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Triumph Daytona 660 (2024) - Review

By Martin Fitz-Gibbons

Riding for over 20 years and a journalist for most of them, MFG's two-wheeled experience is as long and as broad as his forehead. Owns an MV Agusta Turismo Veloce and a Suzuki SV650S, and is one half of biking podcast Front End Chatter.

Posted:

13.03.2024

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review Details Price Spec_205
2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review Details Price Spec_221
2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review Details Price Spec_202

Technical Review: Ben Purvis
Press launch review: Martin Fitz-Gibbons

 

Price: £8,595 | Power: 93.9bhp | Weight: 201kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4/5

 

It’s been seven long years since Triumph had a full-time, mass-market, mass-produced sportsbike in their range – ever since the Daytona 675 was discontinued, in fact. (Yes, there was the Daytona Moto2 765, but only 1530 bikes were ever made for the whole world.) With supersport sales in long-term decline over the past 20 years, and other manufacturers one-by-one also dropping their screaming 600s, it seemed entirely possible we might never see another fully faired Triumph ever again.

But for 2024 the Daytona name is back, only this time on a very different kind of machine. Gone is the extreme riding position, the stiff suspension and the daunting price tag. Triumph’s new Daytona 660 is best thought of as a reboot, rather than a sequel. It doesn’t take over from where the 675 and 765 left off, but instead starts again from fresh with a more all-round, more accessible and more affordable vision of a middleweight sportsbike.

The reasons for this are pretty straightforward: it’s what the customers who actually buy middleweight sportsbikes have voted for with their wallets. In recent years the sales numbers have spoken for themselves, with bikes like Honda’s CBR650R, Aprilia’s RS660, Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 and Yamaha’s YZF-R7 all proving hugely popular, especially with younger riders. That’s exactly the kind of rider the Daytona 660 has in mind – and the kind of competition it has to prove itself against.

 

pros
  • Three-cylinder engine is unique in the class, packs masses of midrange, sounds fantastic and has tons of character.

  • Riding position strikes a good balance between sports and comfort

  • Keen pricing undercuts rivals (in white, at least…)

cons
  • Could do with more weight over the front end for aggressive riding.

  • Clocks appear dated next to some rivals

  • Rear brake pedal looks cheap

2024 Triumph Daytona 660: Review

The first mass-market, mass-produced sportsbike from Triumph in a long time features the 660cc triple, and Martin Fitz-Gibbons has ridden it.

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Price

The Triumph Daytona 660 starts at £8595 – a very attractive price which, on paper at least, undercuts Honda’s CBR650R, Yamaha’s YZF-R7 and Suzuki’s GSX-8R. We’re off to a strong start.

There are two catches, however. The first is that this headline price only applies to the Daytona 660 in its Snowdonia White colour scheme. If you want either of the other two colours – that’s Carnival Red or the Satin Granite (aka black) version tested here – then the price goes up by £100 to £8695. At which point, it becomes more expensive than the 2024 Honda CBR650R.

The other is that the Daytona doesn’t come with a two-way quickshifter, whereas Suzuki’s new GSX-8R does. You can buy one as an optional accessory, with Triumph estimating it will cost around £360 fitted. That raises the price to around £8955 – making it more expensive than the Suzuki in like-for-like spec.

Still, let’s assume you want a standard Daytona 660 in white, and you fancy buying it via Triumph’s official PCP scheme. Put down a £2000 deposit and it’ll cost just £98.52 a month over three years. After that, there’s a final optional payment of £4707 if you want to keep the bike. That’s all assuming you ride 4000 miles per year, with APR working out at 9.9%.

 

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Engine & Performance

The Daytona’s motor is a heavily tuned-up, higher-performance version of the 660cc triple from the Trident and Tiger Sport (itself, ironically, an engine derived directly from the original Daytona 675). It boasts more power, more torque and more revs, and the differences aren’t just hidden away amid lines of code in an ECU. Instead, there are proper significant physical differences right through from airbox to exhaust, with almost every part along the way replaced or updated.

The result of all this is a huge leap in peak power, from 80bhp in the Trident to 94bhp in the Daytona. Why ‘just’ 94bhp, and not 120-odd like the old 675s did? That’s easy: Triumph want the Daytona 660 to be an option for younger riders with A2 licences, and the rules say you can only restrict a bike down to 47bhp if it doesn’t make more than 94bhp (twice as much) originally.

Torque has been increased too, up nearly 10% to a new peak of 51lb·ft. More impressive than the height of the torque curve is its even, rounded shape. Triumph claim 80% of peak torque (over 40lb·ft) arrives at little more than 3000rpm, and it’s held through to nearly 12,000rpm. Which itself is a fair old difference: where the Trident and Tiger have rev limiters set at 10,500rpm, the Daytona flings its pistons around right up to 12,650rpm.

