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2013 Daytona 675

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.

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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.

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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.

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6 thoughts on “2013 Daytona 675

  1. Again amother well written and well thought out review. Perfect info on the bike and handling and character of the bike I will enjoy the future reviews to come

  2. Found it interesting how different our impressions were. Granted, we’ve got a few differences in background/situation, but it makes me wonder how much influence each difference might make.

    My seat time was a couple of Triumph “demo days” at a dealer in the California ‘Bay Area’, and both rounds were previous-gen Daytonas (probably 2010 or 2011 models). Height definitely makes a difference in comfort at a stop, as at 5’9 (not a particularly big guy either, around 155lbs), it was on the high side of comfortable to me. At the first round, I’d been riding roughly a year, with two years under my belt the second time.

    I guess the comfort underway was the part that surprised me, as I walked away extremely impressed. Previous bikes may be part of that, though, as the majority of my seat time has been on a Kawi Ninja 500 (compared to your R6), so perhaps it makes it seem that much better? That said, I found myself almost instantly comfortable on both I rode, one round finding myself travelling quite a bit faster than I should have been for the area (foothills, with long gaps between stoplighted-intersections).

    My babbling aside, it’s a bit eye-opening to see how different another’s impression can be, and not nearly as positive as I might have thought. Hope I didn’t bore too much ;]

  3. Interesting write-up.

    I too took the standard 2013 daytona for a testride last year. Being a small guy (I’m only 5′ 5″), I was contemplating whether the 820mm (the 675r is 10mm higher) seat height would be too tall for comfort. Surprisingly, it felt shorter than I expected because I can get both feet on the ground. As a comparison, when I sat on a stock R6, I can only get one leg down.

    After riding the bike for about one hour, I came back feeling ‘hey, I can ride this everyday… not bad at all!’. When I asked the dealership guy whether the bike had been lowered, he said it was stock height. A few thoughts came to my mind:

    a) The bike was narrow enough that I can get both feet on the ground (tip-toed, of course)
    b) The suspension had become lowered because some fat guy rode the demo bike before me.

    Until this day, that remains a mystery…. That being said, the bike was very nice. Handling was superb, abundant torque, hard yet comfortable suspension, really nice brakes. The bike was very light, makes my ninja 650 feels like it’s made out of concrete. The only thing I don’t like was the instrument cluster. The ‘inverted’ screen was hard to see in bright daylight.

  4. Great review. As I posted on FB, the bike you test rode is my old Daytona (I traded it in to Bulldog Triumph) so I know it well :)

    I found it a hugely entertaining bike and really easy to ride. The quick shifter (option on the non-R) is fantastic as is the slipper clutch. It’s a really engaging bike to ride and, it it wasn’t for the fact I’d wanted to take a pillion, I would have kept that bike.

    The only thing I’m not sure I agree with is about it being a bike for really experience riders. Like you, I only got my license a few years back but treat the Daytona with respect and it’s a very forgiving bike (as long as you are tall enough and don’t try to ride with the Diablo Supercorsas in the wet!!!).

  5. I think you have a well written review of the bike and I appreciate your post because I am also a 5’3″ 23 year old female who was looking at the D675 as a new bike to replace my Ducati 696. I had set up a time to see this bike at a dealership and I came across this article in the meantime while researching the bike and what shorter riders had to say about it. I agree that it is certainly a tall bike for a rider as short as I am with a 28.5 – 29ish inch inseam. However, after I sat on it and felt its weight and how balanced of a bike it was in general, I felt like it was definitely a manageable option for a person our height..if they are pretty athletic, strong, and have good balance. I ended up buying the bike and I certainly look tiny on such a big machine but I don’t feel overwhelmed by its size. Actually, I feel in control and one with the bike while I am riding. I can hang off easily because of the narrow seat, as you mentioned, and because the foot pegs are in a great position as well. I can lock in my lower body while hanging off and allow my upper body to stay relaxed and in tune to the feel of the clip ons. I can not get over how well my bike handles at high speeds, in traffic, in the twisties… it’s just amazing. I agree that this bike has more than enough power and torque which make it dangerous to beginners. I could imagine the issue of a new rider taking off then hitting a bump around 8k+ rpm and getting thrown back with a tight grip on the throttle….terrible series of events. The thing I have to be extra careful about as a shortie on this big bike is stopping at like a light or stop sign that has a severely uneven lie and is uphill to the right, leaving a lot more distance to the ground on the left side (my preferred plant foot so I can keep my right foot on the brake). I just have to pay attention to where I’m stopping and always make sure I come to a smooth stop. In summary, I think that this bike is absolutely amazing and a joy to ride. Not to mention it is rather easy on the eyes. I also think you did a great review on it. Hope you get the chance to ride it once you gain more experience so that you don’t dread the curves but instead have the confidence and ability to conquer them and utilize the assets that this bike offers.

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