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Mad About Saffron: 2000 Triumph Daytona 955i for Sale

This Triumph always makes me think of that classic Donovan song: “I’m just mad about Saffron, she’s just mad about me, they call me Mellow Yellow [quite rightly]” Honestly, it isn’t exactly mellow, but the Daytona 955i does look great in this pretty wild shade of yellow. It helps that the overall styling is simple and elegant, and there are no graphics to date the bike, but it’s still hard to believe this thing is nearly 20 years old now, and I think it’s one of the best-looking bikes of the period.

Designed as a road bike first and foremost, the 955i wasn’t intended to go head-to-head with sports multis from Japan. Which is a good thing, because in the rigorous instrumented testing that has always been popular for comparison tests when bikes are new, they blew the Triumph into the weeds. But while bench-racing and dyno comparisons may help sell the latest and greatest sportbikes and do offer an unbiased way to compare different machines, they don’t tell the whole story: then, as now, the Daytona is an excellent sportbike.

Back in the 90s Triumph made the calculated decision not to pitch their bike directly against the Japanese supertbike offerings. They knew they just didn’t have the resources to develop a bike that weighed less than, make more power than, or would turn laptimes within 1/10th of a second of them, so they went ahead and just made a pretty great all-around sportbike oriented towards the road. It’s a bit heavier, the riding position a bit more humane, the powerband more midrange-oriented, and the suspension just a little bit softer. All that meant the bike wasn’t the greatest at turning a hot lap, but a higher build-quality and timeless looks mean it’s a great bike for 95% of sportbike pilots, and those remaining 5% could ride the bike well enough

The original Daytona was available in three and four-cylinder versions, but only the triple got the nod for a redesign in 1997 seen here. It was redesigned in 2001 with a single, modern headlamp and a lighter, stiffer double-sided swingarm. That updated bike was much improved, but I prefer this earlier design, with the double headlight and the single-sided swingarm. This one appears to be in good condition, but miles aren’t especially low. The bike has the very cool undertail exhaust that several companies made for these when they were new, although I understand the official factory performance exhaust upgrade was the way to go for real improvements across the board.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Triumph 955i for Sale

This super bike is da BombDigity! It’s a real peach with only 21, 254 miles since birth. This machine is NOT for wimps or sissy-boys. When you grab the throttle on this 955cc, three cylinder throttle monster it’ll cause your ass to grab to seat OR… you just fall off. This monster comes with Triumph stock Brembo brakes on both tires. Speaking of tires these rubbers are brand new. Heck… wearing these rubbers just mike keep you safe in a Ron Jeremy movie starring Stormy Daniels. Remember what is was like to grab ahold of something and twist it and KNOW your day just got better? Well… This is the machine that will do that for you. This beast is fuel injected with an aftermarket Trident dual pipe under the seat. It already has the Battery Tender terminals attached to the batter so you can keep that battery fresh and ready to fire all year long. On a serious note though this example has never been track ridden and has only had two adult owners. This 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i is the bike that everyone wants to talk about and everyone loves to hear. 

This beast breathes through a larger, non-ram-air-equipped airbox with 46mm throttle bodies that feed a redesigned CNC-machined cylinder head featuring 1mm larger intake and 1mm smaller exhaust valves sitting at a narrow 23-degree included valve angle. New forged-aluminum pistons force a 12.0:1 compression ratio (over the previous 11.2:1 ratio), sitting atop stronger carburized connecting rods and a lighter crankshaft. This 955i pumps out somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 rear-wheel horsepower. On a dyno run that number bore with an impressive 128 hp at 10,500 rpm showing. The rear wheel is hung on a single-sided swing arm making for a killer look for sure.

The 955cc triple has no problem pulling the tall lower gears due to its stupendous amount of low and midrange torque. Big power starts at 4000 rpm (any lower than that requires a smooth throttle hand), launching the Daytona forward through the rev band like a locomotive on crystal meth; revs climb even quicker once the tach hits 7500 rpm, spinning up far faster than the old T595 ever could. The power continues to build up top, with the Triumph’s distinct exhaust timbre accompanying the blurring scenery.

