Comparing the Triumph Daytona 675 to the 765 Moto2 Edition
The Triumph Daytona model has always held a special place in my heart. You could say it was the bike that started it all for me. After my family moved to Wisconsin my dad and I would often drive around and explore the surrounding area. While we were out one time my dad spotted a Triumph dealer sign and said we should stop in. As we walked in, my eyes immediately caught sight of a bright yellow Daytona 650 sitting on the main display. I was completely mesmerized, to say the least. I loved the aggressive color, the sharp lines. It looked like an angry hornet and I couldn’t stop staring at it. That was the moment something awoke inside me and when I like to think the motorcyclist in me was born. Ever since then I think back to the outing with my dad and know it was a defining moment for me.
Fast forward to 2006 when the Daytona 675 was first released and I was in love all over again. After seeing the Daytona 650 the new 675 completely blew my mind. The aggressive, angular lines, narrow lightweight chassis and let’s not forget that one of a kind sound from the three cylinder engine, it was just what Triumph needed to give the supersport range a much needed reboot. I went back to our local dealer, Team Triumph of Janesville to test ride the demo 675 they had on hand and I knew right away it was something special.
I followed the updates to the bike over the years, and was lucky enough to acquire a 2006 model in Graphite of my own. When the new model came out in 2013, I once again went to Team Triumph to demo the new model to see what Triumph improved upon. Now like any passionate motorcyclist I love my Daytona, it’s “The original” for me and nothing will replace it in my heart. Knowing this made it all the more surprising to experience how Triumph was able to make an already great motorcycle and make it even better. The 2013 model felt like it had been streamlined and refined with a somehow lighter chassis and even better handling.
Original and Ultimate. The author’s 2006 Triumph Daytona 675 and Gerard’s 2021 Moto2 Edition.
When the announcement came in 2017 that Triumph would stop producing the popular middleweight bike, I was disappointed but hopeful this would not be a closed door forever. When the announcement Triumph would take over as the official engine supplier for the Moto2 world championship in 2019, the rumor mill started swirling about a return to the middleweight street category. I eagerly waited with crossed fingers and toes.
Cue the Triumph 765 Daytona Moto2 Edition which was produced as a commemoration to Triumph’s return to the world championship. 765 models were produced with a claimed 128 hp and branded as the Ultimate Daytona. I did not order one, partly because my focus is on racing and as my wife likes to point out to me, we are short on garage space. However a good friend of mine and fellow Road Dirt contributor Gerard was lucky enough to acquire one. Once I found this out I pitched the idea to him of a comparison between our Daytonas and he was immediately on board. It was time to see how the Original and the Ultimate compared.
Gerard and I decided to meet up at a recent track day at Road America to compare how both models handled on the track. Since the 765 is a tribute to the Moto2 championship, I thought a track comparison was most appropriate. To keep things on an even playing field both bikes were fitted with a set of lightly used Pirelli SC1 slicks. Both bikes have race bodywork with superbike tails fitted, with everything else stock on Gerard’s bike. Mine has a couple of small updates such as aftermarket clip ons, rearsets and a slip-on exhaust, but for overall comparo purposes we felt things were close enough to give us a fair comparison.
Some of the nice bits found on the 2021 Triumph Daytona Moto2 Edition.
Since I race my Suzuki SV650 99% of the time, hopping back on the Daytona was a little unfamiliar at first but after a session or two I was feeling at home. That distinctive sound of that three cylinder engine always gets my heart going and opening up the Daytona at one of the longest tracks in the U.S. certainly made it even more enjoyable. Compared to what I’m used to riding lately, the Daytona sits tall and narrow which allows the bike to carve through corners like a razor. Gerard has been riding his 765 consistently on the track this season and after we both got through the morning sessions, we decided it was time to swap.
Gerard rode first on my 675 and the one thing I had to mention to him is that my bike is in GP shift, whereas his is still in standard. Knowing this, he took things easy for the first couple of laps so he didn’t accidentally hit an unintended downshift. I watched on the pit straight as he came by each lap, enjoying the harmony of that triple as he flashed by. Once he returned I rode out on his 765 to get my impressions.
Rolling out on the 765, the seating position felt very similar to my Daytona which made it easy to get into a groove right away. The 765 has some trick bits on it like ABS, Traction Control, a quickshifter and an autoblipper. I never got in hot enough to activate the ABS or TC but the autoblipper was definitely a nice feature and I can see why those that have it love to use it. All of my shifts up and down felt crisp and positive.
Gerard rolling out of pit on Ryan’s 2006 Daytona, and Ryan rolling out on the 2021 Moto2 Edition. Both in protective race fairings, of course.
From a power delivery standpoint the 765 felt as if it had more punch in the midrange out of corners, but felt like it dropped off on the top end compared to my 675. Otherwise it felt very easy to ride, neutral handling, solid brakes and it carves like a scalpel through the corners with solid midrange to pull you up off the corners like a twin cylinder and some top end power like an inline four.
Gerard noted the suspension felt stiffer on my older bike but I did have a baseline setup done so that is likely the culprit compared to the 765. He also told me he was a little worried about riding a bike that was so analog by comparison to his 765 (Gerard likes fancy things) but was pleasantly surprised to find he did not have any issues and actually enjoyed the feelings the original gave. So much so, in fact, that he told me he is thinking about picking up a 675 as a track bike. When I asked Gerard what he felt were the biggest differences he reflected, “I felt like the 765 had more midrange and would come off a corner better but not a lot of top end.” It was nice to hear we both felt similarly about both bikes.
Honestly, my overall impressions were very much as you’d expect. The 765 felt like an updated and tricked out version of the original 675. The Moto2 edition has all the new technical components and details you’d expect from a supersport bike in 2021. However, even with all of the carbon fiber, electronic aids, Brembo and Ohlins parts you can still feel the DNA of the original 675 which I think is something Triumph should be proud of.
Ryan and Gerard on track with both bikes in race fairings, 2006 Daytona 675 in yellow, 2021 765 Moto2 in green.
I hope Triumph continues to supply the Moto2 championship for some time. I’ll also hope for a normal production based Daytona 765 in the future. The Street Triple R has the engine and with the 765 being tested in the British Supersport Championship this season and in the World Supersport Championship in 2022, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities.
Thanks goes out to Gerard for giving me the opportunity to throw a leg over such a special machine. It makes me even more a fan of what Triumph is doing. If you’ve never ridden a Triumph triple cylinder motorcycle I encourage you to give it a go. There isn’t anything quite like the feeling that a 3-cylinder motor gives and the sound it makes. The Triumph Daytona 765 Moto2 Edition takes the soul of the original and has evolved it into the ultimate, yet hopefully we do not have to call it the ending as well. Keep them coming, Triumph.