuel Capacity 18 litres

 

Triumph Daytona 600 - truly amazing!

Road and track test by Adrian Percival

Go back a year or so from here and it looked like all the effort Triumph had put into developing their current range of bikes was a total loss. The fire that destroyed the factory at Hinckley had put them back so far with production and parts replacement that it seemed a lost cause, but times change. Triumph are fully recovered from the huge fire over a year ago and now boast probably the most sophisticated and efficient motorcycle production facility in the world.

Out of the ashes Triumph launched the Daytona 600 late in 2002. If you glance at the specs of the latest 600 it soon becomes obvious that this is not your usual Triumph. Made in Japan springs to mind, especially if you look at what you get in comparison to the other offerings in the very competitive 600 class. On price alone it is right in there, in the real world it's up at the top as a bike you can use every day, but get it out on a track and that's where you will see the difference. It's just an astonishing bike.

During the time that I had the pleasure of the Daytona's company I did many road miles on it. I took it to a trackday at Rockingham National circuit in 32deg sunshine, I took it to Germany to ride the Nurburgring for 4 days, again in 30-32deg sunshine, and all in all it was given the usual treatment of road and track use. My conclusion after those sort of trips and mileage was that this bike just excelled in every task it was given.

I first rode a 600 Triumph some 3 years ago. It was the old TT600, and at that time it felt solid, pretty sophisticated and quite refined, but was missing something that other 600's of the day had in that it wasn't very exciting. You could argue that it felt a little like an early CBR, a good all-rounder and everyday bike, but it would never compete with the mainstream 600's from Japan. That Triumph was the forerunner for the new generation of 600 Supersport bikes. It did, arguably set the parameters for the most important class of sportsbike sector, and now all of them have things like EFi, fantastic frames, great brakes and serious handling.

The Japanese manufacturers have since spent the past three years adding technical imporvements to the entire 600 class. Things have now evened out a little and the stakes between most models are similar, including the Triumph. But the Daytona 600 is a still a little different when it comes to a really useable bike which will do anything exceptionally well, it is a true 'Q' bike and can compete at all levels in any class of sportsbike. After some time with it I now understand why it won it's class at the Isle of man TT this year.

The Triumph Daytona 600 has a liquid-cooled four-cylinder in-line engine, It's a rev hungry motor which spins up in a flash. The engine is very unlike a normal Triumph, the growl increasing to a 14,000rpm scream is unlike any other Triumph I have ever ridden, it really lets you know it's the shortest stroke motor in any 600 currently produced. The Keihin fuel injection is very good at keeping this screamer of a motor fed with fuel at just the right moment, there's no jerkiness, no flat spots, just a smooth response from a seriously good and well mapped system.

My first real outing after collecting the Daytona from Triumph's factory in Hinckley was a 100 mile trip back home and the following day another 200 miles around the southern counties. It was a real eye opener to ride such a bike in all types of traffic conditions and on such a variety of roads. Fast dual carriageways, fast country roads in Oxfordshire, town traffic and city roads in London, nothing seemed to phase the little Daytona. It was comfortable, easy to ride and totally at ease in any situation. The Daytona was fitted with the new Pirelli Diablo Corsa tyres and it was my first time riding a bike with these on. I was seriously impressed with them to say the least. On ordinary roads the bike performed and handled brilliantly, not a sign of slip of lack of grip anywhere, the entire package of tyres and bike just worked so well.

Ride the Daytona in any type of traffic and on any road and you will soon find out that this bike is nothing like the previous or alternative TT600. The throttle response at lower revs is everything the TT600's wasn't.
On leaving a town or village, or powering out of a tight bend or turning, the Daytona pulls away with no fuss, no flatspots and no need for a lot of clutch to get going, just a slight slip and you are away from a standing start. Up to 4000rpm up the Triumph pulls very smoothly, hit 6500rpm and it comes to life! From there the power builds steadily as the revs rise right through to 10,500rpm, at which point the motor takes on a different note as it hardens up giving you a power increase and a distinct speed build-up through to the 14,500 red-line. It's a linear delivery all the way from start, there's no sudden power drop-off or flat spots, the 16 valve motor just keeps going all the way delivering its 112bhp to you in a very enjoyable way. The 600 Supersports series race bike by Valmoto runs to a red line of 15,500 rpm, this is still with standard engine internals as dictated by the British Supersport rules. Now that's impressive!