The Triumph Daytona 955i can make time with the best of Japanese track weapons through the curves; it just generates its acceleration in a slightly less frantic manner. Despite the claims of a lighter crankshaft, the 955i still has a lot of flywheel effect. This can be a boon for riders less accustomed to the precise throttle control and gearbox manipulation necessary with a typical four-cylinder. Throttle application isn’t as critical, and sweeping turns where momentum is key allow you to showcase the Triumph’s stomping midrange. 

The best part of this bike is its near V-twin torque and low/midrange grunt with a four-cylinder’s screaming top end. The 955i is very deceptive in how it generates its speed. The gearing, especially in the lower cogs, is tall enough that the motor’s relatively loping gait fools you into thinking you aren’t really traveling that fast… until the next corner comes up. That tall gearing, however, when combined with the heavy flywheel effect, means care must be taken with downshifts during corner entries in the tighter stuff to avoid rear wheel hop.

If you’d like to come by and test ride this bike you must have in your possession a non-expired license with a motorcycle endorsement, you must have the full asking price of $5500USD in cash and you must let me hold the cash, your license and the keys to the vehicle you arrive in while you do the test ride.

Does anyone actually say “da BombDigity” anymore? Questionable taste in slang aside, this is a pretty great description of the bike, although the front brakes are Triumph-branded and not Brembo units. The seller does include the picture above showing damage to the tank with no explanation, and the scratch is gone in the other pictures, so it’s worth a message to the seller before bidding, considering he’s asking premium money for this one: the asking price is on the high side for a Daytona of this vintage at $6,500. Daytonas are especially appealing on the used market and offer pretty great value: they look great, have plenty of performance for all but the most hardcore road-racers, are reasonably reliable, and have been dirt-cheap for years now, although that’s bound to change sooner or later.



  • Not really rare and questionable as a sport bike, plus the seller doesn’t seem like someone who would be pleasant to deal with.

    “If you’d like to come by and test ride this bike you must have in your possession a non-expired license with a motorcycle endorsement, you must have the full asking price of $5500USD in cash and you must let me hold the cash, your license and the keys to the vehicle you arrive in while you do the test ride.” Why not a DNA sample and your firstborn while you are at it……

    • Questionable as a sportbike? By whose definition? And dunno what it’s like where you live, but I see plenty of weird, very rare stuff riding around and I can’t remember the last time I saw a nice T595 or 955i Daytona in person, so hard disagree on the “not really rare” part. It’s no Ducati SPS or RC30, but these were never as common as their contemporaries, and nice examples are getting hard to find.

  • British version of the VFR, already identified as a future classic by Practical Sportbikes – get em while you can collectors

  • This generation of Daytona is every bit as pretty as a Duc 916 ( I think prettier ). Unfortunately re-sale values of Triumphs are abysmal, which is a shame considering how nice of a machine they are. This one is overpriced in the current market.

  • Nice looking bike, could certainly do with a bit less “bro” in the auction description…

  • The seller’s write-up is cringe-worthy and the mystery of the gouge in the tank is troubling. But it looks like a nice bike. I always liked these for what they were, and Tad does a really nice of job of explaining that from a realistic perspective.

    Mark B–I don’t know if I’d call the seller “unpleasant”, but definitely an eye-roller. It’s not the attitude that would keep me away, it’s strictly the crazy price.

    Turin–“every bit as pretty as a Duc 916”? Might as well say that Dewey was the 33rd President.

  • @Tad yes, questionable in the fact it was not competitive with Japanese/Ducatis at the time. Seemed more like a sport tourer of the era. But I know not every bike featured here is a hard core sport bike.

    “Turin–“every bit as pretty as a Duc 916” 2nd this……. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? I am no Ducati fan but good grief, I can’t see how you can compare the two.

    Maybe some folks will collect these but i don’t see collector value in these. Just cause something is “clean” doesn’t make it collectible. I would think early Street Triples would be where collectors are looking…….

