Back to Top
Celebrity Bikes - Shaquille O'neal
2011 Triumph Daytona 675R Track Comparison
Although it doesn't have the widespread popularity or racing success of the other brands, Triumph has continued to make progress with its Daytona 675. Year after year this British-made sportbike continues to evolve and the latest ‘R' version as tested in the 2011 Triumph Daytona 675R First Ride is its best effort yet.
At the heart of the Daytona is its cleverly-engineered 675cc Inline-Three. In essence the motor is a cross between the peaky top-end power characteristics of an Inline-Four and the immediate low rpm thrust of a V-Twin, but with a soul and character all its own. Bury the throttle even at low revs and the Triumph shoots forward with a sense of urgency that the other bikes don't seem to have (aside from the GSX-R750).
While it doesn't have the same slap-you-in-the-face torque curve as the Ducati on the dyno, behind the windscreen it feels every bit as fast. Mid-range performance is strong with peak torque arriving at 10,500 rpm with 49.02 lb-ft available at the back tire. That's four to five lb-ft more than the 600s but six down on the GSX-R750 and almost 14 down on the 848 EVO. Keep on revving the engine and you'll be rewarded with spunky top-end power that arrives without any sort of hit. At 13,100 the Triumph delivers almost 111 horsepower, which puts it third-highest next to the Suzuki 750 and Ducati. Another 600 rpm of over-rev is available and while it isn't as far reach as the Inlines it gives the rider just enough leeway when deciding whether to shift or hold the gear.
"It's got a great motor," notes Atlas. "It makes easy-to-use power across a wide spread of rpms. The Inline-Triple engine is very enticing, making a combination of V-Twin-like torque in the mid-range and high-revving Inline-Four-esque power up top. The sound is equally as appealing, a mix of an almost raspy low-end grumble coming off the corners with a mechanical top-end whine."
"This bike was a big, BIG surprise," exclaims Neuer. "First off, it has so many cool, trick parts on it and when I first threw my leg over it I thought I was hoping on a new race bike. On track you can't help but notice that the 675 has some serious torque. Bottom to top, the motor has so much more torque than its competition."
Adding to its thrilling acceleration is a new standard electronic quick-shifter, which allows for full throttle acceleration during up-shifts thereby making it feel like you're riding in one constant, never ending gear. Though, it's worth noting that the quick-shifter doesn't function quite as quickly as an aftermarket unit. This feature boosted its score in the drivetrain category allowing it to tie the Yamaha, even though it doesn't feature a slipper clutch.
Coming out of Turn 10, the R-spec Daytona curiously recorded the third-lowest maximum acceleration force (0.56g). Top speed at the end of the straightaway however was second-highest only 0.9 mph off the GSX-R750. Once again, a sub-par acceleration force measurement of 0.51g was recorded off Turn 13 though top speed was again second-fastest at 114.4 mph—1.1 mph behind the R6.
A compliant and well-sorted chassis complement its phenomenal engine performance, which resulted in fast laps without a whole lot of effort. Lean the Triumph into the corner and while it doesn't charge into turns with the voracity of the Yamaha or Honda it is still plenty maneuverable. With a fully fueled curb weight of 423 pounds the Daytona is the third-heaviest bike in this test and 12 pounds heavier than the class-leading CBR.
Its side-to-side flick rate wasn't all that impressive through Turns 8/9/10 (53.3 degrees/second) nor was it through the faster Turn 11/12 chicane (65 degrees/second). Again this could be explained due to the Triumph's chassis handling so well that it rider didn't have to throw it from side-to-side that hard to make it through those corners.
"The thing that I first noticed was how light it felt," mentions Rapp. "It felt really flick-able side-to-side and it seemed like it took the least amount of effort to turn. Occasionally, I'd oversteer the bike because it handled so well."
The Triumph also performed well when leaned over on the side of the tire as evident by its above average corner speeds through Turn 4 (66.2 mph – tying the Ducati for second-highest and 1.0 mph slower than the Honda) and Turn 13 (72.8 mph – third fastest). Through the final series of turns (16/17) it posted the second-fastest speed of 53.9 mph – 0.5 mph off the GSX-R750. Both the Ohlins fork and shock were rated highly with the front suspension rated second only to the Honda and the shock taking the top honors as being the best.
"The suspension was perfect for me. Not one adjustment," notes Neuer. "I just rode, rode, and rode. This bike was one of the easier bikes to ride and it was really hard to find any faults with its handling. Triumph definitely did their homework with this one."
Despite the riding position feeling a bit more stretched out as compared to the Japanese bikes (like the Ducati) our testers were generally pleased with the way they interacted with the motorcycle's controls. Everyone loved how skinny the bike felt between the rider's legs and the bend of the handlebars and position of the footpegs facilitated a high-level of bike control.
