Two guys, one Triumph Daytona 675R

Dailies, Reviews -



Since they wouldn’t give us three Triumph Daytona 675Rs to test, we’ve been forced to share one (read: fight over it). Sean and I split time on the bike on city streets, and then in the Santa Monica mountains last week, and kindly let Grant play when we were through. From its smooth-as-butter quickshifter to its exotic superbike feel, we were impressed and it left us with a lot to talk about. Here’s the discussion straight from Sean and my chat windows. Our conversation has been edited for clarity (I waffled on about bad Internet), but that’s about it. Hit the jump to see just how small our vocabularies really are. — Ed.

Photos: Ashlee Goodwin and Sean Smith

ss The biggest thing with that bike is its smoothness.

ws How is it smoother than your GSX-R?

ss The power is smooth, the quick-shifter is smooth, the braking is very linear (though I’m not a big fan of those pads). Damping is incredibly smooth.

ws Yeah the pads feel funny. I mean the brakes are enormously strong. I can’t put my finger on what it is about them. I’ve ridden a few other bikes that have that problem

ss It’s just the pad compound. It’s grabby in a really weird way

ws Yeah, like not initially grabby

ss Nothing a set of EBC HH sintered pads cant fix

ws You can still stroke [modulate] them

ss yup.

ws But it’s like under harder braking there’s a point where heat builds up after a little bit of time and they get unexpectedly stronger with the same lever pressure

ss They do work differently with some heat in them. My beef was that at low speeds and low lever pressures, they want to grab and hold the rotor. Making a bunch of u-turns for the photo passes, I could actually hear them grabbing and releasing the edges of the holes on the rotor. But, once they were hot and I got on the brakes hard at 60ish mph, it was predictable, and again, smooth. Not as good as a set of after-market pads, but great for OEM.

ws Like most of the parts, they’re just designed for track riding, then pressed into some rough approximation of road duty.

ss Maybe

ws Well, keeping in mind OEM part compromises, ie, they’re cheap, where an honest set of normal brembo calipers, stainless lines and HH pads would probably do better.

ss Bingo. Anyway, the brakes work better than most and a pad swap takes 15 minutes.

ws And it’s got stainless lines stock, which none of the Jap bikes do, so there’s one less thing you have to change as soon as you buy the bike that’s one of the reasons I like riding it so much. With press bikes all the time, they’re so fucking crappy with stock lines, stock suspension, stock fueling and stock tires, like that godawful R1 we had where neither of us got the tires within an inch of the edge.

ss The triumph is good enough for a track day right out of the box. Just toss some suspension tools in a backpack, along with a roll of tape and go.

ws Yeah and we were too afraid to take the R1 to that Willow trackday Adey invited us to.

ws So why am I more confident riding the 675R in traffic around town than I am in Malibu canyons?

ss Because it’s not a bike for someone who doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing, which is harsh, but it’s true.

ws Ha, yeah and I’m not confident right now (Ed: Wes’s left arm is healing well, but will have a permanent ‘banana’ curve to it) and I’m waiting till I can see the whole corner before pushing.

ss I can come screaming into a corer hard on the brakes and know just how fast I want to go, how far I’m going to lean, where my apex is and when I’m going to get on the gas. It’s not an easy bike to ride, but if you know what you’re doing, it’s a powerful tool that will do exactly what you ask of it. You just need to know what to ask. That applies to sportsbikes as a whole, but especially to the 675R.

ws For me, the suspension is vague at the pace I’m riding it, like I go into a corner at like 4/10ths and it feels like the tires have no grip. I don’t know if you feel this since you’re riding it a little faster but while the steering is really quick it seems to take a lot of effort but maybe that’s just because I haven’t been riding with clip-ons for a while

ss The springs are so stiff that things aren’t moving enough for you to get an idea of what is going on. You have to go in a 7/10s before you get real feedback. The steering feel is because of the riding position; high seat, long reach to the bars. I like it because it’s nice and open, and I can easily move my weight around.

ws Yeah, I could move side to side super easy and you can get plenty far back in the seat without jamming up against the pillion pad and the pegs are high but my long ass legs weren’t cramped just wish my hands didn’t go numb on the highway.

