Triumph Daytona 660 2024 Review | First Ride

Triumph’s much-loved middleweight sportsbike returns with a friendlier and more accessible reinvention...
21st March
dan_trent_headshot.jpg Dan Trent



Daytona is one of those timelessly evocative names in both four- and two-wheeled worlds, bringing with it a certain burden of expectation. For Triumph the badge goes back into the dim and distant but in recent memory is associated with a succession of feisty, mid-capacity sportsbikes culminating in the much-adored Daytona 675 triple. Big shoes to fill for this all-new Daytona 660, arriving as it does into a very different market to that of its predecessors. For sure it has the look of those previous Daytonas.

But where they were more race replicas with a direct bloodline to supersports competition, this new one is instead based on the popular Trident 660 ‘naked’, and intended as a slightly more accessible and road-oriented twist on the Daytona name. A sell-out talking the talk more than it walks the walk? Or a pragmatic response by Triumph to a new generation of younger sportsbike buyers concerned more with affordability and usability than purebred race manners?

We like

  • Glorious engine
  • Bang for buck
  • Sense of quality

We don't like

  • Basic suspension
  • Lack of techie bells and whistles
  • Fake frame dressing



Not so long ago we had naked bikes derived from stripped-back sportsbikes and delivering much of the thrill for a chunk less cash. But in recent times and with true sportsbikes declining in popularity this formula has been turned on its head, the latest generation of sporty middleweights now taking popular nakeds as their basis, adding a full fairing and lower bars for the race rep vibe but without the intimidation factor, cost or more extreme practical compromises.

Hence steel rather than aluminium frames, relatively cost-effective suspension parts and power outputs under 70kW (95PS) for the option of running in 35kW (47PS) A2 trim for younger riders. This is on the basis that the rules dictate the restricted power output can’t be more than half what it is in stock trim. This and a starting price of less than £9,000 has come to define this new generation of sort-of sportsbikes, ranging from the four-cylinder Honda CBR650R to feisty new-school parallel twins like the Suzuki GSX-8R and Yamaha R7. They might look like pukka supersports machines.

But the aggression has been dialled back just a tad in the name of all-round usability and road-relevant performance. And it’s here Triumph has pitched this reimagined Daytona, nailing all of the above requirements but with a signature three-cylinder twist and punchy, class-leading power output. This and a slightly more elegant design than some of the wilder-looking Japanese rivals helps set it apart, though by the numbers it’s absolutely on the money. 

Performance and Handling


While Triumph could probably have got away with slinging a fairing and some clip-ons on the Trident it’s taken the shared 660cc triple and given it a meaningful power bump through a range of updates up to and including new internals, a revised cylinder head, new triple throttle bodies and a bigger airbox. The latter two dictate changes to the Trident frame to accommodate them, output now a very healthy 70kW (95PS) to join the CBR650R at the top of the class in power terms and, like the Honda, delivered at a racy-sounding five-figure redline.

This alone is a standout feature compared with the parallel-twin sluggers in the Suzuki and Yamaha, both of which have more grunt than revs. Where the triple wins over them all is its creamy power delivery, smoothness and combination of mid-range thrust as well as top-end thrills. Peak torque comes north of 8,000rpm but there’s 80 per cent of that to play with from just over 3,000rpm and it’s there pretty much all the way to the 12,650rpm redline. As such the Daytona will just as happily haul out of turns in fourth or fifth when you’re cruising as it will howl all the way into the red zone if you want to drop a couple of cogs and get on it. The choice is yours. There’s no quickshifter as standard but the regular bikes we rode had a lovely shift and a light clutch, so it didn’t seem a big loss. And if you feel the need it’s a tick on the options sheet away.

Chassis-wise, the Daytona is up there with the Yamaha R7 in terms of front-end sharpness, though a longer wheelbase and a few more kilos mean it’s not going to be quite as pointy. That's fine for the target audience, the bike striking a nice balance between rookie friendliness and the response more experienced riders with memories of previous Daytonas may expect. A sporty (but not too sporty) riding position seemingly puts a direct line between your arms and the front tyre’s contact patch, which helps confidence in judging how hard you can lean on it.

