It’s moments like these that remind me how awesome my job is. These past two days I’ve had the pleasure of riding Triumph’s new Speed Triple and Daytona 675R through some of Southern California’s greatest roads and the region’s newest racetrack, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. Get a taste for my first ride impressions after the jump.

Both bikes are more evolutions of their existing versions, but the changes are noticeable from the saddle. The Speed Triple has gotten a complete revamp that includes revising the front geometry, tweaking the engine for even more power, putting it on a diet and making the ergonomic package feel even more like its little brother, the Street Triple.

For the 675R, Ohlins suspension and Brembo monobloc calipers are the major mechanical upgrades over the standard bike. As I expected, both bikes are absolute riots in their respective playing grounds. On the street, the 1050cc triple has a fat torque curve (even more than the previous model!) that lets you be lazy with the gears. It handles almost like a sportbike and definitely stops like one. No doubt this bike is a sure thing for anybody who wants to lose their license! Even more surprising was how it performed on the track. It’s street-biased shortcomings somehow made the bike oddly entertaining on the track.

As you’d expect, the 675R is completely racetrack focused. That being said, the Ohlins suspension makes the bike a sharp-edged tool compared to the already impressive standard bike. And that three-cylinder engine begs to scream at the top of its lungs! Clearly, I was happy to oblige.

All in all it was a great two days riding some impressive machines from Triumph. Be sure to look for my full review of both bikes in the next few days.