ss Speaking of that pillion pad,that oddly shaped butt pad is kinda neat. If you’re wearing leathers, you can slide all the way back and it’ll help hold you in place at 150+ while the wind is trying to throw you around. It’s nice to have a nice secure feeling.

ws yeah and the rider seat is shaped well for easy moving. I could find the edge of it with my butt really easy. It sounds weird, but on some bikes I have to do some trial and error to find the right spot. I was super comfy on the 675 except for my hands going numb.

ss I kind of had trouble with the 675R. It’s more round than flat, and there are a lot of options for where you can sit, kind of like an R6. On my GSX-R, there’s a definite ridge toward the back and that’s where you put your butt. One place. You change your BP by altering your upper body and your options are somewhat limited. That means things are easy and simple, and you’ve got less to think about. But the 675R is neat because it forces you to think about what you’re doing a little more. I found myself getting closer to the tank on corner exits because of this and that makes me think this would be a great track bike for fast guys.

ws Was this your first time with the 675 triple motor?

ss It was indeed my first time with the 675 triple. Killer engine.

ws less peaky than your GSX-R?

ss Yeah. There was never really a hit; it felt like power just slowly built up and tapered off. I mean I don’t think that the triple or a 600cc inline four are that much different in outright performance

ws GSX-R is like 126? and the 675 is 124

ss At least those are the claims; my GSX-R is probably around 109 at the wheel stock, and I’d guess that my pipe and filter add 2-5 on top of that.

ws But the 675 is maybe a little nicer to use; you don’t always have to be at 13k rpms

ss Yep. But it does rev to 15 and there is good power up there. It’s got a very similar powerband to a standard 600, but it’s a smoother and a little easier to use

ws It’s like people say they buy liter bikes for the road because they like not having to rev the tits off it everywhere, but they never really use the power. They’re just posing. I feel like this is a better mix of useability for everyday riding but you still get to use all the performance when you want to go out and ride fast

ss Yep. Well, 99% of sportsbike owners are just posing. Ever been to a bike night?

ws Yep.

ss Have I mentioned that I really love the quickshifter? I know it’s an option, and likely an expensive one, but the effect it has on the overall package is awesome.

ws yeah, it’s pretty awesome

ss hm, lets check that out

ws “a host of performance orientated accessories include a plug and play quickshifter, performance exhausts and even a full factory race kit.” Guessing that means options, optional rather.

ss Yeah. That’s what I guessed. Triumph should know better than to offer that as an option; just put them on all the 675Rs and use the money saved by buying in bulk to lower the cost slightly.

ws yeah. I mean the thing is already seriously cheap, $12,699, which is like a little more than a 600 and less than a japanese liter bike.

ss Retail would still be more expensive, but only slightly more and the people that wouldn’t otherwise get to experience what it’s like to have a real quick-shifter would be pleasantly surprised.

ws yeah. It’d add like $20 to the price for them to include it as standard. No one would mind that.

ss Even if it added $200, it’d be worth it.

ws And then you wouldn’t have to rely on some janky dealer install. Yeah, $20 or $200 or whatever, it doesn’t really matter. It’s funny because we were talking about the 848 Evo/Streetfighter price the other day, which is $13k, and I’d rather have the Triumph brand, the 675 motor and Ohlins NIX30/TTX36 suspension for 12,700, than a downsized Ducati with shitty OEM suspension for $300 more. Triumph is killing it right now. I mean part of it is exchange rates and the yen being so pricy right now but the 675 feels more exotic than the 848

ss I’ve never really understood the 848. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’d be a lot cooler if it weren’t a superbike with it’s balls cut off. I think that’s kind of a lazy approach to building a midd-weight bike.

ws Which do you think has the better power to weight?

ss I don’t think it matters either way, but I’d guess that the Ducati has the edge there. Regardless, the Triumph is definitely faster.

ws 848 has 140bhp and weighs 168kg dry, the 675R makes 124. ugg and lists wet weight.

ss Ducati is trying to make their heavy bike seem light-weight.