Triumph have achieved all of this by making a significant number of changes, starting right up at the point the bike starts breathing. The Daytona’s airbox is larger than the Trident’s, and it’s located up front, between fuel tank and headstock, rather than under the seat as on its naked sibling. Air then flows via three 44mm throttle bodies, rather than a single throttle as on the Trident, and into a revised cylinder head that’s responsible for an increase in compression ratio (up from 11.95:1 to 12.05:1). Inside the engine there’s a new camshaft, new pistons, a new crankshaft and larger exhaust valves. And on the way out of the engine there’s a new exhaust with a Euro5+ compliant catalytic converter. Then there’s a new gearbox with revised internal ratios, and shorter overall gearing thanks to a tooth-smaller front sprocket (15 on the Daytona; 16 on the Trident).

The end result of all Triumph’s meddling, tweaking and tuning is that, on the road, it’s an absolute gem of a drivetrain. Everything about it is a pleasure, from the clean fuelling, to the effortless any-rpm any-gear grunt, to the warbling, growling, utterly addictive induction roar when you wrench the throttle hard and let it rev. The clutch lever has a light action (thanks to its slip/assist design), while the gearbox shifts easily and accurately, without one hint of a stumbled shift during our 110-mile test ride. If we had to be critical of something, just for the sake of some semblance of balance, there is some slight tingly high-frequency vibration above 9000rpm.

If you feel disappointed that the headline performance is lower than the old Daytona triples, then perhaps take some solace in knowing that the 660 actually generates more thrust than the 675. Thrust (effectively torque multiplied by gearing) is the force that actually pushes the bike forwards – and, according to our sums, the Daytona 660’s gearing means it makes more peak thrust than the original 675 in all gears from second to sixth. It genuinely is a fantastic engine, whatever the spec sheet Top Trumps might say.

As far as electronics goes, the Daytona has an additional riding mode compared to the Trident, bringing its total to three – Rain, Road and Sport. However, these mostly just affect throttle response and traction control setting, rather than making any difference to the peak power number.

 

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

Catch a quick glimpse of the Daytona 660 from the side and you might think it uses a traditional twin-spar aluminium frame. Sadly, these are just cosmetic plastic covers – underneath is a tubular steel perimeter frame that’s not a million miles from the one in the Trident. Triumph say the two bikes’ frames are not identical, however – they have different part numbers and aren’t interchangeable between the two models. The Daytona’s frame has been adapted to accommodate its larger throttle bodies, and it also uses a slightly steeper headstock angle.

This, in part, is why the Daytona has far sharper chassis geometry than the Trident, with rake angle tightened up almost a whole degree to 23.8°, and trail chopped down by a whopping 25mm to just 82.3mm. They’re certainly some pretty sporty-looking numbers, even if the wheelbase has grown around an inch to 1425.6mm.

One other change that has raised the back end of the bike and pushed the weight balance factionally further forwards is the use of a longer shock. Like the Trident it’s a Showa monoshock with a seven-step preload collar, but no damping adjustment. There’s Showa kit at the front of the bike too, where the Daytona wears a pair of unadjustable 41mm Separate Function forks. With both Honda’s CBR650R and Suzuki’s GSX-8R using similar equipment, it’s a fair assumption that manufacturers believe they offer pretty decent performance for the money. On the road they offer a decent blend of ride quality and chassis control, especially given the bike’s modest price, its target customer and its pure road focus. If you’re a track veteran seeking outright stiffness and ultra-premium multi-adjustable damping, like the old Daytona 675Rs offered, then 660 probably is not the place to come looking for it.

All things considered, the Daytona 660 handles well on the road – steering is light, it turns in at a nice, linear, easy-going rate, and everything feels very stable. Faster riders, however, may well find a few frustrations. Primarily, that despite Triumph’s efforts to tip the Daytona more on its nose (which they say has resulted in a 52:48 front:rear weight bias), is that it still feels a little tail-heavy when you’re getting your boogie on. As a result, it can occasionally seem a touch understeery, as if the front end wants to run wide. Perhaps it’s a bike balance thing, perhaps it’s a shock stiffness thing.

Perhaps Triumph didn’t want to raise the rear of the bike any higher, which could have created an unwelcomingly tall seat. Standard seat height is 810mm – only 5mm taller than the Trident on paper – though an optional low seat will drop that down to 795mm.

