Of course, despite its name the Triumph isn’t a 'proper' Moto2 replica, but the Daytona 765 is better than the real thing on the road. A Suter or Speed-Up would shake your fillings out over a bumpy back lane, but there’s no such roughness here.
The Öhlins suspended, Brembo-braked 675R-derived chassis pulls off the neat trick of being friendly, stable and full of feel with a limit so high it’s impossible for mere mortals to reach, even on the track.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise as the Daytona 675R has won countless supersport races at world and domestic level and TTs. It was also used, virtually unchanged, as Triumph’s Moto2 development mule, ragged to the moon and back by test riders and Grand Prix racers. Proof that this incredible chassis is more than capable of handling a few more ponies.
Not only is the Daytona 765’s steering light and crisp, its new Brembo Stylema calipers are strong and ground clearance seemingly limitless. Pirelli Supercorsa SP tyres offer the last word in grip on the road, are as near as dammit as quick as race rubber on the track and they’re surprisingly sure-footed in the rain.
Like the Daytona 675, the 765 is a racer with lights, with a firm ride, low bars and high pegs. Its riding position isn’t as squashed or extreme as many of its supersport or superbike rivals, either. The seat is surprisingly plush and it’s fine for short blasts, but riding for extended periods, especially if you’re tall, will eventually take its toll on wrists, knees and neck – a timely reminder of why sportsbikes aren’t big sellers they used to be, as we riders are getting older and less flexible.
Using Triumph’s Street Triple RS motor as a starting point, the 765cc inline three cylinder gets new titanium inlet valves, high compression pistons, DLC-coated gudgeon pins, hairier cams, new intake trumpets, modified con rods, intake ports, crank and barrels. Power rises from 121bhp@11,750rpm to 128bhp@12,250rpm and torque is reduced by just a foot-pound.
First and second gear ratios are the same as the 675’s (first is 4% taller than the Street Triple RS’s), but second/third gear are 4% higher and fifth/sixth gear 8% higher. Strangely the 765 only tops-out at 152mph in sixth gear on our test track – slower than we’ve seen from 675s in the past.
It feels and sounds just like a rasping 675, but the motor’s extra cubes give the 765 more oomph without having to dance on the gear lever, but not so much it will get you into trouble like on a 200bhp-plus superbike. It doesn’t really need its electronic rider aids to keep it in check, although they’re there, just in case.
It might do a standing quarter in less than 11 seconds, wheelie off the throttle in second, clutch up in third and yell its lungs out, but it’s well behaved in traffic, is perfectly fuelled and because you don’t need to thrash the living daylights out of it to get going, it’s frugal on the road, too. Returning 50mpg, it will get you a theoretical 189 miles between fill-ups, but on track (Cadwell Park) the reserve light comes on at 60 miles.
Five rider modes let you choose your levels of power, traction control and ABS, but with so much grip and poise, even in the wet you’re best setting the power high and the electronics low.
A brilliant up/down quickshifter is a joy to use at any speed, but the TC is too intrusive on the track and pulls you back too much when you want to get going. Happily, you can turn it off, but not the party-pooping ABS, which chimes in and releases pressure in the calipers under very hard braking.
Check out our owners’ reviews section of the Daytona 675R and Street Triple RS (the two machines that go to make up this bike) and you’ll find a mixed bag of experiences, but they’re generally dependable, so things should be no different here.
Although the Daytona 765 is built with lots of mouth-watering parts, it isn’t finished to the same level of Triumph’s latest-generation offerings. Things like the blanks on the left switchgear and the wiring loom going into it – coiled-up because it’s too long, isn’t befitting of a fifteen-grand motorcycle.
In terms of exclusivity the Triumph is worth a premium, but the ticket price is on the steep side, especially when you compare it to its nearest rival: Ducati’s Panigale V2, which has a far more luxurious build and feel. To run, the Triumph won’t break the bank, but insurance premiums will reflect its high value.
Costing an eye-watering £15,765 (see what they did there?), only 765 are being built for the US and Canada and another 765 for the UK, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.
Happily, for the price the 765 is more than just a Daytona 675R with a fast engine. It’s a smorgasbord of Hinckley-built tastiness (no it isn’t made in Thailand), from its carbon fairing, single seat unit, front mudguard and hugger, to its machined and numbered (our test bike is 74/765) ali top yoke, colour dash (with a Moto2 start-up logo), new switchgear, riding modes, electronic rider aids and a very quiet (just 92db on Cadwell Park’s noise meter) titanium Arrow end can.
But it’s a shame the 765 looks just like a Daytona 675R. You can forgive Triumph for not going to the huge expense of creating tooling for new bodywork for such a small production run, but its long, overhanging tail and protruding nose look dated, especially when you compare it with the squat, stubby styling and evil-eyed looks of the latest sportsbikes, like the Yamaha R1 and Ducati Panigale V4.
The Triumph doesn’t even have LED headlights and unpainted for lightness, its chassis has something of an early Suzuki SV650 or Yamaha R6 look about it.