ws 176kg dry according to wikipedia though, so the 848 has an edge until you get to a corner

ss Yep. Then you deal with Ducati ergonomics and shitty suspension. The Daytona has a fucking TTX36 shock. That’s better than what you get on a Desmosedici, 1198 or any Bimota.

ws It’s got like $4k in suspension on a $12k bike. Same shock as on 1098 R which was $40k and the 675 feels as exotic as any bike you just listed, kinda like a swiss watch.

ss It more than feels that exotic, it IS that exotic.

ws My roomate called it “the batbike.” I love that exposed red subframe, somehow it makes the bike look lighter. I’d take that over graphics.

ss It makes all the right sounds, has dual projector beam headlights, barely there frame, real racing suspension, and good design everywhere.

ws If I buy one can we swap lighter springs onto it?

ss Of course.

ws for like reasonable cost?

ss yeah, figure a few hundred bucks and 2 hours to go to a shop and have them do the work

ws Or ride with a pillion at all times, start eating more, pack on some pounds, have icon let out my suit a little in the middle…

ss ha. If I owned it, I’d probably swap in lighter springs too

ws I’d do that, tear off those little red decals on the fairing and call it a day. Well that, and frame/bar/swingarm/fork sliders

ss It feels like it’s sprung more a smooth track and in SoCal, well, there’s no such thing. I would do my usual list of mods: clean up the signals, mirrors and plate, add a single bar-end mirror, Zero Gravity Corsa screen (figure 2″ taller and a much better profile), slip-on, tuner, air filter, grippy stuff for the tank, sliders. Probably around $1000, with most of that going toward the motor stuff.

ws The person is not currently online.
12:50 PM
Wes Siler is now online.
sorry, internet crapped out
where were we?

ss Talking mods

ws ah right

ss I was saying that I’d probably spend a grand changing stuff

ws Did it slap on you at all?

ss Oh man, forgot about that

ws so add a damper to the list
it’s like one of only two bikes I’ve ever wanted a damper on
that and the old ZX-10R”
those were my last messages

ss The one thing this bike REALLY REALLY needs is a steering damper. It’s sprung more a smooth track and in SoCal, well, there’s no such thing. I would do my usual list of mods: clean up the signals, mirrors and plate, add a single bar-end mirror, Zero Gravity Corsa screen (figure 2″ taller and a better profile), slip-on, tuner, air filter, grippy stuff for the tank, sliders. Probably $1000, with most of that going toward the power stuff.

ws cool. I just can’t be bothered with motor stuff but I know you’re more into that since you used to build them. But yeah, that’s the one thing I would say Triumph messed up on.

ss Eh, I just don’t want power going to waste.

ws Why do you think it’s so slappy?

ws Same geometry as standard daytona, right?

ss I think it’s a little taller overall and possibly steeper. Another thing you have to take into consideration is that chassis numbers are a constantly changing dynamic thing

ws 675 rake/trail is: 23.9º/89.1mm
675R is 23.9º/89.1mm
so it’s the same

ss Those stiff springs and Öhlins dampers have a big effect

ws oh i know

ss It’s the same when you’re stopped, but at 90mph and wide-open throttle, it’s a completely different bike. I blame the fact that it’s a tall middleweight sportsbike and I’ll also blame the stiff springs.

ws I just can’t imagine them test riding it in england of all places–the b-roads around Hinckley are bumpy as all hell–and signing off on it like this.

ss I think every other middle-weight has a damper fitted as standard, no matter how crappy (I’m looking at you Suzuki)

ws ha, but those are all just spec sheet padding
they don’t do shit except fuck up steering

ss eh, It does something

ws and i’ve never had a full-on slapper on a stock 600, even riding really fast. But I got one on the 675 going pretty slow

ss because they all have dampers silly

ws ha

ss I’ve had mild ones, but the damper smoothes things out

ws oh, I mean the bars wiggle, but not like SLAP

ss yeah, but not BAM!-BAM!-BAM!, lock-to-lock at 90 on the 105, I almost shit my pants

ws ha

ss Annoying problem, but the fix is easy, if expensive

ws Yeah again, with bulk buying they could have included one for very little additonal price. I mean they’re already buying thousands of NIX30 forks and thousands of TTX36 shocks.

