Triumph Daytona 765 Moto2 Limited Edition Tested
Motorcycle Review by Adam Child ‘Chad’ – Images by Joe Dick
To revel in Triumph’s return to MotoGP as the engine supplier to Moto2, Triumph have produced a limited edition road-going version of their race bike. Ok, sort of, if you you’re not too critical – let me explain.
Its engine proudly carries the same logo and is the same capacity as the Moto2 bikes, but in fact the bike has more in common with Triumph’s super-popular Street Triple RS naked. Top power is 130 PS at 12,250 rpm up from the Street’s 123 PS at 11,700 rpm, thanks to a host of engine tweaks the team has carried over from the Moto2 engine.
These include titanium inlet valves, stronger pistons, MotoGP-spec’ DLC coated gudgeon pins, new cam profiles, new intake trumpets, plus modified con rods, intake port, crank and barrels, and an increased compression ratio. Simply put, they have improved the flow, increased compression, and made the engine internals lighter to move faster, which is what they’ve done with the Moto2 engine, all be it more advanced.
All of these improvements allows the triple to sing, revving higher than the Street Triple RS engine by 600 rpm, with the redline now at 13,250 rpm. Peak torque is also up slightly, to 80 Nm from 77 Nm.
The chassis isn’t a Moto2 replica because that would be too rigid for the road, and also terrifyingly expensive. Instead, Triumph has fallen back on what they know by adopting the highly-acclaimed 675R Daytona chassis. The ‘R’ chassis was and arguably still is class-leading. In the UK, the chassis has proven its worth, taking three national championships and winning the 2019 Supersport TT with Peter Hickman at the helm.
To bring the chassis package up to date for 2020, Triumph have chosen the very latest Öhlins suspension – NIX30 forks and a TTX36 rear shock – plus the hottest Stylema Brembo radial bakes. Tyres are sticky, track-focused Pirelli Supercorsa SP too.
So while the Limited Edition may not be an actual Moto2 bike for the road, it has a similar racing DNA and is built by the same team that developed the Moto2 engines. So it is similar-ish.
Riding Triumph’s Daytona 765 Moto2
Shimmering in the English mid-day sun, this bike is number 75 out of the small production run of 765 (plus another 765 for the US and Canada market), identifiable by the meticulously finished top yoke. The ‘official’ Moto2 logo to the right of the ignition is a nice touch, too, while the carbon fibre bodywork grabs your eye as the weave catches the sunlight.
The Union Jack livery gets a thumbs up from me, and gold Öhlins fork tops give a racy feel from the cockpit. I like the stealth finish but, if I were to find fault, the switchgear is merely stolen from other Triumph models, and the number plate holder needs to be carbon, and not look like an afterthought.
Turn the key and the new colour instrument console comes alive with a pleasing graphical ‘Moto2’ start-up screen, before leading you into a familiar Triumph dash, now with five rider-mode options – Rain, Road, Rider Configurable, Sport and Track – all of which adjust the throttle map, traction control settings and ABS settings to the conditions and the way you ride. There’s also an up-and-down quick-shifter with auto-blipper.
The rider modes are not lean-sensitive, as there is no IMU, which means standard ABS braking and not corning ABS. Same with the traction control, which is not lean-sensitive, but can be switched off.
Mode selected, a quick dab of the starter button and the British triple barks to life through its titanium Arrow end can. I adore the roar and bark of a Triumph triple, and the new Daytona is one of the best sounding bikes in the Hinckley factory’s fleet. It sounds so sweet and charismatic, but not annoyingly loud, so sneaking out for an early morning ride without waking up the family shouldn’t be a problem.
Within just a few miles, I feel at home. I rated the old Daytona, and thankfully Triumph hasn’t moved too far away from a proven formula. The fuelling at low speed is near-on flawless, the gears shift effortlessly, the quick-shifter and auto-blipper work perfectly. Around town, at slow engine speeds, the power is slick and there’s enough torque to let it burble along a gear too high. I don’t even need to slip the clutch away from the lights… Yes, for a Moto2-inspired rocket, it works in the real world too.
The chassis and Öhlins set up is, unexpectedly, soft and plush, with speed humps and road imperfections easy on spine and wrists. Yes, the physical dimensions are on the small side; I’m only 5ft 7in (170 cm) and I make the bike appear ‘normal’. If you’re over six feet tall or opposed to exercise, then you might find the Daytona too cramped.
But let’s forget about practicalities. Let’s tuck in behind that bubble and make this triple rev! Now we’re talking, this is what the bike was designed to do. Out in the lanes, dancing up and down on the quick-shifter, tucked in behind the screen, knee slider occasionally touching down on sun-drenched British roads… Hell yeah, this is brilliant. I’m in motorcycle paradise and this is why mid-size sportsbikes are so good.
The triple delivers more than enough mid-range torque to swiftly accelerate past slow-moving traffic; you only need to tap back one gear for a sharp overtake. But who wants brisk? That is like going to the pub and drinking tea. I want fun, which is why I opt to make the engine scream for sheer enjoyment.
Revving hard, into second gear, third and fourth – getting close to the redline, having ridiculous fun while still feeling in control. You’d never ride an unfamiliar B-road hard on a 1000cc production bike unless your name was Michael Dunlop, but you can on the Moto2 Daytona.