In terms of braking it was almost unanimous that the Triumph had the best set of brakes. Although they appear identical to the monobloc set-up used on the Ducati they delivered just a bit more feedback through the lever. And considering how well dialed-in the suspension was we expected the Triumph to register higher braking g-forces then it did. Into Turn 1 we measured -0.95g, which put it in fourth-place behind the Kawasaki, Yamaha and Ducati. Into Turn 8 it again registered -0.95g, superior to only the Suzuki 750 and Honda CBR.
"The Daytona was so smooth in all aspects," summarizes Ross. "It felt nimble turning into corners, it accelerated and down-shifted like butter, and had all the perfect power delivery when I twisted the throttle. The only minor nuisance I experienced was a little bit of a play in the front brake lever, yet even still it was my top pick."
In Superpole the Triumph recorded the fastest outright lap time which proves how effective it is around the racetrack. That along with a number of top scores in subjective rider and performance score sheets allowed the Triumph to win this year's shootout in a dominant fashion. Meet the 2011 Supersport Shootout winner—Triumph's Daytona 675R!Back to Top
Celebrity Bikes - Ryan ReynoldsBack to Top
MotorCyclist Magazine - Ask the Pro
Q: My new Triumph Bonneville has a serious problem. If the battery falls below 12.6 volts, the ECU will not let it start. With a fully charged battery, if I stop/start more than two or three times in the city, my bike will not start again. The only way to start it is to remove the left side cover and bridge the solenoid terminals. I have just fitted a new battery, but no change. The dealer from whom I purchased the bike is selling battery chargers with new bikes, so obviously Triumph is aware of the problem.
I just took my bike to my local Triumph dealer, where it passed the following tests: clutch switch operation, earth strap continuity test, charge test and battery condition test. Next we drained the battery to 12.4v, connected a laboratory-standard regulated DC power supply and tried starting it at 12.4v, 12.5v and 12.55v: no start. At 12.6v, it started. This would seem to prove that the ECU is set to disable starting at a battery voltage less than 12.6v.
I passed this info onto Triumph, but I don't expect any joy. They won't acknowledge there is a problem, even though a fix is as simple as reprogramming the ECU. Since posting the details on a number of Australian forums, I have been contacted by riders from the USA and Canada, so it would appear to be a worldwide problem.
A: The official response from Triumph Motorcycles America, Ltd. is concise, but something less than satisfying to anyone with a dead Bonneville in the garage: "We have seen the symptom and are currently in the process of gathering factual evidence to determine whether it is a battery condition, a charging situation, a riding style or an ECM/tune item. Once enough data is collected, a proper resolution can then be decided."
In search of a more hands-on explanation, we dialed up Mickey Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, official spokesperson and repository of all knowledge at Mickey Cohen Motorsports (www.cohenmotorsports.com) in Placentia, California, caretakers of Triumph's U.S. press fleet. From his perspective, it all comes down to what your dealer did or didn't do after the bike came out of the crate.
"Unless the idle is set to at least 1000 rpm, the bike won't charge," Cohen says. "So if all you're doing are starts and stops around town, the battery isn't getting enough juice." And you can't always go by what the Bonneville's tachometer is telling you. "It's important to set the idle with Triumph's diagnostic tool or a reference tachometer connected to the coil wire. Like most stock units, the bike's tach may be optimistic."Back to Top
MotorCyclist Magazine November 2010
Q: I own a 2002 Triumph Daytona 955i CE with barely 20,000 miles. Last year, I noticed when I was riding the display started blinking and the bike eventually went dead. After taking it to a Triumph dealership, they said that the 30-amp fuse between the stator and rectifier was blowing because of heat from the engine. They removed the fuse from the fuse box and ran the wire through a standalone fuse holder. This worked at first, but now I have the same issue sitting in traffic or riding in the city. No matter when I ride, the display blinks after a while. I have to stop and change the fuse way too frequently. Have you ever heard of this? What can be done to fix it?
St. Louis, MO
A: After talking to Mickey Cohen at Cohen Motorsports, (www.cohenmotorsports.com) the home of Triumph's Los Angeles press fleet, it sounds like you need to talk to a more knowledgeable dealer.
"There's a service bulletin on that problem," Cohen says. "The original wires were wrapped around the stock harness. They're too small as well, which means they got too hot. Triumph updated the connection between the stator and the regulator with heavier-gauge wire. It's a 3-foot cable that runs outside the wiring harness, which keeps the harness itself from overheating." Take your Daytona to another Triumph dealer, give them your VIN and you should be able to get things squared away without further expense or aggravation.
Q: I'm interested in buying an air/oil-cooled bike like BMW's R1200GS, but have always owned motorcycles with liquid-cooled engines. It gets very hot in the summer where I live, with average temp-eratures in the 100s. What do I need to know about hot-weather riding, ranging from stop-and-go traffic to off-road riding in yon national forest? I'm not an aggressive rider, but I'm no slowpoke either. Any knowledge you have to share would be much appreciated.
