Spend your money here. Better than a bank. And more fun (probably).
Can you believe that more than 20 years have passed since Triumph decided to take on the Japanese with the overtly sporting T595 Daytona?
This was the Hinckley firm’s move away from the costeffective ‘modular’ approach to motorcycle chassis and motor sharing and also the company’s first (and yet to be repeated) march into the big superbike class. The looks are of the time (1996/1997); you’re not quite sure if the T595 (called the
955i from 1999) is trying to look like a fatter Ducati 916. There’s that lupine tilt to the headlights and a single-sided swingarm, but in its defence I think this strange mix has given it a style all its own.
Motor and chassis were unique for the time. The frame rails are swoopy aluminium and were the subject of a frame recall early on just after launch, when some allegedly snapped near the headstock. The factory actually did a very good job of keeping new owners informed and changed the frames under warranty, giving them an accompanying letter to prove that the work had been done. The swingarm held an attractive, exposed three-spoke wheel while the motor was a threecylinder 955cc lump with
Hit that electric starter and you may find a worrying lag before you’re rewarded with a slightly agricultural triple cacophony. Chuck a leg over it and hit the open road and you’ll soon become addicted to the sound and grunt that only a triple can provide. Despite early road tests of the time, the T595 wasn’t a FireBlade beater and it was soon shuffled down the order as newer Jap four-cylinder litre sportsters came in, but it did things in its own, unique way. That’s not to say it didn’t have its own makeovers. It enjoyed a number of refinements and aesthetic evolutions, going up in power from 120-130bhp until the last models trundled out of the Hinckley factory in 2006.
Early model T595s weren’t without their issues. The fuel-injection/engine management light would often have a mind of its own, Triumph’s own hi-level end cans can be leaky, and the hub chain adjuster can seize if not looked after, but oil leaks are rare. Clutches are heavy, gearboxes are notoriously notchy as standard and some destroyed fourth gears and were changed under warranty – but the 1998-on direct to the gearbox lever connection improved its feel massively.
Changes to the model included uprated camshafts for 1998 and a name-change a year later to the 955i, to differentiate from the coming TT600 middleweight, along with some suspension changes. Then came a major aesthetic revamp in 2001 with a revised cylinder head and 130bhp. The bike also received further bodywork changes in 2005 before it was dropped from the Triumph range in 2006.
Any model can be a good find. Okay, if you want to collect and make some money, you’ll want the very first model: remember to check for history and that frame swap. If you just want a good road bike, the final models are the most sorted, even if they may not be sure-fire classics. Me? I’d go for a 955i from late 1998/99 on, before the visual revamp of 2001. It looked the best and had the later refinements and look out for the various special editions too.
Price-wise even the first models are still often seen around £1500 and moving towards the newer versions you can pick them up for as little as £3000-£3500. Be wary… some people are cottoning on to these being future classics and low-mile original T595s are now heading up into the £4k bracket.