Make no mistake, it’s a super-quick bike but anything but terrifying, and a quick brush of the radial Brembo stoppers quickly brings the pace down to legal speeds should you spot the boys in blue in those small mirrors.
The lightweight chassis handles with everything I throw at it, from painfully bumpy unclassified roads taken at speed to humpbacked bridges that launch the Daytona into the unknown. Again, like the engine, the suspension is there to be used and conveys perfectly to the rider what’s happening.
The feel is excellent, the ride is plush, bordering on soft when pushed hard, but that might be down to my weight and aggressive riding. The rear sits down more than expected when exiting slow corners hard on the power, and the manually adjustable suspension will need a tweak to reduce the laden sag a little before a trackday.
Generally, the set-up is forgiving and extremely stable for a short-wheelbase bike that allows you to ride with such certainty on unseen roads. The Daytona is accurate and easy to steer, lets you attack corners with confidence, and gives immense grip from its sticky Pirelli rubber. It flicks between turns with simplicity, lets you carve up the lanes like an expert, and rolls over its 180 section rear effortlessly. The chassis flatters the rider, it’s that simple.
The Stylema Brembo stoppers are powerful, it only takes one or two fingers on the span and ratio-adjustable lever to bring the dangerous-riding competition to a close. The ABS is a little intrusive when you brake hard over imperfections. The lack of cornering ABS was never an issue, in fact, I spent most of the ride with the traction control deactivated to make the most of the Dayton’s other trick – wheelies – which it does with blasé ease.
The old 675 Daytona loved a long and precise wheelie and, now with more torque, the new Daytona is more willing to loft the front wheel in the first few gears than ever.
Our test was conducted in the perfect weather and dry, warm roads. In fact, it was almost too hot at times, which is why the traction control was deactivated for most of the ride. With a manageable 130 PS, perfect fuelling and feel from the sticky 180 rear Pirelli, I’d argue whether TC is even needed. However, in the colder, darker months I’ll certainly flick into rain mode, which reduces the power and adds more TC.
The Daytona isn’t going to be for everyone, and as a supersport fan I might be a tad influenced. Yes, it is on the small side, while around town it will become a pain to live with. The mirrors aren’t the best, the switchgear is like jumping into a Ferrari and finding it has Fiat switchgear. There’s no room for a pillion, and we’ve not even mentioned the price.
Australians will pay $26,990 plus on-road costs (in the UK for comparison it’s nearly £16,000), which is a lot to ask when compared to Triumph’s own Street Triple RS from $19,800 ride-away – and that is a bloody good bike. With the initial 25 models selling out almost instantly, Triumph Motorcycles Australia also secured a further 25 of the US/Canada Moto2 Daytonas, meaning there are a couple of these bikes still left to be snapped up and in stock at specific dealers ready to roll.
If we look across the market Kawasaki’s ZX-10R is cheaper, as is Ducati’s stunning Panigale V2, with both available for around $23k ride-away. Ouch. But, in the Daytona’s defence, it is a very tasty limited edition model, it’s good on fuel, has a decent tank range and is comfortable at speed while the ride is plush enough to commute on the motorway. And who wants to take a pillion, anyway? They only upset the handling; get them to take the bus (and blame it on social distancing).
Daytona Moto2 Verdict
This is a special motorcycle, one dripping in carbon fibre and quality components with the cache of being a road-legal, limited edition Moto2 replica. I enjoyed thrashing Triumph’s Daytona, almost the perfect summer sportsbike for the road, and in that context it’s hard to fault.
How do you put a value on amusement? It does feel unique and it is fun to ride. On some trackdays you might crave for more power, but everywhere else in the world, this beautifully built bike is more than enough. But please Triumph, can we have a non-carbon version with a slightly lower spec that brings it in at just a few bucks more than the Street RS?
Triumph Daytona 765 Moto2 Limited Edition
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line three-cylinder|
|Bore Stroke||78 x 53.38|
|Max Power||95.6kW (130 PS) at 12,250 rpm|
|Max Torque||80 Nm at 9,750 rpm|
|System||Multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI. Electronic throttle control.|
|Exhaust||Stainless steel three-into-one exhaust system. Stainless steel underbody primary silencer. Arrow titanium secondary silencer.|
|Clutch||Wet Multi Plate|
|Gearbox||Six-speed with Triumph Shift Assist|
|Frame||Front – Aluminium beam twin spar. Rear – 2 piece high pressure die cast|
|Swingarm||Twin-sided, cast aluminium alloy|
|Front Wheel||Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 3.5 in|
|Rear Wheel||Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 5.5 in|
|Front Tyre||120/70 ZR17, Pirelli Rosso Corsa 2|
|Rear Tyre||180/55 ZR17, Pirelli Rosso Corsa 2|
|Front Suspension||Öhlins 43 mm upside down NIX30 forks with adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping|
|Rear Suspension||Öhlins TTX36 twin tube monoshock with piggy back reservoir, adjustable, rebound and compression damping|
|Front Brake||Brembo Stylema four-piston radial mono-block calipers, Twin 310 mm floating discs, switchable ABS|
|Rear Brake||Brembo single piston calliper, Single 220 mm disc, switchable ABS|
|Width Handlebars||718 mm|
|Height Without Mirrors||1105 mm|
|Seat Height||822 mm|
|Weight||165 kg (dry)|
|Fuel Consumption||5.9L/100km (measured) 48mpg (5.2l/100km claim)|