Triumph Daytona 1200


Make Model

Triumph Daytona 1200




Four strike, transverse four cylinders, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder


1180 cc / 72 cu in
Bore x Stroke 76 x 65 mm
Compression Ratio 12:1
Cooling System Liquid cooled


4 x 36 mm Flat side carburetors


Digital - Inductive type



Max Power

107.2 kW / 147 hp @ 9500 rpm

Max Power (at rear wheel)

88 kW / 118.0 hp @ 9400 rpm

Max Torque

115 Nm / 11.7 kgf-m / 84.8 lb-ft @ 8000 rpm


6 Speed

Final Drive


Front Suspension

43 mm Forks with triple rate springs adjustable for compression, rebound damping and spring preload, Kayaba

Rear Suspension

Monoshock with adjustable preload and rebound damping, Kayaba

Front Brakes

2 x 310 mm Discs, 4 piston calipers, Nissen

Rear Brakes

Single 255 mm disc, 2 piston caliper, Nissen

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre


Dry Weight

228 kg / 503 lbs

Wet Weight

250 kg / 551 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

25 Litres / 6.6 US gal / 5.5 Imp gal

Consumption Average

5.6 L/100 km / 17.7 km/l / 41.6 US mpg / 50 Imp mpg

Braking 60 km/h - 0

12.8 m / 42 ft

Braking 100 km/h - 0

38.0 m / 125 ft

Standing ¼ Mile  

10.9 sec / 202.6 km/h / 126 mph

Top Speed

256.1 km/h / 159 mph

When the re-born Triumph factory emerged on the world stage in 1991, it established its credentials with a pair of touring bikes - the Trophy 1200 and 900 - and a pair of basic, unfaired triples - the Trident 750 and 900. But it soon became clear that there was a section of the market ready to be offered an alternative to big Japanese superbikes. Triumph's answer was the Daytona 1200, introduced in 1993.


Under the skin, it's much the same as the rest of the Triumph range - same frame, same geometry, same engine. The main difference is die firmer suspension and sports compound tyres, giving a completely different, tauter feel than the Daytona's Trophy stablemate. Swoopy, aerodynamic body-work in eyecatching colours reinforces the image of a bike built for speed.


The 1180cc engine is based on the Trophy 1200's proven unit. But while the Trophy makes do with 106bhp, sportier cams and some revised cylinder head dimensions help take the Daytona to a claimed 147bhp at the crankshaft, making it one of the most powerful standard motorcycle engines in creation.


But while Kawasaki's ZZ-R1100, Yamaha's FZR1000 and Suzuki's GSX-R1100 fight it out for the title of Fastest Production Bike, the Daytona takes a different approach. Despite its enormous power output, it is geared for a top speed of 'only' 160mph, making for better acceleration at normal road speeds - the Daytona easily outdrags a ZZ-R1100 from 40-100mph.


The engine has a solid, unburstable feel, with none of the buzzy, revvy nature of its Japanese competitors - you really feel as if the engine is happy to sit flat out all day long. And so is the rider. The Daytona's riding position feels almost old-fashioned - upright, with quite high handlebars and low footrests. The fairing, too, keeps most of the wind blast off the rider, making high speed work less of a chore. And that makes the Daytona far more comfortable than just about any other sports bike - and most tourers, too! Long, fast motorway trips on the Daytona come and go without the aches and pains associated with many big sportsbikes.

But motorways are only half the story. The Daytona is most at home on fast, sweeping A-roads, where its combination of unflappable stability and awesome roll-on power make for fast journey times without the need for constant gear-changing. On twistier roads, the Daytona's stiffer suspension copes with fast direction changes so easily it's hard to believe it's even related to the touring Trophy, let alone almost identical.


The tyres help too, offering effortless steering and huge amounts of grip - enough to use up even the Daytona's improved Ground Clearance and strike sparks from the footrests and exhausts in fast turns. Hauling 5021bs of speeding motorcycle to a halt should be hard work, but the Daytona's huge discs and powerful calipers do the job with no fuss at all. It's no race bike - there are plenty of smaller bikes that turn faster and brake harder - what makes the Daytona special is how easy it makes it for the rider to use all it's got to offer. Although theoretically the Triumph is at a weight and handling disadvantage compared to its competitors, it would take a skilled (and brave) ZZ-R or FZR rider to exploit that disadvantage on the road.

It's powerful without being intimidating, and heavy without being cumbersome. It manages to combine the roles of easy-to-ride tourer and blindingly fast sports bike - a neat trick if you can do it. Neat enough to call 'superbike'.