ss the $10k ZX-6R has an Öhlins damper

ws i bet the nice salesperson at ohlins could have knocked out a nice deal on a damper

ss Oh well, shit like that has never kept me from buying a bike

ws nah

ss Oh, the lights

ws oh right. They’re not very good

ss nope

ws not at all, but i didn’t take the time to try and adjust the angles

ss And dual projectors are probably the heaviest way to do things

ws So many streets in LA are lit that you only rarely actually need headlights, but the difference between the 675R and the Norge that I’ve got now is pretty astounding. Even just simple stuff like blinding car drivers during the day is useful and you can’t really do it on the Triumph

ss But that’s good for street riders. You can run two HIDs and aim them properly and at night, you won’t out-ride your lights Again, the fix is easy and this time it’s cheap. Adding an HID in the projector is the best thing I ever did to my GSX-R. People fucking see you.

ws yeah, i wouldn’t want to ride this thing at night on mountain roads. We’re talking about it because the basic bike is so good that both of us could see ourselves owning it and it’s nice of triumph to put dual projectors on there to make twin HIDs out of

ss yep.

ws ha

ss This bike is awesome. It’s the kind of thing I’d own.

ws Yeah, it’s totally unique

ss Eh, I wouldn’t agree completely with that

ws stupid cheap given the spec, the badge, the looks and the performance. Show me another 675 triple? (not the MV) but it’s also unique in a way that’s not weird. It’s the perfect middleweight bike and it’s got a neat engine and a neat frame and $4k of suspension and it’s plain white, which is awesome, with no ugly graphics so i’m not embarrassed to be seen on it.

ss It’s the best execution of the middleweight formula–not perfect, but the best yet. Aint no such thing as perfect ;)

ss It’s got plastics that look good without graphics too

ws yeah, I mean everyone thinks it looks nice

ss It’s also skinny. I love that about the triple. Four-cylinder bikes are all quite a bit wider.

ws like even Brittney’s (Ed: Wes’s girlfriend) roomate, who drives a lexus, thought it was super nice and assumed it was crazy expensive

ss ha

ws It really does look crazy expensive

ss I love that the designers took the same red paint=classy idea that ricers have been using for years on brake drums and made it work for the subframe.

ws It’s fast, it’s light, it feels tiny, it’s razor sharp and it looks amazing. Sold.

ss Yeah, in 25 years, this is a bike that will still be awesome to ride and it won’t even look cheesy.

ws and people will remember it. You say GSX-R and they all sort of get lumped into one amorphous memory of the ’90s and 00′s

ss yep

ws but this is distinct and the R is the ultimate expression of a really special bike

ss I also like that triumph went out and built a 675 as their flagship sportsbike. It’s a much different attitude than the “oh yeah? Well our literbike has 197hp!” dick-swinging game that everyone else is playing.

ws god, yeah. 124bhp is more than what my first liter bike had

ss The horsepower war is fun, but what we end up with are these monster bikes that aren’t really fun or rideable. You can buy a ZX10R or an S1000RR and spend thousands of dollars fixing everything and making it into a true sportsbike or you can buy this and and have fun right from the start.

Sorry for our lack of galleries right now. Little bug we’re working out.

  • Ashlee Goodwin

    You guys are so gay for each other.

    • Adam


    • David

      This reads just like the kind of discussions my best friend and I used to have a few years back when we were messing with cars.

      • robotribe

        At least it wasn’t about Star Trek.

    • HammSammich
  • nymoto

    I like this. Great read – awesome bike.
    And yes I think they were holding hands sitting next to each other im’ing.

  • Kirill

    I just read a god damn 3100 word chatlog about a motorcycle. I think this is a good time to rethink what I’m doing with my life.

    • Sean Smith

      It’s a Monday night man. Give yourself a break.

  • Tommy

    Not quite as gay as the title made me expect. Triumph really is killing it right now. I’ve always been a fan ever since I rode an early 00′s tiger for the first time nearly 5 years ago, but this years line up is amazing.

  • Richard

    Best article title yet, in a gay kind of way. Great content too, I’m ready to go order one tomorrow. That bike really is a steal at that price. With literally race plastics and some ntechs, you could be winning club races, no problem.