    • As I said: “by whose definition?” Yours apparently: so if it’s not a “hard core sportbike,” it’s not a sportbike. Got it. We can agree do disagree on that. But look at a 90s Ducati 900SS. It would get murdered by a “hard core sportbike” in nearly every performance metric, but it’s definitely not a sport-touring bike. So… what was it? Keep in mind that just because the Daytona 955i was “not competitive” doesn’t mean it wasn’t a sportbike, it just means that maybe it wasn’t a very good sportbike… I do agree that a Daytona is not as pretty as a 916, but I still think it’s one of the best-looking bikes of the era. I’d also definitely agree that the early Speed Triples [I post them up whenever I find them] should be more collectible than they are, and I’m still shocked the older Daytona Super III isn’t more valuable, but maybe I just like weird bikes. At this point, all of the post-classic Triumphs are pretty great bargains, if you want something cool and affordable.

  • Being as a big of a Triumph fan as Ducati, I can certainly see the comparison to the 916. What else from that era of sportbikes even comes close to having as classy and timeless of a look? I personally think these have become much more of a appealing sportbike from that era to buy used:; at least as a street bike, than anything the Japanese made close to it’s price range.

    Never been a big fan of the over the top hyped up advertising for used bikes. I wonder if it actually turns off more buyers than it brings in?…. I would bet so.

  • Relax Tad, you are taking this as a personal attack and I am not sure why. Yes, my definition, an opinion. I stated that i realize all bikes on this site are not hardcore sportbikes, an observation, not an attack. I never considered this a sportbike, more of a sport tourer, it just wasn’t competitive with sport bikes of it’s era. My opinion, that’s all. Not attacking you or anyone else.

    @Bryan I agree, ads like this just put potential buyers off.

    • Sorry man, I didn’t mean to come off like I was offended, or angry. I honestly wasn’t taking it as a personal attack, or being sarcastic with the “agree to disagree” thing. I meant it sincerely: if you think sportbikes should be heart-attack serious, that’s cool. I go the other way, with a pretty broad definition. The curse of the online conversation: easy for things to be misread.

  • The 900ss is one exception to what I previously stated about being close to as classy and timeless as a 916, my opinion anyway. In many ways, the 955 Daytona is much closer to being that type of sportbike, not about outright performance numbers, but just as fun to take on a Sunday spirited ride through the twisties and probably just as capable in most hands as a hardcore sportbike while doing that type of riding.

  • All just sounds like a mere trading of opinions to me. Right or wrong?…who knows, but I think most people would look at a sportbike as being anything with a full fairing and low clip-ons designed to be ridden in a sporting fashion.

    I really think these bikes will go up in value just based off the looks, uniqueness, and relative rarity when compared to many other bikes of the time period. I think his ask is pretty high for the time being though. The last 955 posted needed a bit of tlc mechanically, but could be made just as nice for half that.

  • “I really think these bikes will go up in value just based off the looks, uniqueness, and relative rarity when compared to many other bikes of the time period.”

    If that were true there would be a LOT of Aprilias worth serious money………

  • Ok, you’re right, but I left out the timeless and classy part I mentioned earlier. That often makes a big deference later on in a bikes life. RSV or Tuono classy and timeless?….I sure wouldn’t say so. Plus, I think a lot of potential Aprilia buyers are turned off by the lack of parts availability, I sure was

  • Yes, I just don’t see it in this particular model. I just sold an old Aprilia Falco that I owned for 11 years, I never had any issues getting parts (thanks AF1 racing) or major mechanical issues. But you are correct, their logistics and dealer support stinks. But hey, how easy is it to get Laverda parts or parts for old Guzzis (owned by the same parent company) and those bikes go for big money.

    Not every old Aprilia is a beauty but I think the Falco and 2nd Gen, pre V4 Tuonos are pretty sweet looking and great performing bikes.

    I like this Triumph and its a good bike for what it is, a nice decent older used bike. I can’t see this commanding any type of serious money like a similar era Ducati. But hey what do I know, I still can’t wrap my head around people dropping 5 figures on 25 year 250 2 strokes……….

  • What makes a bike go up in value is definitely a number of factors and depends so much on what people end up finding desirable latter on. Will future values be in the favor of Triumphs from that period? From what I see on all the classified sites, Aprilia’s look to be very hard to sell, but so are many Triumphs. Time will tell…

  • And no, I don’t see it commanding serious money down the road either, but I could see it going up a few grand or so in the not so distant future from what one could actually sell for now.

