Tri­umph T595 Day­tona

It kick­started Tri­umph’s mod­ern-day suc­cess

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Wecome Part 1 - WORDS PHIL WEST & JIM MOORE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JA­SON CRITCHELL

IF THERE was still any lin­ger­ing doubt in 1997 that re­born­tri­umph, as bought and rein­vig­o­rated by prop­erty ty­coon John Bloor and re-es­tab­lished in all-new premises in Hinck­ley, near Le­ices­ter, was back in the big time, then it was blown away once and for all by the in­cred­i­ble, all-new Day­to­nat595.

Un­til then the fledg­ling Bri­tish mar­que, re­launched in 1991, had traded solely on a small but ‘samey’ range of mod­u­lar three and four-cylin­der bikes all based around the same sturdy crankcases, hefty tubu­lar steel spine frame and sim­i­lar cy­cle parts and an­cil­lar­ies.

Ac­cord­ingly, if the first Tro­phy was es­sen­tially a naked Tri­dent with a tour­ing fair­ing bolted on then the orig­i­nal Speed Triple was a stripped ver­sion of the sports-faired Day­tona, while the pow­er­plants for all were ei­ther long or short-stroke threes or fours which re­sulted in 750, 900, 1000 and 1200cc ca­pac­i­ties.

All that changed with thet595. In short, the Day­tona was the bike with which Tri­umph came of age as a cred­i­ble su­per­bike man­u­fac­turer. While pre­vi­ous mod­els were con­ser­va­tive and com­pro­mised, the all-new T595 was the first from the Bri­tish firm to ditch the mod­u­lar ap­proach in a bid to com­pete head-on with the best from Italy and Ja­pan.

In most re­spects it suc­ceeded,­though slightly less racy than some and swiftly leap-frogged in par­tic­u­lar by Yamaha’s game-chang­ing R1 the fol­low­ing year, the T595’s unique blend of style, real world street per­for­mance and three-cylin­der char­ac­ter made it a big suc­cess – in the first quar­ter of ’97 the new Day­tona ousted Honda as the UK’S big­gest-sell­ing 900cc-plus bike man­u­fac­turer.

Al­though never any kind of ‘ul­ti­mate sports ma­chine’, the Day­tona also paved the way for what Tri­umph would be­come. A suc­cess­ful naked ver­sion, the new Speed Triple T509, was an im­me­di­ate spin-off. A new Tiger and ST and RS Sprints soon fol­lowed. Tri­umph’s three­cylin­der DNA and suc­cess was ce­mented.

To­day, thet595/955i still has huge ap­peal. Those dis­tinc­tive curves have aged well, its qual­ity en­dures and its sig­nif­i­cance gives it a clas­sic aura that en­sures it can now only ap­pre­ci­ate. Buy one be­fore prices get silly.

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