Posts by tag: John Bloor

Triumph May 3, 2018 posted by

Better Late – 2006 Triumph Daytona 955i with 2,510 miles !

The owner of this 2006 Daytona bought it as a long-term leftover in 2014, from the unlikely sportbike haven of Denmark.  Since then his travel schedule has only allowed 2,510 miles, presenting the auction winner with a virtually new Triumph liter bike.  2006 was the last model year for the 955i, and it has some nice upgrades from earlier Daytonas.

2006 Triumph Daytona 955i for sale on eBay

An assault on the sportbike establishment in 1997, the later Daytona was a more mature GT, the fuel injected triple good for 149 hp.  The double-tube cradle frame is now black, but the same aluminum alloy.  Extra-large 45mm forks and 320mm brakes are Triumph's own design, and 2003 saw a return to the single-sided swingarm.  A nice re-design of the fairing and headlight was done in 2005, and black was introduced as a color choice.

Currently residing in Delaware, this Daytona had a bath for the occasion and looks excellent.  A carbon and polished exhaust has been added, but not much else in the way of personalization.  From the eBay auction:

Bike has straight papers, currently registered in Delaware.  Numbers are straight.  Bike had zero miles when I got it in 2014.  Only have 2510 miles ridden since and clearly looks the part.
Bike was manufactured at the end of the production run in 2006.  Has the gorgeous split headlamp, the preferable single sided swingarm and a number of other improvements made over the earlier years of the models.
Bike has the beautiful carbon factory high level exhaust which sounds heavenly.  Also has a rear seat cowl and a passenger seat as well.
Condition is 99% perfect.  Almost no flaws to speak of.  The clear coat on the carbon infills could be redone.
I installed a cell phone holder that holds my phone very well, that's included.
The legendary Triumph triple is a blast to ride and an absolutely unique machine.

Revitalized by John Bloor, Triumph proved itself a sportbike force with the Daytona.  It offered a different perspective for riders reacting to the vanill-ish offerings from the big four, and bonus points if one felt buying European was important.  The company soon made the 955i redundant to focus on the middleweight market, so the 2006 is the end of an era.  This example has spanned the globe to bring the new owner a smashing experience...

-donn

Better Late – 2006 Triumph Daytona 955i with 2,510 miles !
Triumph April 26, 2018 posted by

Fireball Orange: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Fully-faired sportbikes of the 80s and 90s from Japan are almost without exception festooned with jagged graphics, huge logos, hilariously technical-sounding acronyms, and retina-searing colors. They're pretty cool now in a retro way and some of them, like the famous Rothmans designs, are truly iconic, but they feel like rolling billboards. Which of course is exactly what race-bikes, and therefore race-replicas are. They're fun and nostalgic and even ironic these days, but honestly? I wouldn't have been caught dead on one back when they were new. I've always been a classy, subtle guy and while this Fireball Orange Triumph Speed Triple may not be subtle, it is a pretty classy brute and exactly the kind of machine that interested me back when I got into motorcycling.

It's a shame folks on this site don't seem to like these first generation "T309" Triumph Speed Triples. You're really looking at one of the original factory streetfighters: a legitimate sportbike with the fairing removed, a modern cafe racer. Because while the period Daytona may not have been a cutting-edge performer, it certainly was a sportbike, just one that was more a "gentlemans's express" than a "racetrack refugee." Sure, the Speed Triple was limited by its modular spine-frame that allowed design flexibility at the expense of weight and handling, but people did actually race them, at least in a one-make series called, fittingly enough, the Speed Triple Challenge that was meant to promote the brand.

Unfortunately, the weight and top-heavy design meant it was as much a race bike as Harley's more recent XR1200 that also found its way into a one-make race series. But as a road bike? The Speed Triple's burly 885cc three cylinder engine had performance and charisma to spare. Triumph knew it couldn't compete in terms of raw performance against the Japanese, so they went for quality and character instead, and their bikes of the period had better detailing and better paint. You'd certainly be hard-pressed to find another bike from this era that looks this good without having been restored.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Beautiful, mint, original ‘95 Speed Triple. Low miles & garage kept. Meticulously maintained. This bike is unique, draws a crowd, and performs extremely well for an older bike. Soulful exhaust note and a ton of character. There are not many like this one left. Mileage is subject to change, as I am still riding it.

Even if the early Speed Triple wasn't a pretty cool bike on its own, at least Triumph's strategy paid off and strong sales allowed brand to thrive, enabling it to produce machines like the much-lauded Daytona 675, Street Triple, and modern Speed Triple. Picking at them for their limitations seems unkind, especially considering the incredible bang for the buck they provide. You're a seasoned rider, you've got a few grand to spend, and you want something cool to ride to work and blast around the canyons on weekends? Something that your significant other will want to ride with you? Something with classic looks and reasonably modern performance? This is about the cleanest, lowest-mileage near-classic you're likely to find, and you can even pretend it's an investment...