The Triumph Daytona 600 is very impressive indeed as an everyday roadbike. The rev-hungry engine is very tractable in all kinds of traffic. The bike is also very comfortable to ride for longer distances compared to most other 600 supersports, and it doesn't get heavy on your wrists at any time. The seating position is slightly higher than other 600's, also the footpegs are set a little lower too, which means you are not so squashed up as riding an R6 for example. I found that the riding position made my knees fit perfectly into the cut-outs on the tank and gave a feeling of actually being a part of the bike and not just perched on it somewhere. All these little things make such a difference to the overall feel of the bike when you ride it, it fits like a glove, well for me anyway!

Riding the Daytona on any type of road surface is a pleasure, unlike most other sportsbikes! Some of the roads out in the wilds of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds are not particularly inviting to most race-rep sportsbikes, but the suspension on the Daytona seems to be able to cope with any type of road presented to it. The Kayaba rear suspension and the front 43mm cartridge forks are very impressive and totally compliant over any kind of road surface. This together with the superb chassis just eats up the bumps and undulations in the road and is stable and secure. In corners, even bumpy ones, the lack of a steering damper isn't a problem. The bike feels very balanced with good turn-in and quick steering response from the short 1390mm wheelbase.

If there is one thing I have to criticise on the Daytona 600 then it has to be the gearchange, which felt a bit vague at times. In certain places and on certain roads it felt a bit notchy and stiff, not positive as you would expect from a Japanese 600, it was in fact a little harsh at times. I think with a bit more mileage it would ease, but even at 5000 miles it felt as though it had just left the factory. It was never a problem though at any time, it just made you a little aware that it was harder than normal. The gear ratios are perfect though, they have been chosen to give you a broad spread of tractability in the lower gears, yet have 5th and 6th quite close together to keep the 600 reving up in five figures when the need arises, and believe me, this bike makes you want to keep it up there most of the time, it's just a complete hoot!

Get the Triumph out on a track and that's where you will find out it's true potential. I took it to Rockingham National circuit for a trackday with Rapid Tracks and it was absolutely brilliant! I don't think I have ever had so much fun on any 600 ever, anywhere!! This bike just eats up everything in sight, you can take liberties on any corner, rev it out on the straights and become the King (or Queen) of the late brakers. It can seriously outperform many much larger Superbikes. The combination of the very agile chassis, Pirelli Diablo Corsa tyres and a hot track was just the ticket for a very enjoyable day. All I can say is that I rode back home in the evening a very hapy man after a full day on track in 32deg temperatures and full leathers! It was one of the best track days I have ever had.

The Daytona has perfect turn-in, great feedback and with those Pirellis on I can say that I didn't get a single hint of a slide in over 70 laps of the Rockingham circuit. The back-end was truly anchored to the ground on every corner letting me get the power on very early. The front end being so stable let me carry a huge amount of corner speed as well, all I really had to be concerned about was keeping the motor spinning up and not to rev-out mid corner. I started off in the morning by running a gear too low thinking I needed to keep the revs up all the time, that soon changed as the day went on. I found that I could run a gear higher because the engine has such great midrange pull so I actually managed to go faster as a result.

Triumph have put together a wonderful package with the Daytona 600 that the bike is almost in a class of it's own. With the great chassis and brilliant engine they have also added some fantastic brakes to compliment everything else about the bike. You can honestly stand on the brakes at the last moment from flat out and stop in total confidence, not a squirm or any sign of breaking instability, in fact you could actually squeal the front tyre! The twin 308mm discs, with four-pot Nissin calipers, are fantastic, they have lots of bite and feel about them and are not at all aggressive with their response. I can only compare them to the brakes fitted to the Ducati 999S, Brembo gold series, that's the only other set-up that i can honestly say is anywhere near the quality of the Triumph brakes. It's no wonder that the Triumph Valmoto race team decided to keep the standard brakes for racing, and I totally agree with them!

Triumph have entered the ultra competitive world of the Supersport 600 and have gone head to head with the best of them. Not only have they done this but Triumph have created a new benchmark in this class. They have stood up to the opposition with the same in-line four cylinder format, inviting direct comparison by customers around the globe. This class is a rather different game from the niche market that Triumph has been so sucessfull in. The stakes are high against space-age hardware like the Honda CBR600RR, R6 and GSXR600. In an ultra-demanding market, styling as well as performance must be cutting edge, and everyday rideability has to be backed up by race success. The Daytona 600 is already winning races, the TT600 didn't make it, but the Daytona 600 will, that's for sure. It will take a lot to beat the Daytona 600, it's a bike for real-world riding.

Can I insure it?

 

Read external Triumph Daytona 600 reviews on ciao.

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