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Cosworth: 1995 Triumph Daytona Super III 900

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Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. is the largest surviving British motorcycle manufacturer but it hasn’t been an easy path for the Uk-based manufacturer.  The entire British bike industry basically collapsed back in the early 1980’s and  Triumph went into receivership in 1983.  After a few years and a lot of legal wrangling, British businessman John Bloor ended up acquiring the name and manufacturing rights and his “new” Triumph motorcycle company re-started sportbike production in the early 1990’s.

Between 1992 and 1997 Triumph produced the much appreciated but ultimately underpowered 3 cylinder Daytona 900. This bike was a successor to the 0riginal Daytona 750 and boasted a more acceptable riding position designed to increase its sporting ability.  But the power to weight ratio was still a problem, especially when compared to other bikes at the time such as the GSX-R and the ultra-light Fireblade/CBR.  So for the 1994 model year Triumph produced the Daytona Super III, a very limited production run of 150 bikes designed to help re-balance the power/weight issue for the big Triple.

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1995 Daytona Super III for sale on ebay

The Daytona Super III had a host of changes from its predecessor, with the major one being a significantly more powerful engine. The power improvements were due to a collaboration with the tuning gurus at Cosworth and was accomplished by using higher compression pistons and a redesigned cylinder head. The end result was a power increase from 97 bhp to 115 bhp.  Overall the Super III was a more responsive and higher performance ride, and also had many parts switched to carbon fiber and improved brakes.

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While the new Daytona sill wasn’t as light and agile as the CBR/Fireblade, it was certainly a big step forward and it offered something the ultra-light hyperbikes did not; the ability to be used for both blazing speed runs and medium duty touring.    Almost immediately after being introduced, the Super III was identified as a speed touring monster; consider the following review from the August 1995 issue of Motorcyclist magazine.

 First thing you notice is it isn’t in the same mold as Japanese race replicas such as Suzuki’s GSX-Rs,  it feels long, tall and still a bit heavy.  It can’t flick through chicanes like a repli-GP machine and it doesn’t rev way into five figures. But the Daytona is deceptive; its point-to-point performance is superb, with most of the credit for this belonging to a new engine that ticks over with a slightly cantankerous rumble that tells you ‘I’m an engine’.  From the instant you press the button, the Triumph exudes the sort of engine character that Japan largely designed out years ago. 

There are no bottom-end flat spots, just a rising tide of willing revs. The Daytona Super III is content to potter at slow speeds but useful power begins to swell at 3000rpm, continues unabated until the 9500rpm red line and at no point does it ever feel remotely stressed.  Peak revs equates to 148mph in top gear which might not seem impressive in an age of 150mph 600s but it is how the new triple’s getting there that sets it apart.  While most engines of comparable range are either bland or plain slow, the 900 is a speed touring monster, an unburstable projectile from A to B. 

The rest of the package is of the same high quality.  The gear changes are positive, with no under-selection, the truck-sized clutch practically redundant once on the move. Six speeds is overkill, but allows relaxed top gear ratios. In almost every area, the bike seems over-engineered. 

The Super III does a superb job of filling a segment that seems to have been vacated except for the ZZR; charismatic sportbike that can also be used as a daily rider and medium distance touring machine.   No doubts that this bike will become an important piece of the reborn Triumphs legacy and a future classic.

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This particular Super III looks to be amazingly pristine.  The seller includes excellent hi-res photos on the ebay auction and also a link to a youtube video.

Here is some of what the seller has to say about this particular Super III.

If you have been looking for a collectable Triumph from the modern era, this is the one!   There were only 150 of these bikes worldwide.Bike only has 9767 original miles, has always been garaged and has never been in the rain. Special features include carbon fiber fender and sub-fender, carbon dash, 6 pot calipers, and seat cowling. Paint and carbon fiber look as new. All fluids are fresh and bike has been maintained perfectly.Tires are almost new with 95% tread remaining. Lots of extras (see auction for details)

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So what’s this particular Super III worth?  The KBB website doesn’t have a price for these which is a common problem if the bike is produced in small numbers like this one was.  A few Super III’s previously posted here on RSBFS seemed to go for around 3-5k USD, which is pretty cheap for a bike that gives you this much performance and versatility and given the outstanding condition of this example, I would expect price expectations to be at the upper part of the range.   This bike seems like an excellent opportunity for a collector to acquire a pretty rare bike that they could also use on a regular basis without having to go to the chiropractor afterwards.

MG

7 Comments

  • Damn that thing is incredibly clean!!!! Cool bike and surely will go up in value especially in that condition and miles.

  • That is a sweet example of the Super 3 (Big Bird). Who ever gets that will be lucky.

  • Very clean example. The T300 motors are nearly bulletproof (except for some issues with the starter sprag clutch construction, which was sorted out by 1995, and with some T300 Speed Triple models having problems with valve seats in the 1995 model year.)
    The electric system can cause a bit of problem, in most cases defective spark coils which may hard to identify cause glitches. The sound of these old T300 triples is incredible, even with stock pipes. (Actually _all_ the Triumph triple engines sound pretty good in stock condition (best sound machine is the 1050 Sprint ST), such that any money for replacement cans can be put into other upgrade options or replacements such as suspension parts or high quality MOSFET rectifiers…)
    Any future owner of this machine should be aware that the T300 Triumph Daytona is a ~260 kg motorcycle and the carbon parts of the Super III are more decorative than alleviating… The T300 Triumph sports models are also somewhat difficult to handle when when you are vertically challenged, i.e. it can be quite a stretch to reach the handle bars.
    If I were US resident I would consider buying this machine. (I find myself looking for such a pristine example of a Super III here in Germany.)

    • Sprag issues were not sorted by 95. I have a 96 with a bum sprag.

  • Awesome bike – strange VIN, though, compared to my 1995, which was on here in the summer when I bought it.

    I was thinking of taking the carbon fenders off mine, and running with black plastic fenders, as these are more expensive, and harder to find, than unobtainium. Mine has 13K on the clock, rebuilt Mikunis, jetted for airpods, and a pair of Micron cans. Have the factory cans stored away, ad they themselves are worth upwards of $600-800 by themselves for someone looking to do a factory-correct restore.

    These triples sound absolutely awesome, have almost none of the electrical glitches of the 955i Daytonas, and properly setup carbs and exhausts extracts even more out of them.

    Lovely ride, and I think I’ll hang on to mine for a few more years.

  • Minor correction…

    I don’t know who’s throwing around this “150 made” number, but the actually tally is 803 worldwide, from 1994-1996. USA got 179 between 1995-1996. We are already aware, though, of about a dozen that have been parted for various reasons, and a few have been bought and shipped out of the country. We estimate there’s about 145-155 left in the USA.

    The carbon fiber bits replaced, were the front and rear mudguards, two small cockpit pieces, and the CF exhaust cans.

    Changes internally, were hotter cams (so-called red cams, higher lift, longer duration, lost a little low-end torque), higher compression pistons from the Daytona 750, and supposedly Cosworth-massaged cylinder heads. No confirmation of cylinder head mods has ever been corroborated, and part numbers show no difference between std 900 and Super III, so we assume it was the compression (up to 12.1:1 from 10.6:1) and cams that made the difference – from 98ps to 117ps.

    The other difference was the 6-piston brakes in the front, labelled “Triumph 6” sourced from Alcon.

    Parts list shows a different igniter, but I dunno on that one…

  • The sprag was modified in 1995 to fix the initial problems, but still is somewhat of a weak point of the triples – even some later model 1050 Speed Triple owners reported some problems. It helps to always have a fully charged battery along with good spark plugs to avoid long starting procedures.

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