Tri­umph in GPS

New Moto2 deal is of­fi­cial

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

Tri­umph have fi­nally con­firmed the in­tense ru­mours that have been cours­ing through the Mo­togp paddock are true – they are the new en­gine sup­plier for Moto2, with the switch from Honda hap­pen­ing for the 2019 sea­son.

It’s an in­cred­i­bly bold step back into world-class rac­ing for the Bri­tish man­u­fac­turer, el­e­vat­ing the Hinck­ley firm from low-level rac­ing sup­port of su­pers­port teams on short cir­cuits and in road rac­ing, to a po­si­tion firmly un­der the big­gest spot­light in rac­ing.

Road-bred race en­gine

The en­gine that will power the en­tire Moto2 grid for the three-year deal is de­rived from the new Street Triple RS 765cc road en­gine – and the changes are fewer than you might imag­ine.

In road trim Tri­umph claim per­for­mance fig­ures of 121bhp and 56.7ftlb, (while MCN’S dyno mea­sured our test bike at 125.8bhp and 59ftlb, see p36). But for the Moto2 en­gine the firm has pushed those claimed fig­ures out to 131bhp and 59ftlb by mak­ing a few key changes to the en­gine’s abil­ity to breathe harder and burn more fuel – com­bined with fewer elec­tronic re­stric­tions. The in­let and ex­haust valves are both big­ger than stock, the valves are now ti­ta­nium to re­duce in­er­tia, and they use stiffer springs to al­low a higher (undis­closed) rev ceil­ing. And more revs means more peak power.

Other key changes in­clude the use of a tune­able FCC slip­per clutch, and a race kit al­ter­na­tor that helps re­duce in­er­tia, while the new al­ter­na­tor cover can now be slim­mer to im­prove ground clear­ance. The sump has been re­designed, too – main­tain­ing the same vol­ume, but hav­ing a flat­ter sym­met­ri­cal pro­file to al­low teams the op­tion of rout­ing the ex­haust head­ers down ei­ther side of the bike.

Sup­ply and de­mand

While Tri­umph can’t con­firm ex­act num­bers, there is a min­i­mum sup­ply agree­ment for 34 teams in Moto2, which equates to around 150 en­gines needed to feed the grid, along with service kits to keep them re­freshed. Th­ese en­gines will be de­liv­ered to Ex­tern­pro in Spain, the in­de­pen­dent firm that al­ready builds and main­tains en­gines for the se­ries un­der con­tract to Dorna. Tri­umph will sup­ply the en­gine in kit form, and th­ese will then be built up and sup­plied to teams in ex­actly the same way that Honda’s units are cur­rently.

“It is in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing to be work­ing with the iconic Tri­umph mo­tor­cy­cle com­pany in sup­ply­ing en­gines for Moto2,” says Trevor Mor­ris, Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor at Ex­tern­pro. “I have been a fan of the triple for a long time, its unique char­ac­ter­is­tics and per­for­mance will en­sure and en­hance the fu­ture suc­cess of the cham­pi­onship.”

While the en­gine parts are be­ing bred for rac­ing, they will be pro­duced by Tri­umph’s ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in the UK (for camshafts, crankshafts and con­rods) and Thai­land (for cast­ings, crankcases, and ma­chined heads) – with other com­mon parts com­ing from ex­ist­ing sup­pli­ers, and new part­ners such as FCC.

Test­ing, test­ingé

The deal was an­nounced on Satur­day, but there’s still a long way to go un- til the first grid of Moto2 bikes will form up dis­play­ing their ‘Pow­ered by Tri­umph’ de­cals. Amaz­ingly, first dis­cus­sions took place less than a year ago, with de­vel­op­ment start­ing al­most im­me­di­ately. “We started de­vel­op­ing the Street Triple 765 three years ago, but we only started work­ing on the Moto2 en­gine about a year ago af­ter dis­cus­sions with Dorna,” says Steve Sar­gent, Tri­umph’s Chief Prod­uct Of­fi­cer and one of the key driv­ers for the Moto2 project. “It’s de­rived from the RS en­gine, but we have made changes to give Dorna what they want in terms of an en­gine they be­lieve will de­liver an ex­cit­ing race se­ries. We’ve worked on de­liv­er­ing more power, more torque,

in­creas­ing the revs, and re­duc­ing the in­er­tia so the en­gine spins up faster. We’ve seen over 131bhp on the dyno, but still have over 12 months of de­vel­op­ment to go.” The de­vel­op­ment team is en­tirely based in-house at Tri­umph in the UK, and com­prises around six mem­bers of the firm’s top en­gi­neers.

While teams and frame builders won’t re­ceive en­gines for some time yet, Tri­umph will now feed them with tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion to start the process of re­design­ing their bikes. “We’re putting to­gether an in­for­ma­tion kit for the teams now with key di­men­sions they need for chas­sis de­sign. We’ll also sup­ply them with ex­ter­nal CAD data to al­low them to pack­age fair­ings around the en­gine,” says Sar­gent. “The main dif­fer­ence the teams will no­tice is where the frame-to-en­gine mount points are. That will set them a bit of a chal­lenge to get the stiff­ness they need. Hope­fully it will in­spire more chas­sis builders to come into the se­ries, too.” But Tri­umph aren’t plan­ning to be one of them. “It’s not in the spirit of the se­ries to come in as the of­fi­cial en­gine sup­plier and to also have a chas­sis pack­age. A lot of the other teams would prob­a­bly cry foul in that sce­nario. We won’t en­ter a team in 2019 – whether we might at a later stage is some­thing we’ll have to think about.”

But the lack of team ac­cess doesn’t mean there’s been no test­ing. While Tri­umph don’t have a Moto2 chas­sis, they have been test­ing the new en­gine (one of three built so far) in a mod­i­fied Day­tona 675 chas­sis on track with 2009 125cc World Cham­pion and Moto2 run­ner-up, Ju­lian Si­mon. “He was grin­ning from ear-to-ear when he got off the bike,” says Sar­gent. “The en­gine feels strong and in par­tic­u­lar the midrange is very im­pres­sive,” adds Si­mon. “The feel be­tween the throt­tle and the rear wheel is very di­rect and con­trol­lable. The gen­eral feel­ing is very good and the en­gine shows great po­ten­tial.”

Moto2 is a big stage, which could bring huge de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the brand, and which ex­poses them to extreme scru­tiny, but Tri­umph have no con­cerns over re­li­a­bil­ity. “We have a huge pedi­gree with rac­ing,” says Paul Stroud, Tri­umph Chief Com­mer­cial Of­fi­cer. “What this gives us is a chance to pro­mote Tri­umph to a global au­di­ence of more than 34 mil­lion race fans. We have had a lot of suc­cess on the track with the 675 en­gine, and we haven’t had ma­jor or mi­nor re­li­a­bil­ity is­sues.”

“If you think about some of the places we’ve been rac­ing: the TT, one of the tough­est races; Day­tona 200, one of the long­est and tough­est races; the NW200 – that en­gine has proven it­self around the world,” adds Sar­gent. “We want to go into this with 100% re­li­able en­gines, and we have a test pro­gramme to en­sure that hap­pens.”

‘This gives us the chance to pro­mote Tri­umph to a global au­di­ence’


The new Street Triple RS is as­ton­ish­ing, and now the en­gine will power Moto2

Th­ese guys will be get­ting Tri­umph 765 power in 2019

Tri­umph have been work­ing on the race project for the past year and are claim­ing fig­ures of 131bhp and 59ftlb There’s been a fo­cus on get­ting the en­gine to breathe freely

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