-tad

Fireball Orange: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale
Triumph October 11, 2017 posted by

Black-Clad Bruiser: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Triumph’s entire 1990s range of sport, sport-touring, retro, and naked machines like this original Speed Triple was built around a common spine frame and two engines, the 885cc inline triple seen here and a larger-displacement inline four. This allowed Triumph to quickly create new variations and mirror market trends without sacrificing quality, a strategy that led directly to today’s world-class motorcycles. But the company's road to success was a difficult one. They were long gone by the early 1990s, a victim of the Japanese motorcycle industry’s massive growth in the 1980s. Triumph was able to hang on throughout the 1970s, trading on their handling and reputation for performance. But once the Japanese bikes’ handling caught up with their reliably powerful engines, it was all over but the shouting.

The reborn Triumph of the 90s knew that it could never hope to compete with the Japanese in terms of outright performance, so they focused instead on quality and capitalizing on the brand’s undeniable mystique. The new Triumph motorcycles offered real-world performance, decent handling, and surprisingly high fit and finish. It's not the lightest or nimblest of machines: none of these first-generation John Bloor-era Triumphs were. But they were well-built and charismatic, just as intended.

T309 Speed Triples are definitely not track machines: a top-heavy weight distribution caused by the spine frame compromised handling, although there was a promotional one-make race series for them called the "Speed Triple Challenge" that must have been fun to watch. The rugged triple and five-speed gearbox may not offer performance that will set your hair on fire today, but the 98 claimed horses mean the Speed Triple is plenty fast for road use and the bike should sound great with the aftermarket three-into-one exhaust seen here.

The seller refers to the bike as "this original naked bike." If he means "one of the original naked bikes" then he'd be correct. The Speed Triple was introduced in 1994, but Italian rival Ducati's Monster was introduced a year prior in 1993 and Honda's proto-Monster Hawk GT was first available all the way back in 1988, although it was kind of a sales flop at the time. Nevertheless, the Speed Triple is one of Triumph's best-selling bikes of the modern era and, much like the Monster, can probably be credited with the company's current success.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Thanks for looking. This is a very good condition 1995 Triumph speed triple. It has recently had a top end overhaul and new timing chain and tensioner/guides. The bike fires on the 2nd crank every time and runs awesome. I am looking to sell to downsize my collection due to a growing family. 

I have and will include with the selling price, the original Triumph dual exhaust that is pictured in one photo. It is not installed but all hardware is there. 

Many spares are included as well which were given to me by previous owner. 

I have owned for the last 5 years and have had a blast riding this original naked bike. This bike was the first year the speed triple was offered in the USA. My offering is your chance to own a modern classic. 

There's been no interest in the bike so far at the starting bid of $1,500 but there are still a couple days left on the auction. The first-gen Speed Triple is nearly a classic at this point, but modern enough you can count on it to start every day, and the build quality of the Bloor-era bikes is high. They've been pretty cheap for a while now, and many that come up for sale feature signs of neglect, but this one looks very nice, and supposedly comes with a bunch of additional parts, so it might be worth looking into as a future collectible.

-tad

Black-Clad Bruiser: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale
Triumph April 29, 2017 posted by

Grand Touring: 1999 Triumph Daytona 1200SE for Sale

Motorcycling history is littered with storied nameplates undone by economic changes, and many have tried and failed to resurrect those brands, but one of the enduring success stories continues to be Triumph. Sunk by a changing economy, a changing market, and an inability to compete with the reliable, affordable, high-performance bikes from Japan, Triumph's long, slow slide into irrelevance was over by 1983. John Bloor originally purchased the defunct Triumph facility with an eye to razing it and building residences, but somewhere along the line, a bit of nationalistic inspiration struck him and he instead decided to revive the brand. Attempts to compete head-on with sportbikes from Japan a second time were always going to end in failure, so Triumph wisely chose to focus on quality and heritage instead of outright performance. That's not to say that bikes like today's Triumph Daytona 1200SE didn't have brawn to match their good looks, but that performance was never going be as focused or as inexpensive as it would be with something like a GSX-R1100. Instead, Triumph went for a different customer, one more concerned with quality and class than top-speed numbers or lap times.

The biggest limitation to ultimate performance was Triumph's decision to go with modular design based around a spine frame. That same basic frame and two engines, a triple or an inline four, could be wrapped in different bodywork to create an entire range of motorcycles and quickly add models to react to market changes, which gave versatility for a fairly low cost. Unfortunately, it meant a bit of a jack-of-all-trades quality, with too much weight carried too high for optimal handling. Nothing wrong in the engine room however: 147 horsepower may not sound all that impressive, considering the 1180cc engine, but it was one of the most powerful motorcycles available at the time and a claimed 85 lbs-ft of torque is BMW S1000RR territory. So the big Daytona can move out smartly and, most importantly, can sustain that 159mph top speed seemingly all day long, with plenty of wind protection from the big fairing and all-day ergonomics.

