Triumph T595 Daytona
It kickstarted Triumph’s modern-day success
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, too.although 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.