In the early 2000’s, when Triumph was being referred to as an “upstart moco”, the iconic revived British manufacturer surprised the world by entering the wildly competitive and state-of-the-art supersport 600 market. Japan was dominating in this class and with sales booming the technological arms race was at full steam, so it was seemingly a questionable – or bold, depending on how you look at it – idea for a company with a relatively small R&D team to produce an inline-four powered 600, and then jumping into a market that included machines from companies with absurdly deep pockets and decades of real-world race experience to draw from, all of which have been used to create 600’s that have had the benefit of years of updates and refinements through previous model years. Nonetheless, Triumph delivered.
The 2003-2004 Daytona 600 was powered by a 599cc DOHC inline-four married to a wet multi-plate clutch and six-speed gear-box that reportedly put down 112hp at 12,750rpm and 50ft-lbs of torque at 11,000rpm, and supposedly has a decent top speed of 155mph. Wrapped around the power-plant is a aluminum beam perimeter frame connected to an aluminum alloy swingarm. Up front, 43mm cartridge forks offer adjustable preload, compression, and rebound damping with 4.7” of travel. The frame on the Daytona is inarguably one of the finest achievements that make up the sum that is the Triumph supersport. With the suspension dialed in correctly, the Daytona handles like it’s on rails.
This particular example has reportedly undergone a complete restoration (but where are the decals? – Ed.) that has seen very few miles since. A new engine was dropped into the Triumph and professionally installed. New bodywork is adorned in a custom pearlescent yellow paint-job (including the chain-guard). I’m normally never a fan of custom painted sport bikes but I appreciate how this bike’s paint is a similar tone to the factory yellow that the majority of these bikes came in. It’s only once you get up close that the custom paint digs become apparent. While the ad fails to specify, I believe the exhaust on this example is an aftermarket unit, and it all appears the tank has been given either a new gas-cap or gas-cap cover. A fender eliminator was also added, but from what I can tell those are the only modifications that have been made.
The current owner – who happens to be a retired ASE Certified Mechanic says he has dropped at least $2,800 into this example in the last year-and-a-half since purchasing it for a reported $3,500. The ad also states that this pearlescent yellow supersport recently received service and that the owner – who assumably knows a thing or two about engines – “meticulously checked the entire bike” and says that it’s in excellent condition. While this obviously isn’t ever a reason to buy a bike, this example just had its rims wrapped in a new pair of (unspecified) high-end sport rubber with less than five-miles on them (and new spark plugs). I couldn’t find any info on the changes and updates that were made to the 2004 Daytona, as the second model year often means the initial kinks or gremlins are ironed out and gotten rid of, but if I had to pick up a ’03/’04 Daytona, I’d opt for the ’04.
Despite the ’03/’04 Daytona being on showroom floors during an era in which super bikes and super sports were selling like hotcakes, examples of these machines are surprisingly rare in the US. I don’t necessarily love how this scoot was a blatant example of a company – in this case Triumph – emulating success and just replicating an existing offerings or series of offerings, without putting much of its own flavor or spin on it. It feels like Triumph trying to build a Japanese bike which is essentially what this Daytona is. I fully grasp that Honda and the like were building fantastic I4’s, so Triumph still built a good bike in doing this, it just lacks the character that many – if not most – other Triumph’s possess. At the end of the day this is an awesome supersport that is almost certainly an extremely fun ride in the canyons or on the track, and it comes at a price that’s on par with the rest of the non-European machines in the Daytona’s class of the same era.
You can find this 2004 Triumph Daytona 600 for sale here on Craigslist in Los Angeles, California with a price of $3,000.