The Triumph 675 Daytona, it impresses everybody, torque engine, capable track chassis and smart, semi-exotic design. Finally, a European competitor that could take on the best from Japan and comprehensively stuff them at their own game!
I've ridden the Daytona 675 a few times, and it's never failed to impress. So, as I chase other motorcyclists around the Chiang Mai mountainous roads on the Triumph, I'm not surprised by how well things are going. The engine is brapping away like a small F1 race car below me, with that trademark torque power sling-shooting me out of every slow corner, and the neat dashboard is merrily conveying vital riding facts.
Sure, the riding position is hard on the wrists, and tippy-toe paddling about in gravelly precarious slow-speed feel.
And since the early morning dew there's a wee voice in the back of my head counseling caution: those Pirelli tires are track-optimized and don't give their best on cold, greasy roads.
But as the day wears on, both the conditions and I warm up, and the Triumph Daytona 675 beguiles. Everywhere in the rev range, it simply has more stomp than the other 600cc bikes I tested, making it a much more relaxed, pleasing affair to ride on the road. Overtakes seldom need a gear-change, and once you adjust to the weird blue LED rev light, there's simply nothing but pleasure from the 12-valve triple.
It's much easier to wheelie off the gas than the reviver fours, and the flatter torque curve helps mediocre wheeliers like me optimize our mono-skills with ease. So it's clear the engine is still a beast, and probably the best in the 600cc class on the road.