Styling is always subjective, but I think these look pretty cool, with that dual-round headlamp endurance racing style, but without the aggression or wild graphics of a 90s Japanese sportbike. The monochromatic color treatment, especially the black seen here, makes it look classy and elegant. I think they've aged well and prices mean you can have a classic road-burner with all-day comfort for relative peanuts. Personally, I'd prefer one of the hot-rod three-cylinder Super III models, but in either guise you're looking at a deceptively fast motorcycle.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Triumph Daytona 1200SE for Sale

I purchased this bike three years ago to add it to the other two Daytona's I already have. The reason for the sale is that I have my hands full with my other D-12's and the other bikes we have. So... In the three years I have owned the bike I have put less than 400 miles on the it. I replaced the left and right fairings as well as the front fairing, windshield, with trim, clip-ons, fork seals, tires, and battery. I am the third owner, from what I was told. I have the bike stored in my climate controlled basement since I brought it home. The bike is completely stock. All parts used are Triumph parts. There is a very small ding on the tank. On the right side from previous owner. Also a small scratch/rub on the left side rear body work. The only thing missing is the Union Jack that gets mounted on the side fairing underneath "Special Edition". I have not located one yet. The last thing the bike needs is a carb tune. I have not done this because I wasn't riding it. I have a shop that has tuned my other D-12's that has the bikes producing 120hp and 80ft.lbs. at the rear wheel. I can have them do the work for around, $400.00, or we can discuss other options.

Full disclosure is something we all appreciate when shopping for a bike. When obvious stuff is wrong but not mentioned, we bike folks think, "Hmmm... if he's not being up front with that, what else isn't he telling us?" Being upfront about minor flaws suggests that, not only is the seller honest, but that they are a bit obsessive themselves. I'm not obsessive about minor flaws like the ones present here, but I sure want to buy a bike from someone who is. For a bike meant to cover big miles at big speeds, this one shows remarkably little wear and tear, although mileage is pretty low and the seller is asking $5,199.00 for what appears to be a very nice motorcycle. This is another bike like yesterday's VF1000R where most examples that show up for sale seem to have held up very well, considering the fact that they're 20 years old devices that go belting along highways and back roads at speed, which speaks not only to build quality, but to attentive ownership. But then again, that's exactly the kind of customer Triumph was shooting for in the first place.

-tad

Grand Touring: 1999 Triumph Daytona 1200SE for Sale
Triumph January 10, 2017 posted by

British Beef: 1996 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale

Faced with the onslaught of powerful, dead-reliable motorcycles from Japan, many of the storied British and European motorcycle brands folded and Triumph was among them, although the story of their eventual resurrection is suitably British. These days, they’re famous for their characterful performance machines, but it took them years to earn that enviable reputation. This Daytona Super III represents ground-zero for this new generation of Triumph motorcycles and was their sportiest bike at the time.

John Bloor was actually looking at the defunct Triumph factory as a residential building site when he decided instead to relaunch the brand, which is about as much a change of heart as it’s possible to have. Building a wide variety of bikes to suit different markets and niches with entirely different frames and engines would have been prohibitively expensive, so the new range of motorcycles was built around a modular frame, with either a 900cc triple or 1200cc inline four for motivation: the 900cc triple in the Daytona was the same basic engine that also powered the Thunderbird, Trident, Sprint, Tiger, Trophy, and Speed Triple. Pretty impressive, considering how different those bikes appear at first glance.

The standard Daytona 900 made 98hp, but Cosworth tuning took the Super III to 115hp, with a near 140mph top speed, with upgraded, six-piston brakes up front to bring the whole thing to a halt quickly. Those numbers were healthy for the time, although they didn’t really compete with the fastest bikes of the era. But as you can see from the displacement, Triumph wasn’t looking at competing in racing for the most part, and the displacements reflect this roadgoing mission, an area in which the bike excelled.

Handling was very stable, although the spine frame carried weight high and the bike was fairly heavy overall so it couldn't really be considered nimble. But quality was a step up from the Japanese, comfort was good, and the look was much more classic and conservative to appeal to a different segment of the sportbike marketplace. These days, nice Daytonas and even Super IIIs can be had for relative peanuts, as you can see with today’s example, and offers up useable performance and distinctive looks.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale

