One we in­vented ear­lier

Performance Bikes (UK) - - DAYTONA 765 -

THE QUES­TION ON EV­ERY­ONE’S lips is about the pos­si­bil­ity of a Day­tona 765. No mat­ter which big wig in Tri­umph branded cloth­ing I asked, I was met with the same pre-ar­ranged re­sponse: “If there’s enough de­mand, we might build it”, which seemed like a strange re­sponse for a cou­ple of rea­sons. If they cat­e­gor­i­cally had no plans to build a Day­tona 765, they would say so. There­fore, we’ll just as­sume that they are. Then there is the fact that they have in fact al­ready built it...

The test mule’s pur­pose in life is to be a test bed for the en­gine. When Tri­umph looked at the ge­om­e­try of a cur­rent Moto2 bike they re­alised their very own Day­tona chas­sis was within a gnat’s of be­ing the same, so they just mod­i­fied one to take the mo­tor’s dif­fer­ent di­men­sions, added K-Tech sus­pen­sion, light­weight OZ wheels, and threw away any­thing that wasn’t needed in or­der to get down to the weight of a Moto2 bike. The mule has Street Triple switchgear, com­plete with a start but­ton that works. In­side the be­spoke fair­ing are Day­tona 675 clocks. The brakes are com­pletely stan­dard Day­tona items, the ECU is a Street Triple unit, re-flashed with a unique set of maps, and the clutch is a stan­dard Street Triple unit. The only ac­tual Moto2 com­po­nent on it is the en­gine block. All other parts are di­rectly from a Street Triple, Day­tona or af­ter­mar­ket off the shelf up­grades. In short, it is a mildly tuned Day­tona 765 with a pipe and re-flashed ECU. The Moto2 test mule is as close to a Day­tona 765 as you could get, with­out ac­tu­ally call­ing it that.

A few days be­fore I rode it, I rode a Du­cati 959 Corse and MV Agusta F3 800 at Don­ing­ton Park, and while I ac­cept that any com­par­i­son must come with the caveat that the Tri­umph was on slicks and posh sus­pen­sion, and will weigh less than both of them, it felt like it was from an­other di­men­sion. The Tri­umph mo­tor spins up sig­nif­i­cantly faster, and drives with a lot more ur­gency. It is hard to be­lieve the Tri­umph had the low­est ca­pac­ity. We dyno’d the Street Triple at 120bhp, so if my arse dyno is right, the Moto2 test mule/Day­tona 765 is mak­ing around 140bhp. What I felt was Du­cati 1098 power, with all the Day­tona 675 han­dling hall­marks.

The whole ex­pe­ri­ence of rid­ing the mule wasn’t just de­fined by the ex­cel­lent mo­tor, but the set-up of the chas­sis, specif­i­cally the light­weight wheels and trick K-Tech sus­pen­sion stood out, too. The third-gear right/ left chi­cane at the end of the start/fin­ish straight has a fast and bumpy ap­proach. I leave my brak­ing a bit too late, and the bike sets into a slide ap­proach­ing the chi­cane. I can al­ways bail out and just miss the chi­cane by run­ning on through the cones that de­fine it, but the shame of do­ing so is greater than test­ing the strength of the body­work. I keep brak­ing and lean the bike fur­ther over to make the apex, and as I do so the rear comes round even more. But the bike keeps turn­ing, and I make it. I im­me­di­ately re­flect on the chaos and panic in my head of the last few of sec­onds, and re­alise the Tri­umph was never in doubt. It never lost com­po­sure.

So what do Tri­umph do? I phoned some of their deal­ers to gauge opin­ion. They all said they could sell it. Some were wor­ried about the state of the mid­dleweight sports­bike mar­ket, but also recog­nise they presently have noth­ing to of­fer the sports­bike rider. If a Street Triple RS costs £10,200, you would have to won­der if Tri­umph could sell a Day­tona 765 for £12,000-£13,000, which makes it a gen­uinely mouth-wa­ter­ing prospect. One dealer sug­gested a bet­ter seller would be a fully loaded ‘Moto2 Replica’ for

£25,000. That would fly out the doors...

We could be wrong, but PB reck­ons there’s no other rea­son for an en­gine mule to have be­spoke body­work other than to warm peo­ple up to a road bike in that shape

In PB’s world, you’d be able to choose from clas­sic gold, red and white/red of the orig­i­nal Day­tona 675 and 675 RS. Keep ’em crossed...

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