A: The GS has pulled thousands of riders through untold manifestations of hell on earth over the last 30 years. In most cases, the Boxer handles triple-digit heat better than its rider. These engines have been everywhere from Alaska to the Sahara. Leaving one running in some blistering McDonald's parking lot while you work your way down the Dollar Menu could have dire mechanical consequences. But beyond that, relax.
The 2010 R1200GS oil-temp indicator has eight bars. The first two come on to tell you things are warming up. The next four designate normal operating temperature. The two bars above that tell you the oil has entered the high-temp zone. Real-world oil temperatures range from 160-268 degrees Fahrenheit, or up to five bars on the gauge. According to Corwin Nicks, ace technician at BMW of Ventura County, six bars means you need to pick up enough speed to cool things off with additional airflow around the engine. Those last two bars indicate imminent meltdown.
After flogging the latest R1200GS in hotspots from Morocco to the Mojave Desert, we've never seen six bars. We've seen five bars exactly once, and the engine never missed a beat. The modern Boxer spends most of its life showing four bars on said gauge. So as long as you're changing the oil and filter as directed-more often if you spend a lot of time off-road in triple-digit temps-no worries. Just drink plenty of water and don't forget the electrolytes.Back to Top
Triumph Bonneville Long Term Test - Report #8
A Tale of Two Triumphs - By Basem Wasef, About.com Guide
No bike lives in a vacuum.
As dramatically different as two motorcycles can be, it's virtually impossible to resist the urge to compare one bike type against another-- even if they only share the fact that they're both two-wheeled and motorized.
After a new rear tire and 6,000 mile service, I dropped off the Bonneville long term tester at Mickey Cohen Motorsports, Triumph's West Coast press fleet center, for a second look at those discolored exhaust pipes and a software update (remember those cleverly disguised fuel injectors masquerading as carbs?) I was offered a Triumph loaner of my choice while the Bonnie was being looked at, and the Street Triple R (which lost to the Bonnie in the Long Term Test Bike Moto Poll) was one of those elusive bikes I'd always wanted to sample, so it turned out to be a good excuse to experience this naked version of the Daytona 675.
If you have any doubt about how diversified Triumph's product portfolio has become, try climbing off a classically-styled Bonneville SE ($8,399) and swinging a leg over the thoroughly modern Street Triple R ($9,599.) The saddle is snug, the riding position more committed, and the 105 horsepower 675cc engine... well, let's just say this liquid-cooled, 13,750 rpm triple makes the Bonnie's 66 horsepower parallel twin seem like it's running in reverse. The Street Triple R's aluminum frame help give it a 79 pound weight advantage over the Bonneville, the brakes are potent, and the uprated suspension is essentially race track ready. An upcoming review will dig deeper into the Street Triple R's specs and riding impressions, but suffice to say this naked, so-called "hooligan" bike is a dramatically different species than the tried and true Bonneville.
Which brings us back to the topic of the good ole' reliable Bonnie. Mickey Cohen echoed what the folks at Ducati Newport Beach indicated, suggesting that unless you polish the pipes to an essentially mirror-smooth finish, the natural pits in the stainless steel will take on a patina as they go through heat cycles and are exposed to the elements. Mickey installed the latest software update (which was about 6 months old), and ran diagnostics on the engine which resulted in an "All Systems Clear" status. Throttle abruptness seemed mildly aided by the update, though there's still some jerkiness during roll-on throttle at lower rpms. When asked about the brief Check Engine light that came on a few months ago, Mickey suggested a couple of possible reasons (including oxygen sensors or short ride times, which usually require the installation of a "city riding" software profile, due to the compressed warmup/cool-down intervals.) But with no system errors showing up, the Bonneville was given a clean bill of health. The judgment seemed accurate, given its consistent performance and instant engine startups. Since the Bonneville is still technically part of the Triumph press fleet, those patinated, scraped, and plastic-embossed Arrow exhaust pipes were replaced with a brand spanking new set. Not exactly the same treatment you'd get at a dealership, but you can't blame Triumph for maintaining their press bikes so diligently.
I'll admit that several weeks aboard the Street Triple R spoiled me with performance; the thing's a sexy, nimble little ride, and though it lacks the Speed Triple's stonkier 1,050cc engine, it's still a shock to think the non-"R" version runs only $8,899-- a mere $500 more than the Bonneville SE's starting price.
Things unfold a little more reasonably in the Bonneville's saddle, and the world blurs by a bit more slowly. But if there's anything I learned from this two-bike experiment, it's that the Bonneville's more timeless styling and milder powertrain don't necessarily make it less of a motorcycle than racier specimens like the Street Triple R; it just makes it different, and appropriate for a certain type of rider. And considering that the Bonneville's been around for over 50 years yet maintained its same basic architecture, it's clear that Triumph knows how to build an enduring classic-- even if it doesn't have the hair-raising propensity for wheelies or the ability to lay rubber at will.
- Total miles ridden: 3,542
- Total miles ridden this period: 68
- Total odometer miles: 7,012
- Average fuel economy: N/A