This is a good clean example of a rare 1996 Triumph Daytona Super 3.  The bike is in great shape with limited modifications and most of the original parts.  I do not have the original exhaust, but have seem them on e-bay for 100-$300.  This bike has just had a fresh tune-up, rebuilt carbs, plugs, all new rubber hoses, coolant flush, valve adjustment, and new Pilot 3 tires.  One of the side panels may have been repainted at some point, but I'm not sure, and one of the rear turn signals has a broken stalk.   Aftermarket parts  4 into 1 full race exhaust by Sebring K&N pod filters (original air box included) Available Parts 1 Brand new Penske fully adjustable remote resivore rear shock $1,000 (paid $1300).  If the bike buyer dose not want it, I'll list it in a separate auction. Additional Super 3 info: The Triumph Daytona Super III was a limited edition of the under-appreciated Daytona 900. Just 805 were sold worldwide and they featured engine work by Cosworth. In addition to Cosworth’s touch, this bike got bigger cams, flat slide carbs, 6 piston front brakes, and a whole lot of carbon fiber. The results of the engine work yielded a healthy 115 horsepower, though the bike was too heavy to be a true sports bike. It instead ended up being a fantastic sport-tourer, and a bike you had to muscle around to have a lot of fun with.

That "repainted side panel" does look a bit off in a couple of the photos, but the seller is asking a very reasonable $3,500 for what appears to be a clean, well-maintained and upgraded bit of Triumph's comeback story. The styling may be a bit dated, but the bike oozes class and while it may not be a "true sportbike" it has muscle where it counts: on the road. And let's be honest, that's where most motorcyclists spend their time. Track day junkies should probably look elsewhere,  although one of the coaches at the track-day organization I rode with on the East Coast had a Daytona like this one set up for track riding, so they can be made to handle if you're willing to expend a bit of time, money and effort.

-tad

British Beef: 1996 Triumph Daytona Super III for Sale
Triumph August 26, 2016 posted by

Four Cylinder Brit: 1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 for Sale

1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 L Side

The sagas of some of the most well-known European manufacturers can read like film scripts, full of action and intrigue. But if Ducati’s story is a bit like an Indiana Jones movie, with death-defying thrills and narrow escapes from doom, Triumph’s history is a bit like a zombie movie, since they were basically dead and buried when John Bloor came along to resurrect the company. So how does a shambling, undead motorcycle manufacturer with limited resources and a less-than-stellar reputation for quality create a successful range of motorcycles from scratch? With interesting niche machines like today’s Daytona 1200.

1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 Tank

Triumph’s bikes of the period were designed around a modular concept that allowed Triumph to develop a wide variety of motorcycles for different riders with a minimal cost. It also allowed them to quickly introduce new models and capitalize on market trends. Introduced in 1993, the Daytona was virtually identical to the touring Trophy, with new bodywork, suspension, and tires. But those small changes resulted in a bike that was much more than the sum of its parts.

1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 Front Brake

The Daytona 1200 is much like the 900 in terms of character, only more so: the big 1180cc inline four isn’t so much a lightweight sportbike as it is an alternative to something like the ZX-11, a fast, big-bore GT. And while the other bikes in the class battled it out for top-speed honors, the Daytona wisely demurred and stuck with road-biased gearing that emphasized the beastly midrange stomp of the big four and gave the bike seriously rapid acceleration up to 100mph. The engine produced a claimed 147hp and 85lb-ft of torque, pulling around 550lbs wet. That horsepower number may not scream “high performance” but take a look at that torque figure: right on par with modern literbikes, although the Daytona obviously has more weight to lug around. Handling was very good, but limited by the bike’s 550lb wet weight, a downside of Triumph’s modular construction. Comfort was excellent as well, almost as if Triumph expected their customers to actually ride their machines…

1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 for Sale

This is a one owner bike purchased from new. It has 5,093 100% original miles. This bike is 100% original except for the D&D exhaust system. It has never been in an accident of any kind. We have the original clean title, everything is authentic.

Very few miles have rolled under the wheels of today’s example. It appears to be in excellent condition, and includes an aftermarket exhaust that should reduce the weight slightly and increase the volume and quality of the noise, although D&D exhausts can be a little on the loud side. That $6,588.00 Buy It Now price is pricey for an old Daytona, but I bet you won't see one nicer anytime soon. The seller also includes a very nice, high-resolution video of the bike to give you a good idea of what you'll be buying.

1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 Engine Detail

Triumph knew that their modular design was never going to compete directly with specialized bikes from the Japanese manufacturers, so they simply went their own way, and focused on maximizing the performance of their platform, improving the quality, and styled their products to appeal to a more sophisticated, mature rider who didn’t need to pretend they were going to win races on their machines. That may not have led to bragging rights at the time, but it made for a very well-rounded machine that's aged very well: styling is classic and the bike offers very real performance. All of the Daytonas, and even the later 595 and 955 versions are starting to increase in value of late. If you’re looking for a handsome bike with character and the ability to munch miles, a Daytona like this one might make an excellent addition to your stable.

-tad

1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 R Side Rear

Four Cylinder Brit: 1995 Triumph Daytona 1200 for Sale