Triumph's focus changed for the good in 2006, with the previous barges being replaced by something very fresh and enormously invigorating. The impact the Triumph 675 Daytona made on the motorcycle world was monumental. Suddenly, among a group of drab Japanese four-pots came this British triple bulldog, complete with a funky soundtrack and the potential for great track handling. It may not have been the polished product we would have liked, though. This was more of a tease of Triumph's potential.
The problem with the original Triumph Daytona 675 is its 2009 successor. Now we can talk with hindsight, and that version is so bloody good it puts the original one in the shade. It's easy to compare them like they're a pair of sisters: both are fit, but one is drastically classier than the other girl. One of the most popular questions you can find is 'is it worth paying more for the newer model?' Yes, it is.
Still, the original Triumph 675 Daytona was one of the best thing to come out of the Triumph Hinckley factory. The golden nugget is its three-cylinder engine. Nothing on this earth compares to sampling the Triumph 675cc for the first time and rejoicing in the symphony and its idiosyncratic characteristics. Usability and effectiveness don't hinder any thrashability, with oodles of midrange that continues to flourish into the top-end. The noise eggs you into spending more time near the redline although our only qualm with the engine is that it runs out of revs way too early, attributable to its puny terminal speed. You can afford lazy gear selection with the triple's grunt allowing at least a cog higher through bends and leaving the Japanese behind as they munch gears and chase revs.
As the road opens up, the Triumph 675 Daytona becomes more natural, hiding the far-from-refined fueling and iffy throttle action. The gap between first and second gear becomes tricky in tighter sections, as does the body blast of engine-braking – a negative by-product of the engine's sexiness. The 2009 model's corner entry was boosted by a clever anti-hop slipper clutch substitute. You'll just have to put up with the kittery jives on this model. While we're on corner entry, the brakes are class-leading – Nissin calipers combined with braided lines as standard continue to offer extremely good stopping power.
Another effect of the narrow engine is the spindly chassis. Although the cramped cockpit won't suit the big boys, you can access the inherent flickability though a gentle nudge on the handlebars. The racy steering isn't neutral and you need to be committed to grab the best from the Triumph as you head to the edge.