Which is to say, harder than you would think if you’re coming from a more upright naked or roadster. The suspension, meanwhile, comprises the same non-adjustable Showa big-piston forks as seen on most of the bikes in the class. Preload on the rear is the only setting you can fiddle with. Again, probably fine for the target audience and at a cautious newbie pace the softness in the set-up wasn’t an issue. Around town the comfort over potholes and speed bumps was a pleasant surprise.



A neat-looking top yoke with separate bars gives a sporty look and enough of the riding position to get in the mood, without the wrist-straining contortions demanded by true clip-ons. If, like many of the target audience, you’re coming from a more upright naked or roadster the arms forward, feet back riding position will take a bit of getting used to but there’s a useful amount of additional breathing room over the somewhat cramped Trident foundations.

True, shoulder checks might crick your neck a little more when riding in town but, other than that, the Daytona manages to put you in a sportsbike state of mind without crippling you physically, and even after a hard day of riding, we were able to jump off the bike and head to the bar for a well-earned beer rather than hobble off to the hotel spa for a joint-cracking skeletal realignment. Which we’re calling a win. The ability to duck behind the fairing will also make those boring motorway transfers to the fun roads more bearable than they would be on a naked bike and is a reasonable trade-off for the sportier riding position.

Raceheads may find the suspension a tad soft at the limit, but at a more comfortable seven-tenths road pace we appreciated a bit more give and, per previous, nor does the Daytona piledrive your spine at lower speeds and bumpy urban roads. The 810mm seat height, meanwhile, looks pretty much standard for the class but felt lower once on the bike, meaning feet easily went flat to the floor at a standstill. If you’re really struggling an optional low seat brings this down to just 785mm, helping dial down the intimidation factor for smaller riders in another sign of the Trident’s intended accessibility.

Technology and Features


Rain, Road and Sport rider modes help tailor the response to the ride-by-wire throttle and ABS according to the road and your mood. However, others in the class have more options like configurable settings where you can tailor the electronic aids to your specific tastes. If you prefer to go it alone you can, if you wish, turn the traction control off.

For riders of a certain age, the presence of a more conventional instrument cluster in place of the large, colourful TFT screens seen on many rivals will be a positive but if as stated, Triumph wants the Daytona to attract tech-hungry younger riders, it may have missed a trick here. A USB charging port under the seat is, meanwhile, a useful feature but many of the other modern trimmings like the quickshifter and heated grips are cost options liable to send that price the wrong side of £9,000 without too much difficulty. 



Those with memories of the last Triumphs to wear the Daytona name may be left a little cold at this new one’s more mainstream positioning. This is fine, given there are still ‘proper’ supersports style options around like the Honda CBR600RR and Kawasaki ZX-6R if you want a genuine race-rep vibe. Complete with the wrist ache and other practical compromises that entails.

Viewed through that cynical lens the 660 could, potentially, be decried as a Trident cosplaying as a sportsbike and ‘not a real Daytona’. But the work that’s gone into giving that already charismatic engine some serious sporting chops proves the engineers had ambitions to take it a lot further than that. So, if not as hardcore as previous Daytonas it feels more than rapid enough to satisfy those taking their first steps into sportsbikes and, possibly, enough to keep this style of bike more relevant than it has been for a long while. The vibrant class it joins suggests there’s something in that.

The fact it comes out swinging with both the punchiest power output and arguably the most exciting engine is a reason to be very cheerful indeed.   



660cc three-cylinder petrol


70kW (95PS) @ 11,250rpm


69Nm (51lb ft) @ 8,250rpm


Six-speed manual

Kerb weight

(90 per cent fuelled)

0-62mph TBC
Top speed TBC
Fuel economy


CO2 emissions



£8,595 (before options)