TRIUMPH AND MOTO2
Triumph’s chief product officer Steve Sargent’s been hands on from the get-go with the whole Moto2 tie-up. Here’s what he had to tell us about the story so far and what it’ll entail... I got involved with the Moto2 gig right from the start, back in 2016. We were made aware of the fact the Moto2 engine contract was coming up for renewal via a mutual acquaintance that put us in touch with Dorna for preliminary discussions. Basically, we wanted to know what they were wanting with regards to engine supply, and they were interested to know what it was that we could offer them with our 765 motor. Quite clearly Moto2 has been a very successful and popular championship for Dorna, and they wanted to make sure their next move was as considered and enticing as their first one.
Fundamentally, they wanted to make sure that the series’ replacement motors could be as reliable and dependable as the Hondas that’ve seen the championship flourish. Obviously they were also interested in upping the ante, with a more powerful, more dynamic and exciting powerplant; something that could offer a bit more of a challenge for the riders and the teams. They also wanted to know what we could offer electronically to try and technologically advance the championship, and put it slightly more in line with the premier MotoGP class. We liked the challenges they were putting forward and knew that we were able to meet all of their demands and more. In terms of horsepower, the 765 has upped the game substantially. More than 135bhp and in terms of torque, we’re talking about 80Nm – both figures being considerably greater than what the Honda was making. And then you’ve got the tractability of a triple, which has proven a massive hook to the GP test riders who’ve been putting the Triumph Mule through its paces. Anyway, Dorna liked what they were hearing and we saw the move as a big opportunity to broadcast Triumph in the premier racing paddock. It was a deal that suited both parties.
We’ve obviously been working very hard to develop and test the proposed specification engines, which are now in their final iterations. The engines will go for three rounds before a refresh, and there’s a thorough schedule for their regular overhauls, which will done by a company called ExternPro, who current look after the series. They have a robust process that they go through when it comes to building engines, and rebuilding engines.
We’ve actually had some of our specialists spending time with the guys at ExternPro to help educate them on how we build a triple engine, which has brought good co-operation between the two of us. At the end of the day it’s in everybody’s interest that we have fantastic reliability and the very best performance. The motors are obvious derived from the 765 motor. Fundamentally, we’ve tried to help the motors breathe a bit more freely, and to spin up a bit faster. The way in which we’ve done that is by porting the cylinder head, fitting titanium valves and stiffer springs, plus a race kit alternator to reduce inertia. We’ve also kitted the engines with higher flow injectors, an FCC clutch and taller first and second gears. And then there’s all the electronics. The standard bike revs to 12,650rpm, and the Moto2 bike engine will rev to 14,000rpm, which helps free more peak power.
We’ve been very pleased with what we’ve found, both in terms of performance and durability. We’ve also simulated extensive stints of racing conditions on track to try and evaluate any potential wear. But everything’s been fine. We’re ready to roll, Dorna’s happy and now our focus will be on supplying the necessary number of engines needed for all the teams, who’ll undoubtedly be hoping to get an engine in their chassis ready for November’s official test – that’ll be when the true Triumph Moto2 machines will be making their debut, and we really can’t wait. It’s going to be very special.