  • Alex

    Very nice read, I liked it.

    Although I must make a bit of a correction… The 675 and 675R have a damper fitted stock. It’s underneath the triple tree. Granted, it’s a really weak damper, but it’s there. A lot of riders put heavier oil in it with great success though.

    • Sean Smith

      Ha, well there you go. It shook so bad I didn’t even bother checking to see if there was one there.

      • coredump

        See, if only you had some reverse rotating rotors you wouldn’t have to worry about that stuff. (kidding, I don’t know if that shit works)


    Silly Armenians and their salvage title Ducatis… This is what I want to buy after some serious depreciation.

    • robotribe

      Watch your back in Glendale with that attitude, bro.

      (but I know what you mean)


        I commute to Glendale daily–squids with expensive tastes.

  • FZR 1000 Alex

    This bike gives me raging britboners whenever I see one out on the road. It definitely gets the juices of anubis flowing. WANT. BAD.

  • Tony

    BTW, it has a damper, a shitty one but still, buried in the nose.

  • Peter

    As above, it has a KYB damper fitter under the head stock.

  • damien

    I’ve been wanting to try an different brand of bike than my current Triumph for my next bike, but this is so fucking awesome I may have to stay in the Triumph fam.

  • hooligan317

    Did you notice/mind the lack of a slipper clutch?

    • Wes Siler

      Blip the throttle on downshifts and you don’t need as slipper clutch. It’s a 675 triple, you’re not locking the back wheel every time you roll off.

      • Grant Ray

        Oh, so that’s why it’s skipping from 5th to 3rd and then 2nd back to 3rd every other time I roll up to a stop light! Silly me, I was just thinking it was Triumph’s fault.

        • Wes Siler

          Nah, that’s just the shitty gearbox. You just have to be super positive with it on downshifts.

    • Sean Smith

      The motor is smooth enough that it works fine without it. That’s one area my GSX-R (and the R6) have it beat though.

  • the_doctor

    I thought there would be a lot more smiley faces and shit.

    I love the bike, though. Triumph has really upped the 600 game.

    • Wes Siler


  • Deltablues

    Nice read. As the owner of a 2008 Phantom Black 675 SE, I have to say this is a most fun motorcycle. Living in Little Rock, I get to use her regularly on HWY 7 and HWY 9. I read a lot of different forums about people whining that there is no Daytona 1050…which I think is lame. Truth is, the 675 is a fast motorcycle. In fact, all of the modern 600′s are as fast a liter bikes were less than a decade ago. And the handling, even on my plain-jane ’08 SE, is sublime. Sad truth: I have only gotten my knee down a few times on the road because I would have to be going ‘Death/Go-to-Jail’ speeds to even get near using all the ground clearance the 675 offers.

  • Trev

    I like how they didn’t screw up the looks of the Daytona as it evolved. I doubt i’ll ever ride one, but it looks cool.

  • Aaron

    All the ones we’ve sold form our shop have quick shifters stock.

    • Richard

      Where’s your shop?

      • Alex

        Just to throw it in there, the quickshifter is standard on the 675R. It’s an option on the normal 675, so maybe that’s where the confusion is coming from, but Triumph has always listed the quickshifter as standard for the R I believe.

        • Sean Smith

          There was definitely some confusion about this. Triumph is very vague on site. The quick shifter is mentioned briefly as an option, but no price is ever listed and it’s not listed as a feature for the bike.

    • Aaron

      Edmonton AB, Canada

  • je

    Interesting.. I had been eying the street triple R as my next daily rider but when looking at the spec sheet this looks like the better option. Figure I could sell the fairing/headlight setup that would easily help eat the cost diff. Pull over STR radiator shroud and add aftermarket chin fairing, buell lightning dual headlight and wind guard. Not sure on exhaust tail section though. GAAAAWD im excited now..

