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Triumph Daytona 955I Centenary

Published: 14 January 2002

At first look it might look like just another 955I but it’s much more than that. There’s a single-sided swingarm added to the already sharp looks of the Daytona with a colour-matched seat cowl with bum stop, carbon fibre side panels, carbon cockpit inlays and a new centenary badge complete the bikes new look.

Okay, so you might think to ride it’s not up to much more than what we already know about with the standard Daytona 955, itself launched just last year and receiving minor tweaks to the fuel injection.

Whether Aston Green, Triumph’s official name for the colour, is to your taste or not only you know the answer to. In most lights it looks black until you get close and can see the green metallic glistening. But in my eyes it certainly suits the sharp wide-eye look of the Daytona. The carbon extras are well made and screwed together and the swingarm is a definite improvement style wise. The old Daytona of course had a single-sider and this is the same swingarm that replaces the mnew Daytona’s braced item. The frame is the same but its been modified to take the new/old swingarm.

If you’ve ever ridden a new Daytona you can feel the bike’s set up differently straight away. It may only be subtle but it’s there The bike turns quicker and over bumps it’s not so stable as the standard version. The rake and trail figures of the new bike are steeper with 22.8 degrees and 81mm of trail on the standard Daytona compared to 22.5 degrees and 78.7mm of trail on the new bike. Yet the wheelbase of the single-sider is longer at 1426mm compared to 1417mm. There’s also a 190-section rear tyre in place of the standard Daytona’s 180-section rear. And on the scales the bike’s 3kg heavier. Although there’s only one side to the swingarm the internal bracing it needs to make the one side as stiff as two makes the weight add up. Like I said, the changes are subtle more it’s more than just slapping on the old swingarm. It works and rides like a well-tested and developed bike that’s noticeably different to ride and much better looking. Though wet roads meant it’s hard to tell the difference when you’re fully cranked over.

Get on the power using the Daytona’s fantastci spread of usable power and the bike gets slightly more lively on the way out with a slight headshake over bumps. It’s nothing to worry about and barely noticeable until you get on the tad more stable standard bike.

But what you do still get is the Daytona’s amazing 6000rpm air intake noise. Triumph has aimed the air intake right where your head is underneath the fuel tank and when it sucks hard you can feel, smell and definitely hear it roaring. Rev it all the way out to 11,500rpm and it howls like a standard road bike shouldn’t. The only complaint I’ve really got about the pipe relates to the single-sided swingarm. Because of the new swingarm the pipe looks like it’s sticking out too far from the side. If triumph could modify the rear footrest hangers the pipe hangs off then the pipe could be tucked in further. One it would increase the already massive grond clearance and more importantly, it would look the nuts.

But for now, paying the extra £400 looks like being worth it, especially as resale values are likely to be slightly better than the standard Daytona.

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