  • I don’t see these ever being serious collector bikes. They were unremarkable when new, no racing pedigree, just reliable, classy practical sporty bikes. And who the hell collects those? No, people collect the impractical cool stuff that everyone was talking about “back in the day”. This bike is no 916, not even close. And I’m not a Ducati guy either, but when the 916 arrived it reset everyone’s image of a sexy sportbike and everyone wanted one, riding position and valve adjustment intervals be damned! They sold every 916 they could make for a while, and they won races.

    To me, this Triumph is the 1990 VFR750F compared to the 916 as the RC30. They may be sort of similar in some ways, but a world apart in the ways that drive collector values.

    These are nice bikes to ride I’m sure, but it doesn’t tug at the emotions.

  • I was one of the first in North America to get to ride the Daytona 595 and 509. Put tens of thousands of miles on Daytona 955s ripping through the mountains of N GA back in the late 90s. I guess someone forgot to tell me the Daytona 595/ 955 was not a sport bike because even as a mediocre rider, I really had no issue keeping up with the R1s, CBRs, GSXRs etc. The midrange torque and nasty growl of the intake noise said what its intentions were. More street focused than track focused, in its element It was easy to keep up with the best that Japan had at the time. At the track, a lack of cornering clearance, wonky handling and mediocre brakes held it back. But on the street, it was one of the best bikes of the era.

    Was it a Ducati 916 killer? No, it certainly was not. Triumph should have never pretended that it was, or it would be. It never stood a chance. But remember when the bike was launched it really was cutting edge for 1997. Fuel injection was rare on motorcycles when it was introduced in late 1996. Even Honda had not put EFI on the VFR, CBR XX and Fireblade yet. The ’98 R1, as radical as it was, still had carbs. Single sided swingarms were only seen on VFRs, Ducatis and really expensive Hondas like the NR750. Quick release body fasterners and a 190 section rear tire were also rare on production bikes at the time. The polished Spondon style frame was really trick looking. Shame they had to nix polishing every one and went to the powdercoated silver. It was a mass production bike that had a hand built element to it.

    The only reason why some would not consider the Daytona 595/ 955 a sportbike is that either they never rode one, or they are basing their opinion off of how long Triumph let this model languish without any major updates. From its launch in 1997 to its final year of production in 2005 (there were a few ’06 models that escaped through I believe but not enough to be concerned about), it really only received minor updates to its bodywork, ergos, suspension, fuel injection, exhaust and instrumentation. Triumph did to the Daytona what Suzuki did to the Katana line- they let it get so long in the tooth that the hard core sportbike enthusiasts no longer considered it a sport bike. Some started to classify it as a sports tourer, but you had to be really hard core to put up with the ergos and extreme engine heat to call it a sport tourer. Ride a Sprint ST of the same era and you will quickly see they are not the same.

    The Daytona 595/ 955 was a landmark bike but it will be years before they reach collector status, if they ever do. The production volume was low by comparison to the Japanese sportsbikes, and if you find an early one with the dual headlights and low miles it may become a collectible. The bike looked really nice in the black/Red. Triumph had issues with the yellow and actually changed the color from Strontium to Lightning (slight shade difference). The red made it look to Japanese. The later silver 955 models looked the best in the opinion of most Triumph enthusiasts its seems. If you can pick up one cheap with low miles and few mods, you will enjoy it.

    • Wow. Thanks for chiming in! I love getting articulate first-hand input on these kinds of things, whether they validate my posts or correct them, and you pretty much summed up the impressions I’ve gotten, reading about them when they were new and in retrospect.

  • Also- don’t forget that Curtis Adams won Daytona against the Buells on a Daytona 595 in the Pro Thunder class in 1998.


  • Well put lovetolean, I agree, To directly compare these bikes with a 916 would be totally unfair, never was intended for the track, but it’s not quite a vfr ether. Probably closer to the vfr in intended purpose, with looks more similar at least to the 916. It’s probably quite a few years off until any bike will fetch significantly more than one could now (if ever), but I could see a few Triumph models from that era at least going up in value in the next 5 to 10 years an appreciable amount.

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