Triumph Daytona 600

 

 

 

Make Model.

Triumph Daytona 600

Year

2003

Engine

Four stroke, transverse four cylinder. DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder.

Capacity

599 cc / 36.6 cu in
Bore x Stroke 68 x 41.3 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil Synthetic, 15W/50

Induction

Twin-butterfly, multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection

Ignition 

Digital - inductive type - via electronic management system 
Spark Plug NGK, CR9EK
Starting Electric

Max Power

81.6 kW / 112 hp @ 12750 rpm

Max Torque

68 Nm / 6.93 kg-m / 50.2 ft-lbs @ 11000 rpm
Clutch Wet, multi-plate

Transmission

6 Speed 
Final Drive X ring chain
Frame Aluminium beam perimeter, swingarm twin-sided, aluminium alloy

Front Suspension

43mm Cartridge forks, adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
Front Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Rear Suspension

Monoshock with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Front Brakes

2 x 308 mm Discs, 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 220 mm disc, 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre

120/70 ZR17

Rear Tyre

180/55 ZR17
Wheel Front 3-spoke, 17 x 3.5in
Wheel Rear 3-spoke, 17 x 5.5in
Rake  24.6º
Trail 89.1 mm / 3.5 in

Dimensions

Length 2050 mm / 80.7 in 

Width     660 mm / 26.0 in

Height 1135 mm / 44. 7in

Seat Height 815 mm / 32.1in
Wheelbase 1390 mm / 54.7in

Dry Weight

165 kg / 363 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

18 Litres / 4.7 US gal / 4.0 Imp gal
Reviews Motorcycle-USA  /  Motorbikes Today 

Launched in April 2003 as an early release 2004 model, the existing Daytona 600 colours are joined by a vivid third option - Tornado Red.

The Daytona name is the stuff of legends for Triumph Motorcycles and not used lightly. The subtle, discreet logo on the Daytona 600's purposeful bodywork reinforces just what this new bike is about; power, poise and complete control. Fully aware of its lineage Triumph has honed the Daytona 600 into a package that provides complete rider involvement. Also, impressed with the need for individuality, the Daytona 600 is a machine that not only looks very different but is also built with a level of care and attention to detail that ensures a great deal of owner satisfaction.

The heart and lungs of any motorcycle is its engine and the Daytona's 599cc liquid-cooled four-cylinder motor pumps out plenty of power. The target output - 112PS (110bhp) - was reached but not at the expense of driveability and, by utilising Keihin twin-butterfly EFI throttle bodies and 32 bit processor, throttle response is razor sharp and precise. The lightweight exhaust system is made from 1.2mm thin wall steel tube and is of a 4-2-1-2-1 design with header lengths tuned to suit the intake system, head porting and combustion chamber shape. Peak power arrives at 12,750rpm. Peak torque, 68Nm (50.5ft.lbf), is delivered at 11,000 rpm.

The aluminium twin spar frame uses a three-cell construction and is both incredibly light and strong. Rake and trail are a lightning-sharp 24.6°/89.1mm and the wheelbase a diminutive 1390mm (54.7in). The front 43mm cartridge forks use single-rate springs. All fork internals - rods, cartridges and fixings - are made from aluminium and the forks are adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping. The lightweight rear shock is also adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping.

Twin four-piston calipers operate on the front 308mm discs with a single-piston caliper on the rear 220mm disc. The lightweight three spoke wheels are cast in aluminium. Tyres sizes are front, 120/70-ZR17, rear 180/55-ZR17. The Daytona 600 is available in three paint options - Racing Yellow, Aluminium Silver and, new for 2004, Tornado Red. The seat cowl is supplied as OE, as is a colour matched rear hugger.

Triumph's commitment to producing a fully focused sports machine for the real world paid off at the 2003 Isle of Man TT. The famous 37.73-mile circuit not only provides the backdrop for the greatest road motorcycle race in the world but remains to this day the ultimate test of a motorcycle's power, handling and reliability - not to mention rider skill. The 2003 Junior TT (for Supersport 600 specification bikes) was won by Kiwi Bruce Anstey on the Triumph factory-backed ValMoto Daytona 600. He was a massive - by Junior TT standards, where differences are usually measured in fractions - 10.96s ahead of his nearest rival at the chequered flag and also won the race in record time, completing four laps in 1 hour, 15 minutes and 13.98 seconds. Bruce's Triumph team-mates, Jim Moodie and John McGuinness, finished 9th and 10th respectively meaning that Triumph also won the coveted Junior TT Team Award.

