TRIUMPH’S CHIEF ENGINEER
If there’s one man that knows whether a Daytona 765 is truly on the cards, it Triumph’s Stuart Wood. Over a tea and some biccies, we picked his brains…
What can we expect from the 765?
The 765cc engine was an evolution of the 675cc which we’ve been building for years that we understand from a road and race engine, so even though the 765cc engine was designed for the road it’s got the same attributes which will make it work incredibly well on track. For us, it’s not so much about the torque or even the peak power, it’s mainly about the torque spread and the power delivery, and how the engine interacts within the chassis being a triple. It’s a great challenge, but a great opportunity. What we’re at liberty to say is that the engine’s producing in excess of 135bhp, and in excess of 80Nm of torque. We don’t have the previous supplier’s motor to compare against, but what we know is that at the very first test with the manufacturers, first time out, the Triumph engine was already matching the existing brand’s lap times, which really shows its potential.
How different is the Moto2 engine to the stock engine?
We’ve increased the power and torque, alongside increasing the rev range to 14,000rpm. The details within the engine aren’t currently being discussed but we obviously have changes such as a higher compression ratio, titanium inlet valves, race springs and a few components to allow it to achieve those figures – we don’t just take a stock engine and increase the rev limit. Although revs have been increased by nearly 2,000rpm so the 765 now has a 14,000rpm ceiling. The principles of the engine are exactly the same as the Street Triple’s, albeit with more power and torque through a better range of revs, with a better response, which gives the rider a more flexible use of gearing as well. The only other key differences are to the first and second gear ratios, which are now taller, plus the engine has a much lighter race spec generator, which saves weight on the crank and helps the motor to spin up faster. The feedback we’ve had from the first test was that it’s much more akin to riding a MotoGP bike, as rather than corner speed it likes to be stuck onto the fat part of the tyre and fired out of corners, so it will be interesting to see how the current Moto2 riders get on with the machine next year as it will be challenging.
Why build this mule?
What you see here is essentially a modified Daytona chassis, which has been utilised purely as a basis for us to test the engine; it’s basically like a mule bike. What we needed to do was test the engine, as the engine isn’t designed as an engine; it’s designed as part of a motorcycle. This means that the engine’s characteristics on the road help to determine its attributes on track, as it’s not about hitting the right power figure, it’s about getting the feeling. There were very few modifications made to get little things in like the Moto2 wheel sizes and slick tyres, but there’s not a huge difference to an actual Daytona’s geometry; we’re only talking a single degree sharper headstock angle and a 4mm increase on trail, to help the bike turn. There have been two stages of engine tune, with the second one featuring an FFC slipper clutch for instance, so riders can tune it for things like how much they want the bike backing into corners and things like that. The next stage is to pair the motor up with Magnetti Marelli electronics for full adjustability, which is actually in use on another test mule machines – it’s getting very close to sign-off as well which is good.
Do you have to supply teams with a whole mule?
No, not all. We only have to supply engines, as the initial work was done with the chassis manufacturers so they understood what they were designed for – they had engines and details from us to build the actual chassis. The teams will get a complete bike for the first test in November, and throughout the season teams are supplied with a sealed engine which they aren’t allowed to have apart, and then after a certain amount of time it comes back to us and we supply them with another while we service the used one – the motors are fully refreshed every three rounds. We don’t manage the engines, and it’s actually a Dorna-approved company that looks after all the servicing side of things – we just supply all the components, which works well for us. A lot of our work has been to ensure consistency engine to engine, and in terms of measurements every engine has been as close as can be. A lot of effort goes into making the series successful, and it’s very professional.
People are expecting a new Daytona. Do you have the inclination to build one?
Yes, if there is demand. That’s not looking at sales figures, that’s talking to customers, and potential customers all the time. We are asking, we do want to know what people want, and it’s an exciting bike, but there has to be a real market. If there is, there’s every possibility. We keep hearing from the press, from many people, saying why aren’t you building a new Daytona? The truth is, at the moment people are buying other styles of bike. I don’t know how we can be persuaded, but maybe, just maybe, the positive feedback from this race bike will get broader awareness of what we’re capable of, and then who knows from there. We’ve done very well over the years, and the really positive thing about Moto2 and people seeing it right now is that they’re seeing an engine used hard and raced fast, that they can genuinely go and buy a version of for the road. It’s not just the shape of the engine and the fact it’s three cylinders, the way it feels, the way it delivers power, the way it sounds and the way it allows you to ride a motorbike is the same; we’ve taken our values, and how we feel a bike should be set up and put it in a race engine.