First Impression: 1997 Triumph T595 Daytona –

3 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on First Impression: 1997 Triumph T595 Daytona –

First Impression: 1997 Triumph T595 Daytona

Triumph’s T595 is an extraordinary motorcycle. If you consider the fact it’s built by a company that didn’t exist 15 years ago, that 10 years ago had no production facilities and five years ago produced less than 5000 bikes, its existence is nothing short of remarkable. Even more remarkable is that the Daytona series’ lack of pedigree could justifiably be used to spin out a slew of excuses for faults in the T595, but that’s not necessary.

Triumph has produced a bike that can sit at the pinnacle of Open Sportbike excellence alongside the 916, Fireblade, YZF and ZXR and kick ass. It is quite simply a miracle in our time. It can’t be said that the new generation Triumph Company was built out of the ashes of the company that was once an epitome of post-war British motorcycling.

Those ashes were long cold when in 1984 John Bloor bought the rights to the legendary name and put a small team together to design a modular engine and produce bread-and-butter motorcycles that would kickstart the company back into existence. Six models were presented to the world at the 1990 Cologne show and six months later motorcycle production started.

After a cautious couple of years exporting to Europe and Australia, Triumph hit the USA with their ’95 season models arriving stateside in October, 1994. After an absence of 20 years, they were back on the radar screens.

The first generation new Triumphs were safe motorcycles, designed and built to show the world that a Brit bike didn’t have to shake itself to death, its oily fluids seeping out of every gasketed seal. Styling took a back seat to engineering, and the Trophy, Sprint, Daytona and even the naked Speed Triple models were a tad down on character. These bikes were over-engineered and under-styled, but they served their purpose in getting Triumph back on the map with a reputation for producing good quality — if slightly bland — motorcycles.

Triumph, like a Phoenix, could flex its wings and design a bike to go head-on with the best of the world’s Super Sport machines.

One of the first components junked was the old spine frame that had been vital to the modular concept Triumph adopted. A perimeter frame gave designers more freedom to locate the engine for optimum chassis performance. After a couple of exploratory designs in conjunction with Harris, the British frame builders, Triumph adopted a perimeter frame using distinctive oval-section aluminum extrusions.

With their mandate to make a strong styling statement, a single-sided rear swingarm has been utilized, providing lots of room to tuck away the oval exhaust can that compliments the cross-section of the frame tubes. Third-party technology has been brought in from Showa for the suspension and Nissin for the brakes.

Current King-of-Stick Bridgestone BT56 Battlax tires are also used as stock equipment. Triumph’s original Daytona 900 lump was used as the basis for the T595, but it has lost 26.4 pounds and gained 60cc in the metamorphosis from Jekyl to Hyde. Common consensus is that there is probably another 25 pounds that could be shaved off the T595’s mill.

With assistance from F1 auto-engineering consultants Lotus, a new top end was designed with bigger valves and new cams contributing to better engine breathing and combustion. Fresh gas is supplied by a Sagem Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system, primarily to simplify setting the bike up to meet the wide variety of emission controls from different countries.

Its brains are found in the MC2000 Engine Management System that uses sensors sprinkled around the bike to work out the fuel delivery and ignition position, and chokes the engine for you on cold starts. If technology is your bag, you’ll find all you need on the T595.

Thank God the technology works. Wheel the bike out of the garage, slip the key in the slot and thumb the starter – nothing happens. Pull the clutch in, try again and the engine fires up instantly, revs holding 2000 for a few seconds before slipping back to a smooth tick-over at 1100 rpm, a unique growl emitting from the three-cylinder powerplant.

The engine pulls cleanly with the throttle just cracked open. There’s no drive-line snatch at all. Although one of Triumph’s goals was to produce a light and compact bike, they have not been entirely successful. With a dry weight of 436 pounds, it’s 33 pounds heavier than the CBR900RR, and at slow speeds it feels large — not heavy, but bulky.

The handlebars are clip-ons mounted on the top of the forks and the riding position puts a lot of weight onto the rider’s arms. There is something not quite right about the ergonomics, its foot rests being a tad too far forward and the bars both too low and wide. Thankfully, one of the few changes planned for the ’98 model is revised handlebar geometry.

Triumph Daytona T595
Triumph Daytona T595
Triumph Daytona T595

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