This historic victory comes 28 years after a Triumph motorcycle last took a win at the TT. It not only proves the Daytona 600's overall performance but also proves emphatically that there is now another choice for any motorcyclist considering a sports 600.

The Daytona 600 is a rare mixture blending technology, know-how, performance, ability and sheer beauty in one very compact and useable package. For no small reason does Triumph's new bike proudly wear its Daytona badge. And rightfully too.

Review

Those of you who worship at the altar of motorcycle technology usually bow toward a certain Asian island in the Pacific. Japan has been unmatched at providing the highest specific-output engines on the planet, and nowhere is that more evident than in the category of four-cylinder sportbikes. Forged this, controlled-fill alloy that, and now titanium valves on the 2004 GSX-R600. Small wonder, then, that few others have been brave enough to immerse themselves in the scalding 600cc supersport cauldron, perhaps the most competitive market segment of them all.

That's why so many were shocked when upstart Triumph unveiled its supersport challenger in 2000, the TT600. Looking like a year-old Honda CBR600F4 left sitting in the sun too long, the TT appeared exceedingly dull next to new road blades such as the revamped F4i and Yamaha's lithe R6.

Also hindering the TT was its fuel-injection performance. Triumph was the first to fit EFI to a 600, and its early adoption resulted in an underdeveloped system that exhibited uneven fueling at low speeds—and endless updates to its fuel mapping program in a mostly vain attempt to make it better. Equally as bad was the relative lack of power from the injected motor, with most models over its three-year lifespan not able to crank out much more than 90 hp or 40 lb.-ft. of torque at the rear wheel.

Despite its solid-handling and quick-steering chassis, sales of the TT were far behind the Japanese offerings and it seemed as if Triumph had bitten off more than it could chew. But the number of units sold was actually pretty good for the much smaller Triumph operation than it would be for any of its Big Four competition.

And so, rather than be intimidated out of the supersport class, Triumph has come out with its next generation of middleweights, the Daytona 600. Although Triumph was unable to provide a Daytona in time for our five-bike Supersport shootout, MCUSA readers still clamored for information about the new contender from England. Our man Neale Bayly gave us a report from the Daytona's media introduction in Spain, but press intros aren't as revealing of a bike's overall performance as actually living with the bike for awhile. So here it is, our full road test of the Daytona.

As fresh as it looks, the Daytona is really just a highly evolved TT600 wearing an edgy and attractive new set of clothes. The two bikes share the same rake and trail, nearly identical wheelbase, 43mm conventional cartridge fork, and 4-piston-caliper front brakes with dual discs (down 2mm in diameter to 308mm). The Daytona uses the same basic motor as the TT, but with new pistons, a lighter crank and a CNC-machined cylinder head for improved flow. On the intake side, Triumph has abandoned the troublesome Sagem fuel injection for a twin-butterfly system from Keihin, helping up claimed horsepower from 108 to 110.

Hopping aboard the Daytona reveals no surprises. The instrument cluster consists of a digital speedo and analog tach inside the nicely finished cockpit, both easily read if a bit generic looking. The silver streak feels a bit bulky between the legs, and that feeling doesn't diminish when lifting it off its sidestand.

Triumph says the Daytona is 11 lbs. lighter than the TT, claiming a wildly optimistic dry weight for the new bike of 363 lbs. Our certified Intercomp digital scales (sourced from the extensive White Brothers Racing catalog) tell a pudgier story: 423 pounds (451 lbs. including 4.7 gallons of fuel). MCUSA hasn't weighed a TT600, but I did when I was the road test editor of Motorcycle Consumer News, and it weighed the same as the Daytona, down to the pound. Comparing tank-empty weights, the Daytona is a massive 35 lbs. heavier than the class-lightweight Yamaha R6, and is 10 lbs. heavier than the relatively husky CBR600RR.

Unlike the CBR, the Daytona doesn't have the luxury of 105 ponies at the rear wheel. Instead it has to make do with just 93.9 hp. That's lower than not only the four other top-rung 600s (all of which bust the 100-hp mark), but even down a few horsies on the V-Twin Ducati 749. Anyone looking for the power-to-weight champ won't need to visit the Triumph dealer.