    Front Öhlins 43mm upside down NIX30 forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping, 110mm travel
    Rear Öhlins TTX36 twin tube monoshock with piggy back reservoir, adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping, 130mm rear wheel travel
    Front Kayaba 41mm upside down forks, 120mm travel
    Rear Kayaba monoshock with piggy back reservoir adjustable for rebound and compression damping, 130mm rear wheel travel

    Swing Arm
    Braced, twin-sided, aluminum alloy with adjustable pivot position
    Braced, twin-sided, cast aluminum alloy

    675r – 2020 mm (79.5 in)
    STR – 2030mm (79.9 in)

    675r – 125PS / 124bhp / 92 kW @ 12600rpm
    STR – 106PS / 105bhp / 78 kW @ 11700rpm

    675r – 72Nm / 53 ft.lbs @ 11700rpm
    STR – 68Nm / 50 ft.lbs @ 9200rpm

    675r – 46 MPG City / 50 MPG Highway
    STR – 33 MPG City / 51 MPG Highway

    675r – $12,699
    STR – $9,599

  • Patrick

    So is this 675R substantially nicer/better than say the 2007 Daytona 675 that came in all black with gold levers and logos??

    • Wes Siler

      Only if you count $4,000 in Ohlins suspension as substantially nicer/better.

    • Sean Smith

      Öhlins man. There is no other middle-weight that has suspension even half as good.

      • Kevin

        +1 for CARING ENOUGH to use the umlaut.

  • Case

    Good read. The bike sounds fantastic. I already think it’s one of the hottest looking things on the road. Plus the great motor and it comes with all the trick bits you would put on it anyway if you wanted to maximize the potential of the bike. Advantage, Triumph.

  • Tony M.

    I went to the two closest Triumph dealers and one of them didn’t even know that the R existed, and the other said I might maybe get one at some point possibly in the future (around March) if I put a deposit down now.
    Well, looks like I’m calling every single Triumph dealer to see if I can get one of these.

    • Wes Siler

      Where are you?

      • Tony M.

        Northern Virginia. The two dealers that I went to were in Maryland (one in Clinton and one in Frederick for what it’s worth).

        • Wes Siler

          Ah, don’t know any Triumph dealers around there, sorry.

    • Austin Milbarge

      Santa Maria Triumph in California has one

      • Tony M.

        I’m half tempted to tell my boss I’ll be gone for a week, fly out to CA, buy it and ride it back.

    • motoguru

      Tell them to log-in to TOL and do a damn search! If they don’t know what TOL is, you’re fucked.

  • NickK

    Guys, this was great. More informative than with the written reviews (no offense meant, it’s just sometimes style, even good style, gets in the way). Did you have a discussion like this over the Speed Triple? Seriously considering that bike and would love to have been a fly on the wall during a similar conversation.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Emmet

    “dick swinging game.” very descriptive!

  • dmitry

    Have you guys tried the soft setting that apparently comes in the manual..developed in conjunction with Ohlins? curious if that will help make it more complaint without spring swap..
    reference here:

    • Sean Smith

      I rode it without playing with the clickers, exactly as it came from Mickey Cohen Motorsports. They, or the other journalists that have the bikes before us, usually get the suspension setup pretty well. If something feels off, I’ll chase it down, but with the 675R, things felt great. The springs were just a little too stiff for the bumpy roads and sketchy pavement around Malibu.

      That, and once you get into suspension, it’s hard not to let it become an obsession. I’d be ignoring everything else while I searched for the perfect fork setup for prefect feel and traction under hard trail braking.

  • runrun

    Anyone thinking about a new sportbike has to read Wes’ comment about lack of feel riding at 4/10ths. Proper individualized suspension setup can improve things hugely, but most of today’s sportbikes are incredibly focused and will disappoint and frustrate at less than 7/10ths. Word is that CBR’s are different, but I don’t know personally.

  • Dumptruckfoxtrot

    Some sort of podcast with you guys seems like it’d be pretty neat. Have you ever considered doing one?

  • solidaridad

    $h!t if I ever see the end of asking moms whether they have guns in the house, if their kids wear helmets, do they have smoke alarms, and btw take this twice a day I might actually have a life so I can read these gay-assed chats. You guys crack me up…

  • Jeremy

    Daytona 675R’s come standard with a quickshifter, it is not a factory option, and every single Daytona 675 produced came with a steering damper, look at the bottom of the lower triple clamp. I’ve never had a tank slapper / head shake on either of mine.