As for the rest of the chassis, the brakes, tyres and wheels are all different from the Trident. Where the naked uses Nissin-branded sliding two-piston front calipers, the Daytona has J.Juan radial four-pots. They give decent stopping power and feel (while also, weirdly, generating a remarkable amount of noise when braking), but without the immediate, brick-wall force of a high-end supersports bike. Tyres are Michelin’s new Power 6, or rather a Thailand-made variant of it, and it’s probably best for us to reserve final judgement until we’ve had a chance to try them on familiar UK roads. Truth be told they weren’t hugely confidence-inspiring, but it’s hard to know how much of that is down to shiny Spanish asphalt on the launch route and how much is the fault of the rubber.

 

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Comfort & Economy

Ah, yes, comfort. Not exactly synonymous with sportsbikes, is it? Well, the good news is that the Daytona 660’s ergonomics are completely different to the old 675. Gone is that bike’s wrist-down, bum-up stance, and in its place is more considerate, more relaxed riding position. The new clip-on bars mount just above the new top yoke, making for a stance that’s as much sports-tourer as it is sportsbike. Let’s be clear: it’s a considerably sportier setup than the Trident (bars are further forwards, lower and narrower; pegs are higher and more rearset), and it’ll still feel aggressive to a relatively new rider. But anyone who’s spent any time on a mid-2000s supersport 600 will find the new 660 a warm bath by comparison. Good thing I like warm baths.

It's hard to know without having all the bikes in the same place at the same time, but on the 2024 BikeSocial Unofficial Middleweight Sportsbike Comfortometer, the Daytona 660 is more relaxed and upright than the Yamaha R7; sportier and more aggressive than the Kawasaki Ninja 650; and has a riding triangle most closely matched to Honda’s CBR650R.

As for economy, Triumph say the Daytona 660 has an official fuel economy figure of 57.6mpg. Take that with however much salt you like – obviously your own economy will vary depending on how hard you choose to ride. We didn’t get a chance to measure economy properly on the launch, but at the end of our 110-mile ride (brisk but sensible, nothing daft) our bike’s dash was claiming 50mpg.

The fuel tank holds a modest 14 litres, with a 3-litre reserve. From a brimmed tank, expect the fuel light to ping on anywhere from 110 miles (if you cane it) up to 140 miles if you can match Triumph’s claimed mpg.

 

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Equipment

Given its competitive pricing, it’s not a surprise to find the Daytona 660 comes with a similar level of spec and tech that you’d find on many of its competitors. The clocks appear to be the same unit as used on the Tiger Sport 660, which combine a white-on-black LCD top half (speed, revs, fuel gauge) with a small colour TFT panel below offering a handful of menus including trip, fuel and gear position. Surprisingly, there’s nothing on the dash that tells you which of the three riding modes is selected. It’s a reasonable dash, clear and easy to read, but it does feel like sometimes you have to go looking for a piece of info you might have just expected to be on display. Perhaps it doesn’t help that a number of rivals use a larger, more attractive full TFT panel, making the Daytona’s clocks look slightly dated.

There’s a relatively simple traction control system but no IMU; ABS isn’t switchable; and there’s no cruise control, all of which is the case with most of the Daytona’s rivals (except for the more-expensive Aprilia RS660). A two-way quickshifter is an optional extra (est £360 fitted), as are heated grips (£280), a USB charging socket (£26.50) and tyre pressure monitors (£270). In fact there are more than 30 official accessories, from luggage to crash protection to Bluetooth connectivity. There’s also the option to fit a restrictor kit for £153, which halves the power to 47bhp and makes it A2-licence compliant.

Overall fit and finish of components generally seems pretty good. The switchgear feels nice to use, the front brake lever is span-adjustable, and there’s LED lighting from nose to tail. But there are a few parts where the Daytona’s cost-conscious nature starts to reveal itself – some textured plastic masquerading as faux carbon, chain adjuster threads hanging out the back of the swingarm rather than integrated neatly, and a cheap-looking stamped rear brake pedal which looks really out of place.

 

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Rivals

On paper, the Daytona 650 looks like an extremely tempting proposition in a market where most of its rivals are less powerful, parallel twin designs. Honda’s CBR650R is an exception, with a four-cylinder engine and a mild revamp for 2024 (plus the option of the intriguing E-Clutch system that’s coming later this year), but it’s built around some rather aging bones.

Later in 2024 we’re expecting to see even more bikes appearing in this burgeoning affordable, all-rounder sports bike segment, including CFMoto’s promised 675 SR, which will use the Chinese brand’s all-new three-cylinder engine to potentially be the closest rival to the Daytona 660, albeit with claims of ‘over 100hp’. Another Chinese company, Zontes, is also launching a similarly-sized triple – the 110hp 703 RR – but its stance is sportier and there’s still no information about when it will reach the market or even if it’s heading to the UK. Other triples, like MV Agusta’s F3 or Yamaha’s XSR900 GP, are substantially sportier and more expensive.