But there's more to a good streetbike than math equations, and the Daytona has several positive attributes. One of the Daytona's best features is its styling that is at once both arresting and understated, especially in our Aluminum Silver version. It's a fine line to straddle in this class and a huge improvement over the similarly understated but dull TT600. A Tornado Red version joins the classy silver and punchy Racing Yellow for the 2004 Daytona color palate. Designers, whether industrial or fashion, love to match colors, and Triumph's style gurus are no different. Included with each bike is a color-matched rear hugger fender and seat cowl (with interchangeable passenger seat), the latter having a surprisingly large chamber of usable area underneath. A black-anodized frame complements each version.

The Daytona's ergonomics are a near-perfect combination of aggressiveness and real-world comfort, with clip-ons mounted just below the upper triple clamp. It's not as tight as a 600RR but aggressive enough to put its rider into attack mode when demanded. Of our five test riders, no one had a complaint for the firm but nicely sculpted saddle or the rationally placed footpegs. MCUSA's graphic wizard, Brian Chamberlain, said the fairly tall seat height (a bit over 32 inches) suited his six-foot frame well: "It placed my body up over the front end and made me feel as if I was really in control of the bike."

"As I rode around looking for things to gripe about on the street I found that, except for the not-so-powerful motor, there is not much to complain about," said Editorial Director Ken Hutchison after an afternoon on the Daytona. "The bike is really sweet. It is comfortable, not too buzzy for a 600, and it handles very well."

Spend a bit more time on the Daytona and a rider will become irked by the bike's fluffy low-rpm throttle response, especially on a warm day in traffic in which the Triumph's digital temperature gauge remains worrisomely well above 200 degrees. This ragged response makes quick getaways from stoplights a bit of a challenge, not helped by the somewhat grabby clutch. It starts to run cleanly above 4000 rpm.

The Daytona's dyno chart shows a fairly progressive climb in power once past 5000 rpm, but the feeling from the seat of the pants is that midrange power is more anemic than the graph indicates. The Daytona feels less than enthusiastic until the highly oversquare mill spins above 9000 rpm, by which time it's making a healthy, visceral growl. Afterward, the power comes on for a strong albeit brief spurt that tails off by 13 grand. There are better engines for street use out there. At least the gearbox is precise and remarkably free of false neutrals, despite our best/worst ham-footedness.

The Daytona carries on the TT's reputation of having a capable chassis. Both ends sport fully adjustable suspension pieces that dutifully iron out most pavement wrinkles while providing a firm, controlled ride for sporting conditions. With its 24.6-degree rake and 89.1mm of trail, the Daytona carves pavement with a playful eagerness and a calming neutral feeling.

"The Daytona not only tracked well through the corners and adapted well to any rider input in the corner, but was also very stable," noted Chamberlain, a former racer. "I also felt very comfortable trail braking into corners, with little or no negative response from the bike."

Chamberlain's comments about the Daytona's handling on the street were backed up by several thrill-filled hours spent thrashing the Trumpet around the marvelously undulating and challenging Thunderhill Park. We wanted to give the Daytona the same room to stretch its legs as we gave the other 600s, so we loaded up to join our friends at Pacific Super Sport Riders for a great time at the hellaciously fun Northern California circuit.

Stability is another of the Daytona's strong points. The frame resists flexing even when subjected to brutish countersteering, and the bike feels secure when fully leaned over in higher-speed sweepers. Increasing the front preload from street settings completely solved an excessive front-end dive condition when hard on the brakes, a condition exacerbated by the grabbiness from the 4-piston caliper binders that proved to be very strong if a bit abrupt in application. There is certainly some promising potential inside the Daytona, as Kiwi Bruce Anstey proved when he rode a factory-backed bike to the 2003 Junior TT class win at the grueling Isle of Man races.

In a racetrack environment the Daytona's sparse low-end only becomes an issue when exiting certain corners. For the best drive, the engine needs to be in the meat of its top-heavy powerband, making gear selection critical and demanding a mid-corner shift in a few of Thunderill's longer turns. "The Daytona offers solid handling and stability in a refined package, hurt mostly by its lack of a few ponies," Chamberlain summed up.

Bigger, heavier and less powerful than the latest crop of racy middleweights, we hypothesized that perhaps something from the previous generation of top 600s would be a better match for the Brit bike. To test that theory, we brought along a 2002 Honda CBR600F4i to the track and for a few street rides with the Daytona.

Sourve Motorcycle-USA