For years, European manufacturers have relied on adding Ohlins suspension to an existing model to create a higher spec version, generally with a few extra component upgrades as well. Ducati uses this technique to make its S models, Aprilia has created the Factory’ version of its RSV4 and the older RSV-R and now Triumph has joined in the game with the Daytona 675R a beefed up Daytona 675 that Triumph claims is the ultimate trackday tool.
A red subframe, passenger...
A red subframe, passenger peg block-offs and a carbon fiber hugger are some of the extras that adorn the 675R.
An Ohlins TTX36 shock greatly...
An Ohlins TTX36 shock greatly improves adjustability for the track and street.
For $11,999 (that’s $1,500 more than the base model) the R comes with Ohlins’ NIX30 forks, a TTX36 shock (as used by most of the World Supersport grid) and an upgraded 18mm Brembo radial master cylinder with new Brembo monobloc calipers to match. And it doesn’t stop there. As well as a quickshifter, the 675R gets an array of carbon parts including a hugger, heat shield and fairing infill panels as well as a unique paint scheme with a red subframe and a funky new Triumph logo on the tank. There’s even re-styled engine covers to add a final custom touch. The styling is spot on, as is the price, but does it live up to its claim?
As you would expect, Triumph chose to launch the R on track, and Super Streetbike joined in at the Portimao circuit in Portugal, a track notorious for its sweepers, dips and tight corners that require serious front end confidence.
With the bikes on tire warmers and the overnight rain cleared from the track I was really looking forward to riding the R. The Daytona 675 is a great track bike and with the addition of Ohlins suspension the R promised even more refinement. The only problem was I had only been to Portimao once before, and on that occasion it rained for most of the day so I didn’t really get much of a chance to learn the track. This is very much akin to hammering down a country road you can’t quite remember (or haven’t ridden at all).
Nevermind, the red lights were out and off we went. Portimao’s blind entry corners and tight hairpins offer the perfect combination to test out the Triumph’s front end security as well as rider bravery.
There's nothing like riding...
There's nothing like riding with a quickshifter. If you don't have one, get one.
The Ohlins forks and Brembo...
The Ohlins forks and Brembo monoblocs look like they were plucked straight from the race grid.
Blue and gold is visual confirmation...
Blue and gold is visual confirmation of ultimate adjustability.
Steaming into the bends, my first impression was that the level of feedback and assurance delivered by the forks and Pirelli tires is impressive but a bit too harsh and solid. So much so, in fact, that after a few laps the ride feels unforgiving and painful on the wrists. The addition of the Ohlins suspension hasn’t altered the bike’s geometry, however on returning to the pits it transpired that the Triumph test riders had firmed up the suspension from the stock road settings. Just about everyone who rode the first session asked for them to be put back to standard.
Next session out with just two clicks less on the fork compression and rebound (stock settings are 20 clicks out from full in on the compression, 14 out on the rebound) to put them to the stock settings and the difference in the Triumph’s ride quality is remarkable. Usually the effect of a small adjustment like that to stock suspension is fairly negligible, but on the 675R the front instantly felt far more settled over bumps and the suspension started to work properly, allowing the 675R to track almost perfectly into corners and offer a feeling of total security.
In isolation it’s hard to say exactly how much better or worse the Ohlins suspension is when compared to the stock bike’s units, but I can say that the levels of confidence in the 675R’s front is amazing. The harder you ride the better the feedback gets, and even when you dive into a corner hard on the brakes the Pirelli feels glued to the track as the Ohlins forks handle any undulations.