 

Yamaha R7 | Price: £8,910

Power/Torque: 72.4bhp/49.4lb-ft | Weight: 188kg

 

Suzuki GSX-8R | Price: £8,899

Power/Torque: 81.8bhp/57.5lb-ft | Weight: 205kg

 

Honda CBR650R | Price: £8,599

Power/Torque: 93.9bhp/46.5lb-ft | Weight: 208kg

 

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Verdict

Trying to deliver a verdict on the Daytona 660 feels a bit like tackling the Kobayashi Maru – a no-win situation. Say it’s a good bike and you’ll be swamped by ‘expert’ opinion about how it can’t possibly be good because it’s not as hardcore or track-capable as the 675 and therefore doesn’t deserve to be called a Daytona. Well, sure – but only if you forget every other Hinckley-era Daytona (750, 1000, 900, 1200, T595, 600, 650), all of which were sporty road bikes first and foremost too.

On the flip side, point out the 660’s shortcomings and you’ll be accused of out-of-touch elitism, of missing the whole point of the bike and failing to understand the new audience for whom this new Daytona has been built. What a tricky old pickle, eh?

Well, we’ve got to start somewhere, so let’s start by taking our head out of the past and instead focus on the present. Just for a second imagine the Daytona 675 never existed, and instead consider the rival fully faired middleweights that are popular today. The Daytona 660 unquestionably brings something new, exciting and unique to 2024’s mid-sports scene – and it’s mostly down to that glorious three-cylinder engine.

It's an absolute gem, switching seamlessly from low-effort grunting to focused, teeth-gritted screaming at the drop of a hat. Everything from fuelling to midrange drive to exhaust note to induction roar to five-figure-rpm power is easy, potent and impressive – and it adds some much-needed variety to a class that felt like it was being taken over by parallel twins. The Daytona offers more power than Suzuki’s GSX-8R and more midrange than Honda’s CBR650R. As far as straight-line performance goes, it towers above Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 and Yamaha’s R7.

As far as comfort, features and practicality go, it’s up there with the best of the rest of the class. The ergonomics strike a good all-round balance, the electronics standard is higher than many rivals, and the wide-ranging list of official accessories lets a rider optimise it for whatever kind of riding they do. On top of all that, Triumph have priced it really keenly too.

The Daytona’s chassis is the one area that leaves us gagging to get a group test together. For most normal road riding at most normal road speeds it’s a fine-handling machine. What isn’t clear yet is how well that handling will hold up against the other bikes in its class when it comes to riding it a little more… well… a little more like a sportsbike. Stay tuned to BikeSocial later this year, when we’ll be putting the Daytona up against its rivals to answer that very question.

 

If you’d like to chat about this article or anything else biking related, join us and thousands of other riders at the Bennetts BikeSocial Facebook page.

 

 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Technical Specification

New price

From £8.595

Capacity

660cc

Bore x Stroke

74.04mm x 51.1mm

Engine layout

Inline three-cylinder

Engine details

DOHC, 12-valve, 240-degree firing interval, liquid cooled

Power

93.9bhp (70KW) @ 11,250rpm

Torque

51lb-ft (69Nm) @ 8,250rpm

Transmission

Six speed, wet slip/assist clutch, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption

57.6mpg claimed

Tank size

14 litres

Max range to empty

177 miles

Rider aids

ABS, switchable traction control, three riding modes

Frame

Tubular steel perimeter frame, twin-sided fabricated steel swingarm

Front suspension

Showa SFF-BP 41mm USD forks, 110mm travel

Front suspension adjustment

None

Rear suspension

Showa monoshock RSU

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload adjustable

Front brake

310mm discs, four-piston Triumph-branded radial calipers, ABS

Rear brake

220mm disc, single piston sliding caliper, ABS

Front wheel / tyre

120/70 ZR17 Michelin Power 6

Rear wheel / tyre

180/55 ZR17 Michelin Power 6

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2083.8mm x 736mm x 1145.2mm

Wheelbase

1425.6mm

Seat height

810mm

Weight

201kg (wet)

Warranty

2 years, unlimited miles

Servicing

10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated

Website

www.triumphmotorcycles.com

 

Looking for motorcycle insurance? Get a quote for this motorbike with Bennetts bike insurance

 

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard

  • An ignition immobiliser system

  • A vehicle marking system

  • An alarm system

  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.