So here it is. Proof that size does matter. A stunning, powerful and a very exciting machine and yet you will struggle to appreciate it if you are a vertically challenged, beginner rider like myself.
The Daytona sparked my curiosity a while ago. It appears to be the most understated bike in the 600cc club, well to us, you average road riders. You rarely hear teenage boys saying it’s their dream bike. If you tell your friends you spent a day with your Daytona, they will assume you had a date with a girl.
It certainly is not the most popular 600cc machine when up against the more mainstream motorcycles, like the oh-so-common R6 (I can say that – i have one..). You would almost think it is unpopular, but let me stop you right there. Let’s look at those who do ride 675’s. Daytona owners usually know a thing or two about riding and quite often, are rather fast on track. They appear to stick with the bike and upgrade parts rather than chop it on for a new 1000. Thinking about it, I am yet to meet an unhappy Daytona owner.
There had to be something to it and I was determined to find out more.
The 675 has a lot going for it. Progressive and very efficient brakes. A quick-shifter so perfect, you’ll find yourself forever going through the gears just for the pleasure of hearing that perfect click. A beautiful, elegant line with just the right amount of aggressiveness to it. A dash so pretty, I was completely mesmerised with it. Lovely little details like the always very welcome presence of a fuel gauge, or the side stand that clicks into position.
The only thing I wasn’t impressed with, was the stock exhaust sounding a bit weak and restricted. But let’s face it, an aftermarket exhaust is usually the first on the upgrade list anyway.
Then there’s the size. The Daytona is tall. It is very tall. The 840mm seat height is a struggle. Its made slightly easier by a silky clutch and throttle, so wonderfully responsive they make those potentially hairy, slow-speed, tippy-toes manoeuvres almost effortless. A very narrow seat and tank that is shaped so well I could actually quite conformably grab it with my thighs, which made for a much needed confidence boost in slow control.
And yet I found myself dreading every corner, on this machine known for wonderful handling. It’s not the bike itself. It’s the size of it. I felt small and overwhelmed, and as if I was sat on it like a cherry on a top of a cake, with very little control.
Combine this, with the torquey, triple engine and almost too much low end power, and you get one of the most intimidating 600cc bikes on the market.
This is not your starter bike, especially if you’re rather short. This is for people who like to feel challenged. I can only imagine just how rewarding and satisfying it must be to tame this beast. To master it and feel like you’re in full control.
And one day I might attempt just that. Today I’m too much of shortie and novice in this whole motorcycle malarky, to venture into the world of the Daytona tamers. Well, for now anyway.